Ultimate Guide to Planning an Adventure Elopement in Greenland

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Adventure Elopement in Greenland: How To Plan???

Obviously not many people travel to Greenland (let alone get married or eloped), getting around is hard and it can be very expensive. However, it’s a real once-in-a-lifetime type of place to visit! 

Greenland is the largest island in the world, Stretching approximately 2,800 kilometres (1,750 miles) from north to south and approximately 1,000 kilometres (625 miles) from east to west and. An exciting travel destination in the Arctic for all adventurous travelers.

But I mean, despite the fact that it's not easy planning a trip, let alone an elopement or a wedding in Greenland at all, It's an amazing experience and so rewarding to combine your adventure elopement with one of the remotest destination in the world. There are so much more about Greenland than ice, snow and glaciers so keep on reading! 

For ultimate guide to planning an adventure elopement in general, click the link below!

1) How to Travel to Greenland?

There are two ways to get to Greenland: on an airplane or on a cruise ship. Most people travel to Greenland by plane. Two airlines currently offer regular flights to Greenland. Air Greenland operates routes to Greenland from Copenhagen and Reykjavik and Air Island from Reykjavik in Iceland.

Flights to Greenland

- Air Greenland is Greenland's national airline. With Air Greenland you get flight from both Copenhagen and Reykjavik. Air Greenland also offers almost all domestic flights. When you fly from Copenhagen (non-stop) with Air Greenland, you are sitting in a comfortable Airbus aircraft where you can enjoy full service including catering and luggage. Air Greenland also operates the Reykjavik-Nuuk route in summer.

- The largest and busiest airport in Greenland is Kangerlussuaq Airport - north of the Arctic Circle. This is the main transportation link to Greenland and the perfect place to start your Greenland trip. You can travel from Copenhagen all year round. You can also take a plane directly from Copenhagen to Narsarsuaq Airport in South Greenland. However, there are fewer weekly departures on this route and it is not operated all year round.

Most European travelers choose Air Greenland's direct 4½-hour flight from Copenhagen, Denmark to Kangerlussuaq Airport. From there you can take the connecting flight with Air Greenland's domestic flight network, which covers most of Greenland.

- Air Iceland flies from Iceland to five destinations in Greenland: Ittoqqortoormiit, Kulusuk, Narsarsuaq and Ilulissat (and Nuuk in summer). The flights depart either from Keflavik (International) or from Reykjavik Domestic Airport.They also take care of domestic routes in Iceland and departures from Iceland to the Faroe Islands.

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2) Transportation in Greenland

There is only 80km paved road in Greenland and this is a huge country so traveling by land or renting a car to go from town to town is not possible.

The common transportation in Greenland:

- Small Air plane from town to town. 
The largest part of all traffic between towns is operated by Air Greenland with their Dash-8-200 planes. They carry 37 passengers and fly pleasantly low (4-5km), so that you get an amazing view and get to see Greenland from above on your flight.

- Helicopter from settlement to settlement.
In the small settlements in Greenland, there are no runways for air planes. Therefore trips to settlements often happen by helicopter, unless it is possible to take a boat. The fastest helicopter in Greenland, the AS-350, is travelling at a speed of 145 mph. On board of a chopper, you get the opportunity to watch the landscape from above and grab a lot of details.

- Coastal ship along the west coast.
The MS Sarfaq Ittuk coastal ship sails north and south along West Greenland (in service from April to December) between Qaqortoq in South Greenland and Ilulissat in North Greenland. In the summer season it is a good idea to book tickets well in advance..

The shipping company, Disko Line, operates in the entire west coast of Greenland with many small ships.

In South Greenland, Blue Ice Explorer sails with four different boats. They sail between Narsarsuaq, Narsaq and Qaqortoq in the summer season.

It is a lifeline for many of the small settlements on the coast. The ship is used particularly by the local population. Many tourists also travel on a passage and have a huge experience. Imagine waking up in a hut overlooking huge icebergs ...

- Boat from town to settlement.
In Greenland, owning a boat is very popular and even a necessity for many locals. Much of the transport through the towns is done by boat. It is easy to move in coastal areas on a boat and today everything is fished by boat. Almost all tourists in Greenland can take a boat trip in a fjord, to a beautiful glacier or a settlement. Some Greenlanders own a vacation house inside a beautiful fjord, and a boat is the only way to get there. What about a kayak? Hell yeah!.

- Car in daily transport.
There are tarmac roads in all towns in Greenland. That is why cars are popular and well used as transportation means, especially in the larger towns such as Nuuk, Sisimiut, Ilulissat and Qaqortoq.
In the larger towns, you can go by taxi as well as by bus. In the smaller settlements, however, there are neither tarmac roads nor cars. The distances are so short, that you either can go from one place to the other or go by ATV- which is handy when transporting heavy materials.

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3) When to Travel to Greenland?

There is no such thing as the best time to have your wedding/elopement in Greenland because strictly depends on what do you want to see, what kind of activities you want to do and where do you want to visit and the mood of the elopement!

Although Greenland experiences four distinct seasons, it is the winter and summer months which draw the most travellers to this fascinating country. The sun dictates all, with the pendulum swinging between the midnight sun in the summer and the polar night in the winter. Spring and autumn are quick, transitional periods which nevertheless offer a variety of experiences and also lower prices, as these months occur outside of Greenland’s peak seasons for tourism.

