Something that is unconventional often catches the crowd’s attention and this is what you can experience in a few places where the sun never sets. Countries bordering the Arctic Circle have turned out to be exotic vacationing destinations where people throng to experience the ‘Midnight Sun’ as they crowd to witness the Northern Lights.
It would not be 100% right to say that sun never sets in these places; once it sets it goes off for a considerable period extending for months. It is not the usual routine of 12 hours daytime and 12 hours night. It would be fair enough to say these countries experience 6 months day and 6 months night, a term with which we are acquainted since school going days through our geography texts.
Why the sun never sets?
The places where the sun never sets usually have a 20-24 hour daytime which varies according to their proximity to the Arctic pole. As the earth is tilted by approximately 23° and nears the sun on its path to annual revolution, the Polar Regions both North and South are exposed to more hours of sunlight at different times of the year.
This means sun rises and sets only once a year in these places which is not a conventional phenomenon. This unique phenomenon can be observed primarily from the North Pole because of the human settlements.
Although this happens in the Antarctic Circle also, none can observe this since the continent is uninhabited. Only few fortunate explorers and scientists on special missions can observe this. When the sun shines all throughout the day in the North Pole, it is totally dark in the South for a prolonged period and vice versa.
In the North Pole, the sun appears on 22nd March and sets on 21st September and on the South Pole, the sun rises on 21st September and shines till 21st March the same year. It’s a wonder of nature that you must first see to believe.
6 Amazingly beautiful places where the sun never sets:
If you wish to experience this marvel phenomenon of everlasting sunshine on this planet, here are some places where you can experience this exotic phenomenon:
Owing to its position in high latitude, Norway is known as the ‘Land of Midnight Sun’. North Arctic is a place where the sun never sets beneath the earth’s horizon in summer months spanning from late May to late July.Norway experiences about 20 hours of sunlight every day.
Longyearbyen, the northernmost inhabited place of Europe in the Svalbard archipelago receives continuous sunshine from 10th April to 23rdAugust every year. Pick up exciting activities like kayaking, fishing or golfing. Book a cycle tour or set off for a cruise to enjoy the glaring beauty of the Arctic Circle in summer.
Iceland is a land of ethereal beauty and one of the amazing places where the sun never sets. This Nordic country is one of the largest islands in Europe only second to Great Britain. Volcanoes, waterfalls, glaciers and geysers describe best the country’s natural landscape drawing tourists from every corner of the globe.
The country receives continuous sunlight from 10th May to July and the sun never seems to go down the horizon. The time is perfect to enjoy camping, diving, riding Icelandic horses, cycling, whale watching, caving and visiting national parks. At midnight, you may opt for golfing at any one of the 65 golf courses.
Several regions of the world’s second largest country are under the snow cover all throughout the year. The scenario is somewhat different in the Arctic Alaska and Inuvik that receives non-stop 50 days of sunshine.
It may not be the ideal 6months day and 6 months night situation as observed in the Arctic Pole but the continuous sunshine is no less enticing to indulge in exciting outdoor activities. Fishing and hunting are common warm-up activities.
The Great Northern Arts Festival, an annual event in mid-July is celebrated with pomp. To make the best of your holidaying in Arctic Alaska in summer, participate in playing golf in the Tundra and join the Midnight Sun Fun Run on the weekend nearing the Summer Solstice.
Talking of places where the sun never sets, the name Alaska automatically pops up in your mind. Located in the Northwest corner of the US, the country reveals its breathtaking beauty in summer months after passing the harsh winter. Spectacular glaciers, snowcapped mountains and valleys seem to smile gleefully under the bright sunshine.
Hiking and sightseeing are naturally the best warm-up activities. Watch the beautiful snow-clad mountain tops at 2 AM in the morning. You will find it mesmerizing. That such a surreal beauty can ever come down on the earth is something that the most imaginative mind might fail to conceive. Not the least, you have the opportunity of whale watching as well.
The land of fairytales, Finland is great to participate in midnight activities under the sunshine. One-fourth of the country falling into the Arctic region, it is one of the beautiful places where the sun never sets. As one travels further north, the sunshine at midnight can be experienced for more number of days.
The northernmost point of Finland receives sunshine for 73 consecutive days and conversely, there is no sunrise at all for 51 days in winter. The country is famous for lakes and the Northern Lights. Enjoy a stay in glass igloos or skiing on the snow-clad valleys. The spectacular views of fall color in autumn months will make you spellbound.
Stockholm, the capital city of Sweden is another place where you can enjoy the sun at midnight. It seems sun is in deep love with this beautiful country and is never willing to take a break. Comprised of 14 islands, Stockholm is located at the convergence of Lake Malaren and Baltic Sea.
Therefore, it is obvious that the city will be interconnected with great waterways. Enjoying the sunshine in midnight taking a ride on the waterways is an experience by itself. Skansen, a replica town of 19th century Sweden with traditional houses, artisans and tradesman is another attraction to visit in midnight with the sun shining overhead.
The town has the oldest museum in the world, another important tourist attraction. How about enjoying night golf under the sun in Bjorkliden? If you wish for more, set out for night hiking through the mountains of Lapporten or Abisko National Park.