Greenland is best known for being an important route for numerous arctic expeditions, and many people don’t know much about it beyond that. But there’s so much more to discover and learn about the world’s largest island and it’s 56,000 inhabitants who are regarded for their hospitality, kindness, cheerfulness, and warm heart.
On this post, we’ll share with you 7 reasons why we believe Greenland should be on your travel bucket list:
1. THE CULTURE
In the Greenlandic language, the name for Greenland is Kalaallit Nunaat, meaning “The Human’s Land” (even though the island was uninhabited until just 1,400 years ago).
The majority of the Greenland population (about 81%) are Inuit descent, with many coming from the Thule culture. So, if you travel to Greenland, you’ll have the amazing opportunity to learn all about the people who have lived in the Arctic for centuries.
You’ll probably get invited to a special Kaffemik, an important Greenlandic tradition and social occasion where you share in the company of others. You’ll meet people, eat local specialties, drink coffee, listen to great stories, get a real insight into the Greenlandic culture, and maybe even see the host wear the National Costume, called a Kalaallisut.
2. ICEBERG AND GLACIERS
Despite the name, in Greenland, you’ll find ice everywhere, no matter what part of Greenland you go to. In fact, over 80% of Greenland is covered by an ice cap that reaches up to 4 km in thickness in some places!
Because of this, you’ll find a lot of beautiful glaciers all around Greenland’s coast and of course, tons of icebergs too. Everywhere. You can find them in almost all towns and settlements. The views are absolutely breathtaking!
An important fact to mention is that the Ilulissat Icefjord is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has the largest concentration of icebergs in Greenland.
You won’t want to miss this!
3. NORTHERN LIGHTS
The multicolored dancing lights are officially known as Aurora Borealis, but most people around the world know them as the “Northern Lights.” They are a natural phenomenon that will leave you amazed taking your breath away and leaving you with the memory of a lifetime!
Greenland is one of the best places in the world to observe the “Northern Lights”. They can be observed for much of the year, from the end of August to the beginning of April. The best time to catch them is in the middle of a clear night.
Did you know that they actually occur during the whole year, but we can’t see them due to the midnight sun?
4. MIDNIGHT SUN
Greenland enjoys perpetual daylight for long periods of time. Can you believe it?
It is a cherished natural phenomenon where the sun does not set below the horizon within a 24-hour period, anywhere above the Arctic Circle. It occurs during the summer and is visible in Greenland’s northernmost towns between late April until late August and closer to the Arctic Circle between early June to mid-July.
During the summer weather is pleasant and the midnight sun will bring you warmth and joy. Greenlanders love to spend as much time outdoors as possible as is a great opportunity to charge batteries and prepare for the dark winter. In this period you can hike on the ice sheet, kayak with the pioneers, fish, sail, and enjoy the beautiful sights of Greenland 24 hours a day!
But you might be thinking, “so with the midnight sun… Will I be able to sleep at all?” Of course! Hotels are equipped and ready with blackout curtains to block the midnight sun and allow you to get that well-deserved rest after a long day of exploring.
It’s a unique experience of warmth and joy that you have to experience at least once in your life!
5. DOG SLEDDING
Dog sledding is a unique way to experience the Arctic culture, as it has been a local mode of transportation for more than 4,000 years! There are no roads in some parts of Greenland so during the winter it is essential and the only mode of transportation, mostly in towns above the Arctic Circle on the west and east coast. It’s a fun way to explore the landscape in a different and exciting way.
Imagine in your next adventure jumping on a sled and get pulled by a pack of dogs surrounded by beautiful scenery. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
6. WHALE WATCHING
Sailing in Greenland is very special. You will sail among impressive icebergs, feel the calming breeze, and spot whales along the way. If you visit Greenland during the summer months you will have really good chances of seeing them.
Up to 15 species will swim all the way from the Caribbean Sea just to feed in Greenland’s rich waters. However, the most common are the fin whale, humpback whale, and minke whale.
Do you imagine having the opportunity of being close to these amazing creatures?
If you love observing wild animals, then you will certainly love a trip to Greenland!
Greenland is the world’s biggest island and home to thousands of wild animals. Polar bears, humpback whales, musk oxen, walruses, caribou, arctic foxes, hares, eagles, reindeer, seals, and sea eagles are just some of the many species that you might find in Greenland! On top of that, with the largest national park in the world that is almost entirely uninhabited and plenty of natural open spaces for wildlife to roam both on land and in the sea, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to see many of them up close!