Greenland in Summer (June - September)

The summer is the season of the Midnight Sun and a great time to experience Greenland on both land and water. Whales swim along the shores, icebergs flow from calving glaciers, flowers and plants grow at tremendous speeds, hiking trails open up the backcountry, and boats connect the many communities along the coastline. The climate is generally mild and the weather in Greenland is often fine for long spells through this short, fiery season.

The long, bright, balmy days of summer are the best time to visit Greenland for those who actually want to see a bit of green land! Most of the country’s coasts will become snow-free during these months and, especially in the south, animals like reindeer, Arctic hare and muskox can be seen grazing on the thawed-out vegetation. Visitors can see the Northern Lights as early as August depending on how far south they are, while the midnight sun further north provides plenty of light for travellers wishing to hike into the interior, sail down fjords and explore the local towns. Late summer is the best time for whale watching, with many species passing close to shore.

October to November

Peak whale-watching season extends into early autumn, with observers able to spot blue, bowhead, fin, humpback, minke, pilot and sperm whales off the coasts, as well as belugas and narwhals. Autumn is when the Northern Lights start to become visible for most of Greenland, although it’s not until the depths of winter when conditions become ideal.

Greenland in Winter (December - March)

When the first frosts arrive and snow starts falling the tone of Greenland changes, and the country wraps itself in a white blanket that lasts the better part of six months. Winter is a season for dog sledding, northern lights, ski trips, and star gazing. Fjords and bays freeze over, opening up more and more winter highways the further north you travel, and the rhythm of everyday life adapts to the Polar night, which peaks at Christmas time.

Although you’ll have to endure short days in freezing conditions, you’ll be thankful to make it out under the open sky thanks to the crisp air and the few precious hours of beaming sunlight, which will turn the snow-covered mountains and ice-bound fjords into a truly magical landscape.

April to May 

Greenland during the short transitional season of spring allows you to witness the snows melting at a fast rate, but depending on the conditions, winter activities like dogsledding can be enjoyed at lower rates thanks to the tourism industry’s peak season having drawn to a close. Spring will also see the first shoots of the native vegetation emerging from the land.

4) How to Plan an Elopement in Greenland?

Planning an elopement or wedding in Greenland is pretty straightforward once you already have your vision and all info you need: on-bound travel, air transfer to the end destination, booking activities you love doing, contacting accommodations, legalities (if applied), decoration, officiant... And many other small details. I think after reading this guide you'll definitely able to pull it off without any external help.

Or if you don't have much time at hand you can make your preferred itineraries and ask a tour company to take care of the rest (logistic stuff) for you. Also make sure that the company has a sustainable and ethical approach when it comes to tourism. That said, we're experienced with planning extreme adventure elopement and wedding so feel free to ask us anything! Let's do this adventure together :)

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5) Where to Elope / Have a Wedding in Greenland?


5a) South Greenland

South Greenland is a land of jagged mountains and green pastures where sheep farms directly border ice fjords, and Norse settlement history intersects with modern Greenlandic fishing and hunting communities. Fresh vegetables, natural hot springs on a remote island, big wall climbing, and fjord kayaking abound in South Greenland. Dirt roads and hiking trails between farming communities, and a great band of sea ice flowing straight down from the northern seas are all unique South Greenlandic elements.

Nanortalik

Tucked away in the fjords of southern Greenland is Nanortalik, the tenth largest town in the country with a population of 1300. It's the gateway to the 70 kilometer long Tasermiut Fjord. This fjord attracts climbers, kayakers, and hikers from all over the world to explore the challenging mountains.

Igaliku

Igaliku is a versatile, family-oriented, open-air destination with Norse ruins, modern agriculture, sheep farms, and many hiking opportunities.

Narsaq

It is a combination of agriculture, Norse history and the landscape around Narsaq which provides the experience with a special South Greenlandic flavour. Hiking in the mountains and valley behind the town opens up the countryside towards the backcountry. For persistent hikers the trek over the mountain to Qassiarsuk is a typical journey through the South Greenlandic countryside with sheep farms, green river valleys, raw mountains and ice-filled fjords.

Qaqortog

Qaqortoq rises quite steeply over the fjord system around the city, and on hot summer days you may be tricked into thinking that there is a sub-arctic Riviera, a special Greenlandic version with icebergs in the bay and frolicking whales in the fjord, instead of sandy beaches, palm trees and over-population.

Narsarsuaq

Excitement fills you as you arrive to Narsarsuaq, but how can such a small village instill so much adrenaline and anticipation, you wonder? The mighty nature that surrounds Narsarsuaq – the fjord waters spotted with turquoise icebergs and the deep valley that points directly toward the Greenland Ice Sheet – just waits to be explored.

Qassiarsuk

The settlement is an agricultural destination for hikers and a visible meeting place between Norse culture and modern-day sheep farmers.

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5b) East Greenland

East Greenland is just a short flight from Iceland but its culture and landscapes are a world away. In a land dominated by the Ice Cap and impossibly steep mountain ranges, 3,500 people have made their home. 

Ice fiords, hiking, heliskiing, small settlements, northern lights, and boat rides combine to make East Greenland a year round destination, and the main town Tasiilaq also acts as the gateway for adventurers on longer climbing, kayaking, Ice Cap, and mountaineering expeditions in the rugged backcountry.

