Greenland which is said to be the world’s largest island has been an exciting destination for all travelers. Moreover, who can forget those astonishing Northern Lights in many pictures? But recently the island is all over the news for its fight against COVID-19. The total population of the island is only 57,000. And has an autonomous Danish dependent territory with limited self-government. Denmark contributes two-thirds of Greenland’s budget revenue. What is unique about the island? Greenland enjoys daylight for two months each year. And more than 80% of the island is covered by a 4km thick ice cap. But what can be the reasons to visit Greenland after the COVID-19 crisis? Let’s discuss them.
Greenland became the first and only country in the world to have no active cases of novel coronavirus epidemic. They got 11 positive cases and all are recovered. The National Medical Office in Greenland reported that 11 people tested positive out of 844 tests conducted. There are still 51 tests awaiting results as of Apr 09,2020 but there has been no update as of Apr 13,2020.
The 11 cases were found in the Nuuk, which is the capital of Greenland. Nuuk is considered the most populous city with over 18,000 residents. Keeping in mind that the complete world is facing lockdown crises and so does Greenland. The report states that the capital city is closed off and those who wish to travel in or out require special permission. Greenland closed all of its borders in order to keep the novel coronavirus contained. They are definitely making efforts to fight the epidemic.
“A grim history of deadly epidemics brought to Greenland in the 18th and 19th century by European colonizers has fueled fears that the coronavirus, if not checked, will fast reach the many small outlying villages, thereby creating urgent and impossible demands for emergency air transport and intensive care in Greenland’s small hospitals,” according to the report.
But that being said Greenland is definitely on every traveler’s bucket list. And have many reasons to visit the country. It’s about the glaciers and icebergs, hot springs, midnight sun, the Northern lights and ofcourse the extreme wildlife including sea eagles, polar bears, seals, etc,
Where to stay?
Greenland is supposed to be in favor of adventurous travelers. Hence, if you are looking for lavish resorts within budget then you will be disappointed. Not because they are not there but you will pay top dollars for these. The hotels are basic so ready to spend more. In the case of the budget, the best suitable options are hostels, B&B’s and guesthouses.
So let’s start the hunt:
There are a handful of hotels, to be honest. Plus, there are no five-star hotels, you can maximum find four stars. The internet is expensive in Greenland so you have to pay extra for the Wi-Fi. In most of the hotels, breakfast is included in their price plan. Here are some good properties.
Few other hotels are:
The term hostel is commonly associated with backpackers. They are great options when you are on a budget. There are hostels around Greenland. Although, dormitories will be costing you less and these hostels do offer private rooms. But usually, they share baths. Also, you get a common kitchen wherein you can cook your own food as well.
Hostels are often identified with the Dutch word vandrehjem. Also, many hostels only accept cash, so if using a card then you may end up paying a little extra. Plus you will be charged for towels and sheets.
Some of the hostels are:
Now there is something which you should experience and definitely do, stay in igloos. The igloos are based on the design of a conventional igloo but are made of aluminum, which makes them more comfortable to stay in. Hotel Arctic in Ilulissat gives you this option.
Another option that you can opt for is Glacier Lodge Eqi. Now this will be a totally different experience.
Greenland does give you the option to rent a home or apartment but you will have limited choices. And also you might not be able to find these on any other search engine or app, but you can find some in Airbnb. But that also works in Nuuk majorly.
Last but not the least, you do get the option of camping in Greenland. You can actually camp anywhere you would like. But make sure you pack plenty of warm and waterproof clothes because the weather can be harsh sometimes. Keep basics in mind for camping, not to camp near water lines or rock falling signs. Also, watch for mosquitoes. And not to forget polar bears. Keep these basics in mind and always consult the local tourist office.
Also, you can use huts which are used by hunters, they offer more shelter than tents. And you can go camping/hiking with a local person or guide.
So these are some options for your stay in Greenland and these have been picked after doing some research. Don’t forget to go through reviews and pictures before booking.
Greenland as a country is an autonomous nation within the Kingdom of Denmark with merely a population of around 57,000. The island is completely surrounded by the glaciers and icebergs and these are actually the primary reason behind the tourism of Greenland. Although, it is the largest island in the world and attracts adventurous tourists. The country’s inhabitants are various migrated people and they possess great abilities to survive in these unusual temperatures. There are actually a number of tourist spots to visit in Greenland and there are our top picks.
Here is a list of our top-rated tourist attractions:
Nuuk and the Greenland National Museum
Nuuk being the capital of Greenland holds one-quarter of the total population. Also, the city is the administrative center too. The city attracts tourists to the Greenland National Museum. The museum holds a collection of hunting equipment, carvings, and kayaks. Nevertheless, the museum also hosts regular exhibitions of geology and the arts. The city is the departure point for tours of the Godthaab Fjord, one of Greenland’s most beautiful regions, and the atmospheric buildings of the old colonial harbor are well worth seeing.
Katuaq Cultural Centre
The Katuaq cultural center was constructed in 1997 after a coalition between the Nuuk Municipal Centre, Nordic Council of Ministers, and the Greenland Home Rule Government. The center is one of the top places to visit in Katuaq. The center was designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen and the structure of the center is L-shaped. It contains two auditoria. The bigger auditorium can seat more than a thousand people and is, thus, used for showing films or plays and hosting concerts or conferences. The smaller auditorium can accommodate 508 people.
Arctic Circle Trail
The Arctic circle trail is around a 200 km long hiking trail which connects Kangerlussuaq with the village of Sisimiut. The hiking trail takes about 8-10 days to cover the route, crossing through narrow valleys, hills, and ice caps, etc. This is one of the most adventurous tourist spots and plus it’s very challenging. Any hiking lover enthusiast would definitely love to spend the time on this trail.
