unlike anywhere else – the world’s largest island, with a population
that revolves entirely around it’s harsh, unusual, frozen
environment. Greenland currently faces serious issues as it’s ice
sheets are melting
rapidly due to rises in climate temperatures. Greenland is an expensive
Greenland has modernized quickly, and amongst the
traditional clothes you’ll find modern t-shirts and mobile phones. The
unusual environment has brought about unusual food, such as whale, preserved
seal and putrid fish. Tourism is fairly basic in Greenland, and most
people have few interactions with the local people, but the a
tourist project is making steps to make this easier.
Sights and Activities
- Aurora borealis
– The norther lights appear year round, but are best viewed against the dark
skies of autumn and winter.
- Midnight sun –
Greenlandic National Day is June 21, the longest day and festival time.
- Boat trips –
into the icy fjords, popular in summer.
- Winter dogsled safaris – take a spin through the frozen wilderness
- Helicopter glacier tours
- Trekking – Greenland offers good
trekking in the summer months. You don’t need a guide (luckily, as there are few in Greenland) for the
easier trails. In summer the local fauna is outstanding.
- Climate change seriously threatens Greenland.
Since 2004 the rate of ice loss has tripled. A global temperature rise of
2 degrees Celsius would be enough to melt the Greenland ice sheet completely,
raising sea levels by 7m. The Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) agrees, predicting global temperatures will increase by 4 degrees
Celsius by the end of the century. In East Greenland locals report that
ice from the Helhrim glacier, just south of Tasiilaq, is retreating at a rate
of 10-15 cm per day. The warmer waters flood the fjords and the seals
retreat to colder waters, which cause the fish to Flourish. But, Greenlanders
eat seal – they believe fish is a poor substitute.
- Greenland has more than a dozen words for ice.
- During summer the sun doesn’t set, during winter
the sun doesn’t rise.
- Greenland has 4 primary languages – East Greenlandic,
West Greenlandic, Danish and English.
- Most of Greenland lies within the Arctic circle,
and is cut off from the rest of the world for 8 months of the year as the
fjords freeze over with thick pack-ice.
- Denmark subsidizes Greenland with US$274 million each
|Visas||Not required by EU citizens|
|Money||Danish Krone (Dkr), about 22Dkr to the US$. ATMs accept foreign|
cards. Travelers chques are not widely
Greenland’s climate is sub-Artic. Summer is
surprisingly mild, averaging 17 degrees Celsius. But by January
temperatures have plummeted to -40 degrees Celsius. Peak tourist season is
mid-May to mid-September. Be prepares for changing conditions. Pack waterproof clothes and
Transfers between major towns are mainly by
helicopter. The 10 minute ride from Kulusuk to Tasiilaq costs 631Dkr
(US$120) one way. In summer boat transfers are also possible, while in
winter, skidoos and dogsleds are the mainstay of local transport.
Everything is weather dependant, so be prepared for long delays and
Costs are high in Greenland, even by Scandinavian
- Restaurant mains – 160Dkr (US$30).
- A mid range double room – 800Dkr (US$150).
- A bottle of water – 14Dkr (US$2.60)
- Can of beer 35Dkr (US$6.40)
- Cup of coffee 15Dkr
Hotels are generally good. More and more B&Bs
are appearing, while seamen’s homes are cheap-and-cheerful
Most hotels offer full board, which gives little choice
to sample local foods. Hotels offer lots of fish and Danish specialities – vegetarians may
No vaccinations are required, but beware of mosquitoes in summer, bring
- www.geenland.com – Greenland Tourism website
- www.greenlandguide.gl – Links and practical tips
- www.eastgreenland.com – Tasiilaq Tourist Information