Welcome to Greenland, one of many final frontiers of our fashionable world. Greenland journey is a rewarding expertise for journey seekers and wildlife lovers.
Positioned far north within the Arctic Ocean, Greenland has a number of the most dramatic and spectacular polar landscapes on the earth. It’s dwelling to icebergs as tall as buildings, glaciers glowing in several shades of blue, and a large ice sheet that covers virtually 80% of the mega-island.
After touring Greenland twice (as a researcher and media), I’ve utterly fallen beneath its spell. I don’t take into account myself a Greenland skilled, however I’m excited to share all that I’ve discovered about Greenland journey on this complete information.
That will help you plan your journey to Greenland, I’ve included data on the most effective locations to go to in Greenland, beneficial Greenland excursions and the place to remain in Greenland.
Greenland Journey Information 2020
Why Go to Greenland?
Greenland is the world’s largest island, and but little or no of it’s identified to the surface world. There may be much more to Greenland than glaciers and ice. The nation has layers of tradition and historical past that can unfold when you’re right here.
One of many causes to go to Greenland is its fascinating individuals. Nearly 90% of them are Inuit (native Greenlanders) who’ve a particular language and tradition. They’re extremely pleased with their roots, and at all times have a delusion or story to inform.
Enjoyable Details about Greenland
Since most of Greenland is roofed in ice, snow and glaciers, the Arctic nation is generally white. So how did it get its identify Greenland?
Greenland truly bought its identify from Erik The Purple, an Icelandic assassin who was exiled to the island. He referred to as it “Greenland” in hopes that the identify would entice settlers. In line with scientists, Greenland was truly inexperienced greater than 2.5 million years in the past.
Though Greenland is geographically part of the North American continent, it has been politically related to Europe for a few millennium. Since 1721, Denmark has held colonies in Greenland. Till right this moment, Greenland continues to be an autonomous nation dominated beneath the Kingdom of Denmark.
How you can Journey to Greenland
Due to its distant location, it’s costly to journey to Greenland. There are not any direct flights from North America to Greenland. Anybody touring to Greenland has to fly by means of Reykjavik (Iceland) or Copenhagen (Denmark).
Kangerlussuaq is the principle gateway to Greenland. You’ll have to transit by means of this city no matter the place in Greenland you’re touring to. Flights from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq take round 4-5 hours and price round US$700 return.
Finest Time to Go to Greenland
The most effective time to go to Greenland is in summer season (July and August), when temperatures are comfy and situations are good for outside actions.
Summer in Greenland is superb: every little thing turns inexperienced, whereas lakes and fjords will shine beneath the midnight solar. The midnight solar is a pure phenomenon that Greenland experiences between Could 25th to July 25th. The solar doesn’t set in any respect.
If you happen to go to Greenland in spring (April-June) or autumn (Sept-Nov), count on plenty of snow. The temperature ranges between 5°F (-15°C) and 40°F (5°C). Greenland has extraordinarily harsh winters and the solar doesn’t rise for months. The temperature can go as little as -49°F(-45°C).
How A lot Time for Greenland Journey?
Greenland is a large island, and there are numerous attention-grabbing small cities value visiting. I like to recommend spending at the very least 1 week in Greenland, since you’ve gotten already spent a giant chunk of cash getting right here.
In a single week, I recommend simply specializing in one a part of Greenland. Ilulissat is the preferred city for vacationers. It’s dwelling to the well-known Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Website identified for the icebergs that dot the fjord all 12 months spherical.
With 2 weeks in Greenland, you may get sense of what Greenland is all about. I like to recommend visiting Nuuk, Kangerlussuaq and Ilulissat, following my Greenland itinerary under.
If you wish to do the Arctic Circle Trail, most individuals take round 7-12 days to finish the path.
1-Week Greenland Itinerary*
- Day 1: Wander round Ilulissat city
- Day 2: Stroll the climbing routes round Ilulissat
- Day 3: Take a ship journey into Ilulissat Icefjord
- Day 4: Go canine sledding in Ilulissat
- Day 5: Go to a standard kaffemik
- Day 6: Take a day tour to Eqi Glacier
- Day 7: Dwelling!
*For extra particulars on this itinerary, take a look at this section.
