Things to do

Norse History

Feel the history while walking among the ruins from a distant Viking age, or whilst sitting at the long table in Greenland's only reconstructed longhouse and eating like the Viking settlers did some 1000 years ago.

The traces of the Vikings - also called the Norse - can be found in the innermost and warmest fjord systems in Southern and Western Greenland. The landscape here continues to be dominated by large ruins of farms, stables, storerooms, etc., made of sandstone and granite blocks. The ruins can be up to 1000 years old.

Green landscapes

As a visitor to these parts, you quickly begin to understand why Erik the Red called the country Greenland - the landscape is literally green and fertile. Lots of the same land that the Viking settlers originally cultivated is today occupied by enterprising sheep farmers and other farmers who offer guests overnight accommodation on the banks of deep fjords or on grassy mountain slopes. Nature-lovers can experience authentic settings as they begin to explore the area in the footsteps of the earlier Norse settlers.

The best preserved ruins

The best preserved ruins are found in Southern Greenland, where around 500 groups of ruins have been unearthed and identified. After half an hour by boat from Narsarsuaq international airport, you arrive at Qassiarsuk, where the fascinating Brattahlid ruins can be seen. The area is also home to a reconstruction of a Viking longhouse and Tjodhilde's Church, which was the first Christian church built on the North American continent.

Brattahlid is also the location from where Leif Eriksson set sail and discovered Vinland - the North American continent at Newfoundland and Labrador.

Hvalsey Church ruins

If you are in the vicinity of Qaqortoq, you must not miss out on the chance to go on an excursion to the beautiful Hvalsey Church, which is by far the best preserved ruin in the country. The final accounts of the Norse population were heard from here through a wedding described in the Vatican's annals in 1408. After this account, no further written evidence exists - only the mystery of what became of the Viking population.

The Viking population in Nuuk

The Viking settlers did not only restrict themselves to living in Southern Greenland, up to 100 groups of ruins have been found in the innermost fjords near the capital of Nuuk. These ruins can be reached on a daytrip by boat or by helicopter.

Read about The Greenlandic People here.
Read about Inuit Culture here.
Read about The History of Greenland here.

Related stories

 

Facts about
Norse History

In 982, led by Erik the Red, the Norsemen came to South Greenland and they disappeared just as suddenly in the 15th century.

 

Practical info about Norse History

Adventure level
Easy:
No physical requirements. No previous experience needed.
Moderate:
Little or no requirements on physical condition or previous experience.
Demanding:
Some requirements on physical condition. Previous experience may be needed for some activities.
Strenuous:
Highly demanding activities, requiring good physical condition and endurance. May involve extremely low temperature, rough terrain, etc. Previous experience needed.
Please note that some activities can be found on several adventure levels, and offerings may vary by location.
 
 
 
 
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Package tours related to Norse History

In the Wake of the Vikings in South Greenland

In the Wake of the Vikings in South Greenland

Type: Package tour

Experience amazing South Greenland on a 3 days getaway from Iceland. On this short visit to Greenland, we want you to expe…

 
 
 
 
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Easy hike package. 8 days

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Type: Package tour

Tour package for individual travellers in the best hiking area in Greenland! Accommodation at farms and in settlements.

 
 
 
 
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Flights not included

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In the Footsteps of Eric the Red

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Type: Package tour

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Wonders of Greenland

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a full-featured trip in Greenland: icebergs, Inuit culture, northern lights, easy hikes on tundra and glacier ice

 
 
 
 
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