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Norway in January

In cooperation with: Visit Norway
london
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Norway in January

We are hoping to travel to Norway next early January. We will visit Oslo, Tromso and Kirkenes. One the main reasons for this travel time is to view the Northern lights.

I understand that daylight hours are extremely short and does that mean that there will be sunshine rays or blue sky peaking through at all?.........not even for an hour?

I have heard that most Winter travellers visit in February but I wanted to avoid the busy holidays, but now I'm worried that I won't get to see much scenery due to darkness!

Also, are places of interest closed between Christmas and New year generally?

I would greatly appreciate anyone's thoughts! Many thanks.

Oslo
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1. Re: Norway in January

In Tromsø and Kirkenes there is no sun at all in Dec and early January, there is no daylight (a week twilight around noon only, white snow and moon also create some light). This period we simply call "dark period" (technically "polar night").

http://www.yr.no/nyheter/1.6321768

In Oslo 6 to 8 hours daylight, and increasing rapidly in Febr

Tasmania, Australia
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2. Re: Norway in January

We are in exactly the same situation as Drownsoda. We are looking at doing the Hurtigruten cruise up to Kirkenes but are concerned that we might be wasting our time if we can't see anything. Is it still worth going in January or is the lack of daylight a deal breaker knowing how beautiful the scenery is.

Tromso, Norway
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3. Re: Norway in January

It`s wrong what OsloViking telling about the Polar nights in Northern Norway!!

Yes, we have daylight, but only from 10 am to 1 pm, but actually January is a lovely time to experience the Arctic BLUE light! So, if you like to take pictures, you will get an experience for life time...

About 24 hrs darkness, please go to Spitsbergen / Svalbard where they have 4 months without sun..;)

Here in Tromsø it`s amazing to see the sun who try to climb over the mountains in south, and around January 20th, she is back again, so if you like to have an amazing moment, come then!

Please visit the Cable car around noon and you will see it all in "one picture"... In south the light of the sun, in yellow, orange and red... and in north the Arctic blue colour, included deep viloet and pink...

Yes, it`s amazing, therefore some of us deceide to stay here and die under the sky of the Northern Lights and the Arctic colours...

And of course, why not be here the week of full moon, then you will see the landscape around you... because we are doing skiing in the mountains then, without head lamps...

For the busy times, avoid Christmas and New Year until about January 7th, and February who are the HIGH HIGH season.

But, for the Northern Lights, why not try September..?

One of the most beautiful period to experience our lady dancing over the sky...

Anyway, welcome to the Arctic!

Edited: 8:01 am, May 08, 2011
Oslo, Norway
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4. Re: Norway in January

GuideGunnar is of course right, there are 3-4 hours of daylight/twilight in Troms and Finnmark even in early January. But fact is, the remaining 20 hrs. are dark. I think a trip on Hurtigruten in January will be a waste of time for this reason. The northern lights can also be seen in seasons with longer days like September or March.

See also reply nr. 81 on the Hurtigruten review discussion: tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g190500-i932-k1348…

Harstad, Norway
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for Bergen, Norway
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5. Re: Norway in January

To set out on one of the most scenic sea voyages in the world, pay good money for it and then see next to nothing - well, sorry it does not make sense to me. True, some go to experience this very darkness and mainly for the norhtern lights, the snow and the cold and then maybe it would make some sense to do part of the voyage-the part north of the arctic circle.

Tromso, Norway
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6. Re: Norway in January

It`s only norwegians who talks about how dark there are here in the north... Scary, I think... and I guess they haven´t really been here, because from what I read from many of the answers, it looks like they don`t understand how beautiful the Polar nights really are...

But, it`s quite normal for a norwegian to travel south to the sun, because it`s to cold here in Norway...

So, for all of you who want to get an new experience, please go north between November and January, when the sun never rise...

Welcome to Northern Norway!

North Coast, N...
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for Northern Ireland
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7. Re: Norway in January

I can't comment on January but we went in early February (in Tromso from 3-8th and Oslo 8th - 10th) and I was surprised at how much daylight there was then (I live on the north coast of Northern Ireland and there was not a big difference which we found surprising) so I think GuideGunnar's recommendation of 20th January makes sense. End of January might be a nice compromise.

We had a truly fantastic time and I would honestly recommend it to anyone. Just make sure you optimise your chances of seeing the northern lights by spending a few nights in the Arctic. We were in Tromso for 5 nights and saw them on 3 nights but there is never any guarantee. If you aren't hiring a car, consider doing some fun evening activities e.g. dogsledding, snowmobiling as well as Northern Lights chase as then seeing the lights will be a bonus:)

Harstad, Norway
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8. Re: Norway in January

Sorry, GuideGunnar, but I live there in those scary parts of the world ;)

Oslo
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9. Re: Norway in January

I am afraid this only contributes to the confusion, but the dark period is not that dark :) This stems from the fact that the sun trajectory around the poles are rather flat.

At the equator, the sun drops vertically down to the horizon and it gets pitch black in half an hour. Unless there is a moon, you cannot see your own hands.

In the polar region, the sun sets at a sharp angle to the horizon, setting very slowly. The whole night, it's just under the horizon in the north. In the summer, it is of course above the horizon all night, but even in winter it is not far away. Hence, it does not get as dark as in the tropics.

The snow we have in winter, and the moon and northern lights, further contributes to the nights being surprisingly light even in winter.

In don't think it is a waste to take Hurtigruten in mid winter. If the sky is clear, you will see a lot, even when the sun is down. The winter is also the storm season, and if you hit one (Hurtigruten almost never cancels) you'll have something to tell when you get home.

Tasmania, Australia
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10. Re: Norway in January

Thanks heaps everyone - I think this time we will spend some time in southern Norway then get a plane up to Tromso to experience the awesome North for 3-4 nights. We might leave the Fjords and Hurtigruten for a lighter time of the year - will be a great excuse to visit Norway twice!