Bodø, just north of the Arctic Circle, enjoys the Midnight Sun for more than a month. You can watch the Midnight Sun in a skybar, cocktail in hand, or go for a long walk in search of solitude.
Bodø is found inside the Arctic Circle, and enjoys the rays of the Midnight Sun from the 31st of May to the 12th of July. This modern and lively city actually sports the Midnight Sun in its coat of arms, and the view of the Midnight Sun over the open sea near the island of Landegode is a classic view. However, there are many ways of spotting the Midnight Sun in Bodø, depending on your mood and shape. Here we have made some suggestions.
Enjoy the sun from the sky bar
Bodø has an element of sophistication otherwise lacking in the more down-to-earth north. The civilised way of Midnight Sun watching is thus to take the lift up to the top floor of one of the two biggest hotels in town and look out at the landscape. Here you can have something fun and festive in your glass, wear smart clothes that don’t itch and converse with the locals, just like in any city at night. The only difference is a striking one; it’s daylight outside and you see the Midnight Sun! Go out on the deck a few minutes past one, when the sun is at its lowest, and seal the moment with a toast.
360 degrees of beauty make your jaw drop
The port with the sailboats is a bit reminiscent of Saint-Tropez, but the view to the islands could only be in Northern Norway. The steep cliffs of the Fugløya Island to the southwest, the lighthouse island of Landego to the north and the chain of the Lofoten Islands afar, like a faint shadow, in the evening light. Turn your head, and see the elegant pinnacles of the Børvasstindan range rise above the fjord. The view can keep you entertained for way too many glasses.
Take the easy hikes to the Midnight Sun viewpoints
One of the favourite things people in Bodø do is to take the easy hikes to the nearby hills and viewpoints north of Bodø. The Bestefarvarden is very low at 137 metres, and is very close to the sea. Another easy option is “Linken”, a tv tower on the western end of the Rønvikfjellet hillside. The most commanding view, though, is the Keiservarden, at 366 metres, showing the geography like an Atlas of Northern Norway.
Mjelle is the Midnight Sun beach
The beach at Mjelle is a dream-like sandy beach with a view to die for. The coast is wild, unsettled and uninhabited under the Mjelletind mountain, with a steep drop towards the sea. Just offshore, there is a chain of small islets as well as the bigger island of Landego. Afar you see the Lofoten Islands unobstructed. A marked trail goes through the landscape, taking you into the lush forest as well as onto the beach itself. Bring hot drinks in a flask and plenty of warm clothes, but you can leave the watch at home.
Follow the Hovdsundet trail to find your secret beach
Another beach favourite you could consider, but involving a 6 km return trip, is Hovdsundet. This hike goes along a little peninsula just south of Mjelle. The terrain is varied, but never too strenuous. At the tip of the peninsula, you look down on a small island connected with the mainland through a small, yet shining white sandspit that makes the cutest little beach.
The epic mountain hikes are best at midnight
Bodø is surrounded by majestic mountains, and the intrepid mountain hiker should use the chance when the sun is out to climb those hard hikes in the immediate surroundings of Bodø. The Børvasstindan chain towers majestically above the Saltfjord, clearly visible to the southeast from Bodø. They are all more than 1000 metres, and are suited for seasoned hikers . The characteristic block of Steigtinden north of Bodø is 793 metres high, the Mjelletinden nearby is 730 metres, and both are relatively demanding. The Finnkonnakken at 518 metres is definitely easier, and recommended for less experienced hikers in reasonable shape.
Be sleepless in Kjerringøy
Kjerringøy is one of the Bodø-ites favourite excursions. The old trade centre with its picturesque wooden houses overlooks the Vestfjord, and afar you see the Lofoten Islands. In sunny evenings, the locals come by boat from Bodø, there is laughter in the air and the atmosphere is light and lively. The summers are too short to sleep away. If you’re lucky, somebody with a boat invites you along on a beautiful summer’s evening. If you have a car, you could just drive there. Problem is, there is a ferry crossing involved, and the ferry doesn’t run between midnight and 6pm. Fortunately, there is a comfortable hotel there, or you could turn night into day like the locals tend to do and take the first ferry in the morning.
From hole 3 in the golf course you see the Midnight Sun
The golf court just north of the city area, and the well-manicured green fields are found between the forested hills and the open sea, overlooking the island of Landegode. From hole 3 you see straight out to the Midnight Sun, rising above a cluster of skerries and islets just north east of Landego, with the Lofoten wall in the far distance.
How do you leave Bodø in style?
Our final piece of advice for viewing the Midnight Sun in Bodø is actually to leave Bodø! Lofoten, the chain of islands northwest of Bodø, is a target for many travellers. The most used ferry is the one from Bodø to Moskenes, and it has a departure at 22:30 in the evening most weekdays in the school holiday (should be double-checked, though…). A little past midway, when the outer end of the Lofoten chain has come much closer, you see the Midnight Sun, the grand finale of a successful Bodø stay.
Practicalities around Bodø
Bodø is one of Northern Norway’s major cities, and is found in Northern Norway, just north of the Arctic Circle.
You can fly from Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stockholm or Helsinki. There is also the Nordland Railway, ending in Bodø. The Hurtigruten sails here every day throughout the year.
According to www.timeanddate.no, the Midnight Sun shines in Bodø from the 31st of May to the 12th of July.
No, by far not. The topography in the Bodø area is full of mountains and steep islands blocking the way for the low Midnight Sun. Ask the locals for the best viewpoints, or read this article.
Between 01:05 and 01:10, depending on the date, is the lowest point in Bodø.