Fun things to do in Greenland

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Greenland

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    The Knud Rasmussen Museum

    by Saagar Updated Jan 29, 2010

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    The home of Knud Rasmussen, explorer and author and Greenland's favourite has been established as a museum dedicated to his life of discovery and Greenland and Inuit history.
    It is in fact much more that Knud Rasmussen's thing, it covers much of what could go into an anthropology museum of these latitudes.
    In Ilulissat, you cannot miss it, just ask or roam around until you find this house (photo).

    Opening hours
    1.4. - 30.9. every day 10 – 17. 1.10 - 31.3. Monday - Friday 12 – 16.
    Visits outside the ordinary opening hours might be possible. The additional fee is DKK 500.
    Advance notice is needed.
    Entrance: Adults: DKK 35 - Children below the age of 15 free.

    The Knud Rasmussen House
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    Day hikes

    by Saagar Updated Jan 29, 2010

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    With limited time and money you can still get some great nature experiences just by hiking outside the towns and settlements. Just be geared up for the local environment - hiking terrain, the weather and the season - and you should be fine (see my tip on gear for light hikes). In my opinion, this is one of the best things you can do in order to experience Greenland's nature.

    The use of a map is indispensible, and a compass too, in case the fog comes rolling in. Just remember that you are very near the magnetic north pole, and that your N-needle doesnt really point towards the north. You can get the compass adjusted asking at tourist inf places. There are some dedicated and well-marked trails around the main touristic-oriented towns and in particular in and around the ancient Nordic settlement areas in the south-west.

    If you can get somebody to drop you by boat, you can have a complete day's (and night in the summer light of the north) hiking back to town without having to backtrack.

    If there are "vandrerhjem" youth hostels there is also the possibility of hiking around a larger area without the extra burden of bringing a tent and complete cooking gear.

    A good guide for planning such trips is "Naturguide til Grønland" (Danish) published by Gads Forlag, Copenhagen 1999. A bit of a brick, but well worth the purchase if you understand a Scandinavian language. I am sure such things will be updated with the increase in popularity of Greenland travels.

    Slickrock creek 1 hr outside Ilulissat
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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Backpacking
    • Budget Travel

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    Kangerlussuaq Museum

    by Saagar Updated Jan 29, 2010

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    I haven't been here myself, but I have friends who spent hours here and still did'nt get enough. It's right at the airport, too, and probably well worth visiting in its own right as well as if you have to kill time at the airport.

    The Kangerlussuaq area
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    Beautiful meltwater lakes

    by Saagar Updated Jan 29, 2010

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    On the ice cap and in sinks on lesser glaciers, too, you can find lakes of meltwater during the height of summer. They get really turqoise, swimmingpool-like, but temperatures are only fractions above freezing...
    Climate change, according to researchers, have caused these lakes and ponds to become huge inland seas here and there on Greenland.
    You see them when venturing onto the plateau - or like me - being lucky with the weather, flying altitude and routing: this is en route from Frankfurt to Vancouver crossing Greenland at 6000 meters, at about 72 degrees N latitude.

    Swimming pool, Greenland style
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    Kap Farvel

    by Saagar Updated Jan 29, 2010

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    OK - cheating again, I didn't go to Kap Farvel, the southernmost point of Greenland.
    But it is said to be an interesting area, and many hiking and rock climbing opportunities in the fjords nearby, particularily on the western coast.
    This photo (not a particularily good one, I know...) I took out the window while most people on the plane were watching some dumb movie. I let myself be mentally transported down to the icy lands below...
    It actually is the Kap Farvel, the southern tip of Greenland.

    Kap Farvel
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    While in transit in Copenhagen...

    by Saagar Updated Jan 29, 2010

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    ... you can prepare yourself for Greenland by visiting Nordisk Korthandel - The Nordic Map Store - for a near-complete range of commercially avialable maps of Greenland, guidebooks etc.
    The shop is open: Monday - Friday 10.00 am - 6.00 pm, Saturday 9.30 am - 3 pm. I add the address and openig hours below.

    If that isn't enough, there are several small and larger exhibitions from Greenland in the various natural history, history and archaeology and anthropology museums of Copenhagen.
    If you visit some of the small Greenland arts and crafts shops in Copenhagen, you will also get a sense what is available in Greenland in terms of souvenirs and art. Very high quality of some of the stuff I saw. If you are really interested in this, check it out in Copenhangen on the way out to Greenland, see what's on Greenland and then buy in Copenhagen again if you didn't fancy the pieces locally available. Cost of real pieces of art is also a bit artistic and fantastic. Add a zero or two for fun and style?!

    Copenhagen - make it a useful transit stop
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    Ilulissat - Sled Dogs

    by glenn57 Updated Nov 11, 2007

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    The Greenland Dog is a sled dog found everywhere in communities of West Greenland above the Arctic Circle. And in this area, no other dog is allowed - this is to preserve the purity of the breed.

    Sled dogs spend the summer chained up in large dog areas - in Ilulissat, there are several of these. Most owners only feed their dogs once every two days, so the poor things are whining for food all the time.

