Learn about the Midnight Sun

The sun will shine 24 hours a day in summer-time in Vesterålen. Do we have the northern lights in summer? Yes we do, but at long as the sun shines - we just won't be able to see it. The Midnight Sun is a natural phenomenon in which the sun is above the horizon at midnight. And the rest of the night. And all day long. We’re talking about weeks and months of life-giving, warming and wonderful light. Visitors to the far north may have had it explained to them, but don’t believe it until they see it.

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Why do we have the Midnight Sun?

You’ve no doubt seen that globes are slightly tilted on their axes. This is because the Earth itself is slightly tilted on its axis. When the northern hemisphere is turned towards the sun and we have summer, the light comes from the side of the planet that is in daylight and over into the night side up here at the top of the planet, simply put. 

What does the Midnight Sun look like?

Let's face it; we are special above the arctic circle, but we do not have two suns: it’s the same sun. The colour varies dipending on time of the night - time of season. Mid July; when the sun peeks between the mountain tops and is only just above the horizon at midnight, the more reddish tones appear that one often sees on postcards. Try to see the Midnight Sun every evening when you’re travelling northwards; it’s a different experience every time.

How can you see the Midnight Sun?

Some visitors to the far north are able to delight in golden, sun-filled nights, while others find themselves peering discouraged through a veil of mist and pouring rain, with their gloves on. With the right preparations you should, however, have a good chance of seeing it.

  • Come at the right time
  • Talk to the locals about where you can get the best view. In mountainous coastal areas, mountains are likely to get in the way. 
  • Allow plenty of time; if the weather is poor today, it may improve tomorrow.
  • Be outside every evening. You never know when the clouds will open and the sun come shining through.
Can't sleep?

The locals sleep well, as they’ve had a long period to get used to the long hours of daylight as the spring progresses. We do however sleep less, because the light makes us energetic and lively, and elevates our mood, so the body needs less sleep. Visitors and newcomers may experience problems with sleeping for the first few days. The better hotels usually have thick, dark curtains to keep the light out, while simple fishermen’s cabins often have only light, summery window coverings. If you’re a light sleeper, you may want to take with you one of those little sleep masks that the airlines give out, or go for a stroll in the magical white night. In general we don’t find it a problem; both tourists and locals are in good form and in good humour in summer-time.

Mad and glad from the Midnight Sun!

The people of Northern Norway go a little bit mad with all the light, in the best sense of the word. It’s perfectly normal to mow the lawn or throw a coffee party at midnight, or to suddenly decide to walk up the nearest mountain to see the sun from the top. Children’s bedtimes are suddenly not that important. They say that the fish bite best at night, but that’s possibly just an excuse for staying up late. A large number of festivals are held in Northern Norway in the summer, all of them with programmes lasting up to midnight and beyond, as nobody’s going to go to bed anyway.

Marten Bril
Midnight Sun, sun, vesteralen, vesterålen, islands, Northern Norway, Norway, coastal Norway
Midnight Sun, sun, vesteralen, vesterålen, islands, Northern Norway, Norway, coastal Norway