UNESCO Viking heritage, Inuit farming and blue ice
South Greenland is a region that really has it all; thousands of years of history, amazing verdant countryside which begs you to go hiking and aqua-marine fjords with majestic glaciers producing icebergs which drift slowly past as you enjoy the never ending beauty of the area.
Once you arrive into Narsarsuaq Airport it is easy to understand why the Icelandic Viking Erik the Red named his newfound home Greenland. As he arrived in the region (literally across the fjord from landing strip) he must have felt the green hillsides welcoming him were the perfect place to build his settlement Brattahlid.
Kujataa – a UNESCO region in the Arctic
A vast part of South Greenland is actually a UNESCO World Heritage site, known as Kujataa. The area was recognised due to evidence of marking methods dating more than thousand years and even today the green hillsides are full of sheep and small fields of crops, with the Inland Ice Cap as a not so distant backdrop.
If you have already visited Iceland or are planning to combine an Iceland holiday with a trip to Greenland, South Greenland is a great option. Not only are you literally travelling in the footsteps of Erik the Red, you also have the opportunity to get an in-depth feel of what life on the edge of the Arctic Circle is like.
As South Greenland is situated below the Polar Circle, it is not possible to go dogsledding in the region but apart from that, you will still find spectacular Arctic experiences.
Enjoy Arctic outdoor life
How about a chilled glass of Chablis as you relax in a 38-degree warm spring while icebergs drift by in the nearby fjord? You will need to bring the Chablis yourself, but the island of Uunartoq with its hot springs in South Greenland can provide the rest.
Uunartoq is just one of many daytrips which are possible from the town of Qaqortoq, the biggest town in South Greenland and oozing with local charm.
One of the most popular excursions will take you to the Twin Glaciers where, after a leisurely cruise through the ice filled fjords, you can walk up and touch the ice as it hangs over the cliffside.
As the region is teeming with remains from the Norsemen, there are many ways in which to explore them, sailing to Hvalsey is one option, walking around the quaint settlement of Igaliko, in Norse times known as Gardar is another.
One thing you cannot avoid is the icebergs which travel at a slow majestic speed through the dark blue fjord system – it is difficult not photographing them from every angle!
Hiking in South Greenland
As already mentioned, South Greenland is a hiking paradise. The landscape is varied and breath-taking and the distances are rarely too daunting to attempt.
Narsarsuaq, the airport settlement is the perfect basis for a memorable walking holiday.
Experience the Greenland Ice Sheet on an 8-kilometre hike, partly through a verdant valley before you descend a 300-metre mountainside which rewards your efforts with a magnificent view of a glacier in the distance.
You can also walk from village to village, or sheep farm to sheep farm, while your luggage is being transported for you. These multi-day tours can take you from Qaqortoq to the old Norse village of Igaliku, or between the village of Qassiarsuk, where Erik the Red lived, and the town of Narsaq.
Almost everywhere you go, you are like to meet sheep, enjoying life to the full on the green hillsides.
In 2021, Greenland Travel are not operating any tours that visit ONLY South Greenland, but we have included this picturesque region in some of our round-trips. You can also contact our team for a quote, if you want us to design a bespoke South Greenland tour for you!