Tasiilaq

There are only a few places that you're able to visit in East Greenland, and Tasiilaq is by far the most popular. This place offers pretty much every kind of adventure you could wish for. Boat tours, dog sledding, snowmobiling, hiking, Tasiilaq has it all and more. The Flower Valley behind the town is a popular place for short or long hikes. This is where you should head to experience the great outdoors. Also, make sure you speak to the local community here. Unlike most of the other places in Greenland, Tasiilaq is cut off from the rest of the world in such a unique way. Because of this it’s really fascinating hearing how people live here.

Kulusuk

Kulususk is the gateway to East Greenland, and the opportunities for adventures on and around the island cover everything from cultural encounters to extreme expeditions in summer as well as in winter.

Hiking trips make the island accessible along gravel roads which connect the airport with the settlement and even continue on up to a nearby hill, the 300 meter tall Isikajia Mountain. From the top of the hill there is a great view of the Denmark Strait, icebergs, the fjord system, Tasiilaq island and much of the area’s jagged coastline.

Ittoqqortoormiit

The most isolated town in Greenland, where dog sledding, expedition cruises and wildlife dominate the opportunities for adventure. 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 closest neighbour is the world’s largest national park with the Danish Sirius Patrol as the only human presence in a vast landscape dominated by small game, birds, polar bears, musk oxen, reindeer, walrus and 18,000 kilometers of rugged, pathless coastline.

Furthermore, the city is right next to the world’s largest and deepest multi-branched fjord system, and a special basalt rock formation with horizontal lines running through the cliffs, is quite different from other parts of the country, marking the transition to the even more desolate area of Northeastern Greenland.

5c) Nuuk The capital of Greenland

Home to 17,000 people, Greenland’s capital, Nuuk, is an Arctic metropolis with a small town feel, shaped by nature and known for its cultural diversity. As a city break in Greenland it mixes shopping, whale watching, skiing, and fine dining into a cosmopolitan experience with a backcountry twist where innovative, adaptive people, and trendsetting artists meet office workers, fishermen and hunters. 

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5d) Greenland's National Park

Covering an area of 972,000 square kilometres, Greenland’s National Park is the world’s largest. The area is nearly the combined size of France and Spain and includes the entire north eastern part of Greenland north of Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresby Sound) and stretches from Knud Rasmussen’s Land in the north to Mestersvig in the east.

The coastline is 18,000 km in total and includes both the highest parts of the Northern Hemisphere’s largest ice cap and the world’s northernmost area of land. For thousands of years, various Inuit cultures have lived and survived here thanks to the high Arctic species of animal.

Today, the hunters from Ittoqqortoormiit are the only ones who have regular access to the area. They go on a dogsled trips and hunt in the National Park, which is basically otherwise uninhabited. The only people who live permanently in the vast area are a small group of people totalling approx. 40 people over five settlements – the staff at weather and monitoring stations.

Those who want to visit the park must submit a specially written application through the Danish Polar Centre. You can enter the park area only with the permit from the Ministry of Nature, Environment, and Justice. The email for submitting your application is exp@nanoq.gl. You are also required to pay around 500 Euros as a nonrefundable deposit per expedition.

Read a full guide on Greenland's National Park here!

5e) Artic Circle

Rough. Real. Remote. Destination Arctic Circle is the land of adventure. The combination of raw nature and cultural traditions brings you to the heart of modern Greenland.

It is home to Greenland’s only road to the Ice Cap, a dog sledding route linking the country’s second largest town Sisimiut to the international airport in Kangerlussuaq, the world’s toughest ski race Arctic Circle Race, unspoiled river angling in remote mountain valleys, and top notch heliskiing around the Eternity Fjord, to name but a few. Adventure is at the core of the journey in Destination Arctic Circle and the region’s diversity of experiences brings you right to the heart of modern Greenland.

Dog sledding, skiing, hiking, hunting, fishing, and kayaking are activities deeply embedded in the region’s human history. They form the back bone of many of the greatest adventures in Destination Arctic Circle.

Sisimiut

Backcountry sports and Arctic adventures in Sisimiut are the perfect answer to a pursuit for cultural discovery and pure natural settings. In the midst of such wide territory, the adventure scale knows no boundaries. Fly fishing for Arctic char in crisp rivers, hiking and cross-country racing through the mountains, and snowmobiling in fresh powder are only the beginning of fun in this Arctic Circle backcountry.

Maniitsoq

Active adventures open the gates to a backcountry with heliskiing, angling for Arctic charr, pods of visiting humpback whales, and the contrast between the rugged peaks of the Eternity Fjord and the quiet everyday life in the village of Kangaamiut, only an hour by boat from Maniitsoq.

Kangerlussuaq

The Greenland Ice Cap is a mecca for travelers who wish to see a true wonder of the world. It is hard to believe that only a few decades ago it was inaccessible to most people. Like a mysterious and looming beast, the Ice Cap sent cool winds rolling down from its highest peak into Kangerlussuaq.

Fortunately the Greenland Ice Cap is easier to reach now, though it remains a force to be reckoned with. Watch as the glacier edge calves into river rapids below, leaving a jagged face of ice in its place. Or challenge your threshold for cold and spend a few nights camping on the ice while the wind whips around your tent. The opportunities to explore are diverse, but one thing is universal – nothing conveys Earth’s power like the Greenland Ice Cap.

