Between May 15th and July 15th roughly, the sun in Iceland doesn’t set, and it never really gets dark. Sure, it gets a bit darker, but there is no direct sunlight. What you end up is this wonderful glow; that lights up the sky. It’s the alluring midnight sun.
We want to tell you why you should push through your instincts to sleep during the night, and perhaps even invert it! If you are a northern lights enthusiast, you will be in good practice to stay up late after all. It’s too magical to miss and take our word for it, your eyes and spirit will thank you.
Here are our top 5 reasons to hike in the midnight sun:
1. It’s the time of the year every Icelander has been waiting for!
This time in Iceland is remarkable. The summer has arrived with parties out side and barbecuing which makes the icelandic nation so happy. There is a soft glow over everything, and your eyes constantly deceive you. This light brings out colors in the landscape that you didn’t know were possible; subtle tones, reflection, nuances and details that you had never noticed before. Fimmvörðuháls and Þorsmork is a particularly remarkable area for this reason.
2. Are you a photographer, or interested in photography? The best photos are captured with light from the Midnight Sun!
Because there is nobody around, and the light is next to magnificent, you have the best opportunity to take photos that you could possible imagine. And because it lasts so long, you don’t need to rush around, you can simply enjoy yourself and take all the time you need!
3. It lasts forever! You don´t have to worry about rushing back to anywhere, just enjoy the moment.
“What time is it? You never know. You always have to check. Then again, why even bother? Time really feels as though it is standing still. Although you will see the sunrise eventually, and the magenta tones will transform into orange as the morning progresses.
4. There is nobody around!
Did you ever visit a popular sight in iceland and feel like there were a few too many people there? Well, try going to that same spot at 2am in June, and you will be pleasantly suprised. It’s a joy to feel as though you are the only person in sight, and to see nobody.
5. It makes you feel different, in a very special way.
A bizarre and unexpected aspect of doing a midnight sun hike is that people often feel differently during the night, experiencing different emotions than during the day time.
A hike during the bright nights somehow gives emotional space to explore the landscape, and perhaps even yourself. With a beating heart as you ascend a given peak, experiencing the euphoria of reaching a peak and taking in the awesome view, you find yourself overtaken with the majesty of the landscape and the beauty before you.
Then, as you descend gradually down, the tiredness may be setting in. By this point, it’s already 4 in the morning, perhaps later. You get back to base camp, perhaps eat something, throw on your eye mask (this is important) and sleep well into the afternoon. This is the life of the midnight light hiker.
Try a midnight hike for yourself!
It’s difficult to imagine unless you have experienced it yourself. This is why we urge you, if you are in Iceland right now or if you are planning to come next summer, you should really try to hike the highlands during the summer. The Fimmvörðuháls trek from the famous Skógafoss to Þórsmörk, where a feast awaits you. Once you have arrived in Thorsmork, you could stay longer and explore Thorsmork, and see how the light comes through the valley at different times of day, sunrise and sunset not far apart, you can easily see both.
Sunrise and sunset within the space of 4 hours. This is the stuff dreams are made of.