One of the biggest countries in the world is oddly enough one of the least understood. Bigger than Western Europe yet home to only 60,000 inhabitants, Greenland is comfortably the largest island on the planet and yet, one of the most sparsely populated countries on earth.
Although physiographically, one could say, Greenland is part of North America, the country has its own government and has been associated with Europe for over 1000 years – first with Norway, now with Denmark. Due to its strategic location, the United States offered the Danes $100,000,000 to buy Greenland in 1946 but ultimately failed in their pursuit. These days, Greenland is one of the world’s most exciting eco-tourism destinations and is attracting lots of attention.
“It’s out of this world if you ask me,” is the opinion of Finnish-born Tehri Millar – Product Manager at Wexas Travel who specialise in worldwide travel but run the Best Served Scandinavia brand. “It’s a spectacular place; the culture is fascinating and it is so remote. There are amazing glaciers and icebergs there and the whole Inuit culture is really interesting but the icebergs are the biggest attraction while whale watching in the summer is quite a big thing.
“We recommend going to Ilulissat and staying in the one place, doing excursions from there. From my experience, it is the best way of doing things. There are also some extreme trips where you can go to the centre of the country but our clientele are not that sort of extreme traveller, so they concentrate on staying in Ilulissat and doing trips from there. There are not many roads there so driving is not really an option although you could try husky sledding, which is a very popular way of travelling.”
The only way to visit this amazing place of natural beauty from the UK is via Copenhagen, although flights leave early and return late from the main airport of Kangerlussuaq – this requires overnight stops in the Danish capital before and after your journey to Greenland.
With temperatures being understandably very low, Greenland isn’t a place to visit with your shorts and t-shirt. But if you pick the right time of year to travel, you could be in for a spectacular experience.
Tehri adds: “The climate isn’t too bad there because of the Gulf Stream, although they do get severe winters there but they have the sea which keeps the climate a little bit warmer but for that reason, we don’t recommend travelling between November and the end of December. But then in Spring time, it is absolutely spectacular with the snowy activities while summer isn’t usually that warm but it is nice and clear.
Like Greenland, the Faroes is another lesser known Nordic destination. Below is a video from Tehri speaking about the small cluster of islands 200 miles north of mainland Scotland.
Wexas Travel offer packages and tours to Greenland. For more information, click here.