‘When you’ve seen the world, there’s always Greenland’ goes the old adage. But the magnificent scenery and extremes of nature found here are like something from another world altogether.
And, while it might be an autonomous Danish territory, it’s hard to image anywhere further removed from the green hills of Jutland or the trendy bars and cafes of bustling Copenhagen. Here, the landscapes are vast and spectacular, dramatic and ever-changing. The Ilulissat Ice Fjord in western Greenland, for example, is the most productive glacier in the Northern Hemisphere.
Narsaq, southern Greenland
Greenland's unique cultural and natural world
In winter it’s the Northern Lights that illuminate the arctic skies; in summer, the endless glow of the Midnight Sun. There’s the vast, empty tundra, the enormous glaciers that shed tower block-sized chunks into the sea and the ancient glacial coastline peppered with thousands of icebergs. It's all wrapped up in a fascinating heritage, which combines the influence of Scandinavia and the ancient traditions of the native Inuit. These are just some of the attractions in and around the world’s largest non-continental island.
Uummannaq, northern Greenland
Greenland's arctic widlife
Amid all of the wild beauty, there's wildlife in abundance, from musk ox to reindeer to roaming polar bears. And, off the coast, migratory humpbacks breach between the giant icebergs, while tusked narwhals emerge between cracks in the thick seas ice. Indeed, the rich seas are a playground for all manner of whale species, with guided cruises bringing you out to spot belugas, sperm whales, fin whales and blue whales – the mightiest of them all. On the shore walruses tussle for space with bearded and Greenland seals as millions of seabirds – auks, guillemots and terns among them – swoop overhead.
Humpback whale, Greenland