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The world’s largest island, Greenland is also the most sparsely populated country in the world. Three-quarters of it is covered with a sheet of contiguous, shimmering ice. Civilization has been pushed to the coast, with cities ringing the frozen interior. The ice figures in ever Greenland folk tale, fireside story, and verbal history. Spectacular natural beauty, rich Norse tradition, and lively culture make this a fascinating destination off the beaten path. With unspoiled, unusual destinations rapidly becoming a new travel trend, Greenland is more popular than ever before - its surprises are, inevitably, wonderful.

Greenland is enormous, although not as big as certain maps might have us believe. The Mercator projection, so common in primary school classrooms, distorts it because of its proximity to the North Pole. Still, it is as about as large as Mexico! Much of the country is an icy, inhospitable Arctic frontier, but it’s a gorgeous one for sure. A popular tour add-on involves chartering a helicopter to ride out over the glaciers. The iridescent shine of the ice sheet in sunshine is unforgettable. 

The northern latitude of Greenland makes it an ideal viewing place for the aurora borealis. This is also a burgeoning adventure destination! Shark fishing, ice golfing, and dogsledding are just a few examples of the kind of adventure unique to this charmed land. 

Greenland Top Attractions

Nuuk

The Greenlandic capital is also the country’s biggest cities. “Big” is, of course, relative - this is the world’s least-populated capital, with only 16,000 residents! Old and new collide delightfully here. Quaint colonial buildings line the shore, with the fells rising up blue behind then. The fjord system here is the largest in the world, bursting with loveliness just begging to be drunk up by air or sea. The freshest meal fixings are served up at the “board,” where the day’s haul of fish, birds, and seal are brought for sale. Visit the National Museum, and keep your eye out for the Mother of the Sea statue, which rises from the water at low tide.

Ilulissat

Located on the shores of Disko Bay, Ilulissat is a thriving fishing town dotted by colorful buildings. The Ilulissat ice fjord is one of Greenland’s best-known and most stunning attractions, with thirty-one serpentine miles of flowing blue water nourished by Sermeq Kujalleq, the world’s most productive glacier. The road through Sermermiut approaching the fjord is considered one of Earth’s best walks, and will absolutely glut you on natural beauty. Take a helicopter ride over the glacier, sample whale and seal meat dishes, or try your hand at dogsledding!

Sisimiut

Sisimiut holds the distinction of the northernmost city in Greenland to boast an ice-free winter harbor, and it’s also the country’s second-largest city. The site on which today’s Sisimiut rests has been continually inhabited for over four millennia, by the ancestors of today’s Inuit people. The city is very walkable, lending itself beautifully to long strolls by the harbor. Don’t miss the fascinating Sisimiut Museum, which is full of interactive exhibits on the lives of the old Inuits, or the Taseralik. River fishing and hiking are both popular pastimes, along with snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.

Greenland Expeditions

Trekking a glacier, kayaking alongside icebergs, soaking in isolated hot springs… your most fantastic daydreams come to life when you sign up for an expedition. Your trip will bring you deep into the heart of Arctic Patagonia, where you’ll experience nature in its most primal, raw form. Hop a dogsled across miles of untouched ice, take a zodiac excursion to watch ice calving, and experience birdwatching like you’ve never seen it before. If adventure makes your heart sing, you owe it to yourself to take advantage of the wildest, most wonderful experiences Greenland has to offer.

Arctic Cruising

For comfort, education, and the experience of absolute beauty, an Arctic cruise is the way to go. Multiple cruises crisscross the Denmark Strait between Iceland and Greenland, giving you unrivaled access to the pristine wonders of the Arctic Circle. Explore Reykjavik and Nuuk, swoon over the Northern Lights, view towering icebergs, and learn all about the history of Arctic exploration and settlement. One of the great benefits of taking in Greenland’s marvels by sea is getting close to the whales that make the frigid Arctic waters their home! Spy humpback and blue whales, along with playful white-beaked dolphins! All this while enjoying luxury quarters, top-notch service, and a view of the top of the world that most people can never imagine, let alone see for themselves.

Quick Facts

Capital: Nuuk
Primary Airports: Kangerlussuaq Airport (SFJ), Narsarsuaq Airport (UAK)
Government: Parliamentary democracy, constitutional monarchy
Currency: Danish krone (DKK)
Population: 57,000 (2012 est.)
Language: Greenlandic, Danish, English
Electricity: 220V/50Hz (Danish plug)
Time Zone: UTC - UTC-4
Greenland
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