A Greenland dog sledding experience is something that you are not likely to forget. After all, it’s not everyday that you have the chance to board a sleigh and get pulled around a frozen land by a pack of strong huskies. As you glide across the ice and snow, you’ll see a unique perspective of this beautiful, snowy country, 80 percent of which is covered by ice.
Going dog sledding is one of the quintessential things to do in Greenland. Part of the reason for this is related to history—people have been getting around by way of dog sled in Greenland for a long time, and the dogs that are used to pull the sleds have had a presence on the island for some 5,000 years. A type of husky, these dogs are known as Greenland Dogs. They are believed to have originated from the coastal Arctic regions of such places as Greenland, Canada, Alaska, and Siberia.
The eastern and northern parts of the country are the most common areas for Greenland dog sledding trips. These areas are home to nearly 30,000 sled dogs, the likes of which are put to work primarily during the winter. In the off-season, if you will, they gather their strength for the next winter. More often than not, somewhere between twelve and fifteen Greenland Dogs are used to pull your average sled. An interesting fact about these animals is that enough, Greenland Dogs are not able to bark—instead, they howl like their wolf ancestors.
Greenland tours that include dog sledding can be arranged, and they are quite popular. Some revolve solely around dog sledding, while others allow for other activities, such as spending time with Polar Inuit families or observing wildlife; dog sledding trips may also be an option for shore excursions during cruises to Greenland. Should your tour last more than one day, which is common, then chances are good that you will camp when it comes time to rest. Some of the Greenland dog sledding tours also include a night or more at a hotel, and all necessary transportation is usually covered, as are meals. Pretty much all the guest has to worry about is having a good time.
As mentioned, winter is the time to go dog sledding in Greenland. Generally, the months of March and April are considered to be the very best months. Winter, it should be noted, is also the best time to see the Northern Lights in Greenland. As such, anyone who camps out on a dog sledding tour can likely enjoy a spectacular evening light show before they bed down in their tents for the night. Add that to the fact that you will be treated to some amazing scenery during the daytime hours, and it all makes for one magical experience.
Anyone who wishes to add a dog sledding tour to their Greenland travel agenda should know that adverse weather can cause tour itineraries to change. Keeping an open mind is the way to go, and it helps to be flexible. If you are wondering about actually driving a dog sled, the tours include instruction sessions that allow you to get the basics down before heading out.