Greenland is the island of Greenland in northeastern North America


Greenland is a land of majestic fjords and rugged northern nature, where those who are tired of idleness on tropical beaches come. The island gives guests a meeting with pristine nature, the cleanest air and a unique experience of unique non-manmade sights.

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Video: Greenland. Rough. Unspoiled. Secluded.

Recreation and entertainment.

Greenland beckons fans of Arctic exoticism, eager to see the northern lights (Orora borealis) and incredible polar mirages (Fata Morgana).

Greenland is ideal for a dynamic vacation. The hiking trails are superbly organized and not difficult for most people.

Panorama of Ilulissat Greenland skiers.

Hiking, dog-sledding tours, kayaking, skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, wildlife watching, and boat trips are popular with visitors to the island.

Hunting is strictly regulated, it is forbidden to take out the carcasses of animals. To fish, you must purchase a license from the tourist office ($13.1 per day, $35 per week).

Many travelers come here to see whales; the local waters are inhabited by 8 species of them. In summer, whales come close to the coast and spectacularly jump out of the water.

Husky puppies Whales Polar bear Ice golf championship in Uummannaq to celebrate the end of the polar night

Greenland’s distinctive Greenlandic festivals are great fun for visitors to the island. In February Greenland hosts the “End of the Polar Night Festival”, in March tourists rush to the International Snow Sculpture Festival in Nuuk. The grand festival “Festival of the longest day of the year” is June 21.

Some of the most impressive tours are airplane or helicopter tours to Greenland’s inner glacier. From a height of two kilometers, tourists view the grandiose ice mass and the lagoon in which huge white blocks accumulate. If you’re lucky, you can see the birth of a new iceberg.

Lodge in Illokkortoormiut, a town in eastern Greenland Riding in a dog sled

General Information

Greenland is an autonomy of Denmark, bordering Canada and Iceland. The island is located to the northeast of the North American continent and is washed by the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.

Greenland is the largest island on the planet, its area exceeds 2,000,000 square kilometers, but only 1/5 of the surface is not occupied by ice cover. If the Greenland glacier suddenly melts, the global sea level will rise by 7.4 meters.

Greenland from a bird’s-eye view Old Church in Sissimiut

Greenland is an “iceberg factory,” of which up to 15,000 icebergs form here annually. The ice monoliths are carried by currents across the oceans; some quickly melt in warm waters, and some travel several thousand kilometers. One of the Greenland icebergs caused the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.


On the ice-free coasts the climate is maritime and subarctic, with frequent strong cyclones bringing heavy precipitation. Average winter temperatures are 6°, while summer temperatures are +3 . +15°. In the area of the glaciers, the climate is continental arctic, with frosts down to -60°. Snow can fall at any time of year.

Flora and fauna

Greenlandic vegetation is sparse: dwarf willows, mountain ash, birches, and junipers are found on the southern shores, while only lichens can be seen on the northern shores.

A member of the Umingmaktormiut tribe, 1924.

Much richer fauna, the expanses of the island are inhabited by polar bears, hares, polar wolves and Arctic foxes, relict musk oxen and caribou deer. Swans, loons, geese, gulls and snowy owls nest in Greenland. Local waters are rich in fish (over 130 species) and mammals (about 30 species).

The best time for excursions is from May to July, a period of relatively warm weather and the longest white nights. For fans of winter holidays the best time to visit the island – April.

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History and Population

The first inhabitants of Greenland were Inuit (Eskimo), and the discoverer of this land to Europeans in the X century was Eirik the Red, who gave Greenland its present name, meaning “green land. At that time the southern coast of the island, where the Icelander landed, was indeed covered with green meadows.

In the 18th century, Denmark granted the island the status of its colony, and since 1979, Greenland received the right to conduct an independent domestic policy.

Now the island is home to about 60,000 people, 90 percent of whom are Inuit, the rest being Danish and natives of other countries. The vast majority of the population is Christian, with some natives worshipping pagan gods.

The city of Uummannak, view from the south. Late 19th and early 20th centuries. The city of Uummannaq as seen from the west. Late 19th – early 20th century Nordstjernen (Polaris) station, later renamed Thule. Late 19th – early 20th century. Nuuk, late 19th – early 20th century Snow clearing in Nuuk, late 19th – early 20th century Cryolite quarry in Ivittuut, late 19th – early 20th century Queen Margrethe II of Denmark

State System

Greenland’s polity is a parliamentary democracy within the monarchy of Denmark.

The Danish krone – the currency of Greenland

The formal head of the island is the Queen of Denmark, represented by the High Commissioner.

The national currency is the Danish krone.


Greenland is located in a zone of four time zones. Most of the island is 6 hours behind Moscow time in summer and 7 hours in winter.

