Greenland — Things to Do
Greenland’s far north location gives visitors a unique opportunity to gaze upon the Northern Lights, kayak past glaciers and fish for Arctic char in pristine waters yet to be touched by fishing poles. Some of the world’s biggest fin whales frolic along the coasts, while many of Greenland’s surprisingly numerous mountains boast some of the world’s most challenging climbing experiences.
As Greenland has no official property laws, visitors are free to roam wherever they please without fear of trespassing. However, guided hikes are helpful in making sure visitors do not venture too far off the beaten path in search of things to do. Dog sledding and snowmobiling are the two most popular ways to travel across the territory with no rail or road networks.
The hiking expeditions offered by F. F. Wilderness Tours last anywhere from a day to a week, and show visitors how to navigate the wilderness the same way the locals have done for centuries. Some even let you catch and cook your own food and educate you on which plants are safe to eat. Another reputable wilderness adventure company, Black Feather, specializes in hiking trips through South Greenland’s comparatively mild coastal regions.
Greenland Explored provides dog sledding excursions to travel as the residents have done for thousands of years. Sleds are usually made from wood and transported by teams of 10 Greenlandic huskies, considered to be the world’s purest breed and found only in this country. Knowledgeable Inuit hunters and guides are the usual drivers, with sled teams capable of traveling over 30 miles per day.
Those who’d rather explore Greenland by water can rent kayaks or take lessons from the Nuuk-based Sula Adventure club. Another long-standing company, F. F. Wilderness Tours, specializes in kayaking excursions through southern Greenland’s breathtaking fjord network. Majestic mountains, towering glaciers and roaming reindeer are just a handful of the unique sights kayakers will encounter along the way.
Rock, ice, and mountain climbers looking for new challenges have more than their fair share to choose from among Greenland’s endless peaks and glaciers. 64 Degrees North provides excursions to Nuuk’s surrounding mountains. Tangent Expeditions is among the few companies which travel to the Arctic’s three tallest peaks, all of which belong to East Greenland’s Watkins Mountains.
Quark Expeditions has guided Northern Lights cruises. Few other places in the Far North have more opportunities for visitors to witness these unforgettable natural light shows than Greenland’s east coast that can be seen in various locations 12 months a year.
Greenland’s icebergs may be melting at an alarming rate, but iceberg sightings remain one of the territory’s best attractions. The World of Greenland boat trips to the Ilulissat Icefjord and a calving glacier called Eqi are particularly popular. If you’re lucky, you’ll also encounter whales, walrus and seals alongside these towering blocks of ice.
Greenland has thousands of inland bodies of water filled with countless fish, but none are more popular to catch than Arctic char, which local fishermen grab with their bare hands. Guided fishing tours provided by LAX-A Angling Club include basic, but comfortable, outdoor campsites alongside untouched rivers and lakes. The short fishing season lasts between mid-July and mid-September.
The locally-owned Polar Trophy Hunt offers musk ox and seal hunting trips around Kangerlussuaq, while the main prize of Global Sporting Safaris is South Greenland’s trophy musk ox, found between Narsaq and Ivituut. Many hunting excursions take place on boats, with shooters not stepping ashore until animals are spotted.