10 Things to See and Do in Greenland

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8. Hike to Norse Ruins

Hiking is a popular pastime throughout Greenland. With a range of different landscapes, the terrain is almost certain to challenge and the untamed wilderness of many areas will attract those travelers looking for adventure off the beaten path. Some of the more tame hikes will take you to various Norse settlement sites, where you can still see ruins. The Norse settled in Southern Greenland, but had all but disappeared by the 1700s. The best preserved ruins are in Hvalsey, which was part of the Eastern Settlement, near modern-day Qaqortoq. The ruins of Hvalsey church are considered the best-preserved example of Norse architecture and settlement in Greenland. Other sites include Brattahlid, Erik the Red’s estate near Qassiarsuk; Sandnaes near Kilaarsarfik; Dyrnaes north of modern-day Narsaq; and Gardar, which was the seat of the Norse bishops.

Ruins of Gardar Greenland

7. Trek to an Ice Cap

Despite the name, huge portions of Greenland are covered in ice. While there is concern that much of Greenland’s ice is melting away, one popular activity you can take part in is hiking out to an ice cap. In the south of Greenland, you can take the Iceview Plateau Hike, which departs from Narsaruaq. The trek takes about 5 or 6 hours to complete. The first stage of the hike is pleasant, with varied scenery. A milky-blue river wends its way through valleys. The real hike begins with the incline; bright blue ropes mark the way and you may need to pull yourself up as you gain 300 meters in altitude. At the top, you’ll have a spectacular view of the pond-dappled Iceview Plateau. The area features a lake surrounded by glacial boulders. Descend into the valley and walk across 10,000-year-old ice.

Ice cap Greenland
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