10-day Greenland Itinerary
- Three days in Kangerlussuaq
- Four days in Ilulissat
- Three days in Nuuk
2-week Greenland Itinerary
- Three days in Kangerlussuaq
- Four days in Ilulissat
- Three days in Nuuk
- Three days in Sisimut
How you can Get Round Greenland
As Greenland is basically coated by the Ice Sheet, all the settlements are positioned on the coast and aren’t linked by roads. All journey between cities is completed by airplane, boat, snowmobile or dogsled.
The easiest way to get round Greenland is by flying. Air Greenland flies the principle routes repeatedly, usually with a couple of flight every day.
Home flights aren’t low cost, which is why Greenland journey is so costly. For instance, return flights from Kangerlussuaq to Nuuk price round $450. Flying from Nuuk to Ilulissat prices round $560 return.
When you’re in a city, it’s comparatively simple to get round on foot as Greenlandic cities are small. Even Greenland’s capital and biggest city, Nuuk, solely has a inhabitants of 18,000. Simply costume warmly and be ready to stroll within the snow even in summer season.
There are public buses in Nuuk and Kangerlussuaq. A bus journey prices round 15 DKK ($2.20). There are many taxis in Ilulissat and a taxi journey normally prices round 40-50 DKK ($6-8) every method.
There are not any ferry connections between Greenland and mainland Denmark. The one ship that runs in Greenland is the M/S Sarfaq Ittuk, run by Arctic Umiaq Line. It sails between Qaqortoq (South Greenland) and Sisimiut (North Greenland) from March/April to January and from Qaqortoq to Ilulissat (North Greenland) from Could to January.
Greenland Journey: Independently or E book a Tour?
It’s completely potential to journey Greenland independently. I encourage you to e-book your personal flights, accommodations, after which e-book day excursions like boat journeys or dogsledding excursions. Day excursions price round US$100-199.
Guide to Greenland is an efficient useful resource to e-book excursions immediately by means of an automated reserving system. Listed below are some Greenland excursions that I’ve been on and extremely advocate:
Finest Issues to Do in Greenland
Ilulissat Icefjord Boat Journey
Surely, an Ilulissat icefjord boat tour is the #1 thing to do in Ilulissat. The Ilulissat Icefjord is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, and for good purpose! An astronomical 35 billion tonnes (46km3) of ice make its method by means of Disko Bay in Ilulissat yearly.
A number of the icebergs within the Ilulissat Icefjord stand at 100m above the extent of the water (keep in mind that is solely 7-10% of the full measurement!). However it is just by wanting up at these icebergs from the water that you just get a real sense of their huge scale.
Kayak within the Ilulissat Icefjord
The Inuit have been utilizing kayaks for hundreds of years. Actually, kayaks have been invented by the Inuits and the phrase “kayak” comes from the Inuit language.
Kayaking in the Ilulissat icefjord offers new that means to iceberg sightseeing from the water as you stand up near the sheer ice towers. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime expertise that shouldn’t be missed.
Information to Greenland runs kayak tours each through the day and within the night throughout Midnight Solar. Your native guides will present all the right gear together with a dry swimsuit. Whale sightings are an actual chance!
Hike the Routes that Encompass Ilulissat
Ilulissat is likely one of the finest locations to go to in Greenland, primarily due to the vary of outside actions you are able to do within the space. Climbing in Ilulissat is a good way to discover the backcountry with out spending a lot.
There are three marked routes simply outdoors of Ilulissat. Each gives climbing with spectacular views of each Ilulissat and the ice fjord. Under is a climbing route map from Ilulissat Guesthouse.
- Yellow Route – 1.7 miles or 2.7 kilometers (1.5-2 hours). That is the preferred route as you get implausible views of the Ilulissat Icefjord with out doing a protracted or tough hike.
- Blue Route – 4.Three miles or 7 kilometers (Four hours). A comparatively difficult path that provides superb views of the ice and surrounding space.
- Purple Route – 0.6 miles or 1 kilometer (30min). This isn’t a loop path i.e. you must stroll again the identical method you got here from. In case you are brief on time, this route will take you on to a viewpoint the place you’ll be able to see the icefjord.
