18 May 2017 by Amy Sohanpaul
Imagine a midnight forest lit up by a sun that never sets... imagine if summer days really were endless, the sun instead of stars sparkling over seashores and limpid lakes, lighting up languorous afternoons into soft evenings into gilded dawns.
In Norway under the Midnight Sun, this is reality, not wishful thinking. For enchanted weeks, its northern regions make up for a cold and snowy winter by the blessing of seamless sun and fun during the summer months. This is where the sun stays out all night.
As Northern Norway is a huge expanse of wilderness and there are only a couple of weeks to dedicate to chasing the Midnight Sun, these are the best places to bask under it on a holiday to Norway:
There are so many scenic spots in Norway to spend sun-filled hours in, but perhaps the best of them all are the Lofoten Islands. Beautifully remote, they’re a hundred miles north of the Arctic Circle, their peaks jagging blues skies and green contours backdropping still waters. And, the islands are made prettier still by their red-wood rorbu cabins, clustered in valleys and dotting seashores. They make for the ideal summer-holiday stay, offering the chance to surf off secluded beaches and enjoy views towards an Arctic horizon with nothing else to be seen, other than eagles, puffins and perhaps a seal or two.
One of Europe’s final frontiers, Svalbard is the last stop before the frozen Arctic. It’s a wildly beautiful region of polar bears and dramatic scenery that comes to lifer under the summer’s 24 hours of sunshine. To make the most of it, join One Ocean expeditions for a cruise among the island’s stunning landscapes. Departing from Longyearbyen, you’ll join giant beluga whales to reach Bourbonhamna whose shores are dotted with massive piles of whale artefacts, including bones protected by law as treasured heritage. Here, reindeer wander through, oblivous and romantic. Then, your island cruise will be characterised by midnight walks on glaciers, polar-bear spotting and walrus-watching, all adding extra magic to the world’s longest days.
Tromsø, Norway’s largest city within the Arctic Circle, is a sprawl of summer fun. The waterfront is a perpetual buzz, as are the cafés and restaurants. There’s even the world’s northernmost brewery, the Mack, which is well worth a visit alongside the Polar Museum and the Arctic Cathedral – an avant-garde delight. Tromsø’s seaside positions means that it’s also ideal for everything from fishing and kayaking to boat trips through the surrounding fjords. Back on land, its proximity to wild mountains and forests make hikes and treks along sun-dappled paths an integral part of the daily rhythm. Taking the cable car with its magnificent views is a good way to get to pole position before setting off for forays into fairytale woods. And, there’s no need to rush back while the sun shines long into the night.