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5f) North Greenland

From the Disko Bay area in central West Greenland to the polar extremes of the far north, the scale of Destination North Greenland is hard to fathom. Along a coastline stretching thousands of miles lie small communities based on hunting and fishing, in a land ruled by the polar night in winter and the summer’s midnight sun.

Ilulissat

Every town has a claim to fame, and in Ilulissat it is the icebergs, without a doubt. Nature lovers will be drawn to hiking in the hills by the call of the wilderness. We dare you to try to find a camping spot that doesn’t impress.

Kangaatsiaq

Kangaatsiaq is an unspoilt little town, where there are no large hotels or tourist offices – in fact there is only private accommodation available and a single internet cafe. East of Kangaatsiaq, a 150 km wide fjord system opens with countless islands, inlets and bays, and there are good opportunities to explore the protected waters by boat, canoe or sea kayak.

Qaanaaq

Dog sledding is the ultimate activity in Qaanaaq. At these high latitudes, the dog sledding season is the longest in Greenland because while the sun is here to stay come springtime, the cold temperatures and sea ice persist long into the light period.

Accompany a local on an ice fishing trip and experience the heartbeat of the Arctic, otherwise known as Greenlandic dog paws pounding on the frozen sea. Or joy-ride the Qaanaaq way and head toward the distinctive southern mountains whose triangular shapes you will daydream about for months to come.

Upernavik

Upernavik is a prime town for travelers who want something between an organized holiday and a self-sustaining Arctic expedition. The off-the-grid factor in Upernavik is great thanks to its high northern latitude and a sun that disappears for three months a year. But with oodles of surrounding villages, lively maritime traffic in the summer, and easy connections from tourist hotspots, one still feels comfortably connected to the rest of Greenland.

Uummannaq

No trip to Uummannaq would be complete without exploring the greater Uummannaq Fjord, whether it is by boat, helicopter, or the power of your own two feet. A good rule of thumb is: if the locals are heading there, it is probably a good place to go!

The nearby Nuussuaq peninsula and the Upernivik Mountains are just waiting to challenge your adventurous side. Whether you walk inland toward the glaciers or reach the highest peak, it is guaranteed you will stand in no one’s footsteps but your own.

Oqaatsut

Standing in Oqaatsut, one does feel a refreshing sense of isolation, as the pleasant cadence of Oqaatsut is the polar opposite of the hurried pace you encounter at home. It may come as a surprise that Oqaatsut is actually quite close. From Ilulissat, short boat routes and a marked trail – used for hiking in summer and dog sledding in winter – make the remoteness of village culture in Oqaatsut just around the corner.

Qasigiannguit

The open hinterland and the available mountains around Qasigiannguit offer excellent hiking, and although the challenge for some may be huge, the view is worth the trip, especially the view from the city’s most prominent peak, the 450-meter tall Mount Qaqqarsuaq.

Qeqertarsuaq

Dog sledding in summer may sound like a misnomer, but thanks to the Lyngmark Glacier that rises many hundreds of meters above the coast, Qeqertarsuaq is the only town in Greenland where dog sledding is possible all year long. What a contrast to sit bundled on a dog sled feeling the midnight sun beat directly overhead while spotting humpbacks and other summer whales like tiny specks in Disko Bay below.

Aasiaat

The land of a thousand islands gives nature lovers many ways to discover the southern boundary of Disko Bay. What Aasiaat lacks in vertical height on land it makes up for with a boat full of water adventures. Sailing, whale watching, fishing, and kayaking...

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6) What to See & Do in Greenland


Hike the Arctic Circle Trail

The 160 km long Arctic Circle Trail is the ultimate way to explore Greenland’s unique backcountry, to disconnect from everyday life and reconnect with nature. Many hikers find it hard to resist this legendary trek from ice sheet to sea, but it can be difficult to find all the information you need to prepare, plan and complete the trail. This guide gathers the best resources on the web to give you all of the insider tips on how to make the best of this once in a lifetime experience.

Fewer than 1,000 people hike the Arctic Circle Trail yearly. And almost all of them do it in the summer. But you can also traverse Greenland in winter like those two guys did.

Greenland Ice Sheet

The Greenland Ice sheet is visible from most towns in Greenland, but merely looking at the ice cap is like running a marathon and not crossing the finish line. The ice’s total area of 1.8 million km² (695,000 square miles) corresponds to 14 times the size of England. The ice-free area amounts to 350,000 km² (135,000 square miles) – equivalent to the area of Germany. 

At its peak, the Greenland Ice Sheet is 3,200 meters above sea level, and on average it is approx. 2,135 meters thick. In fact, 65 % of the surface of the ice is more than 2,000 meters above sea level.

Kangerlussuaq is the proud home of the only road to the Greenland Ice Sheet, and though it is a bit bumpy around the edges, it delivers you literally to the ice edge. Here you can easily get to the ice sheet on good excursions to the ice in large 4×4 off-road vehicles. The ice sheet is approximately 25-37 kilometers away from Kangerlussuaq, and the drive takes four hours for you to reach the actual Ice Sheet, where you are allowed to walk around (and even camp for the night) in a safe area. Stepping off of solid ground and onto ice that moves undetected beneath your feet will give you new appreciation for the natural environment.

