Travelling to Greenland? Get travel advice and inspiration from Wanderlust. Want to know what to see or do? How to avoid the crowds? We have the tips for you
If it’s peace and quiet you’re after, this is the place, although be warned, it won’t come cheap. With crisp air and majestic mountain scenery, here in Greenland you can hike, ski or dogsled through unspoilt wilderness or sail through fjords under the light show of the aurora borealis. Whenever you come and whatever you do, remember that mum knows best. As she’d tell you herself: wrap up warm.
Allow plenty of time for everything in Greenland as the weather won’t always be your friend. Patience and a good book are ideal travelling companions around these parts.
Alcoholism is a serious problem in Greenland. To combat this, alcoholic drinks can only be sold in shops from noon to 6pm and from 11am to 1pm on Saturday.
The climate in Greenland is sub-Arctic: summer is surprisingly comfortable, averaging 17°C, but temperatures plunge as low as -40°C in January. Peak tourist season is mid-May to mid-September.
Be prepared for changeable conditions – pack waterproof clothes and sun cream. Before hiking, check the forecast at www.dmi.dk/dmi/index/gronland.htm
Nuuk (GOH) – 3.7km from centre.
The Transfers between major towns in Greenland are primarily by helicopter and it doesn’t come cheap. In summer boat transfers are also possible while, in winter, skidoos and dogsleds are the mainstays of local transport. It is all weather dependent – be prepared for delays and cancellations.
Hotels in Greenland are mostly pleasant, if modest. B&Bs are growing in popularity while seamen’s homes are cheap-and-cheerful hostel-like options. Tourist offices can usually help to organise homestays. Booking ahead is highly recommended.
Hotels mainly offer full board, so chances to sample traditional Greenlandic fare are rare and invitations into private houses even rarer.
In hotels, expect lots of fish and Danish specialities – vegetarians may struggle. A Northern Greenland speciality – only for the un-squeamish and very brave - is kivioq. To make it, small penguin-like birds are sown into hollowed-out seal carcasses and left to rot. Yum.
When hiking, it’s essential to tell people where you are going and when you expect to be back. Conditions can change quickly so take it seriously, pack survival rations and be prepared for the cold.
Always seek local advice before going out on a boat trip and err on the side of caution if in doubt.
Alcohol-fuelled fights are not uncommon in pubs, especially on Fridays.
Swarms of flies and mosquitoes can be a problem on hikes, particularly in July.
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