There are many things to consider before traveling to Greenland. We have collected some of the most frequently asked questions we receive and answered them as clearly as we can.

QUESTIONS REGARDING TREKKING IN GREENLAND

How established are the trails?

The beauty of hiking in Greenland is that there are no marked  trails, as the terrain is constantly changing. Our guides are experienced and highly trained to navigate in these conditions.

Apart from all the hiking, how much of the trip is cultural?  

We always try to add a bit of culture in our trekking trips, such as a visit to a museum or a drum-dance performance, village walks, meet the locals and so on. And of course the guide is sharing his cultural knowledge throughout the trip.

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT TRAVELLING TO GREENLAND

Which area in Greenland should I visit?

Greenland is a vast country and offers different characteristics depending on where you go.

East Greenland is a fascinating place with great opportunities to unplug from the fast paced life. Remoteness and its still strong ties to hunting offers valuable insights to the old hunting culture of the Inuit. Decorated with vertical granite peaks it also offers amazing panoramic views and untouched landscape. This is a playground for those who cherish outdoor activities of all sorts.

Ilulissat is the most popular destination, and it's understandable. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Icefjord offers a unique opportunity to experience the towering icebergs slowly pushing out to the open sea. There is a good selection of guided day tours and activities in Ilulissat and the surrounding suitable for everyone.

South Greenland offers green lush grassland combined with floating icebergs in the background.
South Greenland is also known for it’s recently certification as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its historic & cultural connections to the Norse Viking period and the Inuit's adaption to it. And not only that: at the very south tip of South Greenland you can find stunning vertical peaks such as those in the beautiful Tasermiut fjord, a landscapes perfect for hiking and trekking. If you are into the Sagas, this is something for you.

The capital region offers a variety of both culture and nature. In the capital, Nuuk, you are in the Greenlandic metropolis where you can find old Inuit culture, hand in hand with the modern city life. The national museum offers great insight in prehistoric and historic Inuit culture with a sprinkle of Norse viking elements. And nature is always in the backyard.

Arctic circle area offers the only place in Greenland with a road to the ice cap, in Kangerlussuaq. With its pristine glacial landscape combined with its interesting and exotic wildlife offers something you can only experience very few places on earth. Kangerlussuaq is perfect if you want the expedition feeling without having to got the the extremes.

North Greenland, and the coastline all the way to Qaanaaq in the far north, is dotted with small towns and settlements where hunting and fishing is a way of living. There is hardly any tourism here but lots of researchers, if that is your thing.

Does Greenland have a UNESCO World Heritage Site?

Yes, it even has two. Ilulissat and the Icefjord has been UNESCO certified since 2004, because of the large and continuous production of icebergs, and being an example of a stage in Earth’s history, that is, the last ice age of the Quaternary Period. You can read more about it here or see it with your own eyes and book (for example) the UNESCO CLASSIC tour.

The more recent UNESCO site in the south of Greenland, that was listed in 2017 for the Norse farming and Viking history. You can study the details here but then experience it all with us first hand on our beautiful South Greenland Combo Trek

When is the best time to visit?

Each season has its own charm. The summer remains the most popular season for enjoying the outdoors and different activities. Mid June to mid September offers the biggest selection of organized tours. The winter, February to April,  is a time of lighter traffic, beautiful colors and the amazing northern lights as well as various winter activities. The following questions and answers answer this in further detail.

When can I see the northern lights?

Northern lights - or Aurora Borealis - visibility depends on the activity of the electric particles in Earth’s magnetic field, a clear sky and light pollution. We are lucky in Greenland because we have good weather, most of the time and the villages and towns are small and easy to escape light pollution. Hence, as it gets dark around mid August and until it gets bright again in April, it is quite likely that you can see them.

We wrote a nerdy blog once that attempts to explane the phenonema better.

When can I see the midnight sun?

Midnight sun - that is, the sun being visible in the sky - can be seen North from the Arctic Circle, like in Iluliissat. The general season is from June  to mid August. However, summer night are bright all night even below the Arctic Circle, like in Kulusuk, Nanortalik and Nuuk. 

Which activities can I do during winter?

The Greenlandic winter is beautiful and offers a great variety of activities. Many Greenlanders even prefer the winter.

However, not all of these are offered in all locations. Please contact us and we will be happy to try to accommodate your wishes for your Greenlandic winter adventure. We answer to the name booking@greenland.is.

Which activities can I do in summer?

The long bright days gives you plenty of time to enjoy the many summer activities

However, not all of these are offered in all locations. Please contact us and we will be happy to try to accommodate your wishes for your Greenlandic winter adventure.

How difficult are your tours?

Our tours are all marked with a level from 1 to 5.

Everyone that at all can travel, can participate in our self guided tours as we tailor make them according to your needs.

Our hiking trips vary so that everyone should be able to find a tour suitable for them, ranging from short base-camp treks to summit expeditions.

You can read about the different difficulty levels here.

What is the weather like?