Discover the Outdated Inuit Settlement of Sermermiut
Sermermiut is an previous Inuit settlement positioned on the outskirts of Ilulissat. All the space has been designated as a part of the Ilulissat Icefjord UNESCO World Heritage Website.
In summer season, it’s potential to make this brief hike from the middle of city. There may be not a lot to see right here per se, just some stone ruins to mark an space. However there are spectacular views of the Ice Fjord from Sermermiut.
Wander across the City of Ilulissat
As Ilulissat is the main tourist town of Greenland, it undoubtedly has probably the most attention-grabbing sights and tourism infrastructure. The city is positioned subsequent to the ocean stuffed with icebergs, and a stroll round city will reveal plenty of stunning viewpoints.
Moreover having plenty of scenic spots for photograph opps, Ilulissat additionally has two nice museums. Considered one of them is the Ilulissat Museum, showcasing expeditions of the explorer Knud Rasmussen. The opposite is the Inuit Art Museum, which options work from Greenland, Faroese and Denmark, with probably the most notable by Emanuel A. Peterson.
If you happen to’re searching for a neighborhood information to indicate you round, I extremely advocate Jan Cortsen (pictured), an skilled information born and raised in Ilulissat. He’s enjoyable and interesting, and is keen about Greenlandic tradition and historical past.
Go Dogsledding in Ilulissat
Canine sledding in Greenland has been a mode of transportation and looking for roughly 5000 years. Opposite to different Arctic places, canine sledding in Greenland is a lifestyle, by alternative if not by necessity.
Ilulissat is thought for having virtually the identical variety of sled canines as individuals, at the moment the city is dwelling to 4600 individuals and practically 3500 sled canines. That is undoubtedly the most effective locations to go canine sledding in Greenland.
Throughout the dogsledding tour, you’ll first meet a neighborhood musher who introduces you to his canines. The Greenlandic sled canine is the purest canine race, resulting from is isolation from different canine races. The canines are raised as work canines, and subsequently it’s not protected to method the canines by yourself.
Take a Day Tour to Eqi Glacier
Positioned 80km from Ilulissat is Eqi Glacier, probably the most lively glaciers in Greenland. On this Greenland tour, you’ll sail north, passing the small settlement of Oqaatsut/Rodebay, the massive fjord system of Pakitsoq, and thru the Ataa Strait lined with tall mountains.
This journey is gorgeous in and of itself and chances are you’ll be fortunate and see whales and seals alongside the way in which. Additionally, you will most possible see chunks of the glacier face break off and fall into the fjord. Simply be sure you are hanging onto the railing when the ensuing wave reaches the boat!
Camp on Greenland’s Ice Cap
Camping on the Greenland Ice Cap is actually the best (no pun supposed!) expertise I’ve ever had! Granted, it was the coldest I had ever been, however I wouldn’t commerce the expertise for something. We had a superb information, who confirmed us superb spots and took nice care of us.
Kangerlussuaq is the one place in Greenland the place you’ll be able to actually drive to the Greenland Ice Sheet (which is just 25 km from city). The mini expedition took us to Level 660, for a implausible panorama of the Ice Cap. We then hiked onto the Ice Sheet, wandered round ice valleys and slopes, and spent the evening sleeping on ice. That evening, we even noticed Northern Lights at midnight sky above us.
Sail within the Nuuk Fjord
Nuuk fjord is the most important fjord on the earth, and it covers an space of virtually 2,000 sq. kilometers. There may be a lot to see, you’ll in all probability want a lifetime to expertise every little thing within the fjord system. E book a ship journey to expertise the most effective of the fjord: from icebergs and waterfalls to whales.
The spotlight of any boat trip to Nuuk fjords is catching your personal fish! Due to the quantity of fish right here, it’s extremely simple to catch a fish (even when you’ve got no fishing expertise!). In summer season, you’ll be able to even convey the fish you caught to Qooqqut Nuan, a restaurant/guesthouse within the coronary heart of the fjord. They are going to whip up genuine Thai dishes along with your catch!
Hike the Nuuk Mountains
Greenland’s capital city, Nuuk, is enveloped by snow-peaked mountains that are surprisingly accessible all 12 months spherical, proper from the outskirts of the town. The enduring landmark of Nuuk is Sermitsiaq is probably the most distinguished peak within the space. It stands at 4,200 ft (1,280m) tall and most can hike as much as its peak in 2.5 hours (steep ascent although!).
