Best time to visit Greenland

Greenland Ice Sheet 2024

The best Arctic adventure ever—just you and untouched millennial glaciers, glacial lakes and ice rivers

Best time: May–October

Greenland Ice Sheet
Greenland Ice Sheet
Greenland Ice Sheet
Greenland Ice Sheet

Greenland is often perceived as a huge block of ice and snow; nearly 80% of its territory is indeed a glacier. However, the very Ice Sheet or Ice Cap is not monotonous or dull,—you'll be surprised how much color it can reveal. Blue and green ice walls, the sites of glacial lakes as well as rivers flowing inside the ice are among the most beautiful landscapes of the world.

Greenland Ice Sheet is actually the second largest glacier after Antarctica's, and one of the oldest relatively uncharted hiking areas. If you desire to escape from civilization, that's the best choice due to sparse population and untouched environment. There's also no internet or mobile connection across most of its territory. The glacier itself is believed to be 18 million years old. Upper layers of ice age back to 500 to 100,000 and even 250,000 years. It's a strange feeling to realise that you're in one of the world's oldest places, where nothing has changed for millions of years.

The Ice Sheet of Greenland has an area of 1.7 million square kilometers and contains 2.8 million cubic kilometers of ice. Around 65% of the ice lies at over 2,000 m above sea level, and only a third—below sea level. Thus, if the glacier was ever to melt, Greenland would become a ring-shaped country with a huge lake in the middle of it. As to the impact on the rest of the planet, the least fortunate would be the low-lying countries, since sea level would rise by more than seven meters.

Kayak trips and helicopter flights are some of the best ways to explore the famed glacier. But hiking is nothing to compare with. Besides great enthusiasm and good physical condition, you'll need an official permit from the government to explore the glacier on foot in an expedition. Ice Cap Tours typically run from May to October.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit the Greenland Ice Sheet and why?

You can visit the Greenland Ice Sheet from May to October when the temperature is relatively milder and provides more time for outdoor activities. With longer days and mild weather, the terrain is less challenging to explore on foot or kayak. However, adequate clothing is necessary while visiting the glacier because temperatures can still be cold. Show more

How can travelers explore the Greenland Ice Sheet and what are some of the best ways?

Hiking expeditions require an official permit and are suitable for visitors who are in good physical condition and enthusiastic. Exploring the ice sheet by foot is dangerous and should only be done with a trained professional. Kayak trips, helicopter tours, and flights are some of the best ways to explore the glacier. Helicopter tours provide a stunning aerial view of the glacier. Show more

Can travelers explore the Greenland Ice Sheet without an official permit?

It is recommended to obtain an official permit before exploring the Greenland Ice Sheet due to unpredictable weather, challenging terrain, and crevasses. Hiking expeditions require official permits to protect the environment and visitors. Exploring the glacier without a trained professional would be dangerous in case of emergencies. It's essential to ensure your and the environment's safety while exploring the glacier. Show more

What percentage of the Greenland Ice Sheet lies over 2,000 meters above sea level?

Approximately 65% of the Greenland Ice Sheet is over 2,000 meters above sea level. The remaining third of the glacier lies below sea level. Navigating the glacier on foot is extremely challenging, and it's recommended to hire trained professionals for assistance. It's important to consider safety measures while exploring the glacier due to the rugged terrain. Show more

How would the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet affect the rest of the planet and which countries would be most affected?

Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet would cause sea level to rise by over seven meters. The increase would adversely impact the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Bangladesh, and low-lying cities and countries worldwide. The rise in sea level can cause significant ecological, economic, and cultural damage in these areas. Raising awareness about the implications of climate change is crucial in preventing further damages to the environment. Show more

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