10 Reasons to Visit Greenland

November 19, 2015

 

Remarkable landscapes, exceptional wildlife, iceberg-choked fjords and colorful tundra make Greenland, as seen here on this video, different from anywhere else in the world. If you’re sitting on the fence and unsure of what to do in Greenland, here are a few ideas:

1. Kayaking in Greenland

There is a rich history of kayaking in Greenland, a cultural symbol of its people and its birthplace. Much of what Greenland has to offer can be experienced by kayak.

 

Quark passengers kayaking in Greenland

Feel an extreme nearness to nature as you kayak around the massive fjords, gliding over crystal clear waters along the rugged coastline that has been paddled by the Inuit for thousands of years. Hear the sounds of Greenland--the calls of seabirds, the crunch of the ice and sounds of the abundant wildlife--from the surface of the sea. 

2. Ilulissat Icefjord - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Ilulissat icefjord

One of the wonders of the world, the Ilulissat Icefjord is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Ilulissat and the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier, located in West Greenland is a natural phenomenon and one of the fastest, most active glaciers in the world.

3. Experience Inuit Culture in Thule

Qaanaaq

Visiting Greenlandic communities gives you an opportunity to discover what it might really be like to live in the Far North. Explore Thule, one of the northernmost places in the world, and a community with a rich history and Inuit culture. The Thule people arrived in Greenland around the 9th century AD and today, this community is called Qaanaaq. The Inuit people who settled in the area have passed down their traditions of hunting, kayaking, dog sledding and making handicraft for generations.

4. See the Northern Lights on 300 Clear Nights a Year

Brightly colored houses create a stunning background for the magical display of northern lights in Kangerlussuaq. The natural phenomenon of light is created by electrically charged particles from the sun, though folklore in the area points to fascinating stories of walrus playing games with human skulls as a more likely cause.

 

Northern Lights - Photo Credit: Chris King
Northern Lights - Photo Credit: Chris King

These enchanting northern lights illuminate the Arctic with colors that vary from green, purple and red. The most dramatic displays are visible between October and April, when there are more than 300 days and nights of clear sky in East Greenland. 

5. The Lush Scenery of East Greenland

Photo credit: Steven G. Denver
Photo credit: Steven G. Denver

Discover East Greenland, one of the most remote areas in the country. Whether you’re hiking in flower meadows in the shadow of massive basalt walls, or climbing one of several vast mountains, East Greenland is an outdoor enthusiast's playground. Bring your day to a close watching a golden polar sunset against the stunning scenic backdrop.

6. Cape Morris Jessup, the Most Northerly Point in Greenland

Robert Peary was the first person to land on Cape Morris Jessup; his attempt to reach what was thought to be the northernmost land in the world was funded by Morris Ketchum Jessup, an American for whom the Cape has been named. Few people have traveled as far north as Cape Morris, but we’ll attempt to make history and reach Cape Morris Jessup during our Extreme Greenland Icebreaker Expedition.

7. Tasermiut Fjord, a ‘Big Wall Playground’

Tasermiut Fjord

Known locally as the Arctic Patagonia, the Tasermiut Fjord attracts climbers, kayakers and trekkers. As one of the most challenging big wall playgrounds in the world, the 44 mile (70 km) fjord is renowned for its superior rock faces. Submerge yourself in the natural hot spring located here in the southernmost point in Greenland, a perfect place to relax after a day spent exploring these incredible rock faces.

8. Vast, Spectacular Wilderness in Greenland National Park

Polar Bear

National Park in North Eastern Greenland is the world’s largest national park and is surrounded by 11,000 miles of coastline. Several species of arctic animals can be observed throughout the park including polar bears, walruses, caribou, fox and more.

9. Diverse Wildlife Includes Herds of Muskoxen

muskoxen.jpg

The Greenlandic name for musk ox is Umimmak, which means “the long-bearded one.” And they are plentiful in Greenland National Park, where they are protected from hunters. The musk ox is the largest land mammal in Greenland, weighing up to 400 kilos (880 lbs). From far away, these giants can be mistaken for large brown rocks. For centuries, high-quality handicrafts and clothing have been made from the mammal’s wooly innermost coat.

10. Greenland’s Rich and Storied History

History remains alive today in the traditions and legends of the people of Greenland, the descendants of the Thule culture. Explore the must-see historical sites in Greenland; archaeological sites, the Nuuk National Museum and historical sites where Vikings settled. 

History in Greenland

Contact an experienced Polar Travel Adviser today to learn more about Greenland’s spectacular geography, history and culture, and how you can discover it yourself.

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