Cities and attractions

Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, founded in the early 18th century, is the oldest city on the island and the smallest capital in the world, with a population of 15,000 people.

In Nuuk, it is worth visiting the National Museum with a collection of exhibits that give an idea of aboriginal life. In the halls of the museum are exhibited kayaks, dog sledges, traditional tools and trade weapons, products of local craftsmen. The main value of the museum is the Inuit mummies, which are over 500 years old.

Nuuk – the capital and industrial center of Greenland Katuak Cultural Center with the only movie theater in Greenland Sisimiut – the second largest city with 5 thousand residents Santa Claus Mailbox

Popular with tourists Cultural Center Katuak, which has a cafe, movie theater, library, exhibitions.

Noticeable landmark Nuuk is a huge, taller than a human being, red mailbox, where children drop letters to Santa Claus.

Interesting part of town Sisimiuta with ancient buildings built in the XVIII century. Visitors enter the museum area through an arch made of whale jaws.

During a tour of the local shrimp and crab processing plant, tourists observe the production process and taste the freshest seafood.

Ilulissat is the third largest settlement on the island with a population of about 5,000. The residents are proud of their countryman, the famous Arctic explorer, Knud Rasmussen. In the historic part of the town there is his house-museum, where you can see how the traveler lived, and get acquainted with the exhibits he collected on his expeditions.

Knud Rasmussen Museum A bench in Ilulissat Church of Zion

In downtown Ilulissat, the Art Museum and the Cold Museum are worth a visit.

Iron igloos The terrace of the Icefiord Hotel A collection of schnapps at the Mamartut restaurant The Kakortok Fountain

Kakortok is especially beautiful in summer when its surroundings are covered in wild flowers. The main attractions of the town are the square fountain, the only one on the island, and the sculpture “Man and Stone”. In the local museum, visitors learn the history of Kakortok. Interesting is the history of the local church, which was built in Denmark almost 200 years ago and was transported in a disassembled form by ship. The ship was wrecked off the coast of the island, but all the timbers survived and the church was built where it was intended.

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The settlement of Ausiaita attracts tourists with traditional embroidery and leather goods.

In the village of Kugatsiak, those who wish can watch seal fishing.

Santa Claus House

In Uummannak is the castle of Santa Claus.

Upernavik, the northernmost city in the world, welcomes visitors with cheerful weather even in the height of summer, the air here warms up to a maximum of +5 °. The local museum has an impressive collection of harpoons and kayaks.

Panorama of Uummannak Upernavik is the most northern city in the world!

In Itillek, located 200m from the Arctic Circle, you will stay with the locals, of whom there are only 130, see how they live and try refreshments tailored for guests. Before entering the aboriginal home, you should take off your shoes and the visit should last no longer than 20 minutes.

In Kaggerlussuaq, tourists craving for a thrill can spend the night in an ice hotel.

The islanders’ dwellings, built of wood and painted in a monochrome color, are curious. Despite their apparent simplicity, they are comfortable to live in. Cute, bright and well-maintained cottages really bring the landscape to life.

Skorsbisand Fjord, 250 km long, is the largest and longest in the world. The Arctic views of the fjord with the giant icebergs fascinate.

Uncommonly beautiful Disco Bay with huge blocks of ice floating against the gloomy cliffs.

Disco Bay Ice Canyon in Greenland

The beautiful Ice Canyon is an amazingly beautiful and spectacular combination of bottomless water blue and snow-white gorge walls.

Polar Lights over Semermouth

On the shore of Melville Bay, visitors go to the island to see and capture in photos the giant ice cliff.

All travelers marvel at Mount Uummannak, which consists of black, white, and red rocks, and changes color depending on the light.

And on the south coast, tourists marvel at the hot thermal springs, where the water heats up to 38 °, and that just next to the icebergs!

Tours to Turquoise Lake, one of the most beautiful colored lakes in the world, surrounded by giant ice slopes, are popular.

The Sermermeermiut Valley is famous for its rare cold-loving plants, of which there are up to 300 species in the area.


The cuisine of the local population is unusual for tourists: few people dare to eat a delicacy made of a mixture of grouse droppings and seal fat. Raw whale or walrus meat is also very specific and can cause an unexpected reaction of the body. The natives, on the other hand, enjoy such delicacies as a dish of narwhal fat, walrus brain and fermented plants extracted from the stomach of deer.

There’s no fear of trying the popular local dish of boiled seal meat served with onions and rice.

Greenlandic snack. People of the north eat only when they are hungry! Cafe Me and Ollies

In cafes and restaurants you will enjoy fish and seafood that are salted, pickled, boiled, and baked in ashes. Of the delicacies we can recommend crabs, shark meat, dried fish and eggs of local birds.

Rest of the world

Common drinks are reindeer milk; kaffemik – Greenland coffee with strong alcohol and burnt sugar; specific black tea with milk, salt, fat and spices.

