Midnight Sun and Northern Lights in Norway: A Trip with the Camper
Article from Jana
Norway's Northern Lights and Midnight Sun attract travellers from all over the world - find out where and when to see them here!
When can you see the northern lights and midnight sun in Norway?
Northern Lights Norway: When?
Auroras are best seen in the winter months when the nights are long and dark. The period from September to March is considered the optimal period for aurora observations.
Midnight Sun Norway: When?
The midnight sun, on the other hand, can be experienced during the summer days, when the sun does not set above the Arctic Circle and the days remain bright around the clock. The best time to see the midnight sun is from May to July. Again, the further north, the longer the period where the sun does not set.
Northern Lights Norway: Where? - Destinations for your camping trip
The best geographical location to see the Aurora Borealis and Midnight Sun is in the northern latitudes, especially above the Arctic Circle. The further north you go, the better the chances of experiencing these phenomena.
Northern Lights in Tromsø
Tromsø is often referred to as the `Capital of the Northern Lights` and is a wonderful place to see the Aurora Borealis. If you're travelling in the city centre, we recommend Parkgata Street near Kongsbakken City Park- There are no street lights here and the view of the Northern Lights is optimal. Or you can watch the Northern Lights in peace and quiet in the nature reserve near Lake Prestvannet, about a 20 minutes' walk from the city centre.
Lofoten: Best time to see the Northern Lights
The island groups are known for their breathtaking scenery. Here you can walk among picturesque fishing villages and enjoy the beauty of nature while waiting for the Aurora Borealis. Or rent a canoe or kayak from one of the countless rental stations and paddle around the island of Kvaløya or the Lofoten island groups while witnessing the Northern Lights or the midnight sun from the water. If you're lucky, you'll see not only the sky glowing, but also the sea, through the bioluminescence of marine plankton.
Again, the best time to see the Northern Lights is between the end of September and the end of March.
Best timing in Svalbard
Svalbard is a remote island group in the Arctic Ocean. Here you can participate in Northern Lights expeditions, where you can travel by snowmobile or dog sled and observe the Aurora Borealis in an impressive environment. But Svalbard is also a recommended place to see the midnight sun, surrounded by glaciers of the Arctic, this natural phenomenon becomes even more phenomenal!
Northern Lights in Alta
In Alta, you can admire the Northern Lights during a relaxing swim in the open air, a public swimming pool, or join one of the special Northern Lights tours, where you'll find yourself in heated tents and wait for the lights to appear. A visit to the Northern Lights Cathedral in Alta, with its beautiful modern architecture, is also not to be missed.
Northern Lights Safaris in Kirkenes
Kirkenes is located in the very north-east of Norway, close to the Russian border. Here you can go on Northern Lights safaris, where you can ride a snowmobile into the Arctic wilderness and admire the Northern Lights in the remote nature.
North Cape - Midnight Sun from Europe's northernmost point
The North Cape, located on the island of Magerøya, is the northernmost point of mainland Europe. From various viewing platforms here you have a breathtaking view over the vast sea and the midnight sun.
Senja - Midnight Sun in Northern Norway
Senja is another beautiful island in northern Norway, but lesser known than other destinations, from which you can enjoy the midnight sun in a quiet and unspoilt environment. Whether it's on one of the many hiking trails, lakes or fjords, it's up to you.
Observing natural phenomena: Here's what you should watch out for
Ideal sky conditions for northern lights
Clear skies are crucial to see the Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun. Clouds or heavy fog can affect visibility.
Light pollution vs. auroras
Proximity to urban areas with artificial lighting can negatively affect the visibility of northern lights. It is therefore beneficial to stay away from strongly lit cities and places with a lot of light pollution. Finding a place away from this in the countryside with your camper should be very easy for you, given Norway's scenic possibilities.
Solar activity and the intensity of northern lights
The activity of the sun, especially solar flares and solar storms, has a direct influence on the intensity and frequency of northern lights. Higher solar activity increases the chances of seeing northern lights.
Tip: Check the current weather conditions before your trip to Norway to have the best chance of witnessing these wonderful natural phenomena. With the app `Aurora Forecast 3D` you are also well equipped and will never miss the Northern Lights again ;)
Northern Lights in Norway
A magical glow in the clear starry sky.
What are northern lights and how are they created?
Northern lights - auroras or as aurora borealis - are rare natural phenomena that occur in the polar regions of the Earth. They are caused by the interaction of charged particles of the solar wind with the Earth's magnetosphere. These particles penetrate the atmosphere and produce coloured light emissions by interacting with oxygen and nitrogen: Auroras. These are usually green, but can also take on other colours such as pink, red, yellow, blue and violet. They occur on clear, dark nights and anyone lucky enough to have seen them once will probably never forget them.
Importance of cultural aspects of northern lights
Northern lights have great cultural significance in Norway. In Sami culture, they are considered spiritual and associated with communication between the living and the dead. In Norwegian mythology, they are associated with the spirits of the dead and the playful movements of forest women. Auroras are also a symbol of the unspoilt nature and beauty of the Nordic countries. They influence modern Norwegian art, music and literature.
Midnight Sun in Norway
Sunset - Only without setting: A night in the evening sun.
What is the midnight sun and how does it come about?
The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon in which the sun remains visible for a period of 24 hours during the summer months in the polar regions - i.e. those above the Arctic Circle. Since the sun does not set, day and night merge seamlessly. The midnight sun occurs due to the inclined axis of the earth, which means that the sun does not sink below the horizon during the summer months - it therefore also shines at midnight!
The cultural significance of the midnight sun in Norway
The midnight sun shapes the way of life and activities of people in the northern regions during the summer, enabling round-the-clock activities and creating a unique experience of nature. The beginning of the summer solstice is celebrated annually on 21 June. On this day, the sun reaches its highest point in the sky and the night is shortest. It is a significant event celebrated with various customs and traditions throughout the country. In many communities, large bonfires are lit to celebrate the summer solstice. People gather around the fire, sing and dance and enjoy the warm atmosphere. It is customary to weave wreaths of flowers and greenery and wear them as headdresses. The wreaths symbolise the peak of summer and the abundance of nature. Celebrations are held in a boisterous mood with traditional music and dances. People gather to sit together outdoors and enjoy traditional dishes such as smoked fish, potatoes, berries and other local specialities.
The summer solstice marks the official start of summer and is closely associated with the midnight sun, as at this time the sun remains visible around the clock in the northern regions of Norway.
The natural spectacle of the Northern Lights and the midnight sun is definitely on my bucket list! Is it on yours too? Then rent a camper now and drive towards the never-setting sun or plan a winter trip by camper through Norway to experience the Aurora Borealis. Our travel planners will also be happy to plan your individual route. And the best thing about it all, Wild camping is allowed in Norway, so you can experience the natural phenomena in the midst of untouched landscapes, just you and nature!