White Night Countries! See Places Where The Sun Never Sets

You might be wondering whether it is possible to have daylight throughout the entire 24 hours of a day. Well, that might sound absurd but it really happens in some parts of the world. In such places the sun behaves differently during certain periods of the year and people have the opportunity to enjoy daytime activities at ‘night’, or should I say ‘at daynight’. This development is also called white night. It is also referred to as midnight sun.

The Midnight Sun is a phenomenon in the extremes of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere during the peak of summer. In some parts, the sun sets so late while in some others it doesn’t set at all. Thus, means it never gets dark in such places. What seems to happen is that Sunset and Sunrise merge and this gives you the most beautiful and dramatic light that lasts for hours. Photographers and tourists enjoy the beauty of such amazing dreams.

Most places or territories where the sun never sets are within or close to the Antarctic Circle. Because there are no permanent human settlements south of the Antarctic Circle, apart from research stations, the countries and territories whose populations experience the midnight sun are particularly those crossed by the Arctic Circle. The opposite of white night or mid night sun is the polar night which is when there is total nightfall throughout the 24 hours in a day for a period of time.

Let’s look at places in the world where the sun never sets. It’s not like it happens in an entire country or through the entire year. There are cities that witness such uncommon developments while other parts of the country remain normal, and this happens within specific times of the year. So here are places in the world where the sun never sets.

Norway

Norway is known for having white nights in parts of the country, especially in Longyearbyen, a small coal-mining town, in Svalbard, which is at the northern region of the country. In Longyearbyen the sun doesn’t set for four months. Norway is situated in the Arctic Circle. It is called the Land of the Midnight Sun due to existence of white nights in parts of the country. In Svalbard, Norway, which is the northern-most inhabited region of Europe, the sun shines continuously from April 10 to August 23. The entire region witnesses the bright sunlight for about 20 hours a day during this period. Whenever you’re in Norway, you can check out these areas to feel the amazing sights first hand.

Iceland

Iceland is one of the most amazing places to be in Europe. It is Europe’s largest island (after Great Britain, though the UK has left the European Union). The bright sunlight shines continuously in Reykjavik, a town in Iceland, from May 10 through July. During this period you experience beautiful sights created by the white night. Tourism activities are very exciting in Iceland among which are hiking, wildlife watching, whale watching, caving, cycling and visiting the national parks. You can enjoy these activities during the white night period Reykjavik. Won’t it be an exciting thing to do? It sure would.

Canada

Canada is another country where you can find white nights, especially at Whitehorse city. Whitehorse is the capital of northwest Canada’s Yukon territory. Here the sun never sets during certain periods of the year. Canada is the world’s second largest country. Several parts of Canada are covered with snow all through the year. In places like Inuvik and the Northwest territories, the sun shines for about 50 days in summer. The summer months bring lingering sunny days across northern Canada. Whitehorse is a great base for setting out on a road trip north up the 445-mile Klondike Highway to gold rush-era Dawson City.

You can have fun during the white nights in Canada by doing the following: you can go for Aurora viewing, mountaineering, hot springs, suspension bridge walk, road trips on the world’s second-largest stretches and a lot of historical monuments. You should check this area out when you visit Canada for fun.

Alaska

Alaska is a state on the northwest part of United States of America, in the West Coast. The sun doesn’t set in parts of Alaska from late May to late July. But during the harsh months of winter, parts of this state, especially a town called Utqiaġvik (officially the City of Utqiaġvik) which is the northernmost town in the US, witness darkness throughout the day. This happens from November to January every year. This phenomenon is called a polar night. But when the midnight sun shines, it provides beautiful scenery to behold.

Alaska is known for its spectacular glaciers and snow-capped mountains. Whenever you are in Alaska you can visit the City of Utqiaġvik and have fun even at 1am in the morning hiking or sightseeing.

Sweden

Sweden also has places where the sun never sets during certain periods of the year. In a town called Abisko in Sweden, there are periods when the sun never sets. Abisko is home to the Aurora Sky Station and epicenter for aurora experiences in northern Sweden. During summer months, the bright sunlight engulfs the town for up to 24 hours. Between late June and mid-July, the Aurora Sky Station offers scenic chairlift rides up the mountainside. This is one memorable experience tourists enjoy.

In parts of Sweden, the sun sets around midnight and is up again at 4:30 am, from early May to late August. During these long days you can keep yourself busy with adventurous activities such as fishing, playing golf, skiing, watching the northern lights, visiting the national parks, exploring the lowland trails. Sweden is really amazing for tourists.

Finland

A quarter of Finland’s territory lies north of the Arctic Circle, and at the country’s northernmost point the sun does not set at all for up to 73 days during summer. Known as the land of thousand lakes and islands, Finland is another beautiful country where the mid night sun produces amazing sights. Most parts of Finland see the sun for up to 73 days, during summers. Besides seeing the northern lights, you can enjoy staying in glass igloos and even go skiing. In the autumn months, the fall leaves and colours offer some spectacular views. This is one destination every fun-loving tourist should strive to have.

Russia

Russia also has an area where the sun never sets. That is St. Petersburg. You will experience white nights in this place. Located on the Bay of Finland, St. Petersburg is so far north that it has sunlight nearly 24 hours a day from mid-May to mid-July. This happens toward the end of June, when the days are the longest. That is when the sun sets after midnight and rises at about 2 a.m. But even then, the sky is never really dark. So you find the white night experience producing amazing memories when you’re in St. Petersburg.

The midnight sun is actually celebrated in Russia with an annual arts festival during the weeks surrounding the summer solstice in June (Solstice is the time when the sun reaches its highest or lowest point at noon, resulting in the shortest and longest days of the year; shortest day of the year is called winter solstice while the longest day of the year is called the summer solstice). St. Petersburg launches the celebration with fireworks and the Scarlet Sails, a red-draped ship that cruises down the banks of the Neva River. This is an amazing experience tourists love having when they’re in Russia.

Greenland

This is another place to enjoy the experience of white nights. The midnight sun is visible between late-April and late-August in Greenland’s northernmost towns. Closer to the Arctic Circle, the midnight sun is visible between early-June and mid-July.

In Greenland’s southernmost city, Nanortalik, the sun is in the sky for up to 20 hours a day. The interesting thing is that people understand how to take advantage of the night light. You could have fun in Greenland during the white night periods.

Faroe Islands

You also experience the beauty of white nights in territories located in the Faroe Islands. One of such places is a town called Gasadalur on the Western tip of Vagar Islands in the Faroe Islands.

The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

Nwabueze is a communication researcher with several years of lecturing experience in Nigerian universities.

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