Greenland is truly a world of its own…endless horizon, captivating fjords, midnight sun, colossal icebergs and Eskimo culture are some of the attractions Greenland is known for. Greenland is a sure “bucket list” candidate and one of the earth’s last frontiers for exploration.
If you’re the adventurous type you’ll love every bit of the land some nickname - Lady of Snow! Below it’s a neat list of top 10 things to do in Greenland. Hope you find it useful!
View the most spectacular ice region outside Antarctica
Greenland is certainly known for its stunning natural areas, though none are more stunning than the famous Ilulissat Icefjord, which is easily the most beautiful ice stream region in Greenland. The Icefjord boasts some of the most dramatic views of glaciers and iceberg formations outside of Antarctica.
The biggest glacier in the Icefjord is the Sermeq Kujalleq, which is roughly the size of Long Island New York. Even if you’ve seen an iceberg before you can still guarantee to be taken by the majesty of the Sermeq Kujalleq whose sheer size will quite literary take your breath away!
Best thing about viewing the Icefjord region is that it’s pretty accessible and doesn't require any particular mountaineering skills.
Visit one of the oldest ancient Eskimo settlements in the region
The Sermermiut settlement in Greenland boasts some of the best preserved remnants of Eskimo indigenous cultures in the Arctic region. The actual settlement is located right next to the Iceford (roughly a mile from the town of Ilulissat) and can be reached on an easy hour hike.
The actual settlement is abandoned but you can still see artifacts from the various indigenous peoples that lived there more that 2,000 years ago.
Learn about Greenland’s Danish heritage
If you’re interested in learning about Greenland’s colonial past, be sure to visit the towns located along the west coast of Greenland (ice-free coast). Places such as Nuuk (oldest town), Sisimiut (2nd largest town), Narsaq, Qaqortoq, Ilulissat (3rd largest town) and Paamiut boast colorful colonial buildings and cute wooden churches that offer a nice glimpse into Greenland’s Danish past.
Another place worth visiting is the capital Nuuk, which is probably the best place to go in Greenland to learn about the country’s history since it’s home to an interesting mummy exhibit displaying 500 year-old mummies.
See gigantic icebergs and whales up-close
Taking a whale watching tour and seeing floating icebergs are most certainly two of the top 10 things to do in Greenland, though you’ll need to travel during the Greenlandic summer (May thru September) for the best experience.
Most of the fjords normally melt by May so June/July is the best time for sailing among icebergs and doing whale watching along Greenland’s coasts. Whale watching and iceberg tours are offered by operators such as “Disko Line” and “World of Greenland” and sail out of coastal towns such as Nuuk, Qeqertarsuaq and Aasiaat.
Enjoy a relaxing soak in Greenland’s biggest hot spring
Greenland may not be known for its hot springs so you'll be surprised to learn that Greenland hundreds of hot springs where you can enjoy a warm relaxing soak. Again, the months of summer (June thru August) are the perfect time to enjoy Greenland’s hot springs, which on average heat up to a cool 38 degrees Celsius.
The most popular hot springs in Greenland are the Uunartoq hot springs in the island of Uunartoq (east Greenland) and Disko Island’s hot springs, which are just a short boat ride from the town of Ilulissat.
Viking sites in Greenland
Seeing the remnants of Eric the Red’s 1000 year old Norse colonies is another must do while exploring southern Greenland.
There are several Viking ruins found in the southern region of Greenland, which include the Hvalsey Fjord Church (oldest remnants in Greenland) and Brattahlid ruins located near the town of Qassiarsuk (20 minutes boat ride from Narsarsuaq international airport).
See the amazing Northern Lights
The Northern Lights are often referred to as the “the biggest light show on earth” and during your visit to Greenland you certainly cannot miss experiencing this rare natural spectacle!
If you’re planning to travel to Greenland for the sole purpose of seeing the Aurora Borealis then, be sure you travel in winter. You can have a good chance to see the Northern Lights anytime between November and March, though December thru February are the best months to see the lights because nights are clearer.
You can see the Northern Lights from all across Greenland, though the best spots to see the lights are Qaqortoq (south Greenland), Ittoqqortoormiit (east Greenland) and Kangerlussuaq (west Greenland).
Experience Greenland’s Arctic wildlife on a sled or snowmobile
Exploring the wildlife is no doubt, one of the top 10 things to do in Greenland and the best way to experience Greenland's Arctic nature is on a sledding tour or snowmobiling excursion.
No matter the time of year, you’ll be able to spot wildlife in Greenland without much difficulty. Reindeer, musk oxen, polar bears and the white-tailed eagle are some of the most popular wildlife to be seen in Greenland.
Having said this, the best months for dog-sledding and snowmobiling in Greenland are January thru April. There are multiple tour operators all across Greenland offering a wide range of dog sledding and snowmobiling adventures to suit different budgets so it's worth inquiring around. Some of the most popular areas to explore in Greenland are Disko Bay, Tasiussaq fjord, Qaanaaq and Thule.
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