Greenland is the world’s largest island. It is also the country with the lowest population density and one of the smallest capitals in the world. It is a rugged, mountainous, contrasting land with the enormous Greenland Glaciers at its centre. Greenland landscape, an Arctic desert in the far north to Atlantic influences in the south, shapes the way of living across the island as much as it will inspire your travel experience. Greenland nature and glaciers make it an exciting destination for all adventure-minded travellers.
Greenland Photo Tours
Photo tours in Greenland are a unique way to explore the country, and our Greenland tours focus on its landscapes and wildlife. Many of our guests in the Greenland Workshops explore the subtle colours of each destination and like to move from tiny details in rocks and ice to sweeping panoramic stories and back. Photo Workshops are always a combination of timing and location. Light is a key tool for any photographer, and it is harnessed to create drama, contrasts, and bring out emotions in the story of the image. In our Greenland tours, the primary objective is to bring you to the right places at the correct time. The locations are always a part of our rough, mountainous and contrasting land that distinguishes Greenland nature. They are sparsely populated in small local communities, dominated by the enormous Greenlands glaciers, and shaped by the Arctic climate.
Greenland Northern Lights
The night holds a special place in Greenland both because the bright summer nights provide golden hour lighting conditions for hours, but also because in late summer and throughout the winter season the dry climate and lack of light pollution brings out the northern lights and stars in the night skies. The northern lights, or aurora borealis, are the obvious attraction of the night, especially at latitudes around and just south of the Arctic Circle near Tasiilaq, Kangerlussuaq, Ilullisat and Nuuk where the northern lights are particularly bright from September until April.
East Greenland is an established photo tour destination, and in the backcountry around Tasiilaq, the combination of alpine landscapes, ice fjords, the neighbouring ice sheet, and small local communities makes this a popular place for adventurous photographers. The primary season is in August to October when the harsh summer light fades and becomes more manageable.
East Greenland, and specifically Tasiilaq, is viewed as the ”front side” of Greenland or the “face towards the world” by many visitors. The region has nearly 50 years of experience with Greenland tourism and the regular flight connections to Reykjavik via the airport in Kulusuk ensure Tasiilaq’s accessibility to the outside world. Tasiilaq means “the place with a lake” (because of the shape of the fjord) and is located approximately 106 km (65.9 mi) south of the Arctic Circle. It is the largest town on the east coast with a population of about 2,017 (2013) and is one of the fastest-growing towns in Greenland.
The Scoresby Sund ( Kangertittivaq ) in East Greenland is the largest fjord in the World. The main structure of Scoresby Sund is about 110 km (approx. 68 mi) long, with a large number of islands and numerous side fjords, of which the longest extends to about 350 km from the coastline inland. Some of the fjords further inland are up to 1,450 m (4,760 ft) deep. The name of the sound honours English explorer William Scoresby, who in 1822 mapped the fjord area in detail. The overwhelming beauty of the vast fjord system, including the high walls and cliffs made of basalt, as well as the multi-faceted flora and fauna, fascinated the explorer, just as it does any traveller who visits this part of Greenland today.
On the northern side of the mouth of the Scoresby Sund stands Ittoqqortoormiit, the only permanent settlement in the region, with a population of 469 (in 2010). Ittoqqortoormiit is not quite like the other towns. For many guests, just getting to Ittoqqortoormiit is in itself an adventure, as the town is almost as far as one can get from any other inhabited area in Greenland. The Inuit name of the town translates into “those who live in big houses”. Even though the sea ice blocks ship access to Ittoqqortoormiit for up to nine months of the year, it is important for its existence. Here people are still hunters, which is not surprising considering the abundance of animals and fish in this area.
The fauna of the region is unusually rich for Greenland. This is because of several factors, such as availability of open water in the mouth, with polynyas not freezing even in winter, protection from the winds by the high relief, and relatively fertile land. The land animals include muskox, Arctic fox, stoat, mountain hare and lemming. Birds are represented by barnacle goose, pink-footed goose, snow goose, whooper swan, king eider, common eider, long-tailed duck, Brunnich’s Guillemot, black guillemot, little auk, puffin, fulmar, herring gull, glaucous gull, great black-backed Gull, Kittiwake, Arctic Tern, red-throated diver, great northern diver, red-breasted merganser, ptarmigan, raven, snowy owl, Greenlandic gyrfalcon, etc. Most of them are migrating species and form large colonies which may contain up to millions of individuals.
Ilulissat is situated at the mouth of the Ilulissat Ice Fjord in West Greenland, which was included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. The town is located next to the sea filled with icebergs from the most active glacier in the world, Sermeq Kujalleq. Excavations of the valley where Ilulissat show that people have inhabited the area for thousands of years, and it was once the largest town in Greenland. The town is also known for having almost the same number of sled dogs as people, currently, the town is home to 4600 people and nearly 3500 sled dogs.
Nuuk is Greenland’s capital and by far its biggest, most cosmopolitan town. It commands a grand fjord system and is backed by a splendid panorama of mountains. Home to gourmet restaurants, fashion boutiques, and the Northern Lights inspired Katuaq Cultural Center, Nuuk is the centre of modern Greenland. However, a stroll through the picturesque Old Harbor shows that history and traditions remain strong in this growing city. Nuuk is the Kalaallisut word for “cape”. It is so named because of its position at the end of the Nuup Kangerlua fjord on the eastern shore of the Labrador Sea. Its latitude, at 64°10′ N, makes it the world’s northernmost capital, located only a few kilometres farther north than the Icelandic capital Reykjavík.
Kangerlussuaq or “Big Fjord” as it known in English is a settlement in western Greenland and is located at the head of the fjord of the same name. It is Greenland’s main air transport hub and the site of Greenland’s largest commercial airport. The airport dates from American settlement during and after World War II, when the site was known as Bluie West-8 and then Sondrestrom Air Base. The Kangerlussuaq area is also home to Greenland’s most diverse terrestrial fauna, including muskoxen, caribou, and gyrfalcons. The settlement’s economy and a population of 499 is almost entirely reliant on the airport and tourist industry. Look past the oddities of Kangerlussuaq’s military beginnings and beach-like temperatures in summer to discover that the only inland town in Greenland is really a diamond in the rough. A community with steadfast solidarity and a backcountry of the wildest degree stand here to put your adventurous spirit to the test. Kangerlussuaq is home to Russell Glacier, an active glacier advancing 25 m (82 ft) every year.