Knut Hansvold

13 locations to see the Midnight Sun in Northern Norway

Want to create your own Midnight Sun memories? Then go beyond the best known spots, and find your own places. Here are some ideas that might inspire you

In our day and age, a lot of people go to beauty spots shown on Instagram. This means that some locations can be literally overran by visitors, all taking basically the same photos. We think it’s part of the experience that you get to see the Midnight Sun without the crowds, so we have collected a little collection of places that are out of the way. Expect no souvenir store or cafe on the premises, instead roam, discover and find your own experience.

Find a safe place to see the Midnight Sun in Longyearbyen

The old cable car station in the settlement of Longyearbyen in Svalbard is a safe place with a view over the little town, the fjord and the steep mountains where the geology lies in layers. The cable car runds from the closed-down coal mines, and the pylons are a characteristic part of the history of the islands. However, resist the temptation to leave town. In summer, the polar bears have little to eat, as the seals have vanished with the sea ice. To them, you’re lunch. Unless you can document that you can shoot, you should NEVER leave the settlement of Longyearbyen. To go out in the nature day and night, go on an organised tour instead.

The Midnight Sun shines in Longyearbyen from the 19th of April until the 24th of August

Grense Jakobselv is where Norway meets Russia meets the Arctic Ocean

The abandoned hamlet of Grense Jakobselv is found where the Norwegian-Russian border meets the Arctic Ocean. From here, you see the Midnight Sun, the minuscule stone chapel built in 1869 and named after King Oscar II. Drive there on your own on a narrow dirt road, or do an organised trip from Kirkenes.

The Midnight Sun shines from the 17th of May to the 24th of July at Grense Jakobselv

Slettnes lighthouse feels like the end of the world

The European continent’s northernmost lighthouse is found where the road ends near the fishing village of Gamvik on the peninsula of Nordkyn, Europe’s northernmost mainland. The lighthouse itself was lit more than 100 years ago,  but was partially destroyed during the war, then restored. The houses built for the lighthouse keepers, now a small guesthouse and café, are a lovely collection of the simple, yet lovely shapes of reconstruction architecture.

The Midnight Sun shines from the 12th of May to the 30th of July

Halde Hill near Karasjok shows you the Midnight Sun mirroring in a thousand lakes

The flattish high plateau of Finnmarksvidda has few hills. But if you climb the hill of Halde near Karasjok, you have a wide view of the vast expanse of this untouched wilderness. In the far north, you can just about see the ocean among the Gaissa mountains, and in the south you see the hills of Saariselkä in Finland, but the biggest impression are all the blinking lakes and rivers that crisscross this area, plenty for the midnight sun to relect in.  Go on your own, or do a guided walk. Use moskito repellent after mid summer, but the view is worth sacrificing some blood.

The Midnight Sun shines from the 19th of May to the 24th of July This article continues down below

More Midnight Sun in Northern Norway

Read about other ways to see the Midnight Sun throughout Northern Norway

Through the “Church gate”  you see the North Cape

The North Cape, Nordkapp, is the end of the world, and it’s a classic visit for any traveller. However, once you’ve been there, you might want to try a totally different experience. Go by car or bike to the fishing village of Skarsvåg, the world’s northernmost. From there, walk about 1 km cross a little isthmus. There you see a natural arch, and through the opening you see the Mefjord, the North Cape itself and the chararcteristic horn.

The Midnight Sun is visible from the 12th of May to the 30th of July  

From Spåkenes you see the Lyngen Alps and the Midnight Sun

In the wild, mountainous area of the Lyngen Alps you cannot rely on seeing the midnight sun everywhere, the towering mountains may block the way. However, the flat sandspit of Spåkenes at the mouth of the Lyngen Fjord is a very good observation point. From here you see the island of Nord-Fugløy in the north, rising like a fortress from the sea. To the left you see the dramatic peaks of the Lynge Alps, with little glaciers like balcony

The Midnight Sun shines from the 18th of May to the 25th of July

From Ørnfløya you see coast and ocean

The little hill of Ørnfløya near the fishing village of Sommarøy offers a magnificent view towards the Midnight Sun. You see the fishing village down to the left, and over to the right the cliff island of Håja is like a black shadow towards the golden colours of the midnight sun. If you turn around, the snowy patches of the island of Senja are coloured in warm hues by the Midnight Sun.