    Sled dogs are both male and female. Apparently, the males are better for short journeys, and the females (who have greater stamina) are better for longer journeys. These Greenland Dogs are rather different than the Canadian husky; the Greenland winter is not as cold, nor is there as much snow as in the Canadian north, so their fur isn't as thick, nor their legs as long as Canadian huskies.

    In Ilulissat, there are "yield to dog sled" road signs. They picture a dog sled in a triangle.

    Greenland Dogs at a dog compound in Ilullisat
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    The Fox Waterfall

    by Mr.Mora Updated Feb 22, 2007

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    Deep inside the Arsuk Fjord you will find the Fox Waterfall. The easiest way to find it is to make an agreement with a boatowner in Gronnedal, but anyway maybe it´s not that easy at all. If you succeed you can stay there for hours listening to nothing but the water.

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    Ivittuut

    by Mr.Mora Written Feb 21, 2007

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    6 kilometers from Gronnedal you find the closed mining village Ivittuut. You can spell it Ivigtut as well. The kryolit mine was closed in 1967 after more than 100 years mining. All the old houses are still standing there, and it is possible to rent a room or a house for your stay in this incredible district.

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    Visit Gronnedal

    by Mr.Mora Written Feb 21, 2007

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    Gronnedal (in danish Grønnedal) means the green valley is the danish naval base in the south of Greenland called Greenlands Command. It´s a beautiful area placed in the Arsuk Fjord - maybe one of the most beautiful areas in Greenland. You can reach this fantastic place either by the coast to line (only to Arsuk) or by helicopter from Narssarssuaq. From Gronnedal you have splendid possibilities for hiking and getting magnificent experiences in the nature. It is possible to rent a room or a house in Ivittut, a closed mining village a short drive from Gronnedal.

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    Position screens - Pantallas de posici?n

    by spanishguy Updated Feb 27, 2006

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    My main piece of advice is very simple. Pay attention to your personal screen or to the general one which shows you the aeroplane position. When you is going to be about to fly over Greenland, prepare your camera!

    Mi principal consejo es muy simple. Presta atenci?n a tu pantalla personal o a la general en la que se muestra la posici?n del avi?n. Cuando estes a punto de sobrevolar Groenlandia, ?prepara tu c?mara!

    Personal screen - Pantalla personal

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    Wonderful lanscape - Magnífico paisaje

    by spanishguy Updated Feb 27, 2006

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    I was surprised of how clearly it was possible to see the fiords, the watercourses, the mountains and the ice. I did this transatlantic trip four times and I could see it just one time, when it was July.

    Me sorprendió lo claramente que pude ver los fiordos, los cursos de agua, las montañas y el hielo. Hice cuatro veces este trayecto transatlántico y sólo puede ver todo esto una vez, cuando era julio.

    Mountains - Monta��as Fiords - Fiordos

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    Kellingekløften suicide gorge

    by Saagar Written Jul 17, 2005

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    Near the old Inuit settlement of Sermermiut at Ilulissat there is a gorge cutting in from the Icefjord named Kellingekløften (in the Danish). In the rough translation it means the old ladies' canyon. During bad times when survival of the Sermermiut settlement was paramount and old people would be a burden, it is said that old people committed suicide by jumping the 30-something meters into the ice water at Kellingekløften.
    Easy access, but slippery and a bit nasty with the histroy, the drop into the churning Icefjord and all, so beware not to copy the activity of old times...

    Kellingekl��ften
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    • Historical Travel

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    North-East Greenland access

    by Saagar Updated Jul 17, 2005

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    NE Greenland is the largest national park in the world. And probably the least accessible one...
    To get to the coastal zone north of Scoresbysound you need to fly (charter) from Angmassalik to Ittoqqortoormiit or to airstrips even further north. Charters may be available from Reykajvik also.
    The air connection to Reykjavik is via Nerlerit Inaat (Constable Pynt) once weekly, and a transfer to town by helicopter (15 minutes). There is a tourist office in Ittoqqortoormiit, and tourism is an organised economic activity in the Scoresbysound fjord complex. But north of here... all travel will have to be self-supported expedition style only, and with special permits from Greenland/Danish authorities. Apart from some Danish military patrolling (the famous Sirrus Patrol) and scientific expeditions, there are kayak and climbing trips here. One Norwegian company may undertake such expedition arrangements and organizing for groups (Hvitserk).
    There are some huts and shelters used by the Sirius Patrol and old trappers' huts, but absolutely no permanent habitation Inuit or Danish, north of Ittoqqortoormiit. Next one, some months' skiing away around the coast will be at Etah northwest of Qaanaq.

    Hold with Hope
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    • National/State Park
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    The fjord systems on East Greenland

    by Saagar Written Jul 17, 2005

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    You can access the world largest fjord system of Scoresbysound and maybe also of Franz Josephs fjord on NE Greenland from Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresbysound). Locals in Ittoqqortoormiit will organise boat trips - day trips to multi-day expeditions - into the fjords, and take you fishing and on hunting trips. Organised through the tourist office.
    Access to Ittoqqortoormiit is best by sheduled flights from Iceland/Reykjavik once weekly to Nerlerit Inaat and a 15-minute helicopter transit to Ittoqqortoormiit. Also links to Angmassalik.

    East Greenland's fjords - the most impressive
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    • Eco-Tourism
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    • Sailing and Boating

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