Northeast Greenland National Park
The Greenland National Park was established in 1947. The park is home to several diverse species of marine and terrestrial fauna like polar bears, walruses, musk oxen, arctic fox, bearded seal, arctic hare, ringed al, harp seal and more. Nevertheless, the park also shelters several bird species namely barnacle goose, common eider, gyrfalcon, raven, etc.
Uunartoq Hot Spring
Looking for a hot spring? You ask for it and Greenland will offer you one. But irrespective of that, there is only one hot spring where you can bathe and that’s in Uunartoq. It lies halfway between Qaqortoq and Nanortali and is accessible during the day via boats. You can relax your entire body while enjoying the serene beauty of the natural landscape.
Sermermiut Eskimo Settlement
The first Eskimo settlement was excavated at the beginning of the 20th century, which has some of the best-preserved remnants of indigenous Eskimo cultures in the Arctic. It is located 2kms from the town of Ilulissat however the village is abandoned now. To get to Sermermiut by foot takes roughly an hour.
Tasiilaq, East Greenland
Tasiilaq is the largest town in East Greenland with about 2,000 residents. The town lies on the island of Ammassalik and the town is surrounded by pristine scenery of mountains and bisected by a small river. The Flower Valley, which is a popular place for short or long hikes is just behind the town. The popular activities are skiing trips and dog-sled tours can be experienced during winters. In summer, activities include hiking, climbing, helicopter rides over the ice sheet and glaciers, sea kayaking between icebergs on the fjord, whale watching, and fishing.
It is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations/spots to visit in Greenland. The main reason is because of the ice breaking off of Eqi Glacier. You can hire a boat or go with a tour operator, and they will take you close enough to experience this amazing event. The fishing boats in which the tours are offered, pass through the cold water right into the shadow of the glacier for you to witness the collision of ice and water.
Knud Rasmussens Museum
The museum is located in Ilulissat in the memory and contribution of Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen. And this is how the museum also got its name. It is also his birthplace. The museum was built in 1917, inspired by the style of English cottages. The name of the architect was Helge Bojsen-Møller.
‘Church Of Our Saviour’ Or Nuuk Cathedral
This church is a prominent site where most of the population gathers to celebrate National Day and other festivals. The church was consecrated in 1849. The church is painted red which makes its structure simple yet endearing. There is a bronze statue of the organist Jonathan Petersen in front of the church. And on the hill overlooking the church is a Statue of Hans Egede.
Things to do?
Here are handpicked experiences and things to do list created by us. You can book these in the activities section on Bargainairticket.
Sail among majestic icebergs in the UNESCO World Heritage Site
Now this experience tops the list and is also Greenland’s most visited area. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004. The Ilulissat Icefjord is stretched 40kms from the Greenland ice cap to Disko Bay. Almost 20 billion tonnes of icebergs get passed out of the fjord each year after they’ve melted. You can hire a boat to watch the glaciers calve or hire a helicopter to get an aerial view. Also, the most productive glacier in the Northern Hemisphere is Jakobshavn Glacier.
Chasing the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)
The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis in Greenland is said to be the best place to witness. This is one of the biggest light shows on earth and a free gift from nature so if you are visiting Greenland then you should never miss on this event. The best time is between September to April. The Northern lights are a must to watch phenomenon. So be ready with warm clothes and some hot beverages to get out and witness this clear and lighted winter skies.
Boat tour to the Fjords
Water travel is the most favorable transport in Greenland so if you want to commute or explore the city then this comes to the rescue. There are many different sorts of experiences, starting from a short afternoon cruise to a multi-day cruise. You can get your package from any tour operator as per the budget. Greenland is covered with ice caps and these mighty walls of ice are actually more visible from the sea and therefore boats and ferries become a good choice. Moreover, while exploring these big glaciers you might end up witnessing some amazing waterfalls and wildlife too. Let’s ride into the boat tour.
From the Ice Cap to Unesco Heritage
Kangerlussuaq is a favorite spot for hiking the 200 kilometers Arctic Circle Trail and it also has the closest access to the Greenland ice sheet. Kangerlussuaq is a small town with a population of around 500 people and the above two are the main reasons for tourists to visit the town. This is a true wilderness Greenland trekking trip, where you will only sleep in tents. And you will carry everything you need in your backpacks. The trek will go through very untouched nature, and we are likely to encounter animals such as Reindeer, Musk-Oxen, Polar Foxes and numerous bird species. The hike starts from northwards with spectacular views of the Greenland ice cap.
Ice fishing – Uummannaq
Well, this is something which you might not have done before. So you will depart from a small sled from the port of Uummannaq into the frozen fjord and will find our catching place. Hire a tour guide or book the package beforehand.
Ice Fjord Cruise
Greenland’s coastal fjords are an alien landscape of icebergs and glistening blue water. This open-boat cruise allows you to see massive ice formations up close and provides a chance to hear crackling explosions as icebergs break off the Greenland ice sheet and fall into the sea. It’s also possible to see whales, seals, white-tipped eagles, and other native wildlife as you cruise along the coast.
How safe is Greenland?
In terms of crime, Greenland is not a place where you need to worry about crime. According to the statistical website, Numbeo, the country has very low rates for crime and high rates for safety.
When it comes to travel safety, the weather can cause delays in transport services. Make sure you carry extra funds. Greenland does not have a road or wail system, hence your options will be air, sea, snowmobiles, and dogsled.
Also make sure you have the necessary permits to explore glaciers, mountains or the National Parks. Also travel with a guide if going to remote areas.