Welcome to the ultimate travel guide to Greenland! This vast arctic island offers some of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders and fascinating cultural experiences on earth. From majestic glaciers and icebergs to vibrant towns and Inuit communities, Greenland is a unique destination that promises intrepid travelers an unforgettable adventure.

In this Greenland guide, you’ll find everything you need to plan your trip from start to finish. We’ll provide tips on when to visit to experience the Midnight Sun or Northern Lights, how to get around this massive island, top things to do in cities like the capital Nuuk and Ilulissat, where to spot wildlife like whales, polar bears, and muskoxen, and where to experience authentic Greenlandic culture.

You’ll also get packing list essentials, safety advice for traveling in remote areas, and tips on outdoor adventures like glacier hiking, kayaking, and sailboat tours. We’ll take you through top natural highlights like the ice sheet, UNESCO-listed Ilulissat Icefjord, and the remote east and west coasts.

Whether you want to admire incredible glaciers, experience Inuit traditions, or simply enjoy the peace of Greenland’s untouched wilderness, this guide will help you plan an active and culturally engaging trip. So get ready for the journey of a lifetime on the world’s largest island! Let’s dive into everything you need to know to plan your adventure in magical Greenland.

Popular Destinations in Greenland

Nuuk Greenland

Venture into the heartbeat of Greenland where modernity and ancient Inuit culture coalesce. Nuuk, the vibrant capital, serves as a microcosm of Greenland’s evolution. From the bustling Nuuk Center mall to the insightful National Museum, discover the compelling blend of the old and new. Don’t miss the panoramic views from the Nuuk Cathedral, a juxtaposition of spiritual and natural splendor.

Ilulissat Greenland

Witness Mother Nature’s grand theater in Ilulissat, a town that lies next to a UNESCO World Heritage site, the mesmerizing Ilulissat Icefjord. Whether you’re sailing through its labyrinth of icebergs under the midnight sun or exploring the town’s rich cultural tapestry, Ilulissat offers a world of Arctic wonders that defy imagination.

Sisimiut Greenland

Adventure-seekers, welcome to your playground! Sisimiut, Greenland’s second-largest city, offers a smorgasbord of adrenaline-pumping activities. From winter skiing to summer hiking, this city is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The vibrant Inuit culture and the picturesque backdrop of colorful houses against the clear Arctic sky make Sisimiut an unforgettable destination.

Kangerlussuaq Greenland

Your gateway to the unexplored, Kangerlussuaq is more than just an airport town. With almost guaranteed Northern Lights sightings in the winter and direct access to the awe-inspiring Greenland Ice Cap, this settlement promises a buffet of natural spectacles that will captivate your soul.

Qaqortoq Greenland

Step into the open-air art gallery of the Arctic in Qaqortoq. Wander through the town to discover stone sculptures and carvings that narrate Greenlandic myths and contemporary tales. As the mild climate nurtures a more colorful landscape, Qaqortoq reveals a different, softer side of Greenland that will leave you entranced.

Narsaq Greenland

Unveil the lush and fertile landscapes of Greenland in Narsaq, a gem in the south that defies Arctic stereotypes. Whether it’s kayaking among icebergs, hiking across flower-strewn meadows, or angling for Arctic char, Narsaq offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure amid Greenland’s astonishing biodiversity.

Tasiilaq Greenland

Isolated yet accessible, Tasiilaq is the jewel of the east coast. With fjords that meander like intricate lacework and mountains that challenge even the most experienced hikers, Tasiilaq serves as a perfect base for the intrepid explorer. Dog sledding, iceberg watching, or simply absorbing the profound silence, this town offers solitude in its most majestic form.

Nanortalik Greenland

Dare to venture into the wild, extreme southern frontier of Greenland in Nanortalik. Towering cliffs, intricate fjords, and the possibility of extreme sports such as climbing and kayaking await. Nanortalik is not just a destination; it’s a challenge that promises to push your boundaries.

