Straddling the Arctic Circle, Greenland is the world’s largest island, with inland ice covering 85% of the country. Starkly beautiful, with magnificent glaciers and an undulating icy expanse as far as the eye can see, adventure is the foundation of any Greenland holiday. The least densly populated country in the world, this is one of the last true wilderness destinations. The scale of nature here is almost incomprehensible, with one hundred-metre icebergs rising from the sea, an enormous ice cap containing ten per cent of the world’s fresh water and groaning glaciers moving up to forty metres a day.
Around half of Greenland’s inhabitants live in the larger settlements along the scenic west coast, including Nuuk – the world’s smallest capital. Most visitors to the west opt to travel north of the Arctic Circle, where the seascapes area their most dramatic. Towns and villages are linked only by sea or air, so visitors must travel like a local – whether by journeying via dog sledge through Kangalussuaq or taking a boat trip through the waters of Illulisat, navigating between icebergs and keeping an eye out for whales and seals.
Greenland’s polar bears are best seen during the summer months once they’ve come out of their winter hibernation. But during the darker seasonal night skies, one of the country’s other iconic characters comes out to play; the northern lights. With minimal ambient light from the tiny settlements, the aurora is often seen by simply stepping outside your hotel. Kangerlussuaq boasts over 300 nights of clear sky a year – perfect for aurora hunting.