30 photos to inspire you to visit Greenland

Would you believe me if I told you that Greenland is actually green?

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“Death or the west coast of Greenland,” the indomitable polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen once said, and it could have been the motto of his 1888 expedition, the first crossing of interior Greenland. He later would call it the “scheme of a lunatic,” which I feel could be applied to most polar expeditions of the time. What does that say about me that it inspires me to want to visit Greenland?

While it’s much easier now to access the world’s biggest island, Greenland, in many ways, still holds the myth and wonder that captivated so many explorers over the centuries. No roads connect the communities here; it still holds the top honor for the least populated nation on earth.

Wild, ancient, poignant, and profound, Greenland has carved out a corner of my heart.

visit Greenland

Last summer (northern hemisphere), I spent a fair amount of time in Greenland while exploring by expedition ship with Adventure Canada. Most of their Arctic trips call into Greenland at some point or another, and it really got under my skin in the best way possible.

The first thing you need to know about Greenland is that it’s really remote; no roads connect the towns and communities (though that is changing). Yes, you read that right. You go by air or boat or snowmobile in winter. If you want to pack a lot in, the best way is to go by expedition ship. 

The other big thing to note is that while Nuuk is the capital, the main airport is in Kangerlussuaq, 300 kilometers north. That’s where you fly from overseas. 

Greenland now ranks high as one of my favorite places to visit worldwide, and that’s saying something! I would go back in a heartbeat. It’s a country that deserves so many stories. Here’s my first introduction in photos from my time spent in the Arctic visiting Greenland, Enjoy!

visit Greenland

visit Greenland

At sea in East Greenland

You don’t need me to tell you Greenland is remote. Only 56,000 call the world’s biggest island home.

It’s also an autonomous country within the kingdom of Denmark. You’ll notice this pretty quickly, especially if you have spent time in other Arctic countries. Denmark’s wealth and funding are obvious here, especially compared to the Canadian Arctic (which I will dig into later). 

Almost everyone lives on Greenland’s more developed western side, especially with a milder climate in the south. The east coast is rugged, full of glaciers, and not very habitable. I first visited Greenland by expedition ship with Adventure Canada on their Iceland to Greenland: In the Wake of the Vikings trip. It was a very cool way to arrive in Greenland for the first time. We began seeing the coastline through the pack ice at sunset, which was incredible. 

Oh, and did I mention Margaret Attwood was a special guest on this trip? Incredible. 

visit Greenland

visit Greenland


If I had to guess, I would say that Ilullissat is probably the biggest tourist site in Greenland. And after calling in a few times, I can heartily agree. A super cute town with lots of great little shops and spots to eat, it has heaps of fun activities to take part in.

Some of the biggest icebergs in the Atlantic originate here. In fact, the iceberg that sank the Titanic is thought to have come from here. Home to the UNESCO World Heritage Ilulissat Icefjord, it contains the Sermeq Kujalleq (Jakobshavn Glacier), the most productive glacier in the northern hemisphere, which drops over 20 billion tons of ice a year.

The fiord is chock full of icebergs that have calved down from the glacier, often a kilometer tall and the size of skyscrapers. Too big to float, they get stuck on the bottom, clogging up the area before breaking apart and floating down into Disko Bay. Nothing inspires people to visit Greenland quite like those iconic polar views.

visit Greenland

visit Greenland


Hvalsey is home to one of Greenland’s great mysteries. And it’s also a spot that proves that, yes, Greenland can be green. Sometimes. The best Norse ruins in Greenland can be found in Hvalsey on the south coast. Norse Icelandic settlers first arrived on the southwest coast in the 9th century but died out over the next few hundred years. 

Hvalsey is also the place that had the last record from the original Norse colony before, poof, they disappeared from history: a wedding in 1408 at the church. You can still visit the church ruins around Hvalsey today. 

We visit Hvalsey on the Iceland to Greenland: In the Wake of the Vikings voyage with Adventure Canada.

visit Greenland

visit Greenland

Evigshead Fjord – Kangerlussuatsiaq

Three months at sea in the Arctic meant I’d seen my fair share of glaciers and fiords. And trust me, they never get old.

But one the most inspiring ones has to be Kangerlussuatsiaq – try saying that three times fast! Translated as “the rather big fjord” in Greenlandic, while the older Danish name Evighead translates to “the fjord of eternity.” 

75 kilometers long, the sail down the fiord is just as incredible as arriving at the tidewater glacier itself. The views are spectacular, and we often see seals snoozing on the ice. On one particularly calm, sunny summer’s day, we even did the polar plunge here.

visit Greenland

visit Greenland


After being at sea around remote Greenland, I was stoked to arrive in Nuuk and get my first oat latte. Even though it ended up costing $14nzd, it was worth it. I had three.

Nuuk is a cool little city. It is small and totally walkable; there are some tourist shops and spots, but it still feels authentic. The views are great, and the museum is one of my favorite spots. I would love to spend more time here one day.

visit Greenland

visit Greenland

Prince Christian Sound – Ikerasassuaq

At the very bottom of Greenland, you’ll find Prince Christian Sound, one of the most spectacular waterways to explore. Here, the Irminger and Labrador Seas meet along the islands of the Cape Farewell Archipelago. The mountains and views are dramatic, and anywhere you land is spectacular.

