when to go by season
June to September
The long, bright, balmy days of summer are the best time to visit Greenland for those who actually want to see a bit of green land! Most of the country’s coasts will become snow-free during these months and, especially in the south, animals like reindeer, Arctic hare and muskox can be seen grazing on the thawed-out vegetation. Visitors can see the Northern Lights as early as August depending on how far south they are, while the midnight sun further north provides plenty of light for travellers wishing to hike into the interior, sail down fjords and explore the local towns. Late summer is the best time for whale watching, with many species passing close to shore.
October to November
Peak whale-watching season extends into early autumn, with observers able to spot blue, bowhead, fin, humpback, minke, pilot and sperm whales off the coasts, as well as belugas and narwhals. Autumn is when the Northern Lights start to become visible for most of Greenland, although it’s not until the depths of winter when conditions become ideal.
December to March
As well as the Northern Lights – best seen away from the artificial light produced by settlements, when conditions are dark and clear – the winter months also provide fantastic conditions for dogsledding expeditions. With a decent amount of snowfall lying on the ground, there’s no better way to travel during the winter than wrapped up in furs and sealskin while huskies or the native Greenland dog pull your sled across the snow. Although you’ll have to endure short days in freezing conditions, you’ll be thankful to make it out under the open sky thanks to the crisp air and the few precious hours of beaming sunlight, which will turn the snow-covered mountains and ice-bound fjords into a truly magical landscape.
April to May
Visiting Greenland during the short transitional season of spring allows you to witness the snows melting at a fast rate, but depending on the conditions, winter activities like dogsledding can be enjoyed at lower rates thanks to the tourism industry’s peak season having drawn to a close. Spring will also see the first shoots of the native vegetation emerging from the land.