The best time to go to Greenland
Although Greenland experiences four distinct seasons, it is the winter and summer months which draw the most travellers to this fascinating country. The sun dictates all, with the pendulum swinging between the midnight sun in the summer and the polar night in the winter. Spring and autumn are quick, transitional periods which nevertheless offer a variety of experiences and also lower prices, as these months occur outside of Greenland’s peak seasons for tourism.
The main attraction during Greenland’s freezing Arctic winters is the Northern Lights, which dance across the sky from September to April when the sun has set. Even Nuuk – Greenland’s capital city, which lies below the Arctic Circle on the country’s southwest coast – experiences just a few hours of sunshine a day during December. Summer brings the phenomenon of the midnight sun, as well as increased temperatures which make fjords more easily navigable and wildlife sightings more frequent.
Despite these general trends, Greenland’s massive size results in a similarly massive discrepancy in temperatures as you move across the country (which is officially the largest island in the world). Those living on the southernmost tip of the island enjoy summer temperatures a few °C above freezing, while temperatures in winter rarely drop below -10°C. By contrast, winter temperatures in the far north can reach an average low of -30°C.
Although some animals can only been during certain periods of the year, many - like the polar bear, narwhal and Arctic fox - are year-round residents.
To maximise your chances of sighting a particular species, take a look through our Greenland wildlife page We can put you in the right place at the right time for whichever wildlife encounter you desire.