Greenland is a destination that more and more travelers are starting to take notice of. The allure lies largely in the country’s natural features. Found almost entirely within the Arctic Circle, this largest island in the world is around 80 percent covered by the Greenland ice sheet. Where the ice leaves off near the coast, mountains often rise high into the sky, and Greenland features some of the most picturesque fjords that you will find anywhere on the planet. Once such fjord is the amazing Ilulissat Icefjord.
In 2004, the Ilulissat Icefjord was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and there are plenty of Greenland tours that allow visitors the chance to get a good look at its glaciers and its icebergs. Other fjords along the Greenland coast are also possible to visit, and there are tours that involve boating or kayaking among the icebergs that are born at their edges. Back on land, Greenland visitors can take in the majestic scenery while hiking, dog sledding, and snowmobiling. There are also opportunities to ski, and you can even arrange heli-skiing excursions that see you accessing remote slopes on pristine peaks.
Greenland vacations allow travelers to enjoy a variety of amazing experiences. It is possible to take musk ox safaris in this autonomous island nation, for example, and there are other interesting wildlife viewing opportunities. Whale watching is certainly a popular pursuit. Other ways to stay busy include taking a dip in a natural hot spring, going on a helicopter ride, and cuddling up with a warm beverage as you watch the northern lights in the nighttime sky.
Greenland offers a rich culture to go with its many natural wonders. People have lived on the island for more than 4,000 years. In the tenth century, the Vikings came over from nearby Iceland, though it is the native Inuit people who have had the greatest influence, and today almost 90 percent of Greenland’s population is Inuit. As this North American island is actually part of the Kingdom of Denmark, much of the remaining population is of Danish descent. To get in touch with the culture and history of Greenland, travelers can choose to witness cultural demonstrations and enjoy visits to museums. Nearly all of the towns that are found along the coastline have their own museum.
While Greenland is the world’s largest island, it doesn’t boast a very large population. If you include the minor islands that can be found offshore, Greenland has a total land area of nearly 840,000 square miles. Only some 57,000 people live there, however—no other country or dependency in the world is less densely populated. This translates to lots of open space where you can get away from the real world for a while. One open space of interest is Northeast Greenland National Park–the largest national park in the world.
Greenland is truly a land of wonders, so it is little surprise that tourism is on the rise. A number of cruise companies now offer Greenland cruises, and travelers who prefer to fly can arrive that way instead. There are more than ten airports on the mainland. They are small airports, so air travelers often have to change planes in the Iceland capital of Reykjavik before they finish their journey. Once in Greenland, boats, planes, and helicopters are used for getting around, as are dog sleds and snowmobiles. No roads link the various towns together, so driving really isn’t an option.
As for places to stay during a Greenland vacation, it is possible to sleep in a cozy cabin of a cruise ship. Camping is also possible, and there are some hotels, apartment rentals, bed and breakfasts, and hostels to select from. The most renowned hotel in Greenland is the Hotel Arctic, so you might start there when searching for lodging. Also worth highlighting is the fact that campers can set up a tent wherever they please, as long as the site is not on private fields, near a water reservoir, or within 50 meters of any ruins that might be in the area. Generally speaking, most Greenland visitors book travel packages that include things such as transportation and lodging. The package deals tend to include a variety of activities, so you don’t have to go it alone when planning your own Greenland trip.