Everybody has at some point returned from a trip and told friends: ”You’ve GOT to see this when you go on holiday there!” That is also how we feel about Greenland. Here are the best tips from our travel specialists and guides. Many of them know each and every corner in Greenland.
We asked our guides and colleagues: "What are your favorite experiences and best places in Greenland? Read more about the most popular spots.
The best places to visit in Greenland
Our list of best places in Greenland and favorite experiences from those who have been traveling in all parts of this beautiful arctic paradise.
- Night cruise to the Icefjord in Ilulissat
- Hiking to Sermermiut near Ilulissat
- Greenlands Ice Sheet: Point 660 near Kangerlussuaq
- The church ruins of Hvalsey close to Qaqortoq
- Flower Valley in Tasiilaq
- Two settlements: Igaliku and Qassiarsuk in South Greenland
- Basaltic pillars near Qeqertarsuaq on Disko Island
- Kayak trip between whales close to Aasiaat
- Hiking or dog sledding from Kangerlussuaq to Sisimiut
- The mountain tops around Nuuk
Night cruise to the Icefjord in Ilulissat
It is not surprising for us, that the Ilulissat Icefjord just south of Ilulissat is on top of our list. Ilulissat Icefjord is on UNESCO’s world heritage list and it is an entirely amazing place, which doesn’t compare to any other spot.
You can enjoy the Icefjord in many ways, but with us a night cruise got top votes. This trip doesn’t actually happen late at night, but in the evening in the glow of the midnight sun. The icebergs are bathing in a magic, golden glow. You are going to be stunned by their beauty!
Hiking to Sermermiut near Ilulissat
You can also discover Ilulissat Icefjord by walking to the ruins of the old settlement Sermermiut. Even though the route leads to Ilulissat Icefjord, there is a huge difference between getting on a boat trip or a hike. The guides think you should try both.
In Greenland, we can’t get around climate change challenges. Arctic climate has been changing over the years. Ilulissat Icefjord has become about 6 miles shorter in the past 15 years. This happens because the glacier is drawing itself further back.
However, this is not the experience you get, when you walk to Sermermiut. Here, there is so much ice and it will totally overwhelm you. During summer, you can visit the old ruins, as well. They are witness to 4.500 years of settlement in the area.
Greenland’s Ice Sheet: Point 660 near Kangerlussuaq
Greenland’s ice cap covers more than 80% of the country. In total, it is as large as most Western European countries together. Already on your flight to Greenland, you are going to see how incredibly big it is. When you fly to Kangerlussuaq on Greenland’s west coast, you are flying above the ice for one hour before you land on its edge. When you get to Kangerlussuaq, it is quite easy to experience the Ice Sheet.
The edge of the Ice Cap is about 15 miles away from Kangerlussuaq and you can get on a trip to it with the local excursion operator. Point 660 at the Ice Sheet is one of the most visited places in all Greenland. It is the most accessible spot to get close to the edge of the Ice Sheet. Here, you can actually get up and walk on it. Point 660 got its name because it is located 660 metres above sea level.
The church ruin of Hvalsey close to Qaqortoq
The church ruins of Hvalsey in South Greenland are the best-kept ruins from the times of the Northmen in Greenland. It is also among the best-kept Northman-ruin in the world. This is also why we think it is one of the best places in Greenland to see old ruins from the time of the Norse people.
The Northmen came to Greenland in 982, where they established farms and entire communities in South Greenland and in the fjords behind Nuuk. The church ruins and other cultural exhibits of the Inuit and the Northmen are the reason for large parts of South Greenland having become part of UNESCO’s world heritage.
The Northmen have been living in Greenland for about 400 to 500 years. The Northmen are mentioned in the Icelandic myths. Moreover, a description of a wedding at Hvalsey church in September 1408 is the last sign of life from the Northmen in Greenland. By the way, from Hvalsey it isn’t far to the warm springs at Uunartoq.
Flower Valley in Tasiilaq
You will never forget a hike in Flower Valley in Tasiilaq with its bubbling rivers and fantastic vegetation. Beautiful, lush areas can be found many places in South-, West- and East Greenland. But such a mix of vigor and majestic tops, as Flower Valley can offer, is unique. On top of that, Flower Valley is easily accessible.
