Is Greenland Worth Visiting?

Is Greenland worth visiting? The short answer is, yes,  absolutely. Our explorer’s guide to Greenland details incredible sights that you can see all across the island. Two of the largest natural wonders, the Greenland Ice Sheet and the Northeast Greenland National Park, are both hundreds of kilometers in diameter and largely untouched by human activity. You can truly feel at one with the land itself when visiting either of these destinations.

You’ll also learn about people from various backgrounds who have lived and thrived in Greenland over the centuries. For example, the Greenland National Museum in the capital of Nuuk has detailed replicas of hand-crafted tools used by Inuit tribes to make their living. There are also settlements marking the first arrival of Vikings, led by Erik the Red, during their exploration of Greenland, Iceland, and other Polar Regions.

Few polar destinations rival Greenland for its abundance of sculpted, multi-coloured icebergs.

Few polar destinations rival Greenland for its abundance of sculpted, multi-coloured icebergs. Photo: Aningaaq R. Carlsen/Visit Greenland

Do you need a visa to travel to Greenland?

Another short answer here: it all depends on where you’re traveling from. The government in Greenland has created a checklist for travelers describing which travelers legally require a visa to arrive on the island. Citizens of more than 100 countries are exempt from the visa requirement so make sure you check the list before you make your travel plans.

That being said, there are always changes made to national security by governments, often without any advance notice. So do you need a visa to travel to Greenland? The best way to answer that question is to consult the Greenland embassy in your country or speak with members of your own nation’s embassy in Greenland to verify if a visa is necessary or not. That way, should you require one, you have plenty of lead time to get what you need.

Best places to visit in Greenland

Greenland is world-renowned as one of the greatest places on the planet to see beautiful fjords. The island is home to incredible fjords that often split off into smaller rivers or riverbeds that flow towards the sea while separating smaller islands and archipelagos from the rest of Greenland. Traveling across the south, east, or west of Greenland all but guarantees you an opportunity to experience at least one of the island’s incredible fjords.

Kong Oscar Fjord (also called King Oscar Fjord) is surrounded by glacier-formed landscapes seldom seen in other parts of the world.

Kong Oscar Fjord (also called King Oscar Fjord) is surrounded by glacier-formed landscapes seldom seen in other parts of
the world. Photo: Courtesy of Quark Expeditions

The Greenland Ice Sheet is also an amazing location where you could have the chance to experience the sea, the land, and even the air. Our very special voyage Greenland Adventure: Explore By Sea, Land, and Air is a 9-day expedition that allows you to experience the Greenland Ice Sheet up close. In addition to the cruise itself, you can participate in flightseeing and see the entirety of the Greenland Ice Sheet from the air. We also offer hiking expeditions across the ice sheet and you can join a complimentary zodiac cruise to navigate through the waters that brush up alongside the shoreline.

Adventurers who truly love the remote experience of a polar voyage will appreciate a journey across East Greenland, which is the more uninhabited side of the island. You could have this opportunity by coming aboard the Under the Northern Lights: Exploring Iceland and East Greenland adventure that provides a 14-day journey beginning in the Icelandic capital of Reyjavik and continuing onward through much of East Greenland. You’ll have a chance to witness Scoresby Sund, the southernmost point of the island, as well as the revered King Oscar Fjord along the edge of Ella Island.
A kayaker paddles past towering spires of ancient rock in the 70-km long Tasermiut Fjord in South Greenland.

A kayaker paddles past towering spires of ancient rock in the 70-km long Tasermiut Fjord in South Greenland.
Photo: Paul Zizka/visit Greenland

Finally, let’s not forget about the cultural-historic exhibits you can see. Kujataa is a UN World Heritage site that honors the coming together of the Inuit people who were the original inhabitants of Greenland, and the Norse descendants of the Vikings who arrived at the height of the Middle Ages. Together, these two distinct cultural backgrounds of people have found a way to live in harmony across Greenland, and Kujataa honors that coming together.

What is the best way to visit Greenland?

We recommend that you visit Greenland on one of our voyages such as Essential Greenland: Southern Coasts and Disko Bay. This is a 15-day journey that also begins in Reykjavik but navigates around the Greenland Ice Sheet to the west side of the island near Disko Bay. West Greenland has some of the greatest fjords on the island, including the famous Ilulissat fjord which is one of the few to flow out directly into the sea. You can book flightseeing excursions from the boat to see pre-approved Arctic destinations from the air, allowing you to get a taste of Greenland from both the sea and the air in the process. You’ll finish the journey with a Zodiac cruise that will take you to the port of Kangerlussuaq, which is where you’ll take a flight back to Iceland and prepare to fly all the way home from there.

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