Two different peaks which can be simple to beat are Lille Malene (often known as Quassussuaq in Greenlandic) and Store Malene (Ukkusissat in Greenlandic). The path heads for each routes are discovered within the neighborhood of Uiffak.
We climbed Lille Malene in slightly below Three hours and the views of the encircling fjord was mind-blowing. From the highest, you’ll be able to take pleasure in views of Nuuk and the Kangerluarsunnguaq Fjord with its spectacular glaciers.
Take pleasure in Conventional Inuit Meals and Storytelling
For hundreds of years, Greenlanders have sustained themselves on animals discovered within the area, corresponding to whale and seal meat. Immediately, the custom continues, however locals are placing a contemporary spin on them. For individuals who are involved about wildlife conservation, read this section.
In case you are interested by Inuit tradition, I like to recommend attempting conventional Inuit meals and study Inuit myths and legends at Inuk Hostels in Nuuk. They serve attention-grabbing fusion dishes like grilled seal meat, muktuk (uncooked whale pores and skin and blubber), and musk ox burgers. The proprietor Lisse is a widely known persona in Greenland and has a wealth of data on Greenlandic tradition.
Go to a Native’s Dwelling for Kaffemik
The Greenlanders are extraordinarily pleased with their kaffemik, a neighborhood custom that’s an enormous a part of their tradition. Greenlanders maintain kaffemik to have fun particular occasions of all types – births and birthdays, first days of faculty and confirmations.
Most individuals begin getting ready days prematurely and reserve tremendous china and ornamental desk linens for such events. When the massive day comes, their dwelling turns into a revolving door of celebration with previous pals, household, and colleagues all by means of the day.
I used to be fortunate to hitch a kaffemik in Nuuk — it was an extremely enjoyable and immersive expertise going to a Greenlander’s dwelling and speaking to the household about their meals and traditions.
Wander Across the Colonial Harbor of Nuuk
The colonial harbor is the oldest a part of Nuuk and likewise the place colonisation started. This was the place the one who based Nuuk, a Danish missionary Hans Egede, landed and settled in 1721.
Egede’s home nonetheless stands right this moment, proper on the water entrance, alongside rows of different colourful Scandinavian high-roofed homes. Sadly, the home isn’t opened to the general public as it’s used to host particular occasions.
Stroll alongside the waterfront to the rocky shore and also you’ll discover a brass statue of Sedna, the goddess of the ocean and marine animals in Inuit mythology. At low tide, you’ll see it in its full glory: Sedna, with lengthy flowing hair, is depicted with a walrus and polar bear round it.
Go to the Greenlandic Nationwide Museum
For a crash course in Greenland’s historical past, head to the Greenland National Museum proper behind Nuuk’s colonial harbor. Greenland’s largest cultural historical past museum homes artifacts from all around the nation.
Probably the most spectacular reveals embrace the well-known mummies and costumes from Qilakitsoq in northwest Greenland, in addition to the world’s oldest and virtually full intact pores and skin boat – the Pearyland Umiaq. Admission is free in winter, and DKK 30 in summer season.
The place to Keep in Greenland
Lodging is proscribed in sure cities in Greenland, so be sure you e-book just a few months earlier than your Greenland trip to make sure availability! For example, there are solely three accommodations in Kangerlussuaq and so they get booked up early particularly in summer season.
Kangerlussuaq: Outdated Camp
One of many two finances choices in Kangerlussuaq, Old Camp is easy, clear and nicely run. Rooms are small, however comfy and designed in Scandinavian model. It gives free transfers from the airport and the reception can set up Greenland excursions for you. Check latest rates.
Ilulissat: Resort Icefiord
Top-of-the-line accommodations in Ilulissat, Hotel Icefiord has superior views of the ice fjords from most rooms. I liked waking as much as see icebergs proper outdoors my window. Its eating room has good Greenlandic snacks and steaks. Nicely value splurging to remain right here! Check rates here.
Nuuk: Resort Hans Egede
The town’s finest resort is Hotel Hans Egede, a contemporary four-star resort with vibrant, comfy rooms and an ideal view of the harbor and the ocean. It has a central location within the coronary heart of city, inside strolling distance from the colonial harbor and close by museums. Check rates here.