The Midnight Sun shines from the 18th of May to the 25 th of July

How to see the Midnight Sun in Northern Norway

Not necessarily. The object with this little article is to inspire you to be curious and find your own place to see the Midnight Sun.

Well, we have checked them with TimeAndDate, and that means that with a free view to the north, you should be able to see the sun in this timespan. Provided the weather co-operates. However, a hill or a cliff island in the way might obstruct the sun, so early and late in the given period you should take it with a pinch of salt.

Clouds and rain are the big party pooper when seeing the Midnight Sun. In general, inland locations have a better chance of good weather at night. However, when those high pressures come in from the depth of the continent, border mountains struggle with thunder and lightening, whereas no cloud is visible on the coast. In short, it’s all a lottery!

In Norway, there’s plenty of space, and you can walk about in nature as much as you like in most cases. Do not, however, go closer than 100 metres to a house. Do not trespass on agricultural land. In principle you can go wherever you like along the beach, but again keeping some distance to a house is courteous.

No, when it comes to beauty, there are no objective criteria. Feel free to share with us if you know about better places.

Keipen in Harstad is the easy hike to the big view

Keipen is an easy hike from Harstad, a mere half hour in easy terrain. However, the end of the hike is at a precipitous cliff, and from there you see all the way to the big islands of Andøya and Senja, as well as the surrounding fjords and mountains around Harstad.

The Midnight Sun is visible in Harstad from the 22nd of May to the 20th of July

Hovden in Vesterålen has a wide oceanview

In the Vesterålen Islands, it’s all about getting that ocean view. Hovden is a remote village in the municipality of Bø, a hidden corner of this yet rather undiscovered archipelago. Cliffs, pebble beaches, fish racks…it all feels so peaceful and far away from it all.

The Midnight Sun is visible from 22nd of May to the 21st of July

Go to the unknown northern coast of Lofoten for the Midnight Sun views

The well-known jagged mountains of the Lofoten Islands have the side effect that the colourful, picturesque fishing villages are in the shade. In good summer weather, they can look across the fjord to the sun-drenched peaks. However, the solution is to go to the less known northern coast. One of our favourite beaches is Utakleiv, with a long beach surrounded by mountains. In the distance, you see the islands of Vesterålen, and straight in the north, above the ocean, the Midnight Sun.

In Utakleiv, you see the Midnight Sun from the 25th of May to the 18th of July

Hundholmen is a forgotten fjord hamlet

We asked the tourist board in Narvik for their secret location. They recommended us to go to Hundholmen. This is an old mining settlement with only six permanent residents on the Tysfjord. Walk around the area, photograph the old, oddly shaped houses and their Midnight Sun shadow. And above all look north to the open Vestfjord for the Midnight Sun.

The Midnight Sun shines in Hundholmen from the 26th of May to the 17th of July

Ureddplassen offers that enormous ocean view

One of the most beautiful stops along the Coastal Route is “Ureddplassen”, named after the memorial to the submarine Uredd sunk offshore in 1943. The view from here takes in the remote islands of Værøy and Løst, and the peaks of the Lofoten Islands. They are all, however, so far away that they appear as blue shadows against low colours of the Midnight Sun.

The Midnight Sun is visible from from the 2nd of June to the 10th of July

Lovund is the puffin island with the wide oceanview

One of the most commanding views are from the island of Lovund. From here you see the tree peaks of the island of Træna. Lovund is named after the puffin, so you might want to sit in the hillside below the puffin colony and watch out as the puffins fly frenetically high above you with little herrings for their chicks.

The Midnight Sun shines from the 8th of June to the 4th of July

More Midnight Sun suggestions