Adventurers who find themselves this far north have usually braved the sub-zero winter months in hope of a fleeting glimpse of the aurora borealis or northern lights. What many don’t realise is that making the same journey in the less freezing summer months presents equally as captivating a spectacle in the form of the ‘midnight sun’. This stunning singularity happens when the summer solstice takes place on June 21st and the tilt of the Earth on its axis make the North Pole turn towards the Sun meaning continuous sunlight and striking, hazy midnight skylines.
Our pick of places to see it would have to be Tromsø. The ‘Capital of the Arctic’ gives you a chance to witness the phenomenon in the comfort of an energetic town with more pubs per capita than any other Norwegian town; because you’ve got to make the most of those long summer days, right? If it is a big summer celebration that you’re here for, the Midnight Sun Festival returns annually (usually in July) for an exploration into electronic music, art and nature, all of course under consistent sunlight.
The more laid-back culture lover is best heading to Tromsø Kunstforening, a contemporary art foundation who exhibit forward-thinking artists in a more traditional 19th century setting. If you’re travelling with kids they offer programmes such as Tromsø People’s Kitchen, a project aimed at teaching people how to create well balanced meals from food that would otherwise go to waste, as well as children’s drawing workshops with resident artists. After a hearty culture fix, head 1,382ft up Mount Storsteinen by cable car for some amazing views and food at the Fjellstua Café; it’s one of the best for landscape views of those long, bright days. If heights aren’t your thing, head down the cable to Emma’s Under, a beautifully intimate restaurant serving reasonably priced dishes, both large and small, all day and all night using fresh, local produce.
It’s not everyone’s idea of a summer de-stress but a trip to the land of the late night glow gives you one thing – the undoubted right to come home and show off. Your Facebook friend’s summer sunbathing snaps won’t even compare to a trip to the land where the sun never sets.