1. You’re close to everyone

Walking from one end to the other will most probably take 10 minutes. Tops. Commuting between your job and your house simply isn’t a thing here.

Visits are probably going to be spontaneous and if the one you were going to visit isn’t home you might meet him/her down by the boats or in the shop.

Everyone knows each other and you’re naturally close to everyone in one way or the other.

  • More than 7.400 people in Greenland live in settlements.
  • Settlements have about 50-500 people. The definition of a settlement is not a fixed one and is a matter of status rather than population.
  • To get to Itilleq (right picture above) you fly to Sisimiut and sail to Itilleq. Read more here.

"This is when the feeling of being but a little dot in the world really hits you."

2. You’re far from everything

The feeling of being close to everyone in the settlement gets contrasted by the feeling of being quite far away from everything else - especially when the weather is bad and the waters don't allow for sailing to the next town or settlement.

This is when the feeling of being but a little dot in the world really hits you and you appreciate the days that allow for hunting, fishing and appreciating the grand nature around you.

Kangaamiut (picture on the left) is a settlement with a little more than 250 people, and is one of the two settlements the coastal ferry Sarfaq Ittuk stops in.

3. Celebrate with a kaffemik

If the weather can't cheer you up, a kaffemik for sure might! With coffee, cake and Greenlandic specialties: that's how everything from birthdays, to anniversaries to the first catch is celebrated. The tradition of inviting family and friends over to coffee and cake is something we consider to be very Greenlandic. There are “unwritten rules” you might find useful: firstly, always take off your shoes when entering a house at any time. Secondly, always at least have one cup of coffee or tea and a bun with butter. At least. Thirdly, if there’s lack of space you make room: don’t sit around for hours when people are politely waiting for a seat. Keep these three points in mind, and become a good kaffemik guest!

- You can read more on kaffemiks here.

- There are providers in Greenland offering a good kaffemik, like North Greenland Adventure and SikuAput.

"Keep these three points in mind, and become a good kaffemik guest!"

"The lack of cars is something you really notice: the air is cleaner and clearer and you won’t be disturbed by highway noise."

4. No complicated road network to supply the stores expect

There's no asphalt. Some settlements will only have one truck in town, while others also have ATV's. Everything in the store is either shipped or flown in. The shop will have a selection of different groceries, and for most places it’s the ocean, land and air that will be the biggest provider of food.

This is nature’s own equivalent to what you might know as the meat and fish section at the supermarkets. The lack of cars is something you really notice: the air is cleaner and clearer and you won’t be disturbed by highway noise.

5. The secret might be humor

A little sense of humor is great whether you live in New York, Hong Kong or Kuummiut which has a little more than 300 people.

Greenlanders have always been fond of a little irony, shown here in a joking reference in Kuummiut, East Greenland, to one of the finest hotels in downtown Copenhagen, D' Angleterre, 2831 kilometers away.

Humor puts a little colour to everyday life, regardless of where you live. Get to Kuummiut by flying from Iceland to Kulusuk. From Kulusuk Kuummiut is a few hours by boat away.

  • Some of the smallest settlements in Greenland have around 30-40 people, like the isolated Kangerluk on the Disko Island.
  • Siorapaluk is the northernmost settlement in Greenland and is 1362 km away from the North Pole.
  • The most isolated town is Ittoqqortoormiit on the East Coast. The closest neighbour is the town of Kulusuk 833 km South, and North of Ittoqqortoormiit is the largest national reserve on Earth covering an area of 972,000 km2.