You can also experience the Greenland Ice Sheet from the air (fixed wing airplanes) or water. Boat trips into deep fjords wind between icebergs that were once embedded in the ice cap and lead you directly to the glaciers that form a living bridge between ice cap and sea. The Ilulissat Ice Fjord is the greatest collection of floating sculptures from the Greenland Ice Sheet, but other towns, like Nuuk and Uummannaq, have their own versions of an ice fjord to discover by sea.

Biking

Kangerlussuaq is perhaps the most convenient town in Greenland for biking, since it is home to the longest road in the country, which stretches from the ice cap all the way to the start of the Arctic Circle Trail, about 16 km west of Kangerlussuaq town. 

In winter, Kangerlussuaq is a popular location for fatbiking since it is possible to bike the Arctic Circle Trail in this way. Fatbikes are specialised mountain bikes with extra fat tires, offering a smooth ride over the tough Arctic terrain. They allow you to traverse frozen lakes and cut through snow on two wheels.

Arctic Wildlife

Polar bears, musk oxen, caribou, arctic foxes, hares, eagles, ptarmigan, lemmings and the rare Arctic wolf are all part of the terrestrial fauna of Greenland.

The birds in Greenland are as varied as their names are unique. From small buntings, siskin and sparrows to guillemots, puffins, auks, terns, kittiwakes, gulls, ravens, owls and many other known species, they each have their own areas of the country which is home to them. Also the great northern diver, the fulmar, the cormorant, the goose, the eider duck, the merganser, the sandpiper, sand runs, Turnstone and the Arctic skua among many others.

Greenland’s Arctic Circle Race

Greenland’s Arctic Circle Race is a 160 kilometer-long adventure type, cross-country race in Sisimiut. The Race is known as the world’s toughest cross-country race.

Boat Tours

The real beauty of taking a tourist boat trip in Greenland is the feeling that you are getting a bespoke experience. As there is no defined route that boat tours must follow, a detour to a rushing waterfall or the area where an eagle’s nest was recently spotted is not out of the ordinary. Your boat trip driver knows these Greenlandic waters from extensive experience sailing, and he wants you to experience the best.

In South Greenland, for example, boat tours connect an elaborate route of Viking ruins and modern day sheep farms, and in every town in Greenland, a short boat trip can open up a whole world of village life. The cherry on top of a perfect boat trip in Greenland is spotting a humpback and getting an impromptu whale watching tour just before heading home. You can find the list of all local providers here.

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Climbing & Mountaineering

Schweizer Land is a popular climbing area, not least because of the relatively short distance from the international airport in Kulusuk and the town of Tasiilaq. Most of the area (up to 150 km from Tasiilaq) lies with in a permit free zone, providing access to climbs on numerous peaks and rock walls.

CAPE FAREWELL / TASERMIUT FJORD
If you want good granite and solid rock, the fjords of South Greenland are an obvious and accessible climbing goal, which, with a bit of planning, can be reached in a day from Europe. It has been a popular climbing area since the early 1970s, and still has an almost inexhaustible number of unclimbed walls and peaks. The most famous peaks are Ketil and Ulamertorssuaq (The Great Cylinder). Nearest town is Nanortalik, where you can hire boat transport into the fjords.

Uummannaq & Upernavik
A classic climbing area, and in recent years “rediscovered” by some of the world’s best rock climbers, who have repeatedly used their own boats in this beautiful fjord system between the Nuussuaq Peninsula and the town of Upernavik.

EVIGHEDSFJORDEN (THE FJORD OF ETERNITY)
The fjord is a classic climbing area close to the town of Maniitsoq and very popular with Danish climbers in the 1960s. The area is often used for extreme skiing and heliskiing.

Flightseeing

Flight seeing, or adventure tours by air, is aviations response to kayaking. In a country where all the roads are pretty much confined within city limits, and where transportation through the wilderness is based on shipping or aviation, the large panorama windows of a helicopter or a small fixed wing aircraft, provide the viewer with sights of Greenland that few people get to experience. It will take you about a week on foot to cover the distance you can traverse by air in an hour, and we recommend you experience the landscape in both ways.

Diving

Cold water diving in Greenland takes place in clear waters with icebergs, historic shipwrecks, strange plant life and action-packed dives at the mouth of a fiord or bay.

Dog Sledding

There’s something about experiencing Greenland’s majestic landscapes from the perspective of a dog sled that snowmobiling or a ski tour simply cannot match. Maybe it is the slower pace that gives plenty of time to take in all the impressions or maybe it is the combination of sled dogs panting plus the rhythmic beat of their large paws, a sound that is suddenly magnified against a backdrop of pure silence.

Cross Country Skiiing

Ammassalik Island in East Greenland is a popular hiking destination in summer. In winter the deep snows, accessible mountain valleys, and steep alpine peaks of the area around the region’s largest town, Tasiilaq, create a serious contender for the best cross country skiing destination in the country.

Heliskiing

In many ways Greenland is the spiritual home of heliskiing. Mountain upon mountain offers first descents in a landscape where glaciers often flow straight from the ice cap to the coast.

Heliskiing in East Greenland is all about vast mountain expanses, tiny villages and towns along the coastline, runs that go right down to the water’s edge, and the icy Denmark Strait where whales, seals, and polar bears live year round.

