Visit Kulusuk, Greenland

Air Tours

As if going to Iceland isn’t adventurous enough, we want to tell you about an opportunity to add an adventure upon this adventure! Only a two-hour flight from Reykjavik a very different atmosphere awaits you on the great, remote island, Greenland – the largest island in the world.  

Greenland

So, what do you know about Greenland? How do you imagine it to be? Surely a visit to Greenland will be something you have never experienced before!

To give you a glimpse, let me take you with us on a daytrip to Kulusuk, a tiny village of 250 people, located on the island of Kulusuk in East Greenland.  This part of Greenland is the closest to Iceland at approximately 740 km or 460 miles and the Icelandic airline, Air Iceland Connect offers daily flights from the Reykjavík downtown airport in the summer, except Sundays. The Reykjavík airport is small and cozy and you only have to be there 1hr before the flight departure, so easy breezy!

Greenland Air Iceland Connect

As soon we landed in Kulusuk we got the feeling of how remote this place is, yes even more remote than Iceland! The airport terminal is hardly as big as the average supermarket in Reykjavik so it’s not surprising that there is no other plane in sight, this flight is the only transportation to Kulusuk. 

After meeting with our guide at the airport we walked to the village, which is a just a few kilometers from the airport.  Please bear in mind that this is a gravel road, so the short journey can be quite dirty on a rainy day, which luckily are not many in Greenland in the summer. The walk itself can be quite eerie, you might walk through man-high tunnels of snow, walk through a cloud of mosquitos or see neither a bug nor an animal the whole walk and feel like there is no life other than yourself on the island! Have I mentioned that Greenland is like something you have never experienced before? 

Greenland dogs

As we approached the Kulusuk village, the atmosphere changed, and the sight of cheery colorful houses greeted us. It feels like time has stood still in this remote village. The natives live mostly on hunting, so you’ll see all sorts of hunting gear propped up against the houses. There is only one car as they mostly use sled dogs to get around. There are actually more dogs than people in Kulusuk, but please do not try to approach them, as they are not seen as pets in Greenland but as work dogs. As the land is harsh and barren there is no running water in most of the houses, nor any indoor toilets in the whole village, only outhouses. This visit is a great eye-opener for us indulgent Westerners to see how people manage to live without all the little everyday luxuries we take for granted!

Greenland Kulusuk

The natives speak their own dialect of Greenlandic, a language closely related to the Inuit languages in Canada that doesn’t have any written grammar to it. The name Kulusuk means “the chest of a black guillemot”.  Everyone though speaks Danish as well, as Greenland is part of the Danish Realm.  

As we walked through the village our friendly local guide gave us a short introduction to its history and daily life, brought us to a small (read very small) local museum with handmade crafts and the colorful church at the edge of the village. We also got to see a local artist performing a beautiful traditional Greenlandic drum dance.

Traditional Greenlandic drum dance

Afterwards, we could choose between walking back to the airport or take the optional boat ride or dog sledding ride for an extra cost. We opted for the boat tour among the icebergs, which was amazing, but these optional tours are weather dependent so best decide on the spot what to do. 

All in all, the trip to Greenland took just about 8 hours, including flights, and we spent about 4 hours in Kulusuk. As I sat in the airplane on the way back, it seemed amazing to me to have seen and learned so much in such a short time.  So if you want to add something extra special to your Iceland adventure and be one of the only 6000 tourists that visit Kulusuk each year check out our special offer on the Kulusuk Daytour here.

Pro tip: Bring food and snacks with you – there are no restaurants or cafés in Kulusuk. There is a small supermarket, however product selection can be poor – depending on when the cargo boat last docked. 

 

Natalia Stolyarova