Kangerlussuaq in Greenland - the main gateway to Greenland
On the far end of a 180 kilometre long fjord, the Kangerlussuaq airport is located, well protected and in wonderful surroundings. Kangerlussuaq is the busiest village in Greenland where the little more than 500 citizens make sure that life in this epicentre of traffic in Greenland is going according to plan. But Kangerlussuaq is much more than an airport. The surrounding area is quite spectacular, which you should definitely explore.
Video from Kangerlussuaq in Greenland
The Ice Cap in Greenland
The Ice Cap is located 25 kilometres from Kangerlussuaq, and when you are in town, you should not miss out on this icy experience. To most people, the walk is a bit too long – instead you can jump into one of the large cross-country vehicles operated by our subsidiary, World of Greenland Arctic Circle, which will take you to the Ice Cap. The scenery that you pass on your way there is very varied – sometimes you will see green patches of grass on the one side of the car and small whirling tornadoes of sand in the Arctic dessert on the other side of the car. Do not get frightened at the word 'tornado', as the whirlwinds are rarely more than a couple of metres tall. But you might come across them, and they do make for a great photo.
When you get to the actual ice, you might want to make a stop and do a barbecue near the wall of ice, for instance, or go one step further – and go up on the ice itself. It is an incredible feeling standing there, knowing that you are surrounded by kilometres and kilometres of ice. Even below you is nothing but ice. At the edge of the ice, however, the sheet is not that thick, but the middle of the Ice Cap is actually more than three kilometres thick.
We invite the more adventurous travellers to spend the night in a tent on the Ice Cap.
Photo: Visit Greenland
Find the northern lights in Kangerlussuaq
Only a few people know it, but you will not see northern lights everywhere in Greenland. If you go far north, for instance, there will not be any. In other places, however, it is very powerful. Fortunately, Kangerlussuaq is one of these places. The northern lights are very powerful in spring, winter and autumn, so keep an eye skyward for this phenomenon during these times of year. In Kangerlussuaq, you do not have to travel far to get away from artificial lighting, which is ideal to get the best possible view of the northern lights or the starry sky. All the way from Japan, people flock to this particular place to experience the northern lights. You should give it a try too.
Photo: David Trood - Visit Greenland
Kangerlussuaq is one of several old airports built by the Americans during either World War II or the cold war, which is still evident in the architecture despite several years of modernisation. Many of the old military buildings are placed on a straight perpendicular line along the roads that still carry names testifying to the presence of the Americans. Although, the words 'street' or 'road' have now been replaced by the Greenlandic word 'aqqutaa'. The American influence has also provided the small village with a bowling alley, a golf course on gravel and a cinema. You can also visit the museum to learn more about the local history.
Animal life in Kangerlussuaq
Kangerlussuaq has a rich wildlife. The best-known species are probably the musk oxen, the reindeer and the white fox. The musk oxen in this area were actually moved here from North-Eastern Greenland in the 60s. 27 musk oxen were flown to this side of the ice, and it has been a huge success. The milder climate and larger pastures in the west have resulted in the musk oxen typically having two calves a year, whereas they previously had only one every second year. And now, the population has reached 3-4,000 animals. You will not always be lucky enough to run into musk oxen – especially during the hunting season they like to play hide-and-seek. If you do run into then, remember to keep your distance. They might look like hippie cows, but they are not to be taken lightly.
Photo: Dan Bach Kristensen - Visit Greenland
Dog sledding in Kangerlussuaq
Kangerlussuaq lies north of the Arctic Circle, and keeping sled dogs is therefore permitted. Where there are sled dogs there are also dogsleds. So, if you are here in winter, you should definitely try setting out on a dogsled ride. It is an incredible experience, and the skilled drivers make sure that you get out and back safe and sound.
Photo: Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland
Excursions in Kangerlussuaq area
There are a lot of excellent excursions to choose from when you are in Kangerlussuaq. South of the village, for instance, you will find the Tacan mountain. Climbing it provides you with a spectacular view of the area all the way to the Ice Cap. Continue towards Store Saltsø and Granatfjeldet. And at Lake Ferguson, you will find the restaurant Roklubben, serving a delicious Greenlandic buffet on select days, allowing you to taste many of the local specialties. You could also go on a long hike along the road, down to the harbour to catch a great view across the long fjord.
Guide to Kangerlussuaq
This guide to Kangerlussuaq gives you all the information you need to experience this unique place in Greenland!
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