We are open today until 5:30 pm. Call 020 7590 0610
Tromso in summer

Best places to see the Midnight Sun 2020-2021

Article content

7 January 2020 by Saija Kokkonen

Updated for 2020/21 season! If you want to bask in 24-hour sunlight, follow our guide to the best places to experience the Midnight Sun.

The magical natural phenomenon of the Midnight Sun is a wonderful time to visit the landscapes of Scandinavia, the Nordics, Canada or Alaska as they bask in perpetual sunlight. But what actually is the Midnight Sun? It occurs when the Earth orbits around the sun and the tilt makes the north pole face completely away or towards it, so creating complete sunshine in the summer and darkness in winter. Travelling north of the Arctic Circle boosts your chances of feeling the full effects of the phenomenon, but there are many readily-accessible destinations that revel in the permanent sunlight.

Where to see the Midnight Sun


Hammerfest, the world's most northerly town, enjoys permanent sunshine from May until the end of July. The town's port remains ice-free due to the warming effects of the North Atlantic current – take advantage and enjoy a 'nighttime' sightseeing cruise. Close by, in Repparfjord, you'll find the world's most northerly golf course, where you can tee off at any time of day or night during the July and August. If you can't make it to Hammerfest, then Tromso or the Lofoten Islands are also good bases from which to experience the Midnight Sun, whilst North Cape (Nord Kapp), the northernmost point in Europe, basks in 76 days of full Midnight Sun.

Midnight Sun on Senja, Norway

Midnight Sun on Senja, Norway

Book Midnight Sun holidays in Norway 


The wild Arctic outpost of Svalbard, flung out to the far north of Norway, makes for wonderfully remote way experience the Midnight Sun. Fly into Longyearbyen or take an Arctic expedition cruise to reach the untamed wilderness where you'll have the opportunity to spot polar bears, Arctic foxes and herds of reindeers along with whales, walrus and seals alongside a whole host of Arctic adventures.

Spitsbergen Midnight Sun in Summer, Norway

Spitsbergen in summer

Book Midnight Sun holidays in Svalbard 


The dazzling Arctic flora and gigantic icebergs in Greenland make for a spectacular backdrop against long midsummer nights. The summer here is short and intense, ensuring that the flora explodes in a wealth of colour for a brief time. Cruise the coastline past gigantic icebergs and look out for calving glaciers, whales and seals, or take to the ice to trek across the glittering fells.

Icebergs under the Midnight Sun in Ilulissat, Greenland

Icebergs under the Midnight Sun light in Ilulissat, Greenland

Book Midnight Sun holidays in Greenland 


At the end of June, the Kiruna Festival in Swedish Lapland means that people can party right through the night. Elsewhere, it's possible to go night hiking in Abisko National Park or the mountains of Lapporten. Although Stockholm doesn't benefit from perpetual daylight, the open-air museum, Skansen, stays open late when the sun is shining.

Summer Midnight Sun rafting excursion at the ICEHOTEL in Swedish Lapland

Summer Midnight Sun rafting excursion from the ICEHOTEL (Credit: Asaf Kliger)

Book Midnight Sun holidays in Sweden 


Reykjavik, the northernmost national capital in the world, hosts a raucous Summer Solstice Festival on 21 June that celebrates the country's Viking heritage with drinking, dancing and debauchery that continues until the following day. However, the city is just short of the Arctic Circle so to witness the full phenomenon jump on a ferry to the tiny island of Grimsey, which lies on the Circle itself, making it a fabulous, out-of-the-way destination.

Midnight Sun over Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

Midnight Sun over Seljalandsfoss, Iceland

Book Midnight Sun holidays in Iceland 


Head to Inuvik, a couple of degrees north of the Arctic Circle in the Northwest Territories, to take part in a Midnight Sun Fun Run in June or see the Great Northern Arts Festival in July. With only a little more than 50 days of daylight, many of the houses here are painted in bright, rainbow colours to bring a bit of colour to the otherwise dark, monochrome winters; there's also a celebrated church here, shaped like an igloo.

Midnight Sun over the Harbour Islands, Nunavut, Canada

Midnight Sun over the Harbour Islands, Nunavut, Canada

Book Midnight Sun holidays in Canada 


Fairbanks in Alaska, the northernmost of the state's main cities, spends much of winter cloaked in darkness, so the return of sunlight and the onset of the 24-hour phenomenon makes the locals pretty excited. The end of June brings the Midnight Sun Festival, when the city centre is shut off to traffic as street parties, parades and food markets clog the roads. There's also an annual Midnight Sun baseball match, which has taken place every year since 1906; the first throw is at midnight. The Golf & Country Club here also allows you to play a round at any hour during most of June and July. South of Fairbanks, Eagle Summit also experiences the Midnight Sun around the time of the summer solstice despite being south of the Arctic Circle, due to its elevation.

