Phenomena worth travelling
AKA 24 hour darkness, polarnatt, kaamos
What is it? When the sun stays below the horizon 24 hours a day though the darkness is seldom absolute, with an ethereal twilight illuminating the skies for several hours (depending on date and location).
Where? The Arctic and Antarctic circles; the darkness length increases closer to the poles.
Sounds depressing? Polar night isn t as gloomy as it sounds. The pink golden dusk light that does put in an appearance is cheery and cherished. Plus, the snowy landscapes reflect any rays, so the world feels that bit brighter.
This is the time to hit the Arctic for winter high jinks husky sledding, snowmobiling, cross country skiing and general admiration of the icy north. The Svalbard darkness lasts from 14 November to 29 January ideal for moonlit snowmobile forays, scouring for stars and drinking in the camaraderie at Longyearbyen s bars.
Similar activities are on offer across Lapland, plus ski runs are illuminated and restaurants flicker with candles. Whalewatchers should visit Norway s Andfjord, where pods of orca along with humpback, fin and sperm whales feed on herring during winter.