It’s pretty much a given than most of us love a long summer evening. The only thing better than sitting in a park or out in your garden, sipping a frosty beverage and eating delicious barbecued food, is if the night could last a little longer. Well, it's possible to enjoy summer evenings that stretch well into the small hours - you just have to travel a little way to find them. The tilt of the Earth’s axis means that at the planet’s northern and southern extremities the summer days are almost never-ending.
The extra light means that travellers can really make each day of their holiday count - whether you want to spend it partying at a festival or whale watching until the early hours, the extended days allows activities to continue all night long.
For your perusal the Flexicover team has put together a guide on the best ways to spend an extra long evening in countries with the midnight sun.
Play late-night golf on the Lofoten Islands, Norway
Although they’re located firmly within the Arctic Circle, Norway’s Lofoten Islands aren’t as chilly as you’d imagine. The warming waters of the Gulf Stream flow off the coast allowing temperatures to climb as high as 20C at the height of summer. But despite the islands’ temperate climate they’re still far enough north to enjoy the midnight sun, which is visible here from late May until mid-July. There’s plenty to do during your visit, with ruggedly beautiful beaches and towering rock formations to explore, but perhaps the quirkiest late-night activity to experience is a round of golf at Lofoten Links. Thanks to the midnight sun, the course stays open until 1am in July.
Go whale-watching in Disko Bay, Greenland
Greenland’s western fjords offer some of the best whale-watching territory in the world with up to 15 species of whale populating the waters in summer. Visit the entertainingly-named Disko Bay in June and you’ll be most likely to see fin, humpback and minke whales basking amid some of Greenland’s most spectacular coastal landscapes – tours take place throughout the evening and night when there’s midnight sun. For the best chance of seeing a narwhal, the famed ‘unicorn of the sea’, you’ll need to venture much further north to remote Qaanaaq. Bear in mind that the town takes ‘off the beaten track’ to a whole new level - there are fewer people than huskies here.
Party at Scandinavia’s northernmost festival in Kiruna, Sweden
Summer is festival season but if you fancy something a little different to the regular bands-in-a-field experience why not head to the northern tip of Sweden for Kiruna Festival? This year’s event runs from June 27 to 29, with a packed line up of mostly Scandinavian artists ready to provide the soundtrack as you party through the perpetual sunlight. The 2019 bill includes everything from the death punk stylings of Hank von Hell to the Scandi hip-hop tones of Markoolio. There is a lot to like about Kiruna, including the price: tickets for the whole weekend are a steal at 495 Swedish krona, about £40.
Spot polar bears in Inuvik, Canada
Northern Canada is prime polar bear-spotting territory, and with plenty of daylight to enjoy in summer - there are 50 continuous days of it between May and July - you’ve got plenty of chance to see them. One of the top places for a spot of nature-watching is the frontier town of Inuvik, way up in Canada’s Northwest Territories. It’s a popular jumping-off point for explorers heading on to the nearby national parks of Tuktut Nogait and Ivvavik. Essentially a polar version of the Serengeti, these parks are home to a dizzying array of species, some of which you may never have heard of - think muskoxen, dall’s sheep and even reindeer.
Watch films around the clock in Sodankylä, Finland
Think Cannes is home to the world’s best film festival? Think again. Each year in mid-June, the Finnish village of Sodankylä plays host to the aptly named Midnight Sun Film Festival, where the 24-hour movie screenings and ever-present daylight create the feeling that you’re operating outside of time. The otherworldly atmosphere, eclectic bill and popular special events - including karaoke screenings of musicals - and masterclass sessions led by leading critics, have attracted an international audience to the remote event, including some of the biggest names in cinema. The likes of Francis Ford Coppola, John Boorman and Philip Kaufman are among the world-renowned screenwriters to have visited in recent years.
Wherever you plan on heading to this year it’s good to know that Flexicover Travel Insurance is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.