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by Hannah Mayer

The term "midnight sun" refers to the period when a region experiences 24 hours of consecutive sunlight. This occurs North of the Arctic Circle as well as South of the Antarctic Circle and can only be experienced in eight countries, including Norway. However, encountering the midnight sun is about much more than being able to see the sun in the sky when the clock strikes twelve. Instead, this natural phenomenon can be enjoyed throughout the entire night and feels like a lingering sunset that lasts for several hours.

Volandstinden (457 moh)

My favourite region to experience the midnight sun are the iconic Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway, because of the natural beauty and fantastic hiking opportunities they offer. These islands consist largely of sharp mountains that are rising straight from the ocean and are picturesque in any season and weather. However, during a sunny summer night their beauty is almost unparalleled, as the scenery is bursting with colours: Ragged peaks are glowing in fiery shades of orange, red and purple; The sky turns into a pastel colour painting; The ocean kisses the shore in bright turquoise hues; The fauna exudes lusciousness in every shade of green imaginable. It is intoxicatingly beautiful.

Stornappstinden (740 moh)

The best way to experience the midnight sun is, of course, to go for a hike. At first, heading out on a hike several hours past dinner will feel counterintuitive to most people. However, I quickly started to get used to it and even to prefer hiking under the midnight sun for two reasons: Firstly, it feels absolutely liberating, because I can choose to enjoy nature at whichever time of day suits me best. Secondly, night-time hiking  is a much more peaceful experience than hiking the  same trail during the day, especially in popular tourist destinations, such as the Lofoten Islands.

During the summer, Reinebringen is one of those mountains where you will encounter people at any time of day and night. In fact, it gets so crowded during the day that I would only recommend attempting the steep climb - an elevation gain of 448m in only 1km - at night. This trail is strenuous, but when you make it to the viewpoint you'll know why it's Lofoten's most popular hike.

Reinebringen (448 moh)

If you're seeking solitude to clear your mind and connect to the landscape around you more deeply, I recommend going on hikes that are less well known. An easy and rewarding hike I love is Volandstinden, which has an elevation gain of 457m. Once you reach the summit, make sure you keep hiking across a small yet steep peak, where you'll get an unmissable view of the Fredvang bridges.

Volandstinden (457 moh)

Stornappstinden is a challenging hike, but it's one of my all-time favourites. After countless steep switchbacks, you reach the summit, which sits at 740m and where you'll have incredible 360° views of the surrounding peaks and ocean. When I was there on my last night on Lofoten this summer, I had the mountain all to myself.

It was as if time stood still, because there was nowhere else I needed to be, no-one waiting for an e-mail, no appointments I had to rush to. That’s the real beauty of summer nights on the mountains of the Arctic.

Stornappstinden (740 moh)

If you’re planning a trip to Lofoten during the summer and want to experience the midnight sun on a hike, I recommend picking a trail or summit that is facing the ocean towards the North or Northwest so that you'll be able to see the sun at its lowest point. Some more hikes I recommend are: Kvalvika Beach, Hustinden, Veggen, Offersøykammen, and Saupstadtinden.

Written by Hannah Mayer.

Instagram: @hannahroamswild