The alpine ranges just south of the Arctic Circle in West Greenland are known for coastal heliskiing, peaks up to 2,000 meters, wide glacier faces, steep transitions to couloirs, and helicopter pick-ups right at the water’s edge of ice free fjords.

Hot Spring

On an uninhabited island between Qaqortoq and Nanortalik in Southern Greenland lies the only heated outdoor spa in the country, complete with a view to icebergs and pointy mountain peaks.

In other places in the country, especially on the volcanic island, Qeqertarsuaq, in the Disco Bay and in East Greenland, there are many known areas with hot springs, but it is the geothermal springs on the island of Uunartoq which steals the show.

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Icebergs

Icebergs are fundamental to Greenland. Experience colossal icebergs grounded in the Ilulissat Icefjord or find them along Greenland’s coastline like floating sculptures.

The largest collection of icebergs in Greenland exists at the Ilulissat Icefjord, thanks to one of the fastest glaciers in the world called Sermeq Kujalleq. True to its “iceberg capital of the world” nickname, Ilulissat is home to thousands of icebergs that can be seen year round by hiking, sailing, or flightseeing.

In East Greenland, the Sermilik Fjord stands just around the mountain from Tasiilaq, and it is particularly loaded with icebergs during the spring thaw.

Also, large sheets of pack ice are truly unique to South Greenland towns like Nanortalik and Qaqortoq. Unlike a freshwater iceberg that calves from a glacier, this is frozen ocean water that has traveled all the way from the east coast.

Kayaking

Tour operators, and rental companies, of glass fiber kayaks are located all over the country, testifying to the vessels popularity with the many visitors who come to Greenland.

The countryside in Greenland is accessible and open to everyone 24-7, weather permitting. You may go ashore and camp anywhere you choose, as long as you are considerate of the surroundings, and follow general rules when in mountainous terrain.

Snowmobiling

While snowmobiling is possible in most of Greenland during winter, there a few destinations, best described as hot spots, for snowmobiling that offer real adventure tours.

Sisimiut has the largest accessible back country, and the mountainous area offers the possibility for lengthy tours between Sisimiut and the airport settlement of Kangerlussuaq; easy family friendly excursions to local sightseeing points; tours climbing up to the top of 1400 meter tall glacier, and alpine skiing challenges for daredevils that defy the hold gravity has on humans.

In Tasiilaq, on the East Coast of Greenland the winter landscape opens to the opportunities for exploration of a wild and almost impassable terrain, flanked on one side by the icy Strait of Denmark towards the east, and on the other side, the Ice Cap towards the west. A local tour operator offers the possibility of combining alpine skiing in the back country with snowmobiling support.

On the island of Qeqertarsuaq, adjacent to Ilulissat, large valleys and flat-topped volcanic mountains create the framework for snowmobile safaris that may be combined with dogsled tours. Especially the tour to the top of the 800 meter tall Lyngmarks glacier provides a rewarding view of the entire Disko Bay area, in towards the ice fjord and going south along the west coast of Greenland.

Northern Light

One of the most easily accessible destinations in Greenland to view the northern lights, and that is the airport settlement of Kangerlussuaq, uniquely located inland in lee of mountains and ice; Kangerlussuaq boasts more than 300 clear nights a year.

River Fishing in Greenland

In West Greenland fishing is concentrated, in particular, around the towns of Sisimiut, Maniitsoq and Kangerlussuaq, where there are two dozen rivers with strong angler profiles along the west coast. 

Fishing destinations are wilderness experiences that can only be reached by boat or helicopter, and every river usually has no more than six to twelve fishermen at a time – so this small group of ‘geeks’ gets access to exclusive char experiences that you would have to search far and wide for in northern Europe and the U.S.

South Greenland is known as the bread basket of Greenland, and the local population, since the very first immigrants arrived here, has been aware that the rivers in the region are literally swimming with Arctic char.

At Ipiutaq farm near Narsaq, and on the rivers further inland in Tunulliarfik, also known as Erics fiord, the optimal conditions for the use of both spin and fly rod are from mid-July to September. The clear flowing river Ilua is located in the neighboring valley to Ipiutaq guest farm, while other rivers in the area are also suitable for fly fishing and spin fishing with the turbid waters flowing directly from the ice cap.

From 2013, Ilua river and lake system is the first place to be operated under a fishing concession from the Government of Greenland and is owned by Ipiutaq guest farm.

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing is as basic as hiking, but with the added benefit of being able to approach the entire landscape as a trailless adventure all while enjoying walking in winter without the hassle of sinking into deep snow.

It is definitely possible to create long expedition style treks far into the backcountry on snowshoes in Greenland, much like you would go wilderness hiking in the summer season, but mostly snowshoes are used for easy access to shorter walks focused on scenic beauty and with a more soft adventure approach to the experience.

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7) Glaciers in Greenland

Greenland’s coastline is absolutely riddled with fjords and inlets, through which the magnificent ice sheet seeps out into the surrounding oceans. This means that there are hundreds more glaciers in Greenland than we can possibly describe here.

Sermeq Kujalleq (Ilulissat Glacier)

To see the glacier, you have to swoop over it on a flightseeing tour. There is far too much ice in the fjord to be able to sail up to the glacier’s calving face. 

If you’d like to get up close to a glacier in this area, you can sail from Ilulissat to Eqi glacier (slightly north of Ilulissat) in a day boat trip. You can even spend the night in a luxury lodge that overlooks this glacier’s dramatic calving face.