It’s named after the 19th-century king of Denmark, Christian VIII. Denmark has had colonies in Greenland since the 18th century, and nowadays, Greenland is officially an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark. Danish is widely spoken, though it’s no longer the official language. 

visit Greenland

visit Greenland


Sisimiut is the second largest city in Greenland and is considered the gateway to many outdoor adventures. It sits within the Arctic Circle, surrounded by steep mountains and incredible views. There are lots of good cafes and shopping around Sisimiut, and the open-air museum is pretty amazing, too. We called in here on several trips, including the iconic High Arctic Explorer ones. 

Whenever we call in, we get to enjoy a setup called “A Taste of Greenland” at the hotel on the main square, which includes some of the country’s most iconic dishes, including whale. While I’ll delve into this topic far more in-depth later, I’ll say that spending time in the Arctic opened my eyes to subsistence hunting by indigenous people, which is what happens here. That being said, whale is an acquired taste. And texture. 

The last time we called into Sisimiut in September, we had the most incredible showing of the northern lights. By then, the days of midnight suns are over. I was recovering from being sick, and my ship bestie knocked on my door until I got up to go see them. No regrets. 

visit Greenland

visit Greenland

Illukulik – Lindenow Fjord

Southern Greenland is spectacular, and we spent several days navigating along the coastline from the east over to the western side of the country. We also had the most amazing weather the entire trip, with warm sunny days over and over again. 

One of the reasons I remember our stop in the Lindenow Fjord was because of the haze. The smoke from enormous bush fires in Canada drifted over to Greenland, leaving a slightly hazy sky. It didn’t make much of a difference with landings, and you couldn’t smell the smoke. But it did make for absolutely spectacular sunsets. 

Some photos I shot here are my favorite from my entire season spent at sea. I hope they continue to inspire people to visit Greenland.

visit Greenland

visit Greenland


In southwest Greenland, you’ll find the tiny island of Uunartoq – home to the only hot springs that are warm/cool enough to swim in – that tourists know about at least – and that have been dammed up into a pool. 

Surrounded by icebergs and beautiful mountains on a misty day, Uunartoq was a real highlight for everyone as we sunk down into the crystal-clear pools. 

visit Greenland

visit Greenland

Kangerluluk – Bad Fiord

Our first landing in Greenland after sailing over from Iceland blew me away. It was warm and sunny when we arrived at Kangerluluk, a remote fiord few have visited. We landed on a sunny beach with fresh polar bear paw prints in the sand. It was very much an expedition-style travel day. These views inspire people to visit Greenland.

Surrounded by huge mountains with beautiful glaciers dripping down to sea level, I wandered for hours amongst the tundra, soaking in this incredible place. And trying not to soak in too many mosquitos accidentally. The bugs in Greenland in summertime are no joke – that’s when you pray for wind. 

That said, I spent a lot of time in Greenland in the summer, and this was the only day the bugs annoyed me.

visit Greenland

visit Greenland


Qaanaaq was by far my favorite place to visit Greenland last summer, and it was by total accident.

On the Out of the Northwest Passage trip, we visit Grise Fiord, Canada’s northernmost community. But Mother Nature dictates our itineraries, and that summer, it was regularly blocked by sea ice. So, instead, we called Qaanaaq. The northernmost town in Greenland is spectacular. Surrounded by mountains and icebergs in Baffin Bay, it has colorful houses, friendly locals, and lots of history and culture. And there were TONS of sled dog puppies. 

It was also the base and home of the famous Arctic explorer Knud Rasmussen, whose home is now a museum. 

visit Greenland

visit Greenland

Kap York

Kap York was one of the furthest points northward I traveled in Greenland on my expedition with Adventure Canada. When we arrived, the mountains were shrouded in fog, and the waters were so still that you could see the arctic char gliding beneath the surface. On land, if you paused in silence, you could hear birdsong booming above you through the mists.

As the morning wore on and the fog gradually lifted, suddenly, huge flocks of dovekies appeared, flying out around the tops of the cliffs. They swarmed to and fro, almost bat-like in their form and abundance. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything like it. Playing peekaboo with the fog made everything even more unearthly.

Below, a family of Arctic foxes darted in and out of the rocks, frolicking in the summer snow patches. Icebergs cracked and rolled in the bay. By this point, I was convinced I had entered another world. How is this real life?

visit Greenland

visit Greenland


In northwest Greenland we called in a few times to one of the most interesting archeological sites I’ve ever been to: Tassiussaq. 

Much of Greenland’s history is framed around the European Vikings. The truth is that Greenland has a much deeper and more fascinating history dating back thousands of years to the Thule and paleo-Inuit peoples. Adventure Canada works hard to bring expert guides along with us, like archaeologists specializing in the places we visit and Inuit cultural educators. 

Tassiussaq was one of those places where we could see the remains and ruins of Thule houses, meat caches, and even graves, but we respectfully kept our distance from them. 

Are you inspired to visit Greenland now?

visit Greenland

visit Greenland

Many thanks to Adventure Canada for hosting me in Greenland – like always, I’m keeping it real – all opinions are my own, like you could expect less from me!

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