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So how is Summer near the Arctic circle ?

Updated: Mar 1, 2023

Hi lovelies,

How are you all ? I thought I would write a piece today about how we spend the summer here in North Sweden as it is something that people often ask me.

Being just 186 miles from the Arctic circle many people expect that we have a wintry, white wonderland 365 days a year but alas NO !!! I am often met with surprise when people come to learn that we enjoy an intense and beautiful summer season. Granted we do have a long and very snowy winter with temperatures often dropping to -20 degrees and the rest but when summer arrives it arrives with a wallop... as it seems do all the other seasons here !

After the monochrome of winter and the bright blue skies and first warmth of Spring Winter ( the 5th season in the north where snow is still on the ground but you can finally feel the heat of the sun, those of you who have been skiing may be familiar with the snowy landscape and hot weather phenomonen !) comes a deliciously, glorious summer.

To me summer feels to last for such a long time due to the fact that for a good 6 weeks the sun barely sets, and you would be perfectly happy to take a stroll at 2am in the pretty, soft sunlight as you would at 2pm. Buy I know there are plenty who disagree and feel it is over in the blink of an eye.

Temperatures vary but you can expect to get up to the high 20's/early 30's and being so far north and in a dry atmosphere, temperatures always feel warmer then they did back in the UK ... 23 degrees can feel positively tropical !

And so what do we do with ourselves ? Well, the girls have about 10 weeks off school spanning from mid June to the latter part of August and we love every minute of it ! It is matter of fact here that almost everyone takes a month off work too, in fact it is compulsory that 4 weeks must be taken off work in one hit and so you will find that very little gets done in the month of July...Need a builder ? Think again... waiting for the tax office to get back to you ? Wait til August then my friend !! When I talk to my Swedish friends about this and state that it's rather an unusual approach they think that it is indeed us that have it all wrong ... why would you only have a week or two off when the weather is beautiful, it takes that long just to unwind !! And I think I like their style !

One of our favourite places to go is the beach, Munkviken beach to be exact. Its a small bay with pretty golden sands, rocks to climb on or perch on out in the sea and a fabulous little café that opens only for a few weeks each summer. The sea becomes lovely and warm and is shallow for a good way out with glistening clear waters. No doubt those of you who follow me on social media will have seen plenty of my photos taken there.

We often take a picnic and spend the whole day there, it is a great way to keep cool and avoid the mosquitos !! And its very rarely busy... most times that we go there will just be a couple of other families chilling out too !

Another beautiful place to go is only a short walk from our house and it is a place called Trehörningen. A vast lake that locals swim in and you would honestly be surprised as to how gorgeously warm the water gets... a balmy 25 degrees !! Honestly, it is like stepping into bath water on a very hot day although you do have to share it with the wildlife which puts me off a little bit, but the kids don't care. They are in there trying to catch the little fish and tadpoles ( and failing I should add) without a second thought ! There is also a volleyball area, sauna, loo, changing rooms, swings and a grill so you can stay as long as your heart desires ! The lake and it's facilities are cared for by people of the surrounding villages and it is looked after perfectly , there is even a box of beach toys for the little ones that people use, add to and always return ... fancy that !

So it is easy to pass away long, summers days eating shrimp salad at the beach or grilling burgers at the lake, socialising with friends or spending time as a family, either way each memory is treasured and repeated as often as possible before the next snowfall comes !

Last summer we had a great time kayaking down the river in Skellefteå. I don't think i have ever laughed so much as each of us paddled in diffeent directions or Joanthan shouted "Left, left, right, right" from the back while declaring that he was doing all the work or else we would have drifted away and out to sea ! I had the best time and the girls did too but I think Mr. F was a little frazzled by the end of it ... perhaps that is why we have not done it again this year !!

See how happy we are !

Looking back at these photos maybe I should have done less photography and more paddling !!

So much happens in summer from the midsommer celebrations to get togethers to eat the famous Surströmming ! I will write a separate blog for you on those traditions as there is a lot to say about both but one thing is for sure, in North Sweden when the summer rocks round you make the most of it. Because for every sunny day that passes you know you are coming back round to the beauty of winter and you need to soak up as much Vitamin D as your little body can !! I will leave you with some images of the midnight sun and all its beauty now, another work of art by mother nature and something that never fails to amaze me !

I took this photo at midnight ... a rainbow !!

And this one I took at 12.40am !!

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