Greenland is the biggest island in the world. It can be found 17 miles northeast of Canada's Ellesmere Island, nestled between the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic. Greenland is a rugged, forbidding land that possesses a stark beauty. The majority of the island's interior lies beneath a vast ice cap that in some places is up to 9,800 feet (3,000 meters) thick. Over time, the weight of the ice has reshaped the island's interior into a concave, bowl-like basin which has sunk below sea level in several places. The white surface of this vast ice cap is permeated by the occasional peaks of mountains (nunataks in Greenlandic) pointing into the sky. Glaciers from this great mass of ice reach through mountain valleys and ravines extending to coastline fjords. At the drainage junctions, thousands of icebergs – many of which are colossal – are formed every year. The inhospitable interior of the island pushes the entire population of Greenland out to the coastlines. Predominantly, settlements are on the west and southwest coast, including in the capital city of Nuuk. Originally founded in 1721, this city is the island's oldest Danish settlement and by far the largest community in Greenland. It is home to about 14,000 of the nation's total population of 59,000.
Remarkable landscapes, exceptional wildlife, fjords loaded with icebergs, and colourful tundra are among the unique traits that make Greenland an unforgettable destination.
UK: Not required for a stay of up to 3 months in duration.
USA: Not required for a stay of up to 90 days in duration.
Greenland has a very casual and down-to-earth dress code. Even for eating out, dressing in outdoor gear with boots is acceptable. Visiting in the summer months, you will experience the Midnight Sun, a phenomenon where the sun stays above the horizon for several months. It’s not bright all day and there is a slight sunrise and sunset, with shifting hues on display as the hours pass. However, it doesn’t get particularly warm, with temperatures averaging around 10° C (50° F). Layers are particularly important here and it’s smart to use a layer system to ward off the cold. A solid jacket, gloves, socks, hat and boots are all essential items to bring. In the winter it can be very cold as temperatures can plunge to -50 °C (-58 °F), so it really is vital to pack hardy winter clothes to account for potentially extreme conditions.
Greenland features a blend of Inuit and Danish cultures. Many Greenlanders have expressed uneasiness with the increased "Westernisation" of Greenland communities in recent years, and many efforts are underway to preserve and sustain traditional Inuit ways, which remain an essential part of the country's national identity. But Greenland's long association with Denmark has benefited the island's inhabitants in many tangible ways, such as in raising standards of living and improving health care and education. Moreover, most Greenlanders of European descent are sensitive to the importance of preserving the historical culture and perspective of the Inuit people. Inuit place great importance on the time of year in which children are born. Winter children (axigirn) and summer children (aggirn) are greeted with very different birth rituals, ranging from first foods eaten to selection of garments to clothe them.
Tipping in Greenland isn’t very common and not really required, as service will be included in any bill. However, if the service was very good a bit extra is generous and highly appreciated. Andante Travels will take care of gratuities to restaurant staff, local guides and drivers.