MIDNIGHT SUN IN GREENLAND
The sun is one of the most ordinary elements in life, rising and setting every day to create day and night. But every summer north of the Arctic Circle, the midnight sun foils this conventional understanding of time.
Stark white daylight turns into warm evening hues, but still the sun remains in plain sight for one perpetual day. Though you may not be looking for it when you come to Greenland, the inner peace, rejuvenation, and inspiration you find here will be a welcome surprise.
“If you have not seen the Midnight Sun setting behind the wall of icebergs, then you have missed something fundamental in your life!”
“I should tell everybody that they MUST do the Midnight Sun cruise when they come to Ilulissat. It is beautiful, and the light is fantastic! And of course, the view on all the icebergs is fantastic! What else can you say!”
A LIFE RE-ENERGIZED
The midnight sun and the endless days it creates are, at best, a fabled tale for many people. But standing in Greenland, where the midnight sun circles overhead and adds a bit of softness to the rough landscape, there is suddenly a dose of reality to the legend. It gives a new perspective to see that such simple and natural elements do exist in a world that is too often clouded by busy lifestyle and concrete jungles.
Without the white sandy beaches and the scorching temperatures, the Arctic may seem like an unlikely place for a relaxation holiday. But basking in the midnight sun, and embracing the new outlook it causes, provides the same sense of renewal one often seeks in the southerly latitudes. It is quite common to feel energized by the midnight sun in Greenland, feeling that you can stay up long into the night as your body begins to sync with the sky overhead.
TWICE THE LIGHT, TWICE THE DAYS
Greenlanders take much pride in their culture, which is still deeply entwined with nature despite an otherwise modern lifestyle. As a nation of pioneering people we have an uncanny ability to read the environment, and we always accept what it gives us. So when the summer months grant us the midnight sun, we take full advantage. We spend as much time outdoors as possible, letting the extra light give us a surplus charge in our batteries for the coming winter.
“The Midnight Sun is really fantastic! You can see all the colors changing on the icebergs, which is really fantastic to see! Even if it is clouded, you can still see different lights all the time, and the icebergs are moving every second. So it is amazing!”
Where to see the midnight sun in Greenland:
Anywhere above the Arctic Circle. The midnight sun arrives first in Greenland’s northernmost towns – like Qaanaaq, Upernavik, and Uummannaq. Here, it also stays the longest.
- When to see the midnight sun in Greenland:
Summer. 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.
With daylight limitations a distant memory from the south, your own energy level and thirst for exploration are free to set the schedule. At the harbor, fishing boats file in one by one after a full day at sea. Watch as they return home with long shadows trailing in their wakes. Or push forward into the night on your outdoor adventure to see the mountains and sea cloaked in every shade of gold.
Tour operators are also keen to relish in the midnight sun in Greenland, and many offer nighttime excursions to admire the lovely sky. Indeed, one of the finest experiences north of the Arctic Circle is midnight sun sailing through waters spotted with ice. Whether you weave between the mammoth icebergs outside the Ilulissat glacier or navigate through pack ice off the northeast coast with an expedition ship, the sight of the midnight sun playing amongst the ridged and angled ice is an essential experience.
The full midnight sun in Greenland is spectacular, but we will let you in on a little secret – its effects can actually be felt all over Greenland, so don’t fret if you cannot make it past the Arctic Circle this time. Even in Greenland’s southernmost towns like Qaqortoq and Nanortalik, there are nearly 20 hours between sunrise and sunset, and the nights are still quite light by typical standards.
- The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon in which the sun does not set for a matter of days or months.
- Many towns offer evening excursions to showcase the midnight sun
- Hotels and accommodations are outfitted with blackout curtains to block the midnight sun at night.
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