As the largest non-continental island in the world, Greenland is an exceptionally large place to explore.
Very few people call Greenland home, making it ideal for people looking for a tranquil break.
It is a land of natural beauty, from the Icebergs and glaciers to the green mountains and sparkling blue fjords. Even though it's often difficult to get around in Greenland, there are plenty of things to see and do.
If you want to visit Greenland, we recommend taking a cruise as this will allow you to see parts of Greenland that few others can reach. You can also combine a Greenland cruise with a visit to Iceland and Svalbard.
If you are thinking of visiting this epic country, take a look at our top 7 things to do in Greenland below.
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Certain conditions need to be met in order to see the amazing spectacle that is the Northern Lights. You'll need to visit in the dark of winter and get lucky with some clear nights. There is a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights between November and March, but the optimum time is between December and February the the nights are at their clearest.
The top places in Greenland to witness the Northern Lights include Qaqortoq, Ittoqqortoormiit, and Kangerlussuaq. These are generally where most tours will focus.
Most fjords here have melted by May, so June and July are usually the best months for whale watching in Greenland. Cruise amongst the icebergs and spot the many different species of whale that visit Greenland.
Whale watching tours are the best way to see these gentle giants and visitors frequently spot humpback, minke, and fin whales. If you're very lucky, you may even spot blue whales, orcas, narwhals, beluga whales, sperm whales, and pilot whales. Greenland really offers a fantastic opportunity to see these creatures in their natural habitat.
One of the most visited places in Greenland is the Ilulissat Ice fjord where you will find amazing landscapes and an active calving glacier.
In Disko Bay you can witness this natural phenomenon and take in the breathtaking beauty of this entire region. Most main line cruises will visit Ilulissat, but you can also take specific tours from other parts of Greenland.
You can get completely different experiences of Ammassalik depending on which season you visit. During the summer months there is almost no snow so you can enjoy hiking on the green mountainous island, whilst winter offers the chance of skiing and dog-sledding.
Tasiilaq, the main town on the island, is a great place to visit and very picturesque. The Flower Valley behind the town is a lovely place to explore and there are plenty of activities to keep you busy such as helicopter tours, sea kayaking and mountain biking.
Due the history of large Norse settlements throughout Greenland, there are several Viking ruins dotted around the country. The most popular and recommended is the Hvalsey Fjord Church which is the oldest of its kind here. It is also a great place to hike with fantastic views of the fjords and green landscapes below.
Another ruin you shouldn’t miss is the Brattahlid near the town of Qassiarsuk. There’s a reconstruction of the old chapel and you can walk among the ruins of Erik the Red's Viking estate settlement. The ruins are easily reached as a day trip so exploring here is an excellent choice for a shore excursion on your cruise.
A walk to this previous Inuit settlement is an amazing adventure, exploring surrounding iceburgs and frozen scenery. You can see remains of different Inuit cultures which have lived in the settlement over a period of 4000 years.
Walk along the wooden walkway and take in spectacular views from the viewpoint at Nakkaavik - also known as Old Ladies Gorge. Taking a guided tour is highly recommended as your guide will explain the history and significance of the area you are exploring.
If you visit Greenland during the winter months you should not miss a dog sledding trip. It is one of the best ways to explore the amazing natural environment and perhaps encounter some of the area’s wildlife. You may see polar bears and reindeers on your trip if you're very lucky.
Day tours are easy to book and are another great idea for a shore excursion if you are stopping here on a cruise. Disko Bay, Tasiusaq fjord and Thule are all great starting destinations to explore by dog sled.
If you have any queries or questions regarding the top 7 things to do in Greenland, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.
Thank you and happy travels!
Expedition Cruise Team
Burnham started his career as a professional tennis player before retiring due to injury. Since then Burnham has thrown himself into adventure travel. He has cruised to some of the most iconic and obscure parts of the planet.