Qaqortoq in Greenland | the informal capitol of South Greenland

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Qaqortoq in South Greenland

The scenic town of Qaqortoq is located far inside the Southern Greenlandic fjord system, and here is your chance to really experience the diversity of Greenland. It is a popular destination for cruise ships at it has picturesque, coloured houses, great stores as well as arts and culture. It is also the centre of commerce and education in the region of Southern Greenland, and a lot of young people come here to study.

Qaqortoq in Southgreenland
Photo: Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland

Stone and man

Walking around the town, you cannot help but notice the many works of art that have been chiselled into the rocks. Local artist Aka Høegh once gathered a lot of artists in Qaqortoq, and they were each asked to leave their mark on the town by turning stone into art. Hence you will find 40 beautiful works of art scattered around town – or will you? Let the search being!

House in Qaqartoq in Southgreenland
Photo: Ruth Gundahl

The town square and its fountain

Qaqortoq is the only town in Greenland where you will find a town square. And the square is adorned by a gorgeous fountain built of Igaliku rocks, which were brought here from the nearby village of the same name. Beautiful houses from colonial times encircle the town square, containing shops, a bakery, a Thai restaurant and the local museum. The museum is definitely worth a visit, and so is Our Saviour's Church, built in 1832 and located near the square. By the square, you will also find the Board, which is the name of the many outlets in Greenland selling local provisions. Try some of the many interesting specialties if you want to cook up a Greenlandic storm of your own. 

The Hvalsø Church Ruins

Qaqortoq is located in the area, which the Northerners called the Eastern Settlement. Only an hour's boat ride from town will take you to the Hvalsø Church Ruins, the best preserved of the many Northerners ruins in Greenland. It is remarkable to imagine the Northerners walking around here more than a thousand years ago. The Hvalsø Church Ruins provide the setting for the last tale about the Northerners that we know of before they disappeared. That tale is documented by written sources telling about a wedding in the church held back in 1408.

Hvalsey Church Ruins in Southgreenland
Photo: Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland

The green south

At the agricultural research station near the town of Upernaviarsuk, researchers make experiments with tomatoes, strawberries and cucumbers just like many of the garden owners in town make sure to display their wonderfully fertile gardens. In summer, the place is generally quite lush, due to the joint efforts of the locals and Mother Nature herself.

Horses in Qaqartoq in Southgreenland
Photo: Ruth Gundahl

The hot springs

On a nice summer's day, heaps of children have fun in the torrent running through town or by jumping into the Great Lake behind town. If you are not prepared to make the cold dip, Qaqortoq offers a unique opportunity for you to visit the hot springs south of the town. At Uunartoq – meaning ’the hot’ – you can make yourself comfortable in one of the wonders of nature. On this small island, water at a temperature of 38 degrees centigrade oozes up from below the surface. And while the large icebergs float by in the fjord beneath the springs, you can lean back in the hot water and be happy that you are not splashing about in the cold water of the Great Lake. 

Sealskin and souvenirs

In the workshop of Great Greenland, based in Qaqortoq, stunning furs are designed and sewn to be worn by women and men across the world. Danish designer Benedikte Utzon has made collections for this central player in Greenland's sealskin clothing industry. And you will find much more than just coats and jackets – tops, bags and many other pieces of accessory are available here. They have even made sealskin bikinis for their fashion shows, which have been a big hit on the runway, especially during the 2000 World Fair in Hannover. 

Beautiful nature in Qaqartoq in Southgreenland
Photo: Visit Greenland


Qaqortoq offers a lot of trails for you to explore in your hiking boots. Walk around the town, which is gradually becoming bigger and bigger, or head for the mountaintops nearby. If you enjoy longer hikes, you can walk to Igaliku, which will take about five days from here. Continue your journey to Narsaq by boat or by helicopter where you will also be able to find many scenic trails in one of Greenland's most beautifully situated towns.

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