Why Visit Greenland

Why visit Greenland

Greenland is a must-visit for adventure and nature lovers. Its vast, unspoiled landscapes offer a unique experience that is hard to find anywhere else in the world. Visitors can hike through its enormous glaciers, sail past its iceberg-filled bays, explore its vibrant, colourful towns or experience its rich Inuit culture. The island is also one of the best places on Earth to witness the Northern Lights, a spectacular natural light show that fills the sky with bright, dancing colours. Additionally, Greenland’s wildlife is spectacular and includes species such as polar bears, walruses, seals, and various types of whales. Despite its harsh, icy environment, Greenland is a place of breathtaking natural beauty and exciting outdoor activities that offers a unique and unforgettable experience for its visitors.

How to get to Greenland

Getting to Greenland largely depends on where you are starting from. If you are traveling from North America, Air Greenland operates flights from Iqaluit, Canada to Nuuk, Greenland during the summer months. However, the majority of flights to Greenland are from Copenhagen, Denmark. Air Greenland and Air Iceland Connect both offer flights to various locations in Greenland. From Europe, you can fly to Kangerlussuaq, the main international gateway to Greenland, from Copenhagen. Another option is to fly from Reykjavik, Iceland to either Nuuk, Ilulissat or Kulusuk in Greenland. It’s important to note that there are no roads between towns in Greenland, so further travel within the country would have to be by plane, helicopter, boat, or dogsled.

Once you arrive in Greenland, traveling around the country can be an adventure in itself. The vastness and remoteness of the terrain mean that domestic travel is mostly by air, with local airlines offering flights between towns and settlements. Boat travel is also popular, especially in summer when the waters are free from ice. For the more adventurous, dogsleds and snowmobiles are common means of winter transport in Northern and Eastern Greenland. Despite the challenges, getting to and around Greenland can be part of the fun, offering opportunities for breathtaking scenic flights and boat trips amidst icebergs and stunning Arctic landscapes.

Greenland on a Map

How to get Around Greenland

Getting around Greenland largely depends on the specific region you are visiting, but typically, travel is done by boat, plane or helicopter, as there are no roads connecting the towns. In the summer, Arctic cruises are a popular way to explore the coastline and take in the breathtaking glaciers and fjords. For inland travel, particularly in the colder months, dog sledding and snowmobiling become the primary modes of transportation. However, it’s important to note that these methods are highly dependent on weather conditions. Due to Greenland’s unpredictable weather, flights and boat trips can often be delayed or cancelled. Therefore, it is always wise to plan extra time for travel. For the more adventurous, guided tours on foot or skis are available, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in Greenland’s stunning, untouched wilderness.

When to go to Greenland

The best time to visit Greenland depends on what you want to see and do. For those who want to experience the stunning beauty of the midnight sun, the best time is from late May to mid-July. This is also the best time for hiking, whale watching, and exploring the ice-free areas. If you want to see the Northern Lights, you should visit between September and mid-April. It’s important to note that Greenland’s weather can be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to pack layers. Despite the extreme cold in the winter, for people who enjoy winter sports such as skiing or dog sledding, this would be the best time to visit.

Stay Safe While Visiting Greenland

Greenland, with its vast expanses of untouched wilderness, is a dream destination for many adventurous travelers. However, the harsh arctic environment can present numerous safety challenges. It is essential to dress adequately to prevent hypothermia or frostbite. Always wear multiple layers, including a good quality, waterproof outer layer to protect against snow and rain. When embarking on hikes or other outdoor activities, make sure to have a reliable map and compass, as GPS may not always be reliable. It’s also advisable to hire a local guide who knows the terrain and weather conditions. Lastly, always inform someone about your plans and estimated return time, so they can alert authorities if you fail to return. Greenland’s wilderness is beautiful but can be dangerous if not treated with respect.

Greenland Travel Tips

Traveling to Greenland can be an unforgettable adventure, but it requires careful planning. The weather can be harsh and unpredictable, so pack accordingly with layers of warm clothing, waterproof shoes, and high-quality outdoor gear. The best time to visit is during the summer months of June to September when the temperatures are milder and the days are longer. This period is also ideal for outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, and wildlife spotting. Remember, Greenland is a remote destination with limited infrastructure, hence, it’s essential to plan your travel itinerary well in advance. Also, make sure to respect the local culture and pristine nature, and always follow the principle of ‘leave no trace’.

Explore Greenland

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