Greenland – remote, cold and dark. And also a country that has preserved its incredible nature, wildlife and Inuit culture. A place where ice and snow create breathtaking landscape and shape the traditions. See our list of ten things to see and do on the biggest island in the world.
First people probably came to Greenland by the kayaks. Therefore it is one of the oldest and essential means of transportation. Today there are numerous companies that rent modern kayaks for the tourists. The dramatic shoreline provides great sites, that include icebergs, northern settlements, whales, seals and various birds.
Why to kayak?
You can find a kayak rental almost all over the country. It provides a truly authentic experience, great views and a fun outdoor activity.
9. Aurora Borealis
This is another Nordic country, which is proud to experience this unique phenomena. The Northern Lights appear from early autumn and can be seen through all April. It is invisible in summer, because of the midnight Sun. According to the Inuit legend, this is an appearance of the dead playing football with a skull of a walrus.
Where to see it?
You can see it anywhere in Greenland, when the sky is dark and clear. Even in the cities the urban light pollution doesn’t really cover the dazzling glow.
8. Dog Sledding
Tourists can go snowmobiling or skiing in Greenland, but nothing compares to the old tradition of traveling – dog sledding. Dogs are man’s best friends and it is an unforgettable experience of joining forces. Besides these adorable dogs love hard work, to run and cold temperatures. Besides they know the snow – sled dogs know where ice is too thin and don’t go there.
Why to do this?
Mushing is a true art in Greenland – you will not only experience exciting trip through gorgeous environment, but will also learn how Inuits master the sled dogs – it is a thrilling experience as well!
7. Go on a Cruise
Exploring Greenland from water is a fun and authentic experience. Sailors not only are able to see the rocky and icy shoreline, but also reach various cities and settlements, since they are established on the coast. Various cruises will provide different itineraries, depending on your preferences. Marine animals like whales and seals also are part of the unforgettable site.
When to go there?
The best time to get on a cruise is between June and October. This is a time when ships can easily navigate the shoreline. However the northern part is still hard to access due to the tremendous amount of ice.
Now, Greenland is proud of its unspoiled nature. And do not get the impression that it is all covered in ice and snow. There is a rocky surface, that provides exciting hiking trails and Arctic greenery during summer months. The locals love their nature and outdoor activities – even the towns seem to be less urban and closer to the mountains, sea, lakes and valleys.
Why to hike?
It is one of the best opportunities to discover the Arctic nature: Arctic plants and flowers, dramatic rocks, icebergs, glaciers and almost no people. The adventurers pack a tent and go even on a ten or more days tour.
Founded in 1894, Tasiilaq is the biggest town in Eastern Greenland. Located on the cost and overlooking the sea, the port city and its signature colorful houses welcome tourists all year round. Tasiilaq has only 2000 inhabitants, therefore one can still find a tranquil getaway even in this relatively busy city.
Why to go there?
Get there by plane or to King Oscar’s Harbour by boat. There you can find numerous outdoor activities all year round, since tourism is very well developed in Tasiilaq.
4. National Park
Covering 972 000 km2 this is the world’s largest park. It covers an entire north-eastern part of Greenland and is home for various Arctic species. However there are only 40 human inhabitants – however for thousands of years the Inuits have lived here thanks to these animals. Besides the impressive wildlife, visitors get to admire an incredible landscape, which features mountains, glaciers, fjords and icebergs.
How to get there?
First of all, the visitors must acquire a permit from the Ministry of Nature & Environment. Then one can get on an expedition cruise and explore the vast territory.
The capital will introduce to the history as well as contemporary culture of Greenland, meanwhile will allow to enjoy the nature, that you cannot escape even here. Museums of Inuit art, tours that introduce to the history and lifestyle of Arctic living, gourmet restaurants and numerous shopping opportunities – the whole Greenland experience must include Nuuk.
Why to go there?
A lot of cultural sites and events, great cuisine and outdoor fun as well: hiking, mountain biking and skiing in the mountains, that surround Nuuk, are popular activities among locals and tourists.
2. Blue River
One of the most significant and gorgeous natural wonders of Greenland. Crystal clear turquoise river looks like a vein dissecting a frozen desert of ice. Found on the Petermann Glacier, which feeds the river with its melting snow. Therefore its shape changes every year. Nevertheless it is always stunning!
Why to go there?
It attracts explorers, scientists and tourists. The best way to explore and admire this beautiful river is by kayaking of course – the best time to go there is from December to April. Although the tours are open from August.
1. Ilulissat Icefjord
The area features thousands of icebergs – the essential part of Greenland. Some of them are huge, some are smaller – from above they look tiny until you see a ship nearby. This natural beauty is protected by UNESCO and is one of the northernmost World Heritage Sites on Earth. The area also features the Sermeq Kujalleq – the fastest glacier in the world, which moves 40 m daily!
How to get there?
You can approach Ilulissat Icefjord by plane, helicopter and ferry. The best way to explore it is by combining trips by air and water – that is how you get the whole picture of this vast natural wonder.