Editorial

Meet
the Kallaalits

An invitation to explore Greenland, the icy land that gave birth to the popular parka jacket
W

hile it is not probably the most popular holiday destination on Earth, Greenland certainly represents a dream travel to many of us. Yet what is it that makes it so fascinating? Its incredible light? Its magic natural landscapes? Or maybe its undeniable remoteness? The land of the Kallaalits (meaning “Greenlander” in the native Inuit language Kalaallisut) is one of the most unique places on Earth indeed. Here are a few facts about Greenland you should know before embarking on a journey towards the Arctic Circle.

Greenland is the most sparsely populated country on earth.

With an area of 2,166,086 square kilometers and a population of less than 60,000 people, it has huge wild snowy and icy areas and very few roads between towns. Which is why you won’t be able to explore it by car: be prepared to go by sled, boat, snowmobile and plane.


Greenland has never actually been “green”

About 80% of the island is covered by the Greenland ice sheet, which is at least 400,000 years old. So naming it Greenland was nothing but a clever marketing strategy applied some 1,000 years ago by Norwegian Viking explorer Erik the Red in order to attract new settlers to this newly discovered land. Still, there are green areas in Greenland: in the mild summer climate, greyleaf willows grow at the base of it beautiful fjords, and the mountain landscapes are adorned with a wealth of colors from flowers, herbs, mosses and heather. On a sadder note, according to experts climate changes might turn Greenland greener by the year 2100, when swaths of verdant forest could be covering much of its land surface because of the raising temperatures.

Greenland is the place to go to explore the Arctic and enjoy the Northern Lights.

The Arctic Circle Trail extends up to 200 kilometers from the edge of the ice cap to the angling town of Sisimiut, on Greenland’s the West coast. From June to September it is usually free of snow and offers a truly spectacular hike. As for the Aurora Borealis, it is enjoyable all across the island from December through February, when the nights are clear and the biggest light show on earth gives its very best.


You can have a bath in Greenland!

Greenland is notoriously scattered with hot springs, yet not all of them are warm enough to bathe in. The uninhabited island of Uunartoq, in South Greenland, is home to three naturally heated springs which run together to a small stone-dammed pool where you can lie in the hot water and enjoy the view on the surrounding mountain peaks and drifting icebergs.


Greenland has a very modern and cosmopolitan capital

Despite being one of the smallest capital cities in the world, Nuuk is on its way to becoming the Nordic culture capital, as well as the northernmost. Inhabited by Greenlander and Danes, this amazing city has managed to create an amazing cultural mixture that ranges from the of traditional local culture to the most diverse contemporary creative expressions such as street art, futuristic architecture, new Nordic cuisine and craft beer.
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