Chasing the Midnight Sun

Last update: June 11, 2024 in Nature Facts
Chasing the Midnight Sun
Beautiful landscape in Lofoten Islands in Summer, Norway © surangaw,

Midnight sun (or the Polar day) is a natural phenomenon which occurs in places north of the Arctic Circle or south of the Antarctic Circle during the summer months when the sun remains visible at the local time of midnight, which means it never gets dark.

At its peak, you can see the sun moving in the sky but it does not dip completely below the horizon. The sun actually appears to move from left to right of the horizon in the Arctic regions and from right to left in Antarctica.

In the Northern hemisphere, midnight sun can be seen in Canada, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia and US (state of Alaska). The largest city in the world north of the Arctic Circle, Murmansk in Russia, experiences midnight sun for 62 days, from 22 May to 22 July.

The best time to catch the Midnight sun in the Northern hemisphere is around the time of the summer solstice - the 21st of June. In Svalbard archipelago, Norway - one of the closest destinations to the North Pole you can visit - you would see the midnight sun from mid-April to late August.

However, in Ísafjörður, northern Iceland, you’d catch the midnight sun only during the last couple of weeks in June, due to the fact that it is located more to the south.

A good way to find the best time and place to see the midnight sun is to have a local guide with you or to opt for a tour specially organised around this natural phenomenon - check here the available guided tours.