What is the Midnight Sun?

Midnight Sun in Lapland / Copyright www.lifeinlapland.com
The period of the midnight sun or "nightless nights" in Lapland is when the sun does not set below the horizon - there is light all day long. Its pretty cool.

This natural phenomenon is due to the tilt of the earth’s axis and its changing position as it orbits the sun. It only occurs in latitudes North of the Arctic Circle and the further North you go, the longer this period of "nightless nights" lasts. It never really gets dark during this period, even in the beginning and ending stages when the sun still dips just below the horizon. The halfway point of this period is the Summer Solstice (June 21st), after which the amount of daylight slowly but surely gets shorter and shorter - even if only by fractions of a second and if still very bright outside.

Good places to see the midnight sun are anywhere theres a high elevation and usually looking to the West, Northwest, and North. Its also a great site if you are near water (lakes, rivers) as to see the colorful reflections of light that dance across the water.

From the Arctic Circle, the sun can be seen above the horizon usually from 6 June to 7 July. As mentioned before, in areas further North this duration is a bit longer, for example in Svalbard this period can last into August.

While some may find it hard to sleep during this period, the benefits are that it offers the opportunity to explore the wilds of Lapland at almost any time of day - you can hike, fish, drive, or boat at night without any need for flash lights or head lamps. Its truly an amazing feeling when theres no darkness stopping you from exploring.

If you are traveling to Rovaniemi, here are some of the best places to see the midnight sun in Rovaniemi.

Some other exciting natural phenomena to observe when visiting Lapland include viewing the northern lights, polar night (kaamos), sun dogs, moon dogs, or autumn colors of ruska.
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