Nuuk: Greenland Escape
An incredible finances place to remain is Greenland Escape, which is surprisingly inexpensive for the top quality lodging and proximity to city. A single room is round 50euros per evening. Check the latest prices.
Nuuk: Inuk Hostels
Overlooking the gorgeous Nuuk fjord is the Inuk Hostels (pictured), that’s positioned within the hills surrounding Nuuk. Rooms right here have a log cabin really feel and are quaint and charming. The proprietor Lisse is a widely known character in Greenland and he or she has a wealth of data on Greenlandic tradition. Check the rates.
What to Eat in Greenland
Due to its location, you’ll be able to look forward to finding plenty of extremely contemporary seafood in Greenland. There are fairly just a few good eating places in Nuuk and Ilulissat that serve superb fish stews and fillets (see this section).
Meals is dear in Greenland. If you happen to’re searching for a correct fish or lamb meal in a pleasant restaurant, count on to fork out at the very least $50 for a full meal. There are cafes and Asian diners that serve extra inexpensive choices that price $15 for a meal. For these on a shoestring finances, take a look at native supermarkets for ready-made scorching canines and sandwiches.
Historically, Greenlanders eat marine animals like whales, walruses and seals. To stop overfishing, every administrative space in Greenland is assigned a sure quota for every species. Sure species just like the blue whale are protected and thus can’t be fished. Additionally, no export of whale and seal meat is allowed — they’re solely consumed domestically.
The place to Eat in Greenland
Kangerlussuaq: Restaurant Rokklubben
The one upscale restaurant in Kangerlussuaq serves a superb buffet with conventional Greenlandic dishes and implausible lamb chops. They run shuttles to Outdated Camp and Polar Lodge for friends staying there. Read Tripadvisor reviews.
An informal cafe and diner that serves wholesome and opulent salads and paninis. They’ve glorious shakes and lunch dishes. We ended up coming right here virtually on a regular basis! Read Tripadvisor reviews.
The most effective restaurant in Nuuk is undoubtedly Sarfalik, on the best ground of Hotel Hans Egede. The tremendous eating restaurant serves modern connoisseur meals utilizing a combination of native components. The tasting menu contains dishes like musk-ox tartare, pan seared scallops and roasted Greenlandic halibut. Book a table here.
A glorious spot to strive fashionable Greenlandic meals is Katuaq, the in-house bistro on the Katuaq Cultural Centre in Nuuk. The trendy cafe dishes up Greenlandic tapas in hefty parts. If you happen to’re able to indulge, strive the big seafood platter made up of snow crabs, marinated scallops, and shrimps. Read reviews here.
Nuuk: Restaurant Unicorn
This newly opened restaurant (owned by the identical couple behind Qooqqut Nuan in Nuuk fjord) stands proper at Nuuk’s colonial harbor. Its fish and meat dishes are glorious and rather well value splurging on. Read the reviews.
Nuuk: Charoen Porn
Yearning for one thing extra worldwide? This family-run restaurant serves excellent, genuine Thai meals proper within the heart of Nuuk. I’ve eaten right here so many instances, that I solely have praises for it. Get address here.
Greenland Journey Price
Let’s face it: Greenland journey IS costly. Moreover the expensive flights to Greenland, lodging and transport are fairly costly too.
- Lodging — A twin room at a primary hostel with shared rest room prices US$150-200 per evening. A extra upscale resort with good views can go for $300-400 per room.
- Meals — A restaurant meal in Greenland typically prices round 200-300 DKK ($29-43) per particular person. The cheaper choices are Asian diners that normally have Thai dishes for round 100 DKK ($14).
- Day Excursions — Greenland excursions are round $100-$199 for a 2-hour boat journey or dogsledding expertise. Guide to Greenland has an enormous vary of excursions and an automatic reserving system.
Web and Knowledge in Greenland
Getting linked in Greenland is unfortunately not simple or low cost. The tough climate situations usually disrupts the web community. Generally the web connection in Greenland can drop for just a few days, and there’s no method of logging on besides to attend.
Most hostels cost for his or her WiFi service, and so they can price as much as $10/hour. If you happen to do must get on-line, I recommend staying at upscale accommodations to be sure you can get a secure web connection.
