By, Staff Writer
Winter vacations are near and many of us have already started planning on how to spend this break. If you are searching for exotic natural beauty with a topping of adventure, “Take a trip to Norway”.
Have you ever thought of 1,440 hour long nights? Yes, I am talking about polar nights of northern Norway. Northern Norway cities above the arctic line experience polar nights, when the sun remains under the horizon 24 hours a day. The number of polar nights increases with the increasing latitude of a place over the arctic circle. In North Cape, the sun remains under the horizon for more than two months, while in Tromsø the phenomenon lasts for six weeks or so. In Svalbard, it is fully dark even at midday for several weeks around Christmas. The list below shows the time period of polar nights:
Svolvær: 7 December–5 January
Harstad: 2 December–10 January
Bardufoss: 30 November–12 January
Andenes: 29 November–13 January
Tromsø: 27 November–15 January
Alta: 25 November–17 January
Vardø: 23 November–19 January
Hammerfest: 22 November–20 January
Berlevåg: 21 November–21 January
North Cape: 20 November–22 January
Longyearbyen: 26 October–16 February
The North Pole: 25 September–18 March
Winter is a great time for cultural events, festivals, good food, Christmas shopping and outdoor activities. It is the perfect place for spending quality time together by the light of flickering candles. Snowmobile trips, dog-sledding and sleigh rides are organized in many places in Northern Norway and on Svalbard, and this is a great time of year to see the Northern Lights. In Henningsvær, every weekend through the pre-Christmas period anyone can take part in an outdoor family quiz trail organized by the local company Førjulseventyret. It is free of charge and fun for everyone! You can make your own Christmas gifts in the little workshops, or enjoy a Christmas concert, flea market, causerie… there’s always something happening in Henningsvær.
Every year, the Polar Night Half Marathon is held in Tromsø, Norway. The city is situated above the Arctic Circle and is renowned to be a fabulous place to see the northern lights. Polar Night Half Marathon is the largest winter race in Norway with over 1200 runners from more than 35 different countries. The upcoming marathon is scheduled for 9th Jan 2016.
The 26th Tromsø International Film Festival takes place during the dark polar nights, which gives TIFF the unique possibility to screen films outdoors all day long. The outdoor cinema is located at the main square in the heart of Tromsø. The program includes a selection of shorts and documentaries from the Films from the North program, along with special screenings and various other events scheduled from January 18 – 24, 2016.
Finally, don’t forget to spend a few nights in an ice hotel. It covers over 2,000 square feet of snowy ground and its doors are opened to guests every January before it melts away in the spring. It is situated by the banks of the Alta River on the edge of the Arctic Circle and its interior and exterior are made entirely out of ice and snow.
So, come to northern Norway this winter! You’ll have plenty of things to do and beautiful thing to see.