Summer in Finland is a spectacular time of the year. For those who venture north of the Arctic Circle, the sun does not set at all for couple of months, while further south the sun can be visible for almost 24 hours a day during June and July.
That phenomenon, known as The Midnight Sun, is caused by the tilt of the Earth’s axis in relation to its orbit around the sun – as a result, at both North and South poles, the sun only sets and rises one day every year. In Finland, the summer months of June and July are the months where the Midnight Sun is at its strongest but the further north you go, the longer the sun stays above the horizon. In the very northernmost parts you can experience a full midnight sun from May to August.
When nights are almost as light as day it is possible to do all the same things that you would do during the day – the biggest difference comes from the incredible change in the nature of the light. The sun takes on a reddish-yellow color – almost like during sunrise or sunset – and everything around you is bathed in an unimaginably warm, bright light.
We’ve chosen just a few activities to enjoy during the long, light summer nights in Finland. Take your pick!
Full of interesting contrasts, such as the four seasons, the Midnight Sun and winter darkness, urban and rural, East and West.
Many people in Finland have a cottage in the family – often a private little retreat by a lake somewhere. Having sun shine through day and night makes cottage life ever so wonderful.
Go to a festival or open air dancing
A traditional midsummer party in Seurasaari island in Helsinki, a rock festival in the heart of Lakeland or the Midnight Sun Film Festival in Lapland all share the magic of 24-hour sunlight.
Whether in sailboat or a canoe, gliding on still night-time waters is an incredible experience.
No worries about crowded courses at 4 a.m!
A nocturnal swim and sauna is a definite must under the Midnight Sun. Lakes and sea waters warm up from June onwards.
They’re at their hungriest at night. Make the experience even more special by preparing your catch outdoors.
Go hiking and camping
Keep going as long as your legs can take it. Make sure you set the tent away from direct morning sunlight, or you’ll roast.
Go wildlife watching
This is where the white night comes especially handy: nocturnal animals, such as owls, wake up to prey but do not have their usual shelter of darkness. (TIP: Finland has over 450 different species of birds to spot!)
Scores of beautiful urban, country and coastal routes are there for the exploring, around the clock. The silence and stillness complete the unforgettable pedalling experience.
Getting out of a dark nightclub at 3 a.m. can be a bit confusing, as it feels more like 3 p.m. You wouldn’t be the first to swap sleep for an afterparty on the beach – in full sunlight, of course