The state capital Nuuk, with around 13,000 inhabitants a big city by Greenlandic standards, is towered over by the Sermitsiaq Mountains and is embedded in an impressive fjord landscape. Nuuk is the seat of the university. The National Museum of Greenland is not to be missed. It is near the entrance to the large fjord system, which contains steep mountains, lush valleys and a few small villages.
In the surroundings of Maniitsoq there are also excellent conditions for winter sports in summer. The Apussit ski center is ideal for cross-country skiing and downhill skiing for beginners and experts. The region between Kangerlussuaq (Søndre Strømfjord) and Sisimiut offers excellent hiking opportunities in summer and is suitable for dog sledding and cross-country skiing in winter. Sisimiut, seat of the country’s second university, is the starting point for numerous longer hiking and dog sled tours through an impressive natural landscape, where you can see musk oxen and reindeer, among other things.
- Searchforpublicschools: Offers schooling information of Greenland in each level – compulsory, technical and higher education programs.
North Greenland is known for its majestic glacial landscape with seemingly endless ice fields that can be explored on sleigh rides. Located on an island, Aasiaat is the main center of the region and a hub for north-south passenger shipping. Interesting finds were made during archaeological excavations in Disko Bay at Qasigiannguit, which are exhibited in the local museum. There are several research stations on Disko Island which, among other things, examine the astonishingly diverse flora. The island also offers good winter sports opportunities in summer. In Ilulissat (Jakobshavn) was the birthplace of the famous polar explorer Rasmussen, whose research has a museum dedicated to it. Whale watching is possible offshore in the bay at Uummannaq. The glacier corpses from the 15th century that were found nearby are a bit creepy. In Qaanaaq (Thule), Greenland’s northernmost municipality, a largely traditional society has survived, in which hunting plays an important role. At the same time, however, you can also find modern hotels with good facilities.
Central Greenland has three ice-free ports (Nuuk, Maniitsoq and Sisimiut). Fishing is of great importance.
Narsarsuaq and Qassiarsuk are in South Greenland. Here were the first settlements of the Vikings, who came to Greenland 1000 years ago under Erik the Red. One can still find many testimonies of this Greenlandic historical epoch, including the bishopric in Igaliku. If you feel fit, you can hike from Narsarsuaq over the mountains to the Kiattuut Sermitat glacier. Depending on the season, excursions can be made by foot, boat, plane, helicopter or dog sled. An impressive experience of nature is also guaranteed in the south of Greenland: mighty glaciers, mountain ranges that are visited by mountaineers from many countries, lovely valleys and attractive fjords await the visitor.
Qaqortoq (Julianehåb), the largest city in South Greenland, is the administrative center of this region. The town has several buildings of historical interest and a small Inuit museum with a faithful replica of a grass house.
The Tourist Office in Narsaq offers regular tours of the area.
There are smaller museums in most cities. Here and there one comes across the remains of Viking settlements and abandoned Inuit houses.
East Greenland was until recently the
country’s least developed region. However, the development of infrastructure has
changed this and led to an increase in tourism, especially in the
area around Ammassalik. The only other town in the region is Ittoqqortoormiit,
which is not far from the vast 1 million sq km national park
, whose diverse wildlife (polar bears, walruses and
musk oxen) alone is worth a visit.
No found objects may be removed from historic sites.
The range of goods corresponds to that of a small Danish town with higher prices. Fine souvenirs include bone and soapstone carvings, leather items, and beadwork. East Greenland in particular is known for its handicrafts. Shop opening times: Mon-Thu 10am-5.30pm, Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 9am-1pm (varies by region).
Most hotel restaurants offer a good selection of Danish and Greenlandic specialities. There are also small restaurants in most towns. Whale meat is widely eaten by Greenlanders, but it is rarely found on the menu. The prices are similar to those in Denmark, but drinks are much more expensive.
Hotels can be found in the larger towns, but only in Ammassalik, Maniitsoq, Narsaq, Nuuk, Narsarsuaq, Qaqortoq, Sisimiut, Quasigiannguit, Søndre Strømfjord and Ummannaq do they meet international standards. In small towns the level is different. There are no accommodation options in Upernavik, Thule and Scoresbysund. Advance booking recommended. Details from Copenhagen Tourist Board and Greenland Tourism a/s (see addresses). Categories: Hotels are classified by Greenland Tourism, the categories are based on the star system and roughly match Danish hotel categories. Further information is available from Grønlands Arbeijds Giveforening (Greenland’s Employers Association), Tjalfesvej 3, PO Box 73, 3900 Nuuk. Phone: 321 500.
There are no designated campsites, but good camping spots can be found in most regions. Camping is allowed everywhere except in ruins and on the farmland of South Greenland.
Other accommodation options
There are youth hostels in Narsarsuaq, Narsaq, Nuuk, Kulusuk, Julianehåb and Ilulissat. In other parts of southern Greenland (especially on the route from Sisimiut to Kangerlussuaq and around Ammassalik) mountain huts offer overnight accommodation. More information from the Tourist Office in Copenhagen (see addresses).
Church of Greenland (part of the Protestant Church of Denmark). There is also a Roman Catholic Church in Nuuk.
Social Rules of Conduct
The lifestyle is usually more leisurely than in northern Europe, and the word imaqa (‘maybe’) is often heard. Until recently there were few visitors. Kalaallit Nunaat (Inuit: “land of the people”) is the Greenlandic country name. Taking photos during services is prohibited nationwide. When taking photos, a UV filter and, if necessary, a sun visor should always be used. In winter it is important to remember that fully electronic cameras that are constantly exposed to extreme cold can easily fail. As a precaution, the camera should be transported in a thermal bag and spare batteries should be carried. Manual cameras are generally advantageous in extreme climatic conditions. The film material should be worn on the body so that it is also protected from extreme cold. Film development is not possible in Greenland; enough films of your own should be brought along. Gratuities are usually included in all prices.
Best travel time
Arctic, due to the size of the country, the weather is very different. As the climate table shows (see below), winters can be extremely cold and summers quite mild in wind-protected regions. Highest precipitation rate on the coasts. In the north and inland there is an arctic climate, the temperatures rise only just above the freezing point even in summer, hardly any precipitation.
Across the country, weather conditions can become dangerous when low temperatures and high winds coexist. Local weather forecasts should be taken very seriously.
clothing : Good quality wind and waterproof clothing and shoes with treaded soles are recommended, whatever the season. Thinner clothing should also be taken, temperatures can change drastically in a day. For trekking tours, you should be able to change clothes quickly. Sunglasses and sunscreen with a high sun protection factor are strongly recommended. Mosquitoes can become a nuisance in July and August, so bring a mosquito net with you. Extra warm clothing should be taken for dog sled rides.
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