If you go to Greenland in the summer months, you're guaranteed hours of sunshine. North of the Arctic Circle, you can experience the midnight sun, a "magical" natural phenomenon where the golden hues of the sun light up the land around the clock.
Photo Mads Pihl
Midnight sun in Greenland
Shops close, boats bob in and out of the harbour, children play in the streets and people enjoy the view of fjords and icebergs from the mountainsides around the clock. When the midnight sun is in Greenland, day and night blur and the concept of time takes on a whole new meaning.
The midnight sun is an amazing natural phenomenon where the sun does not set at night. The phenomenon occurs north of the Arctic Circle during the summer months. Depending on where you are in the north, the midnight sun can last anywhere from 24 hours to several months. This is because during the summer months the North Pole points directly at the sun due to the tilt of the Earth's axis.
You can experience north of Sisimiut and Tasiilaq, and the further north you go, the longer the period of midnight sun. In Greenland's northernmost town, Qaanaaq, the sun doesn't set for three and a half months in summer.
The midnight sun does not occur south of the Arctic Circle, but if you are in some of Greenland's southernmost towns, such as Nanortalik, the sun will still reach 20 hours a day. You are therefore guaranteed bright nights wherever you travel in Greenland.
Photo Mads Pihl
Photo Mads Pihl
Times when you can experience midnight sun
If you're travelling to Greenland to experience the midnight sun embracing the landscape in its warm colours, be aware that the period depends on where you are in the country. Below we've put together an overview of when the midnight sun can be seen in several of the major towns, north of the Arctic Circle.
|Qaanaaq||21. april – 23. august|
|Upernavik||6. may – 8. august|
|Uummannaq||17. may – 28. july|
|Ilulissat||20. may – 23. july|
|Aasiaat||23. may – 20. july|
|Sisimiut||3. june – 11. july|
Activities during the midnight sun
With the sun shining brightly around the clock, there's plenty of opportunity to spend the sunny hours enjoying adventures and activities. With a golden night sky above you, you'll experience a renewed energy even at 11pm. No wonder the midnight sun is a beloved natural phenomenon in Greenland.
With less need for sleep, you can experience the midnight sun bathing glaciers and the ice sheet in an orange palette. As a visitor to Greenland, a midnight cruise in the sunlight pouring over the icebergs in golden and warm hues is a must. You can also try a magical cruise with World of Greenland from Ilulissat out to the icebergs in the midnight sun.
If you like challenges and sporting events, several running events are held in late June under the midnight sun. Ilulissat hosts the Artic Midnight Orienteering, a four-day orienteering race with 24 hours of sunlight. In the southernmost part of Disko Bay in Aasiaat, the Aasiaat Midnight Sun Marathon is a challenging marathon in the most beautiful surroundings.
Whatever activities you embark on, the midnight sun is omnipresent. The golden glow warms the soul and the feeling of well-being washes over you. Look forward to experiencing the midnight sun in Greenland.
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