A path leads from the center of Tasiilaq along the river to this luxuriant place on the world map. Depending on what time in the summer you arrive here, the beautiful river is either a quiet or a rushing experience. The melting snow of the spring means, that the waterfall in the middle of the valley really is rushing down. It will be much quieter, if you come here later in summer.
Two settlements: Igaliku and Qassiarsuk in South Greenland – UNESCO World Heritage
Igaliku and Qassiarsuk are two of Greenland’s extra special settlements. Both of them are located right next to the Fjord Tunulliarfik in South Greenland. They are special for 2 reasons: The main occupation here is agriculture and they were the most important settlements of the Northmen. At that time, their names were Gardar and Brattahlid.
In Igaliku, you can find ruins after the Northmen’s bishopric and an impressive, one thousand years old, watering system. The settlement with only about 30 inhabitants has an incredibly beautiful location. Here there are cabins, hostels and a hotel. It is a very popular place in the summer, for tourists as well as for Greenlanders.
Qassiarsuk has the oldest church ruin on the American continents. Next to it, you can find a reconstruction work of the church, Erik the Red’s farm and an Inuit peat house. Also, go on a 4 miles hike from Qassiarsuk to the sheep farm Tasiusaq, where the sight of the icy fjord will show in strong contrast to the green landscape.
Basaltic pillars near Qeqertarsuaq on Disko Island
Disko Island, whose name is Qeqertarsuaq in Greenlandic, offers a very special nature, and you are not going to find alike in Greenland. The one remaining town on the island is also Qeqertarsuaq, as well. If you go walking from here, you can look forward to some exceptional hours. A hike near Kuannit, only 2½ miles away from the town, has springs, lush vegetation and an amazing basaltic pillar to offer.
This landscape is of volcanic origin and might remind you of Iceland in many ways. Many visitors mention that. Weather, water and wind have created the most fantastic rock formations through thousands of years. An entertaining game is to guess the different formations in the same way as you would do with clouds in many other places: “Can you see an elephant?”
Qeqertarsuaq’s name was ”Godhavn” for many years. This is the Danish word for ”good harbor” and it refers to the many whales in the area. It still is a very good place for spotting whales in Greenland.
Kayak trip between whales close to Aasiaat
You can see whales many places in Greenland. It is also possible to paddle kayak many places. But the combination of these two things is especially good in the sea around Aasiaat. Aasiaat is located in a stunning archipelago. In the summer, you can row here all day long – also at night in the fantastic light of the midnight sun.
With its location in the southern end of Disko Bay, Aasiaat is home to many whales, especially during summer. It is quite unique to paddle out here and encounter the giants of the sea.
Hiking or dog sledding from Kangerlussuaq to Sisimiut
We are not alone in thinking this is one of the best places in Greenland to go dogsledding, many of our guest feel the same. If you get to Greenland on a plane and land in Kangerlussuaq, you should consider this trip. Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut are located at pretty much the same latitude with an air-line distance of 80 miles between them. It has become very popular to either hike on this route in the summer or go dog sledding (or snow mobile) in the winter.
The hike during the summer takes about 9 days. You can do it in 3 days on a dog sled in the winter. You are going to be even faster on a snow mobile, but we would recommend you to hike or getting on a sled. On the way, you are going to stay in hunter’s cabins or in a tent. You are really going to get in touch with nature and your inner self.
The mountain tops around Nuuk
Nuuk is located on a ness close to the world’s largest fjord system. Actually, Nuuk means exactly that, “ness”. Behind it, there is the great fjord system, where your eyes quickly get attracted to the beautiful and sometimes inaccessible mountain tops. Not all of them are inaccessible, though. If you, for instance, walk up on top of the mountain by the airport, you’ll get rewarded with an amazing view over the town and the fjords as well as the Northern land, screening the fjord system from the Davis Strait.
The good thing about the mountains around Nuuk is, that they are spread out. So each of them offers a really good view. There are mountains that invite to all levels of mountain hiking – from the reasonable walk up on Quassussuaq to the 1,180 meters high, spiky top of Kingittorsuaq. You can easily take a bus from the center to the airport or the part of town Qinngorput and begin your hike here.
Did you find it inspirational to read about our favorite places to visit in Greenland?
Read more about the regions of Greenland.
Popular trips to Greenland
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