Uunartuarsuup Sermia (Lyngmark Glacier, Disko Bay)

Hiking up the mountain to the glacier takes 3 – 4 hours one way and can be tough in places, so allow a day for a return trip.

As the glacier is so close to the coast, it is the perfect vantage point to enjoy a spectacular view over Qeqertarsuaq and Disko Bay, and to watch whales playing in the summer. You can do the hike self-guided (the trail is marked) or through any of the local tourism operators in town.

Disko Mountain Lodge is a hut on top of the glacier in which you can overnight if you want to extend your glacier experience even longer.

Russel Glacier (Kangerlussaq)

Greenland’s coastline is absolutely riddled with fjords and inlets, through which the magnificent ice sheet seeps out into the surrounding oceans. This means that there are hundreds more glaciers in Greenland...

The quickest way to see Russell Glacier is to take a flightseeing tour. This way, you can swoop over the glacier and be back in an hour, meaning you can often manage a visit even if you’re not staying in Kangerlussuaq but just have a layover there.

This is also often possible on a bus tour to the glacier, which usually takes around 4 hours. If you’re looking for a more active experience, you can also bike or hike to the glacier.

Narsap Sermia

You can sail to see both Narsap Sermia and the icefjord in a day trip from Nuuk.

If you have more time, book an individual boat transfer and stay for a few days in the serene settlement of Kapisillit. From here, it is a relatively short and easy hike over to the icefjord, which is packed with icebergs of all shapes and sizes.

In Kapisillit, there are a couple of different accommodation options, including Arctic Hostel and Asimut Camp, and there are hiking opportunities to keep you busy for days.

Kiattuut Sermiat

Seeing Kiattuut Sermiat is an easy day trip from Narsarsuaq which is often known as the gateway to South Greenland. After a short car transfer, you will hike through a valley and up to the glacier. This trip gives you an amazing view of the glacier from above.

Tasermiut fjord

This glacier is a bit more isolated, lying right at the end of the long, narrow and astonishingly beautiful Tasermiut fjord. The closest settlement is Nanortalik, which lies on the island of the same name, at the other end of the fjord.

Although it is quite isolated, there are a number of ways for tourists to experience this unique glacier. Tasermiut Camp is a local operator offering multi-day glamping experiences in Tasermiut fjord, as well as half-day boat tours to the glacier.

You can also take a boat tour with Nanortalik Boat Charter. See the glacier from above on two of the helicopter flightseeing tours offered by Sermeq Helicopters: Tasermiut Expedition and Essential South Greenland. You can also charter the local private boat, Polar-tut Narsarsuaq, to sail there.

Qalerallit Sermiat

View this glacier in style with a helicopter flightseeing tour with Sermeq Helicopters. This tour actually lands on the glacier, so you can have the once in a lifetime opportunity of walking on Greenland’s ice cap. Alternatively, choose a more relaxed and slower mode of transport, with a boat tour to the glacier with Greenland Sagalands.

Helheim Glacier

This is a glacier which, like Sermeq Kujalleq, gets a lot of media attention due to its often dramatic calving events. It is also a favourite glacier for scientists to study. It is one of Greenland’s largest glaciers and feeds into the Sermilik fjord system.

To see the Helheim Glacier itself, you need to take a helicopter tour with Arctic Wonder. Aside from this, there are plenty of options to see the Sermilik fjord by boat. Although these boat tours do not sail all the way to Helheim Glacier, there are many other glaciers along the fjord that you can see.

8) What to Pack for Wedding in Greenland?

For styling inspiration (aesthetic wise, elopement attires), you can check the link above.

What else to pack? Of course it will depend on when are you going to visit but the rule of thumb for Greenland: 

If you travel to Greenland in summer, you should pack lots of layers. When the sun is shining, it can actually get pretty hot in Greenland. However, once this sun goes down behind a cloud, it can get pretty cold again. Bring layers so you can easily put your clothes on and take them off. When evening falls, it can get very cold.

If you are planning a trip to Greenland in winter, bring even more layers with you. In winter it can get as cold as -40 ° C, so it is important that you have the right clothes. Thermal is a must, as is waterproof. If there is skin uncovered, cover it!

- Sunglasses & Sunscreen!

- Bring suitable footwear. Regardless of the nature of your visit to Greenland, you will often have to travel a lot on foot, and frequently in hilly and uneven terrain. Therefore it is important to bring good, waterproof walking boots or walking shoes with a sturdy moulded sole. If it is the first time you are using this type of footwear, make sure you break the boots in before departure so as to avoid blisters.

- Toiletries & basic first aid kit (painkiller, other pills, bandage...)

- Insect repellent, especially in July and August. During the winter all the mosquito eggs are frozen, but once it warms up and the ground thaws they come out in style!

- Chargers & right adapters, Powerbank...

- Passport, travel insurance...

- Gloves & Warm and sheltering headwear.

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8) Greenland Elopement Example Itineraries

Below is one example itinerary that we made for a perfect adventure elopement in Greenland. Of course every couple is different with different need and personal preference that's why if you book us as your elopement photographer and videographer, we together will create a bespoke itinerary for you! You may also want to check the guide on how to create an adventure elopement itinerary you love by yourself on the link above.

