South Greenland is a hiker's paradise. Here you can hike for weeks, from town to settlement and vice versa. For example, the trials from Qaqortoq to Igaliku and Qassiarsuk to Narsaq are popular. En route you will pass Norse ruins and sheep farms. You get close to the ice sheet, hiking in beautiful valleys and maybe you'll spot reindeer and other animals of Greenland. Take the trip alone or choose a guided tour. Good hiking boots, a hiking map, warm clothing and food are a must - your thirst can be quenched with spring water en route.
You find ice anywhere. As icebergs and ice floes in the sea, as a spectacular surface during a hike or helicopter trip, or during a boat trip in the fjords, where in the form of giant glaciers the ice is pushed out towards the coast by gravity from the ice cap. When hiking in South Greenland, you can get up close, from Narsarsuaq, for example, the ice sheet can be reached in a few hours. And putting it mildly, it is a spectacular experience to come face to face with a monument from the last ice age.
South Greenland is fantastic from the sea, the distances between towns and settlements is relatively short, and local tourism operators understand how to take good care of both large and small cruise ships, which increasingly call. And the explanation is simple. The explanation is simple. The seaway is a great way to experience a large part of Greenland. You find your spirit during the voyage, discover whales, icebergs and the gangway to small towns and settlements, and you have the time and space to comprehend the many impressions.
In 985, exiled Erik the Red arrived in South Greenland from Iceland. From that day, the Norse settlements began in Greenland and would last for about 500 years. When the settlements were at their peak, around 3000-5000 Norsemen lived in Østerbygden (Eastern Settlement) in South Greenland and Vesterbygden (Western Settlement) near Nuuk. The Norsemen were farmers, who cultivated grass, fished and hunted. During the 15th century they disappeared, and today nobody has found a definitive reason for their sudden disappearance.
Hot springs are found in many places in Greenland, but in only a few places are they easily accessible and at a comfortable bathing temperature. On the uninhabited island between Alluitsup Paa and Nanortalik in South Greenland, there are three naturally heated springs that flow together to form a small stone pool. Jump in and enjoy the view of sharp mountain peaks and drifting icebergs. The definition of a hot spring is that it has the same temperature all year round and is warmer than the location's average temperatures.
In the towns of South Greenland, you can rent both tourist and sea kayaks. The weather can change very quickly, which you must have great respect for before you sit down in the flimsy kayak. The fjords at Narsaq and Tasermiur fjord at Nanortalik are ideal for kayaking. However, beware as the water is cold. Places where nature is particularly harsh, requires sound knowledge and experience of kayaking.
In Greenland, the past is never very far away, and in the towns and settlements of South Greenland, you will discover examples of the country's strong culture. You discover Inuit culture in museums that tell the history of the towns and settlements, and you discover it at art exhibitions, in art, in music and theatre, often mediated through new expressions and new forms. Basically, nature was all-pervading and equipped with a special life force, an internal energy.
It can be hard to imagine how the Inuit have lived and survived for generations in the Arctic? Several of the museums in South Greenland have a particular focus on Norse culture that dominated the area from the year 1000 and about 500 years afterwards. Also here there are special turf houses that housed Greenlanders right up to the mid-50s. At Narsarsuaq Museum you also have the history of the U.S. airbase, before and after World War II.
On guided tours you will inevitably hear about the time of the Norsemen and see Norse ruins. Discover the beautiful colonial buildings in Qaqortoq, Greenland's oldest fountain and the unique sculpture park "Stone and Man". Go sightseeing in Narsaq and learn about Norse culture. Maybe the guide takes the tour by the market, where people meet and exchange news. Study a copy of the world's oldest women's boat at Nanortalik Museum and hear the local guide talk about politics at the former U.S. base at Narsarsuaq.
Greenland's hospitality is well known. You can also enjoy close contact on a boat trip. Tourist boats are not very big, and the skipper is often willing to talk and answer questions. At several locations in South Greenland can experience farm life and try life as a sheep farmer. Many sheep farmers have furnished old houses like a cross between a small hostel and mountain cabins. Often sheep farms are isolated on lush peninsulas in stunning surroundings.
In South Greenland icebergs are not as big as in the north, but no less spectacular. Here you will experience both icebergs and ice floes, which are small pieces broken off icebergs. Observe the ice's play of colours. Often icebergs are intersected by green, turquoise and blue, which have to do with the processes that occur when the ice is formed. Notice that icebergs make sounds; they creak and boom when they rotate and break.