The Greenlandic weather varies a lot depending on the season and location. It can also change quickly, so be prepared. We recommend that you take a look at this overview composed by Visit Greenland:

For day-to-day local weather-forecast we recommend the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI).

How should I dress for Greenland?

After you have booked your tour, we send you a detailed equipment list suitable for the tour you booked. The general rule is layers, avoid cotton (also jeans) and bring a waterproof layer. Bring sturdy and comfortable shoes. Most roads are gravel and no place for your high heels.

We have the different equipment lists online if you want to take a look now.

What sort of a sleeping bag do I need? And could I rent one from you if I do not have one?

We recommend at least a good three season bag for our summer trips, and full four season for the winter tours. If you are not sure, just drop us a line at booking@greenland.is.

And yes indeed you can rent one if you do not have one. We rent them for 7.900 ISK for the entire tour. But you need to let us know in advance: booking@greenland.is.

Is it possible to make a road-trip in Greenland?

There are no roads connecting the cities in Greenland which makes a roadtrip impossible. In Greenland people travel with boats or ships, dogsleds, snowmobiles, planes or helicopters. A few brave ones ski.

I can only find flights from Denmark and Iceland, and they are expensive. Are there other options?

It is only possible to fly to Greenland from Denmark and Iceland. The flights and routes are regulated by the Greenlandic state that has limited competition. Another important aspect to account for, is that the flights are expensive to run due to frequent cancellations (mostly because of bad weather) that flows into the ticket price. But we can tell you one thing: it is worth every króna.

How are phone and internet connections in Greenland?

Greenland is not yet as connected to Wi-Fi service as many places. You may be able to access the internet at your hotel - for a fee. Note that because Greenland is not a part of the EU data roaming and phone calls are extremely expensive. Out on our hikes there is almost no connection, so our guides carry a satellite phone for emergencies.

Do I need a Visa and Passport when traveling to Greenland?

Greenland applies the same visa-regulations as to Denmark. Please consult to the official rules to find out what you have to do, according to where you are from. 

Do I need insurance?

Yes, we advise all our clients to have insurance.

Do I need vaccinations?

No vaccinations are required.

What Currency do I need to bring?

The Danish krone (DKK) is the currency used in Greenland. We recommend you buying a bit of currency from you bank at home for better rates, but you can also withdraw money from a cash machines in Greenland. It is also possible to pay with Visa and Mastercards most places but the exchange rate is high.

Can I find vegan or vegetarian food in Greenland?

Yes you can, but it can be a challenge. Because of the rough weather and rocky landscape meat is the main part of the Greenlanders’ diet and all groceries and vegetables are imported. Therefore the prices are high and the quantity and variation are often limited.

As for our group tours, because we strive to get as much as we can locally and the fact that we are in the Arctic where meat and fish is the stable diet we encourage you to go with the flow, unless you have special dietary requirements. In which case, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to accommodate your needs, booking@greenland.is.

What is the flora and fauna of Greenland like?

People are always facinated by the flora and fauna in Greenland so we published a short blog-post about this once, for you to get an idea about what to expect.

Can I see a polar bear in Greenland? And could I rent a rifle for protection.

Polar bears mainly live in the far northwest and in the northeastern part of Greenland. But occasionally it is also seen elsewhere in Greenland, as it moves with the drifting ice. They are very rarely seen though, at least by tourists. The local hunters will have seen it before you and sent out warnings. But if you are traveling in these areas, we still advise you not to be walking outside the towns/villages alone. There is no polar bear watching tours operated in Greenland.

If you have the know-how and experience, you can rent riffles from the local tourist board. We can assist you if you need. On our guided tours, your guide will have one.

I’ve heard that there are many mosquitoes in Greenland. Is this true?

There is a bad side everything, and against all odds Greenland has mosquitoes during the summer (mostly June and July). We recommend that you bring nets, repellant and after-bite.

Are you environmentally responsible?

Yes, Icelandic Mountain Guides - the (mother company) of Greenland Adventures - is leading in environmental tourism in Iceland. We are very proud of what we do and you can read more about it on our website.

Are you socially responsible?

Yes, Icelandic Mountain Guides have soceial responsibility as their core-mindset, as we work in small and often fragile communities. We believe we do well but we always aim to do better. We are working on a public policy to show you how we work. 

Do people in Greenland speak English?

The official language in Grenland  is Greenlandic but because of the close relationship with Denmark a lot of people speak Danish too, especially in the bigger towns. Most of those who work in tourism speak English, but more in the west than in the east.

What is your cancellation policy?

In order to meet our booking conditions on flights and other services in Greenland, a percentage of the tour fee is non-refundable. For day tours it is 45.000 ISK and for longer tours it is 15% of the tour price per person. For more detailed information on our terms of payment please follow this link.

We encourage you to contact us if you have further questions, or if you have figured out what suites you best and you want to take the next step and book a trip to the beautiful Arctic Greenland: booking@greenland.is