For the longest time, Iceland has been the hottest talk in town, with its numerous natural wonders that never fail to fascinate tourists from all over the world. But just recently, its neighbouring island of Greenland has gained more attention as an eco-destination.
Greenland and its untouched wilderness have now become popular among hikers and many adventurous travelers who are into backcountry solitude, winter sports, mountains, and glaciers.
If you are looking for the coolest destination in the world, Greenland is the best place to be. Here is a quick guide for your Greenland trip:
How to get to Greenland
International flights to Greenland are exclusively available with Icelandair and Air Greenland. Since there are no direct flights from North America to Greenland, the easiest choice for tourists from this particular part of the world is to go through Reykjavik, Iceland.
From Reykjavik, you can fly to various cities on the island, such as Nuuk, the capital of Greenland and its largest city with a population of 15,000;
If you have always wanted to hike the Arctic Circle Trail, you should fly to Kangerlussuaq, which is accessible from Copenhagen, Denmark, by plane. Flights depart from Copenhagen and other cities in Iceland all year.
Since there are no trains or roads between towns in Greenland, it is best to book a direct flight to the region or city you want to visit. Tour companies provide one-day trips during the summer months by plane from Reykjavik to Kulusuk.
This village in Greenland is where visitors get a chance to spend several hours taking in the lovely scenery and meeting the locals before they head back to Iceland before nighttime comes. Although it is probably the cheapest way to visit Greenland, the taxes and costs for the tour can still go over $1,000.
If you want to explore further, two new airports are expected to open in 2024, and these will make traveling to Greenland more convenient because new direct routes will be opened after this. By then, visitors can land in Ilulissat or Nuuk, which are both more convenient locations for outdoor activities and population centers.
You might also want to secure a spot on one of the numerous international cruise ships with stopovers in Greenland, although this option will limit the time you can spend on the beautiful island.
How to Get Around Greenland
As mentioned earlier, no roads connect any two Greenland cities, so you have to be extra careful when planning your visit. Visitors who wish to see a few areas in Greenland can fly between the different cities via Air Greenland.
You can also book a trip on any of the intercity passenger ships operating on the island’s western region during the warmer months. When the winter months arrive, you can navigate the terrain using ultra-terrain vehicles, or you can even prepare for a dog sled adventure.
Top Greenland Attractions You Shouldn’t Miss
Once you arrive in Greenland, different unique activities await you, and these include the following:
- Find yourself in awe of the majestic glaciers
Marvel at the glaciers of Greenland to be up close and personal with the island’s great wild outdoors. There is the impressive sight of the Greenland Ice Sheet and the island’s fastest-moving glacier, the Sermeq Kujalleq.
If you want better views, you can even take to the water. You can embark on a cruise to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ilulissat Icefjord and admire the pristine, vast blue skies and the icebergs that float by the ship. For those with a more adventurous streak, you can even rent a kayak and go on an exploration of the glacial lagoons surrounding Ilulissat. You can also kayak in the summer rivers that were formed from the glacial runoff.
- See the northern lights with your own two eyes
Greenland is one of the best options for chasers of the ever-elusive Aurora Borealis. While destinations such as Iceland and Norway are more famous because of their accessibility, the northern light show in Greenland is equally impressive. You can even try wild outdoor camping to catch clearer views of these dancing lights.
- Experience the Arctic Circle Trail while hiking
A hike up the Arctic Circle Trail is no doubt one of the best activities in Greenland for all the adventurous travelers out there. The trail is a 100-mile path located on the western part of the island that connects the coastal town of Sisimiut and the Kangerlussuaq Airport. The trek often takes nine to eleven days.
Since the trail is devoid of towns, hikers need to plan. It is also necessary to have expertise and familiarity with the backcountry and prepare a large backpack to bring all the stuff they need.
The entire Arctic Circle Trail is found north of the Arctic Circle. It crosses sources of drinkable water and mountainous terrain. The trail may offer some exciting opportunities to see foxes, caribou, and musk oxen. Just don’t expect to see polar bears, though, because these animals don’t inhabit this region of the island.
- Bask in the unique Greenlandic culture
Greenland can be considered among the last genuinely untouched areas in the world, and one proof of that is its indigenous population, which remains remote even in this modern world of hyper-connectivity. Visit the Nuuk National Museum, where you can see and admire the Qilakitsoq mummies and Inuit art.
If your stomach is up for it, you can also get a taste of the local delicacies and learn about the Inuit culture and its almost 5,000 years of fascinating history. You can also discover more about Erik the Red and his impact on Greenland. The majority of Viking history is preserved in Norse runes and other artefacts. All of these details can be found at the Narsarsuaq Museum.
- Go whale-watching
To complete your Greenland adventure, don’t forget to schedule a whale-watching tour either by kayak or large boat. Explore the coastline to see any of the 17 different whale species that live in these waters all year.
Are you ready to visit Greenland soon for the coolest adventure ever?
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