Photo: Dagny Ivarsdottir
Greenland is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. As the world’s largest island with one of the largest swaths of land that has been left untouched by human activity, Greenland offers visitors some of the most incredible natural wonders in the world. From mountainous terrain to deep fjords and the world-famous Greenland Ice Sheet, there’s something for every polar adventurer to witness on this incredible island.
15 of the most beautiful places in Greenland
So what are some of the most beautiful places in Greenland to visit and witness? Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the sights that should be on your next itinerary for a Greenland journey.
Visiting remote northern cities such as Nuuk, which is known for its brightly colored wood buildings, is a highlight of polar voyages
in Greenland. Photo: Sam Edmonds
The capital city of Greenland is a sight to behold in itself. A slightly different adventure from some of the more physical and outdoor experiences across the rest of the island, Nuuk is a city rich in cultural history. It celebrates the earliest settlers of First Nations tribes that arrived on the island thousands of years ago, and there are many tributes to Viking and European explorers that came afterward who helped shape Greenland into what it is today.
Not only is this one of the largest fjords in western Greenland, but the Ilulissat Icefjord is also one of the only remaining pieces of physical evidence from the Ice Age that lasted until about 12,000 years ago. During the winter months, the area is frozen solid while the summer allows rushing waters from the top of the ice cap to reach the surrounding seas.
On the east side of the island is the deep inlet of Scoresby Sound, the main body of which is 110 kilometers long. This area is home to some of the largest fjords across all of Greenland. This fjord was named after the famed explorer William Scoresby, who navigated these waters in 1822.
Scoresby Sound in East Greenland is the largest fjord system in the world. Photo: Courtesy of Quark Expeditions
East Greenland is the more remote area of the island with an almost uninterrupted view of the Arctic Ocean that separates the island from Europe to the east. East Greenland is renowned for its many hiking trails that carve out paths to some of the most hidden fjords, glaciers, and natural wonders the island has to offer.
Prins Christian Sund
Prins Christian Sund is one of the southernmost destinations of Greenland, located at the very southern shore of the island. It separates the main island from surrounding smaller islands, icebergs, and archipelagos off the border of the Greenland Ice Sheet.
Greenland Ice Sheet
This is one of the most beautiful places in Greenland. The Greenland Ice Sheet is one of the world’s largest ice masses and is legendary among polar explorers. If you want a preview of what exploring this land is really like, you can view this video of our experienced travel guides hiking across the Greenland Ice Sheet.
The chance to set foot on the Greenland Ice Sheet is a bucket list dream for many guests who travel to the
Arctic with Quark Expeditions. Photo: Hugo Perrin
The Uummannaq Fjord, like Ilulissat, is one of the highlights of an adventure through Western Greenland. Over 160km long and nearly 50km wide, Uummannaq divides into smaller fjords that rush eastward into the interior. They come together at one of the island’s inlet ice caps where they’re fed further by extensive collections of glaciers.
Greenland has the potential to be one of the best places in the world to witness the Northern Lights. Since the island is largely untouched by humans, especially along the east coast, it offers an unobstructed view of the sky when Aurora Borealis is in season (provided clouds don’t obscure the view). The potential to have this experience is one of the most attractive features of our Under The Northern Lights: Exploring Iceland and East Greenland adventure.
The Tasermiut Fjord is another of Greenland’s most incredible natural wonders. It’s a 70-km fjord that runs across much of southwestern Greenland. Guests who join the Greenland Adventure: Explore by Sea, Land, and Air itinerary have the opportunity to camp out overnight along this fjord.
Quark Expeditions' twin-engine helicopters enable guests to experience immersive adventures along the Tasermiut Fjord
in South Greenland. Photo: Sam Crimmin
Another of West Greenland’s collections of fjords is Qasigiannguit, located south of Disko Bay. While the fjord is a sight to see in itself, Qasigiannguit is known by locals on the island as the capital of whales. Pods of whales are frequently spotted near the shores of Disko Bay not far from where you’ll see Qasigiannguit.
Uunartoq Hot Springs
Fjords and rivers are typically what people think of when envisioning Greenland. But there are several hot springs scattered across the southern coast of the island, including Uunartoq. Many of these hot springs remain too cold from the polar environment for you to comfortably relax in. You actually can sit and soak in Uunartoq since it does remain warm enough in the summer months to have the hot spring experience without freezing from the cold.
Knud Rasmussen Museum
For adventurers who are history buffs, the Knud Rasmussen Museum is the place for you to see. Located just north of the Ilulissat Icefjord, this museum is a living tribute to the Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen, who led expeditions in search of the fabled Northwest Passage.
This is one of Greenland’s many small towns, but it has the added benefit of being a starting point for a 200-km hike across the Arctic Circle Trail that will lead you to the edges of the Greenland Ice Sheet along the southern coast.
Kujataa is a location that unifies historic Norse and Inuit cultures. People from two different backgrounds have come together and created a shared culture built around farming, grazing, and marine mammal hunting all within the close vicinity of beautiful Greenlandic ice caps. Due to the unique coming together of different cultures, Kujataa has been declared a UN World Heritage Site.
Of course, most people think of the Vikings when imagining a Greenland exploration so it wouldn’t be a proper trip without seeing some form of monument preserving that Viking heritage. Hvalsey serves that exact purpose, home to the largest and most well-preserved Viking remnants in all of Greenland.
Norse ruins at Hvalsey bespeak early Viking days in Greenland. Photo: Aningaaq R. Carlsen/Visit Greenland
How to get to Greenland
Is that enough to get you excited about a trip to Greenland? We’re excited for you and that’s why we hope to see you aboard the Essential Greenland: Southern Coasts and Disko Bay adventure. Take a 15-day adventure across the southern coast of the island and see the beauty of the Greenland Ice Sheet from both sea and land if you choose to go on one of our preferred hiking experiences. You’ll also reach the shores of Disko Bay where you’ll have a chance to see some of the famous fjords like Ilulissat and Qasigiannguit.