Visit Greenland - Our Guide
Firstly, before we start, we should clarify that Greenland and Iceland are two different countries in different parts of the world. The confusion is obvious because Iceland has more greenery than ice and Greenland has more ice than greenery. However, the country of Greenland has far more to offer than just a confusing name and many do not know this. Once again, Visitalot has taken up this challenge and will explain to you all of the reasons why Greenland is the holiday destination you wish you had visited earlier.
Greenland is the world’s largest island and is located between the Arctic circle and the North Atlantic Ocean. Because of how tucked away the island is, the capital city is called Nuuk and only has 15,500 inhabitants- the vast majority of those are Inuit people who originate from Alaska and northern Canada. For those who enjoy a bit of geo-politics, it is an autonomous region operating within the Kingdom of Denmark and has been associated with Europe despite it being closer to North America. It is also the only other place in the world outside of Antarctica, of which we also have a guide, that has a permanent ice sheet covering its surface. This country of wonders really is a place to go and explore, read below to find out a few interesting facts.
Wow, I Did Not Know That
Here are a couple of interesting facts about Greenland that may change the way you see the country…
- Contrary to what you may think, Greenland actually means “Land of People”, rather than simply land that is green.
- Scientists have estimated that the Greenland ice sheet is between 400,000 and 800,000 years old.
- You would have thought that a country that is mostly ice and snow would have trouble hosting outdoor sports competitions. Well, think again because the Ice Golf World Championships in Uummannaq are held in mid-March and many golf lovers come from all over the world to watch the two-day event.
- Because of the position of Greenland in the world, the sun does not set from May 27th to July 25th. In the Arctic Circle, the midnight sun only lasts for about half an hour.
- The name Greenland, clearly does not relate to the colour of the land. Instead, it was probably the earliest example of false advertising as the Viking who discovered the island named it Greenland, despite this being wrong, to try and attract settlers to the island.
- If you want to get from settlement to settlement in Greenland, you cannot drive or catch a train. The only roads exist within towns and to get between towns you will need to either fly, walk or sail there.
Some of these even shocked us at Visitalot, and we are the ones who write about these places. Be sure to read on about the kind of climate you can expect to experience on your holiday and how to get to the “Land of People” in the first place.
Wow, I Did Not Know That
As mentioned in our little description, Greenland is a country whose closest neighbour is Iceland, ironically, and whose closest continent in North America. Despite this, it considers itself European politically and is closer politically to Europe than to North America.
You have two choices when deciding how you are going to get to Greenland. The first option is a cruise ship that will depart directly from port and will take you to Greenland. Because of the nature of this kind of travel, this will take a number of days and will be more expensive than the other option- however, the cruise could form part of your trip as you can enjoy the journey there. The alternative is, of course, by air and you will need to fly to nearby Iceland and then onto Greenland to get there. When it comes to air operators your choices are equally limited with only Air Greenland and Air Iceland flying to Greenland.
Climate is another important factor when thinking about if or when you should go. Because Greenland is such a big island, the temperature of coastal regions when compared to places inland are different. The long stretches of coastline that Greenland has tend to be cooler than those areas that are inland because these areas are cooled by the sea. Therefore, during the summer months, if you want the warmest weather then you best head inland. However, it is best to check locally and ask local people or a tourist office what the weather is like there, as only then can you be sure. There is little humidity so the air feels warmer than it actually is, regardless of season or month. The average temperature will range from -20°C in February to 10°C in June through to August.
The kind of clothes you are going to want to bring will be warm but not too warm as walking will feature heavily when in Greenland. Our advice would be to get down to your local outdoor shop and ask around.
Where to Stay and What to Do
Knowing where to stay and what to do in any country is important for making your trip as good as it can be. With that said, here are a couple of things that you may want to consider when planning your trip.
As talked about above, one way to get to Greenland is via boat and you can also tour some of Greenland’s attractions via boat as well. You can book a cruise ship that will leave from, mostly, Iceland and will sail around the cost of Greenland where you can spot the amazing wildlife and landscapes from your boat. One such cruise is run by a company called Hurtigruten and you will set out from the Icelandic capital and cruise for two weeks before returning.
Since you start off in the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik, you could arrive a few days before you embark and see a few of the many sights in the world’s most northerly capital city. The city is famed for its hot springs, so make sure your swimming costume, however, if swimming is not your thing then you can go and see the geysers, mountain ranges and impressive glaciers instead. All of which is a warm-up for the big main event just across the sea in Greenland.
As you cross the Denmark Strait, you will have a chance to sit back and relax as you sail past some beautiful wildlife and some lovely views. For this part of the cruise, a camera is recommended as you will be taking a lot of pictures. Fjords are a big feature of Greenland and the surrounding area, and this cruise will see you land in the largest one on Earth. You will be able to see blue icebergs, bare mountains and a plethora of wildlife such as Arctic foxes, mountain hares and reindeer.
You will also get to see the world’s most isolated settlement. Ittoqqortoormiit is home to only 500 people and yet in and amongst their little settlement, they have a museum, a church and even a photo exhibition. After that, you will begin the sail back to Iceland, but, your trip does not end there because you can still see all of the wonderful landscape and wildlife on offer.
Want to see more? then check out this amazing video of the cruises on offer.
Hotel Hans Egede
The Hotel Hans Egede is a modern 4-star hotel in the capital Nuuk. The reviews online match this 4-star rating with many applauding the location of the hotel and the restaurant. The restaurant really is a selling point for this hotel with the majority of reviews pointing out the wonderful dishes and excellent selection of wine. Alongside a popular restaurant, there is also a piano bar, a gym and even a conference space- features that you probably did not expect to find in such a hotel.
The hotel is just a 10-minute walk from the Nuuk Art Museum, a museum that houses a wide range of both historical and modern pieces from artists native to Greenland and international artists. If you are interested in art or just want to experience some of the local culture, this art museum is a must- it is even rated 4.3-stars out of 5. The landscape is a big reason why you should visit Greenland and just 20-minutes away from this hotel are some wonderful examples of the landscape in and around Greenland. Verdens Ende and Ukkusissat are two beautiful examples of the geography and the wildlife of the area- make sure you have a camera ready because these two are places that you can see no-where else on Earth. If you are particularly interested in the geography of Greenland, then we recommend you look at tours as they will give you many chances to see a multitude of different mountains and rock formations.
See more of this amazing hotel by clicking on the video below
See More Hotels In GreenLand
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We hope you liked our visit Greenland review, we have loads more fun and weird holidays from around the world for you to see and ponder. But why not check out our visit Europe category. Here you will find the coolest destinations and excursions that you have probably never heard of, or only dreamed of visiting.