Greenland winter | Facts about winter in Greenland
Many songs have been written to honour the beauty of winter. And understandably so. Vegetation may have hid for a while, but instead you will experience a winter wonderland where snow and ice that seem out of this world. And in Greenland you will witness stunning northern lights flicker across the sky in an abundance of colours and shapes.
The wildness of the northern lights
Northern lights are an amazing sight. It is so beautiful and so different to see the stripes of light dance across the dark sky. Northern lights can glide slowly and lazily across the sky, but it can also almost explode and leap, and make amazing patters. It is almost as if someone is playing around with a huge, shining necklace up there, moving it across a glass plate while it glows. Lie down in the snow, look straight up and enjoy the spectacle.
The joys of dog sledding in winter
Greenland is synonymous with dogsledding. That is how closely linked the two things are in people's minds. You can go dogsledding in Eastern Greenland and everywhere north of the Arctic Circle in Western Greenland. Although the dog teams are becoming fewer, many towns are home to more dogs than people, and the dogs will call attention to that fact. It is utterly amazing when the dogs start howling a couple of times a day.
Going out on the dogsled, you will experience what Greenlanders have experienced throughout more than a thousand years. Ahead of you, a flock of sled dog are happily panting away, while you and the driver can hear the runners making the snow crunch beneath you. Dog sled trips in Greenland are a totally unique experience, but even getting out for just a few hours will give you a sense of this incredible mode of transport. And, fortunately, you can embark on these trips from Kangerlussuaq if, for instance, you are headed to Nuuk.
The reflection in the snow
When we write about Greenland, we are not hesitant to boast about the midnight sun, because it seems so unreal that the sun shines all around the clock. The downside being, of course, that there are other times during the year where the sun simply does not get up at all. Even the sun is freezing and has gone south. Despite the absence of sunshine, the darkness is not complete. The landscape is covered by the most beautiful white snow, which reflects the light of moon, stars and streetlights, lighting up the darkness.
The land of no dogsleds
Knud Rasmussen once said 'Give me winter, give me dogs – then you can keep the rest'. You will be able to find this quote in any tourist text about Greenland. This one too, evidently. In Southern Greenland, however, they would probably say 'Keep the dogs, mate'. Fierce dogs and helpless sheep are a bad mix. The snow-clad landscapes in the south are no less impressive than those in the north, but you just are not going to see any sled dogs around.
When should I travel to experience Greenland winter?
The best period for winter travels in Greenland range from the end of January to the beginning of May. It is bright during the day, and it is also warmer than in the coldest months. It might still be minus 5-20 degrees centigrade, and we are not going to tell you that it is not cold. But the cold is different to what you will have experienced elsewhere, because the air in Greenland is very dry.
Guide to Greenland holidays
In guide to Greenland holidays you find an overall introduction of Greenland as travel destination, when, where and how to find your dream Greenland holiday.