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Greenland Tourist Guide

Greenland

Greenland is by area the largest island on Earth that is not a continent. Politically, Greenland is a self-governing province of Denmark and the Danish Queen is the head of state. The people are Inuit and their daily lives revolve around fishing and hunting. Most of Greenland is covered by a deep ice sheet and is inaccessible. The towns and settlements are confined to the ice-free coast and most of the population live along the southwestern coast. Nuuk is the capital and most populated place with 14,500 inhabitants. A cruise is the best way to experience Greenland and its culture, and a hike from one of the 18 coastal towns will bring you close to nature and the deafening silence of the great outdoors.

The country's greatest natural attraction is the Ilulissat Icefjord, about 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle, as it's one of the few places where the Greenland Icesheet meets the sea. The fjord is the focus of studies on global warming, as the melting of the glacier is observed to have speeded up in recent years. It's now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In South Greenland you can go from Qaqortoq to the beautiful settlement of Alluitsup Paa on the island of Uunartoq, famous for its hot springs. The towns of western Greenland are visited regularly by coastal ships and cruise boats. Nuuk has Greenland's national museum and beyond the city are Norse ruins and traces of earlier Inuit cultures. Diskobay has a cluster of small towns and settlements that are worth exploring. Qasigiannguit is a typical Greenland fishing town, and the starting point for whale watching, dog sled excursions and hiking routes and the place where fishermen and hunters gather to sell their catch of fish and game. You can join in a Kaffemik, a get-together traditional among Greenland families where they serve coffee, tea and cookies and talk about life and times.

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