Alternatively, you may get SIM playing cards on the Telepost store outdoors of the Kangerlussuaq airport or Nuuk’s metropolis centre. Notice that even EU SIM playing cards don’t work in Greenland.
Folks of Greenland
Immediately, 88% of Greenland’s inhabitants are Inuit (predominantly Kalaallit) or blended Danish and Inuit. The remaining 12% are of European descent, primarily Danish.
Greenlanders do NOT admire being referred to as ‘eskimos’. The right identify for them is Inuit or Kalaallit, which truly means ‘Greenlander’ within the native Inuit language. The Inuit Greenlanders determine strongly with Inuits in different elements of the world, like Canada and Alaska.
The Greenlandic national costume is an attractive and colourful show of their tradition. Immediately it’s used on particular festive events corresponding to Christmas, Easter, confirmations and weddings. I bought fortunate and met lots of people wearing conventional put on on the church on a Sunday.
Language in Greenland
The vast majority of the inhabitants in Greenland speaks each Greenlandic (primarily Kalaallisut) and Danish. The 2 languages have been utilized in public affairs because the institution of dwelling rule in 1979.
The Greenlandic language is an attention-grabbing language with a protracted historical past. It’s intently associated to the Inuit languages in Canada, corresponding to Inuktitut. “Kayak” and “igloo” are Greenlandic phrases which were adopted immediately by different languages.
Immediately, the younger technology be taught each languages, in addition to English, at school. Nearly everybody I met in Greenland speaks English.
What to Pack for Greenland Journey
Whatever the time of 12 months you’re visiting Greenland, be certain to convey top quality winter gear. I’ve been in Greenland each in summer season and winter, and might guarantee you you’ll want correct heat gear.
For these touring Greenland in summer season, I counsel carrying Three layers: wool backside, fleece and a water-resistant jacket.
If you happen to go to Greenland outdoors of summer season, I like to recommend carrying 4-5 layers: thermals, wool backside, fleece and a thick winter parka.
My Greenland Packing Record
1. Long Sleeve Moisture Wicking Tees: The important thing to staying heat in Greenland is layering. Deliver some lengthy sleeve t-shirts which can be nice for climbing, that you could simply take away all through the day and evening.
2. Fleece-lined Long Sleeve Thermal Underwear: Pack thermals even for those who’re touring in summer season. Temperatures can dip under zero – and so they’ll be significantly helpful for those who’re kayaking or dogsledding.
3. Fleece Base: That is my favourite gear for chilly climates. It’s thick however light-weight, and retains me heat even in sub-zero temperatures. Plus most fleece are low cost and straightforward to seek out all over the place.
4. Soft Shell Jacket: Pack a skinny waterproof, mushy shell jacket whatever the season you’re touring. I used this virtually on a regular basis on my summer season journey in Greenland.
5. Waterproof Ski Jacket: It could be heavy and a ache to journey with, however you’ll want it for those who’re touring outdoors of summer season. Don’t skimp on a high quality coat as it is going to maintain you comfy.
6. Quick-Dry Pants: These pants are light-weight, skinny, comfy and waterproof. I can put on them in winter and summer season, with out feeling too heat or chilly.
7. Fleece-lined Leggings: For women, these are good to maintain heat and comfy. You should use them as they’re in summer season, or as a base layer in winter.
8. Beanie:You’ll undoubtedly want one thing heat on the highest of your head in winter.
9. Ski Gloves: Deliver thick ski gloves as they’re good for snow and rain. I might advocate getting a pair of gloves with touchscreen pads so that you don’t must take them off to snap pictures on out of your smartphone.
10. Wool Socks: Put money into some top quality wool socks that may maintain your ft dry and heat when climbing within the mushy tundra of Iceland.
Any journey to Greenland is an journey, so be sure you convey your intrepid spirit and an inquisitive thoughts! Wrap up heat whatever the time of the 12 months you’re visiting Greenland. Deliver digicam and put together to be blown away by the fantastic thing about Greenland.
Do you’ve gotten every other questions on Greenland journey? I hope my Greenland journey information has helped you propose your personal Greenland trip. Go away a remark under and I’ll strive my finest to assist!
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