For tourists on the island is open a sufficient number of catering establishments, offering international cuisine or fast food.

Tipping in Greenland is often included in the bill. A light snack will cost $8-$10, a heavy meal will cost $30-$40.

Dried fish and whale meat Seafood appetizers Blueberry pie

Useful Information

Greenland Banks can be visited weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursdays until 6 p.m.

To visit the island you should obtain a visa in advance at the relevant agencies in Iceland and Denmark, located in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other major cities of Russia.

Souvenir from Greenland

Import and export of foreign currency is not limited. You may bring no more than 200 cigarettes, 2 liters of wine and 1 liter of spirits, 50ml of perfume and 250ml of toilet water.

It is not allowed to bring fresh food, weapons and animals. Hunting guns must have a special permit.

You can take out handicraft items made of walrus bones only by providing a permit issued by the stores or tourist office. The weight of exported meat or fish must not exceed 11 kg.

Hotels in Greenland are classified from 2 to 5 stars. Hotels in the highest category are located in Nuuk (Hotel Hans Edege), Ilulissat (Hotel Arctic), and in Sisimiut (Hotel Sisimiut). The average cost of a 2-bed room at a 3* hotel – $150.

Almost every town on the island is ready to provide guests with shelter: hotels, B&Bs, where guests are fully immersed in local life, eating with the owners, sheep farms and igloos.

Icefiord Hotel Arctic Hotel Sisimiut

To call Russia from Greenland from a cell phone, dial +299 (Greenland code), then the code of the desired city and the subscriber number. You can use TELE Greenkand A/S roaming service or pay-as-you-go phone cards sold at the post office.

The emergency telephone number is 911 and the fire department number is 113.

WI-Fi is available in hotels and at the post office. Throughout the island you will find Internet cafes.

Electricity is standard, with 220 volts. In the remote provinces, electricity is produced by generators and is supplied on a schedule.

For quality photography stock up on UV filters and lenses with clarified optics. In winter time video and photo equipment should be heated and treated with appropriate lubricant.

Aurora Borealis in Greenland


There is no crime or natural disasters on the island. The usual vigilance must be observed to keep personal belongings safe. The most important thing in ensuring your own health is the selection of clothing and footwear appropriate to the local climate. All things must be warm and reliably protected from wind and rain. If you want to go hiking on your own and not as part of the tour, you will need to hire a local guide and record their anticipated movements in the rescue service or in the tourist office. Be sure to take a map of the area, a radio, drinking water and waterproof gear.

Iceberg at sunset Seagull in the foggy skies of Greenland

Be sure to clean up all trash after a picnic or fishing trip.

Don’t take pictures of locals without their consent, and you must get permission to take pictures in a church.

In summer, the sun’s rays reflecting off the snow and ice generate strong radiation, so be sure to stock up on sunscreen and sunglasses.

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Greenland is full of mosquitoes, so get the right products beforehand.

Some wild animals are carriers of rabies, so do not approach them, if bitten, seek medical attention immediately.

Avoid badly cooked food, drink bottled water only.


Greenland’s most popular souvenirs are hand-crafted items made of animal bones and teeth, stones and wood. Visitors to the island are happy to buy intimidating figurines of the spirit Topilak. Women like bracelets, beads and rings made of local gems. When buying jewelry, you must be given a certificate Cites, which allows exporting products abroad. Many tourists buy national costumes, masks and paintings as a memento.

Store in Greenland Party in Nanortalik

Do not purchase whalebone crafts – they are not allowed to be exported.

Shipping goods to the island is not cheap, so the cost is quite high.

Stores are open on weekdays from 10 am to 17.30, Saturday until 1 pm. Souvenir shops are closed later and work on Sundays.


The roads on the island are only in the populated areas and between Ivvittut and Kangilinnguit, their total length is 150 kilometers.

Locals and tourists travel by dog sled, snowmobile, watercraft, helicopter and light twin-engine airplane.

How to get there

Air Greenland flies several times a week from Copenhagen, Denmark to the Greenlandic cities of Kangerlussuaq and Narsarsarsuaq.

Air Iceland flies from Reykjavik in Iceland to the Greenlandic cities.

North Greenland

North Greenland

The photo shows a white musk ox skull and the white slopes of the coastal ridges on the north coast of Greenland Island. White is the main color of these places, and the green grass and yellow flowers are here for a very short time.


Its northern part is washed by both the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans and their seas, as well as Baffin Bay. The least ice is along the Piri Land. There is low humidity here, making it unable to replenish ice flow, and the northern edge of the Greenland ice sheet is sedentary. Also on the Land of Peary is Cape Morris-Jesup, the northernmost tip of Greenland.

