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.
... 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?!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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...
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.
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.
Nunataks are mountain tops that stick out of the ice like islands. Some of them can be really high and dramatic. The ice action has frequently carved the sides so there are sharp edges and sometimes nunataks come in pyramid shape. Plant communities and lichens can survive such environments for millennia and may harbour vegetation survivors from before the ice ages. Very special places to visit if you have the chance, either on the inland ice cap or on lesser glacer plateaus like on Disko Island.
You see two dinstinct kinds of icebergs - smooth ones and jagged ones.
The smooth ones have recently flipped over - they are smooth because the water they were submerged in made them so. The jagged ones have become so because of rain and because of chunks falling off due to melting.
The area around Kulusuk is stunning from the air. All you see is blue water, grey mountains, and snow and ice, for miles. This contrasts sharply with the west coast, which is very green in the summer.
Kayaking tours are popular here.
Kulusuk, on the east coast of Greenland, has a population of about 300. It is the destination of day-trips to Greenland from Reykjavik, Iceland. The day-trippers are there only for about 4 hours, so outside these hours, you will be one of only a handful of tourists.
Kulusuk is quite traditional : the people still hunt seals, polar bears and whales. There is no running water, and there is no transport from the airport to the village (3 kilometres) - you have to walk ! Some people do have motorized 3-wheeled tricycle-type vehicles with large heavy-tread tires.
The east coast also looks much different from the west coast - in the height of summer, there is still a lot of snow in the mountains around Kulusuk.
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Kangerlussuaq, a former US military base, is the main gateway to Greenland. Since Hotel...more
More Regions in Greenland