The Top 10 Reasons to Visit Greenland

For many travelers, Greenland is an alluring mystery. It’s the world’s largest island yet one of the least explored. A misnomer that's mostly covered in ice and mountains rather than rolling green fields is home to just 57,000 people. Visitors will find rich indigenous culture, unbelievable natural beauty, and a fascinating Viking history well worth exploring.

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Incredible Natural Beauty

Aappilattoq
Posnov / Getty Images

Greenland is one of the most visually stunning countries on earth. Otherworldly snow-covered peaks sprout up over royal blue waters while icebergs float nearby, and geological formations dating back billions of years dot the horizon. Here you can hike for hours along majestic fjords in some of the world’s freshest air. You can also go kayaking near glaciers, or even go for a polar plunge into the icy, clear water.

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Wildlife

Bearded seal
MB Photography / Getty Images

Have you ever seen a narwhal? These fairytale-like creatures live in Greenland along with polar bears, muskox, arctic fox, whales, seals and the hundreds of species of birds that roam the land and sky. Be sure to bring your binoculars and team up with a guided tour like Adventure Canada; you’ll need the experts to spot and identify these animals amongst the vast landscapes of Greenland.

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Amazing Cruise Options

Ilulissat cruise ship harbor and boat harbour on famous Greenland destination.
Maridav / Getty Images

There are no roads connecting the towns in Greenland, so the locals get around by boat or helicopter. For tourists, cruising is the easiest and most comfortable way to see Greenland. Companies like Adventure Canada offer inspiring expeditions like In The Wake of Vikings to follow the Viking’s sailing route, discover glaciers, soak in natural hot springs, and tour quaint local villages.

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Spectacular Glaciers

behind the Glacier
Posnov / Getty Images

A staggering 81 percent of Greenland is covered by ice sheets. Mountains surround the edges of Greenland, which means there is an abundance of alpine, valley, and hanging glaciers. Visitors can jump in a Zodiac boat, and get right up next to a glacier, climb on top of one, and even walk inside glacial tunnels. Don’t forget to harvest some pristine, ancient ice for your drink of choice.

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A Chance to Learn About (And Witness) Climate Change Firsthand

People at the Midgard glacier. East Greenland
robas / Getty Images

All that said about the amazing glaciers, the country also offers a firsthand lesson in climate change. If all the ice in Greenland melted, scientists predict it would create a global sea-level rise of 24 feet. When traveling through the country, it’s astonishing to witness the horizontal and vertical retreat of the glaciers. You’ll see huge chunks of ice fall off the sides of these giant ice walls and into the ocean. If you’re looking to see as many as possible, book a ticket for Ilulissat.

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A Warm Welcome

With just 57,000 people spread out over 1,222,560 square miles, there is a very low crime rate. Traditionally, Inuit society value the act of treating each other and animals with respect, and there is also a strong sense of community dating back thousands of years when it was required to work together to survive harsh winters. The country is home to a diverse population, some who have been there for generations and others who make up the sizable immigrant community, and it's considered to be a friendly and accepting place.

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Colorful Culture

Colorful houses of Tasiilaq, Tasiilaq, Sermersooq, Greenland, Denmark
Jennifer Greenland / Getty Images

The Inuit and Greenlandic cultures are colorful—literally. Their special occasion clothes include beautifully colored animal skin and beaded ensembles called Kalaallisut. And the country’s charming villages are decorated with brightly painted homes.

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An Escape From Daily Life

Time stands still in Greenland. You can walk along the squishy moss or rocky beaches for hours without feeling the need to check your phone once. There’s a feeling of endless unrestricted possibility and freedom when it comes to how you spend your vacation away from the hustle of everyday life. Whether you’re escaping from the city grind or something deeper, Greenland is an ideal place to relax and find inner peace.

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Incredible Northern Lights

Northern Lights above Nuuk
Kell B. Larsen / Getty Images

Seeing the Northern Lights sits pretty high on most people’s bucket list. The cold, dry climate of Greenland makes it an ideal location to see rippling colors dance across the sky. During the winter, especially from October to January when the sky is darkest, is a prime time to spot Northern Lights in the capital of Nuuk.

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Unbelievable Photo Ops

Night light
Photograph by Michael Schwab / Getty Images

Serious landscape photographers will be in heaven over the sprawling vistas. Giant glaciers, sloping valleys, craggy peaked mountains, and colorful villages make for awe-inspiring subjects. Wildlife photographers can also get lucky with whale flukes popping out of the water, arctic foxes posing for photos, and muskox lining cliffs.

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