I’ve always heard about the ‘Midnight Sun’ and I have a picture of it as my wallpaper on my home screen, but I’ve never actually known what it is until now. In this blog post, I explain all about the phenomenon of the midnight sun.
Occasionally referred to as Polar Day, the phenomenon of the midnight Sun occurs due to the earth’s slightly tilted axis. As the earth orbits around the sun, the tilt makes the north pole face towards the sun in summer and away from it in winter, creating darkness during the northern hemisphere winter months and complete sunshine during the summer. The same phenomenon of the Midnight Sun can be witnessed south of the Antarctic Circle but since there are no permanent human habitations here it’s easier to experience the natural wonder in the north.
Each year, the day of June 21 marks the beginning of the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. This is the perfect time to experience the midnight sun. You can view it from eight countries as long as you are at a place that is above the 60° latitude. However, if you want to witness it in person from a fabulous place where there are luxury hotels, numerous attractions and an abundance of things to do, you may want to think about spending a summer holiday in one of these cities.
Where is the best place to experience the midnight sun?
Below we’ve listed the best destinations where you can witness this incredible phenomenon.
A great location to experience the natural phenomenon of the midnight sun is Fairbanks, Alaska in the United States of America. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, this northernmost Alaska city is the ideal place to celebrate the solstice, which starts off on June 21 at noon with a festival and an annually played baseball game at midnight.
This city of 30,000 continues to party throughout the summer months. Play golf 24 hours a day at the Fairbanks Golf & Country Club, which stays open 24 hours a day during the months of June and July, and fish the many lakes and rivers. Fairbanks has many remarkable attractions that you will want to see, and there are numerous excellent hotels to choose from.
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Another sensational target to travel to for the week of the summer solstice is Saint Petersburg, Russia. The term used for this occurrence is sometimes referred to as white nights, and Saint Petersburg is famous worldwide for its White Nights Festival. During the summer days of near-constant sunlight, the festive activities are never-ending, as well as ballet and opera performances, music concerts, and lots of carnivals.
Saint Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia. It is the country’s social spot with plenty of splendid magnetisms, including awe-inspiring structures such as the Winter Palace and Kazan Cathedral. You could spend months here and never see all that this magnificent city has to offer, including the art exhibits, nightlife, fine dining and educational museums. Some of the hotels here are among the nicest in the world.
No matter what destination you choose, witnessing the midnight sun will be an experience that you will never forget. On the other hand, if you’re going to travel to observe this incredible phenomenon, you may as well go somewhere that offers an assortment of fun things to do, astonishing attractions to see and marvelous places to stay.
If you’re planning to book one of the Europe tours during the summer solstice, Hammerfest is the perfect destination. If you’ve read Bill Bryson’s Neither Here Nor There, you’ll have heard of Hammerfest. You will have a fabulous time while experiencing a midnight sun cruise and taking in all the interesting attractions. The city has over 9,000 residents and is recognized as being the northernmost town in the world. There is so much to see in this wonderful harbor town that is situated on the coast of the Arctic Ocean, but you’ll have to share the town with the 3,000 reindeer that visit every summer to graze on the lush green grass.
Visit the Museum of Reconstruction of Finnmark and Northern Troms, which offers very informative information and photos about the war years when the city was occupied by Germany. You can take an amazing boat trip and see the spectacular Alta Canyon and the Alta Dam. Moreover, don’t forget to check out The Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society, where you can become a member of their exclusive club. In addition, you will find some wonderful four-star hotels here that will
To get to Svalbard you can fly to Longyearbyen. This beautiful wilderness is far from spoiled and you may be able to spot a range of great wildlife, such as Arctic foxes and herds of reindeer alongside walrus and seals as well as Polar Bears and Whales.
Formerly known as Jacobshaven, this port town is located 200km north of the Arctic Circle. The nearby Ilulissat Icefjord is UNESCO World Heritage Site. With a short and intense summer, flowers explode in a wealth of colour around midsummer. Taking a boat along the coastline, you will have the chance to see huge icebergs, whales and seals. Flights to Ilulissat are available via Reykjavik with Air Iceland.
Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada
This small town, a couple of degrees north of the Arctic Circle in the Northwest Territories, is then northernmost town in Canada. It hosts annual Midnight Sun Fun Run events in June and the Great Northern Arts Festival in July.
It gets a little over 50 days of daylight each year so many of the houses here are painted in bright, rainbow colours to bring a bit of colour to the otherwise dark, monochrome winters. Inuvik also boasts a celebrated church, Our Lady of Victory Church, shaped like an igloo.
if you have experienced the midnight sun, do let me know where you saw it and how the experience was!