North Greenland is separated from the mainland by the Nares Strait and its extremities: in the south – Smith Strait and in the north – Robson Strait, where the neighboring Canadian island of Ellesmere only 11 km and on which the Danish-Canadian border.

The shores of North Greenland are heavily indented with deep and long fjords reaching the edges of the ice sheet. Today, more than 80% of Greenland’s surface is covered by glaciers, although their area is slowly shrinking due to global warming. In the north of the island, the Humboldt Glacier, the widest in the Northern Hemisphere, juts out into the Kane Basin. It normally descends directly into the sea, but is now retreating due to global warming.


The waters of northern Baffin Bay are teeming with small fish and crustaceans, the main food of cetaceans. There are about 15,000 white whales alone. Other inhabitants of the coastal waters of North Greenland include bowhead and minke whales, walrus, narwhal, harp seals, harbor seals, and ringed seals. On the shore lives polar bear.

In North Greenland, usually on the rocky islands, a huge number of birds nest: common eider, luric, thick-billed guillemot.

Danish authorities have severely restricted the hunting of sea and land mammals in Greenland, even for the indigenous people – the Inuit. The Northeast Greenland National Park was established to protect Greenland’s nature.

Ice covers almost the entire surface of North Greenland, leaving only the cliff tops and a narrow strip of coastline free.

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In these places only small groups of ancient cultures, the ancestors of the Inuit of today, were able to settle and adapt to the harsh conditions.


Numerous remains of sites and houses of two cultures of PaleoEskimos (the ancient population of the Arctic) were found on the shores of Independence Fjord. The first culture of Independence Fjord existed from 1800-1300 B.C., these people built dwellings of stones and bones of animals they hunted. The people of the second culture lived from 800-200 B.C., they hunted walrus and whale, and fished. It is not known if this culture died out or if people migrated farther south.

Archaeological excavations, especially at Inglefield Land, have uncovered traces of two later cultures in North Greenland, both of which had lived there from the 1st millennium BC to the 2nd millennium AD.

People of ancient Eskimo culture Dorset hunted sea animals with harpoon, processed hides and leather with stone tools, carved figures of bone, tusk and wood. For four hundred years it existed simultaneously with another culture – thule, until it finally replaced dorset in the XIII century. thule people used slate knives, built boats-umiaks from whalebone and skins of sea hare, hunted whales, and built huts from their bones.

In the eleventh and thirteenth centuries, the Thule people came into contact with the Vikings. Evidence of these contacts is found on Ruin Island off Inglefield Land. By the mid-19th century, the Thule people had disintegrated under the influence of the Little Ice Age and were replaced by Inuit (Eskimo) people.

The Danish polar explorer, ethnographer, and anthropologist Knut Rasmussen (1879-1933), himself a native of Greenland, made an outstanding contribution to the study of the island, and especially of North Greenland. In the early 20th century he made nine scientific expeditions to the island. In 1912, he explored the coast of Independence Fjord, proved that Piri Land was not an island and discovered the remains of the northernmost Eskimo settlement at the time.

At present, almost the entire population of North Greenland is concentrated in the town of Kanaak. It was created in the early 1950s to forcibly relocate Inuit from the settlements of Pituffik and Uummannaq and to build the U.S. Air Force base Thule on that site.

Greenland in North Greenland on the map

General Information

Location : North of the island of Greenland. Administrative affiliation : Autonomous Territory of Denmark. Seas : Greenland Sea, Lincoln Sea, and Kane Basin. Settlements : Kanaak town – 635 (2014), Siorapaluk village – 68 (2010). Languages: Greenlandic (East Inuit – North Greenlandic Inuktun dialect), Danish, English. Ethnicity : Greenlanders (Inuit, Europeans born in Greenland, mestizos from Inuit and Danes) – 88%, Danes and Icelanders – 8%, others – 4% (2010). Religions : Protestantism (Lutheran Church of the Danish People) – 85%, others – 15% (2012). Currency : Danish kroner. Airport : Nook (international).

Figures :


Area : 2,166,086 km2 . Population : 56,370 (2013) . Population density : 0.026 persons/km 2 . Coastline : a total length of about 39,000 km. Highest point : 3,694 m, Mount Gunbjørn (Watkins Ridge).

North Greenland

Highest point : mountainous terrain – 1,920 m, on the glacier – 2,347 m. Remoteness (Kanaak City) : 3853 km northwest of Copenhagen, 1400 km south of the North Pole. Humboldt Glacier: width – 110 km. Nares Strait: up to 500 km long and 15-150 km wide. Independence Fjord : length – about 200 km, average width – about 30 km.

Climate and weather

Arctic. Cool summers and cold winters. Average temperature in January : -24°Ñ. Average temperature in July : +4.5°С. Average annual rainfall : 125 mm. Relative humidity : 65%.

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