Greenland Travel Guide and Tips for Visitors
Greenland Travel Guide and Tips for Visitors --
Things to do and places to visit in Greenland, how to get there, interesting facts about Greenland and travel tips for planning a holiday to the world's largest island.
Greenland is a land of snow and ice: its giant ice sheet covers an area of nearly 1.8 million square kilometers. The ice sheet has covered large parts of island for the last two to three million years and at its highest point it is around 3000 metres thick, but the ice is melting at an increasing pace.
Located between the Arctic and the Atlantic Oceans, Greenland is the world's largest island, yet it is sparsely populated: just over 55 000 people live here and around a quarter of them live in the capital, Nuuk. Greenland's population is mainly Inuit. Greenland is part of Denmark but is an autonomous region with its own parliament.
Things to See and Do ---
Things to do in Greenland range from cruises through the stunning scenery in the icy waters around the island to trips to the giant ice sheet and visits to glaciers, watching the Midnight Sun or the Northern Lights, visits to Viking settlers' ruins from a thousand years ago and learning about the traditional Inuit culture and way of life.
Several species of whales can be spotted on whale-watching tours, and the island and its surroundings are also home to seals and walruses, polar bears, musk oxen and reindeer. Popular activities and outdoor sports in Greenland include scenic helicopter rides, dog sledge tours, heli-skiing, mountaineering, paragliding, hiking, skiing, fishing and kayaking.
When to Visit Greeland ---
The arctic climate means maximum temperatures of 10 Celsius (50 Fahrenheit) even in the summer months, although in the southern and inner parts of the island temperatures can rise over 20 Celsius (68 Fahrenheit) between June and August. Temperatures vary regionally and Greenland's coastal areas are colder than inland areas.
The best season for skiing is from February to April and the best time for whale-watching tours is from January to June. The Midnight Sun in Greenland can be seen north of the Polar Circle in the summer, and in some locations in Greenland, such as Ilulissat, the sun does not set at all between late May and late July. The Northern Lights can be seen here around the year.
How to Travel to Greenland ---
Air Greenland has regular flights to Greenland but cruises are an alternative and popular way to travel. Several international tour operators offer holiday packages and can arrange Greenland tours including cruises, whale-watching trips and helicopter rides to the ice cap. The website Greenland Guide has a selection of travel agencies and tour operators, as well as a list of local tourist offices and information about Greenland travel.