Viking ruins in South Greenland
Living up to its name, southern Greenland is fertile and lush. During the summer, visitors encounter blankets of wildflowers which form a vibrant contrast to the icebergs floating in the nearby fjords and the massive inland ice cap. Over 1,000 years ago, Erik the Red decided to settle here and gave the unknown country its name. Today, many ruins recall the history of those early Norse settlers.
Stunning Disko Bay
Disko Bay combines incredible iceberg scenery and Inuit hospitality. Along the eastern edge of the bay is Ilulissat, the third largest town in Greenland. The name means “iceberg” in Greenlandic, a reference to its location at the mouth of the iceberg-fi lled Ilulissat Ice Fjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004. Few places in Greenland are as breathtaking as Eqip Glacer, 50 miles (80 km) north of Ilulissat. With a little luck, your visit will include a close-up view of icebergs “calving” as huge chunk of ice break off and thunder into the sea.
Greenland’s capital has around 16,000 inhabitants and combines Inuit traditions with modern European urbanity. It’s also Greenland’s oldest town, founded in 1728 by the Danish Norwegian missionary Hans Egede. The National Museum features 500-year-old mummies from Qilakitsoq, as well as other artifacts related to Greenland archaeology, history and art. The Katuaq Cultural Center in downtown Nuuk is the venue for concerts, exhibitions, cinema and local cuisine. The University of Greenland, the country’s only university, is also located in Nuuk.