Day 0

Arriving in Greenland. A day to connect, to rest, load up your inventory, making you comfortable with me and go through the details one more time.

DAY 1-2

Participating in some light activities to warm up the adventure, for instance boat cruising, please hiking to explore the icefjord, iceberg, glacier etc.... It could be in Ilulissat, Kangerlussuaq (West) or Knud Rasmussen Glacier.... There are a lots of option to do this since Icefjords and glaciers are redundant here as mentioned in this blog post lol.

Or if you want to go big or go gome, take the 4 hour drive with 4x4 vehicles to visit the great Greenland Ice Cap and camp there for one night!

DAY 3

Take a plane to Nanortalik town. It will be the base of your main adventure.

- Flightsee the Tasermiut Fjord with Helicopter and at the end of the flight having the ceremony at stunning spot with the gorgeous Ulamertorsuaq mountains in the background, post-ceremony couple shooting...

DAY 4, 5... N

- Ditching the dress and starting the amazing post-wedding adventure for instance craftpacking and backpacking through the fjord, hiking, other activities like paddle boat, dog sledding, snowmobiling etc...The possibilities are endless and you can choose accordingly to your preference and the season.This Fjord is amazingly beautiful (Considered as one of the ten wonders of the Arctic by Lonely Planet)!

9) Recommended Accomodations for Elopement/Wedding in Greenland

10) Legalities

Legally, getting married in Greenland (and in Denmark in general) is not complicated! Here civil marriage and church marriage is fast, simple, economical and above all non-bureaucratic. A wedding in Greenland is not complicated, especially for bi-national couples, same sex couples and couples who simply want to marry fast.

Here you will be asked to fill in a marriage form and present it along with the following documents:

- Valid passports

- Schengen visa if required, or proof of entry and arrival to Denmark or the Schengen area

- Certificate of marital status: from the place you were born as well as from your present place of residence (if different).

- Certificate of marital status can also be required from other places if necessary. The certificate must be no older than 4 months and must be translated if not issued in Danish, English or German. The certificate must include the following: Name, date of birth, place of birth, current address, citizenship and marital status.

- Guardian's consent to the marriage if one of the parties is under guardianship

- If one or both of the parties involved have previously been married, you must also present the following documents: Divorce decree (complete original divorce decree, legally signed. The endorsement must bear the text ‘The Decree of Divorce has not been and cannot be appealed to a higher court. The parties are free to remarry’. Only decrees and certificates from the latest marriage should be submitted. The Registry office must approve the divorce decrees before you will be able to get an appointment. The decree should be submitted in the original and in a translated version, if not issued in Danish, English or German. Translations alone are not sufficient). Death certificate of previous spouse: Death certificates must be approved before you will be able to get an appointment. The certificate should be submitted in the original and in a translated version, if not issued in Danish, English or German. Translations alone are not sufficient.

- Divorce decrees and death certificates issued in countries outside the European Union (with exception of the USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, a.o.) must be presented in the original with a Legalization/Apostille. The complete legalization must also be translated and handed in.

Or you just do the legal stuff back home and do a symbolic elopement here in Greenland ;)

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11) Visa Policy of Greenland

Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat) is an autonomous country of the Kingdom of Denmark. It is not part of the Schengen Area, and Schengen visa or resident permits issued by Schengen area countries are not valid for visiting Greenland. The territory maintains an open border with the Schengen Area and so arrivals from the Schengen Area are not subject to border checks. A special visa for Greenland can be obtained in consular establishments of the Kingdom of Denmark. The conditions are similar to the conditions for the Danish visa. Greenlandic visas are not valid for visiting Denmark.

12) Other things to Know Before Traveling to Greenland

- The majority of Greenland’s nature is actual wilderness, with few or no paths, numerous mountains, rivers and glaciers. The very clear air means that it can be hard to judge distances; it is often a lot further to a given point than you might think. 

There are paths close to most towns and settlements that lead out in the mountains. Some of these are marked as hiking routes, but many of the paths disappear once you move slightly away from built-up areas. It is therefore important to always keep track of where you are, and a map, compass and GPS (including spare batteries) are essential.

- All glaciers have crevices. A glacier with snow has hidden crevices and you should therefore avoid walking on a snow-covered glacier unless you have at least three people in your group with complete glacier equipment (braces, rope, ice axes, crampons and equipment for glacier crevice rescue).

- If you camp by a fjord with large icebergs or where a glacier ends, there is a risk of one of the icebergs falling or the glacier calving, which causes extremely big waves. Waves can reach several meters up on land. A good rule of thumb is to camp higher up than the distance the tallest icebergs reach above the water’s surface – or higher than the glacier front.

- In Greenland sudden changes in weather are common, and you have to be prepared for all types of weather when on an excursion. During the winter, temperatures range from minus 5° C to minus 30° C and in the summer from plus 5° C to plus 15° C. As the air in Greenland is very dry, temperatures do not feel as cold as in Europe.

- A fishing licence is required in order to fish. Licences can be bought at post offices and tourist offices. The fishing licence gives the holder the right to fish with a rod or hand line. The Arctic environment is vulnerable, so please only catch what you can eat.

- There is a hospital in all towns, and in the settlements there is usually a nursing clinic. It is recommended that visitors bring their own medicine and any other medication that is used regularly, as special products are not always available. In the event of acute illness, treatment is free of charge in Greenland.


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