qeqertarsuaq arctic station

Qeqertarsuaq in Greenland | Facts about Qeqertarsuaq

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Qeqertarsuaq in Greenland | Facts about Qeqertarsuaq 

Founded in 1773, Qeqertarsuaq is one of Greenland's oldest towns – one of the smallest ones too with little more than 1,000 residents. The town is scenically situated on the southern side of the Disco Island, whose Greenlandic name is also Qeqertarsuaq.

Traditional life

Qeqertarsuaq was originally founded as a whaling station, and today, whaling still takes place, but it has been supplemented by sealing and fishing – primarily for Greenland halibut. Thus, the quay is still full of life when the catch of the day is brought home. In Qeqertarsuaq, locals have also engaged in bottling of spring water. The bottles carry the name 938, and the local water is a popular alternative to the imported water that is still being brought in in large amounts from abroad.

Arktic station in Qeqertarsuaq in Greenland
Arktic station in Qeqertarsuaq

The whales around Qeqertarsuaq

The sea surrounding Qeqertarsuaq holds a unique aquatic life, and you are able to get really close to a number of Greenland's many whales – not least the Greenland right whale that arrives in spring. Therefore, Greenland Travel has arranged special spring journeys to Qeqertarsuaq for a number of years – journeys that allow you to enjoy the spectacular animals. The Greenland right whale can live to be as old as 250 years, making it the longest-lived mammal on earth. When the Greenland right whales continue onwards, humpback whales stop by for a summer vacation, giving you plenty of chances to spot whales during summer too.

Whale in the Disco Bay in Greenland
Photo: Arne Fleischer

Town life of Qeqertarsuaq

Due to its characteristic octagonal shape, the church in Qeqertarsuaq is called the Lord's Ink Pot and is definitely worth visiting. So is the museum located in the old doctor's house and the former estate of the governor of Northern Greenland, a title used in the past. A really unusual sight that you are not likely to witness anywhere but in Qeqertarsuaq is football being played on a backdrop of floating icebergs. It is a remarkable sight to see the youngsters run around after the ball in these spectacular settings making it hard to keep your eyes on the ball.

Church in Qeqertarsuaq in Greenland
The Chruch i Qeqertarsuaq - Photo: Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland

The surroundings - Qeqertarsuaq is know as the Disco Island

Qeqertarsuaq is surrounded by beautiful basalt mountains that make the surroundings stand out compared to those of other Greenlandic towns. The red shades of the mountains look stunning in the immense lushness of the island during summer. The island is home to several hot springs, which means that you will be able to find more than half of Greenland's 500 species of plant here. In general, the island is made for hiking, allowing you to walk between the most amazing rock formations. You will likely be able to spot both elephants and camels in the organic shapes of the volcanic mountain. The area of Kuannit, located not far from there, is a fertile area with loads of angelica – a small plant loved by everyone in Greenland. On your way there, you will pass the Red Torrent.

Disco Island in Greenland
Photo: Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland

The Lyngmark Glacier at Qeqertarsuaq

On top of the island, 700 metres above sea level, you will find the Lyngmark Glacier. From up here, you can see how the glacier stretches up to 10 kilometres inland on the island. In summer, the place is popular for dogsledding as the snow remains here throughout summer, although the quality of the snow may not stay suitable for dogsledding. The view from above is incredible – not least if you have chosen to come up here to enjoy it in the hue of the midnight sun.

Dogsledding at the Disco Island in Greenland
Photo: Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland

Qullissat - a small village at Qeqertarsuaq

A rather curious, but also quite interesting boat trip awaits you, if you sail north along the coast from Qeqertarsuaq. On your way, you will pass the ghost town Qullisat, which was once one of the largest towns in Greenland. It was founded as a coal-mining town, but when the resources had been exploited, the town was abandoned. Remaining residents were compulsorily relocated to the coast, leaving a mark on the minds of many Greenlanders who recall the story every time a village faces closure.

Guide to the Disco Island

This guide to Qeqertarsuaq - the Disco Island tells you a bit about the history and tips to excursions etc.

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