Midnight sun in Svalbard, Norway
© Nature Picture Library/Alam
Endless summer. Midnight sun, Svalbard
At this time of year in Svalbard, Norway, the Sun crests the horizon and won’t dip below it again for more than five months. From about 19 April to 23 August, it’s nothing but sunshine on this island above the Arctic Circle, more than 500 miles north of mainland Norway. But it’s far from a day at the beach, with average summertime highs of 4C to 7C (toasty compared to average wintertime temps of -15C to -13C).
Norway is one of eight nations in the Northern Hemisphere that experience the phenomenon known as the 'midnight sun'. Parts of the United States (Alaska), Canada, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Russia and the Kingdom of Denmark (Greenland) also see the Sun at midnight during the summer months.
Each celebrates it in their own way. Svalbard marks Sun Festival Week in early March while the Russian city of St Petersburg is renowned for its White Nights of endless twilight. You’ll want to stock up on that sunshine while you can, because the endless dark of the polar winter lasts just as long.