In South Greenland you can see whales, seals, reindeer, arctic hares and arctic foxes, and a number bird species. 50-60 species of birds regularly breed in Greenland, while 160 species are summer visitors. You may also experience ptarmigan, eider ducks, kittiwakes and murres - birds that are also delicacies on the Greenlandic menu. Ravens are also found everywhere. Polar bears happen to occasionally pass Nanortalik, which also means "place of polar bears".
Arctic Umiaq Line's passenger ships start and end in Qaqortoq. From here they sail to Ilulissat in the north and underway they call at a number of towns and settlements. It is almost guaranteed to see whales and icebergs, and also the coast and countryside's dramatic encounter with the sea is well worth seeing. Life on board is something special. People meet, and it is not difficult to get into conversation with other passengers. Some are on their way to visit family, others to visit friends, on holiday or something completely different.
Good ingredients, ancient heroes and strong cultural memories. Everything goes into a higher unity at a table in South Greenland, with a view of the lambs running around freely in the mountains by the old fields of the Norsemen. Here potatoes, fruits and vegetables are also cultivated as fresh garnish for the field's meat and fish from the sea. The fjords of South Greenland have an abundance of seals, salmon and trout. Get an extra taste sensation by picking the vitamin rich berries, delicious mushrooms and herbs - like the Inuit have been doing for millennia.
In South Greenland is Great Greenland, which together with talented designers, has managed to combine craftsmanship with modern technology and design. To wear a seal product is like putting on the essence of the country's culture and nature. Almost all of nature's materials are part of the Greenlandic handicraft tradition. Greenlandic souvenirs are not mass produced. They are handmade arts and crafts that are shaped and designed by artists - marked by traditions and customs, but each manages to make their own impression.
In South Greenland, helicopter tours are part of the transportation. Should you, for example, go on a spring tour to Narsarsuaq and Qaqortoq, a helicopter provides transportation between towns. Climb into the sky and discover ice, glaciers, animals and deep valleys from new angles. Helicopter tours to the ice can also be arranged. There are three possibilities to fly by helicopter in Greenland: Embark on a scheduled flight, an organised tour or charter your own helicopter.
In a country where no towns are linked by roads, sailing has a unique role to play. It is just a natural part of everyday life, as cars are for others. In South Greenland, the towns and settlements are relatively close, and you can get boat trips to inaccessible places. Sail in the wake of Eric the Red, and get close to bird cliffs, young glaciers, whales and icebergs. Enjoy lunch on board or a picnic in the mountains, while the skipper tells about the area, wildlife and cultural memories.
Here, far to the south, most of the year the chances are good of seeing the Northern Lights breathtaking dance. It is best around midnight, and the experience is most powerful, if you are a little away from artificial light. Greenlanders from the past believed that the Northern Light's billowing sea of colour is due to the souls of the dead playing with a walrus skull. Nowadays we know better. Nature's own light show challenges you to lean your head back and admire the emerald green carpet waving across the sky.
Nanortalik in South Greenland is world famous among climbers for its challenging rock walls. Ketil Mountain, with its 1000 metre steep rock wall, attracts climbers from around the world. There are also other mountains and cliffs in South Greenland that temp mountaineers and climbers from all over the world. The area boasts local expertise to provide optimal support for both mountaineers and rock climbers - first and foremost in terms of equipment and boat transfer.
Trout fishing is popular in South Greenland, and there are many opportunities for fishing. In Narsarsuaq, you can fish directly in the fjord, or hike to rivers. One option is to make an agreement with local outfitters, who will provide transport to the rivers that are farther away. There are many mountain trout to be found here waiting to be caught in the 1-3 kilo class. There are also good opportunities for fishing with dry flies by the upper waterfall.
Imagine duelling with a catfish. You haul it on board alive, its bite is formidable and perhaps it is necessary to kill it another way. Many local tour operators in South Greenland will gladly take anglers out to sea to the good fishing spots. You can fish for the coveted redfish and cod. Red fish is a bottom fish, which is caught at depths of 100 metres and more. The fish are often in shoals, so once you have found a redfish site, you can usually catch many.
Greenland's countryside creates a unique setting for many of the events that take place every year. Most demand good physique and psyche, but the driving force is first and foremost a desire and an appetite for adventure in a world of ice, snow, strong sunlight and green mountains. One of the most traditional events is the Greenland Adventure Race in South Greenland. The strenuous five-day adventure race can best be described as a Greenlandic version of "Iron man".