Midnight Sun, Kachemak Bay, Cook Inlet, Alaska

Midnight Sun, Kachemak Bay, Cook Inlet, Alaska

Book Midnight Sun holidays in Alaska 

Tips for Midnight Sun holidays

  • Locals often adjust to the additional daylight naturally and even require less sleep. As a visitor a sleep mask will help with shutting out the light when attempting to get some sleep under the long daylight of the Midnight Sun.
  • With so much daylight, plan for long days outdoors; take advantage of the fact that activities can be arranged around the clock.
  • Always bring a variety of sensible clothing and layers to add or remove when venturing up to the Arctic Circle, regardless of the season; summer can still be chilly.
  • Sun cream and sunglasses are recommended when exploring these areas.

What is the Midnight Sun?

Sometimes referred to as a Polar Day, the phenomenon occurs because of 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 equivalent summer. The same phenomenon 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.

When to see the Midnight Sun in 2020/2021?

Generally, this phenomenon can be seen all along the Arctic Circle from mid-June to early July. Head further north to Svalbard or Greenland to enjoy the spectacle from April to August – with adequate weather conditions the sun is then visible for a full 24 hours a day. During this period it's impossible to see the Northern Lights, as the skies are too bright.

We interviewed Alexander Armstrong, comedian and actor, about his Midnight Sun adventure. You can read the interview here.

Related offers

Geiranger fjord, Beautiful Nature Norway

Copenhagen & Norwegian Fjords on Silver Dawn

15-day cruise from £7,300 pp incl. flights

cruise offer

Exclusive offer: USD $200 shipboard credit per suite
Book by: 30 November 2021

This in-depth appreciation of Scandinavia sees you explore some of its most famed destinations under the Midnight Sun on the luxury Silver Dawn, including Copenhagen, Gothenburg, the Lofoten Islands and some of Norway's most famous fjords.

Syv Søstre, Havila Voyages

Northern Lights Cruise & Snowhotel Kirkenes

5-day itinerary from £1,450 pp incl. flights

Combine a bucket-list Northern Lights cruise with a stay in a snow hotel on this thrilling itinerary.

Polar bear, Ponant (credit: Laurence Fischer)

The North Pole on Le Commandant Charcot

18-day ocean cruise from £30,660 pp incl. flights

Follow in the footsteps of great explorers with this unforgettable voyage to the geographic North Pole with Ponant on board Le Commandant Charcot, the world's first hybrid-electric polar exploration vessel powered by liquified natural gas.

Godafoss waterfall at sunset, Iceland

No-fly Iceland & Ireland on Celebrity Silhouette

15-day ocean cruise from £2,765 pp

cruise offer

Second guest pays only 50% plus US $300 onboard credit
Book by: 30 November 2021

Contrast Ireland's historic charms and the dramatic, Midnight Sun-shrouded landscapes of Iceland on this no-fly, luxury cruise on board Celebrity Silhouette.

Neva River, St. Petersburg, Russia

No-fly Scandinavia & St. Petersburg on Celebrity Silhouette

13-day ocean cruise from £1,990 pp

cruise offer

Second guest pays 50% plus US $300 onboard credit
Book by: 30 November 2021

Skipping the airport, this cruise pairs the many luxuries of Celebrity Silhouette with charming Old Towns and fascinating history in Scandinavia and Russia.

Copenhagen, Denmark

North Sea Empires: London to Copenhagen on Marina

13-day ocean cruise from £4,065 pp incl. flights

cruise offer

OLife Choice offer
Book by: 31 December 2021

Medieval towns, ancient architecture and grand monuments await on this in-depth exploration of some of Scandinavia and eastern Europe’s most fascinating cities with Oceania Cruises

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0610 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

Expert advice & support

Visit us in our London office

Let our travel specialists curate the perfect holiday:

  • Inspirational ideas based on experience
  • Established for over 50 years
  • Tailor a holiday to your precise requirements
  • Personalised quotes and documentation

Every step of the way

Every step of the way

Our services are with you from start to finish:

  • Dedicated personal consultants
  • Free airport lounges on qualifying bookings
  • Care and guidance pre, post and during holiday
  • Full financial security: ABTA & ATOL protected