Iceland time 2014.12.17. 06:26





Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe (specifically Norway and later Denmark) for more than a millennium. In 2008, the people of Greenland passed a referendum supporting greater autonomy; 75% of votes cast were in favour. Greenland is, in area, the world's largest island, over three-quarters of which is covered by the only contemporary ice sheet outside of Antarctica. With a population of 56,370 (2013), it is the least densely populated country in the world.

Greenland has been inhabited off and on for at least the last 4,500 years by Arctic peoples whose forebears migrated there from Canada. Norsemen settled the uninhabited southern part of Greenland beginning in the 10th century. Inuit peoples arrived in the 13th century. The Norse colonies disappeared in the late 15th century. In the early 18th century, Scandinavia and Greenland came back into contact with each other, and Denmark established sovereignty over the island.

Having been ruled by Denmark–Norway for centuries, Greenland (Danish: Grønland) became a Danish colony in 1814, and a part of the Danish Realm in 1953 under the Constitution of Denmark. In 1973, Greenland joined the European Economic Community with Denmark. However, in a referendum in 1983, a majority of the population voted for Greenland to withdraw from the EEC, and Greenland officially withdrew in 1985. In 1979, Denmark granted home rule to Greenland, and in 2008, Greenlanders voted in favour of the Self-Government Act, which transferred more power from the Danish royal government to the local Greenlandic government. Under the new structure, in effect since 21 June 2009, Greenland can gradually assume responsibility for policing, judicial system, company law, accounting and auditing; mineral resource activities; aviation; law of legal capacity, family law and succession law; aliens and border controls; the working environment; and financial regulation and supervision. The Danish government retains control of foreign affairs and national defence. It also retains control of monetary policy, providing an initial annual subsidy of DKK 3.4 billion, slated to diminish gradually over time as Greenland's economy is strengthened by increased income from the extraction of natural resources.


Practical information in Greenland


Greenland is the world’s largest island at 810,810 square miles, which is the same as France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Austria and Belgium put together. It boasts the Northern Hemisphere’s largest ice sheet – 694,981 square miles, which cover 85 percent of its total area.

The Greenland climate is arctic to sub-arctic, but the distance between north and south means there are tremendous differences in temperature and climate. Thanks to a very dry air, cool summers feel surprisingly comfortable.

In general, summer temperatures are highest inland and coolest along the coasts. But you will be surprised to know that warm + 70° F days are not uncommon during the summer!

What to wear

It is best to be prepared by wearing ”layered” clothing. The outer layer should be wind and waterproof. Gloves and hats are recommended when sailing. It is a good idea to wear solid boots, waterproof shoes or rubber boots with a solid sole in the summer and winter. Clothing tends to be casual in Greenland and acceptable also in finer restaurants. Below each tour you find a suggested packing list for each tour.


Danish Krone (DKK).

Accepted Credit / Debit Cards and ATMs

These cards are valid at banks or ATMs although we advise you to carry some cash as not all shops accept foreign credit cards: VISA, VISA PLUS-card, VISA Electron, Euro cheque card, Eurocard/Mastercard.

Entering the country

Greenland is party to the Schengen Agreement implying that passport and visa regulations are similar to those applicable for Denmark. Valid travel ID or passport must be shown, when entering and leaving Greenland. Please be aware of visa requirements. These can vary from country to country. Contact the Danish Embassy for further information. American citizens do not require a visa for trips shorter than 3 months.

Import restrictions

Greenland is not considered a European Union country. Information on what you can bring into the country is available in airports – although drugs, weapons, living animals – including pets and birds are not allowed. Exceptions are made for dogs for the blind.

NB: From January 1, 2011 it is forbidden to bring any form of beer, wine, spirits or any other form of alcoholic drinks with you when you come into Greenland.

From this date the regulations concerning tax-free import of goods to Greenland have been changed so that only the following may be imported tax-free:

40 cigarettes or 5 cigars or 10 cigarillos or 50 g tobacco ***

100 sheets of cigarette paper or cigarette tubes ***

2 litres carbonated soft drinks

50 g perfume and 0,25 litres of toilette water. In addition, cosmetics and other toiletries up to a maximum value of DKK 1,000

4 kilos in total of chocolate or confectionary

4 kilos of coffee or tea and

5 kilos in total of meat, meat products or poultry

Allowances for tax-free tobacco products apply only to persons of 18 years of age or more.

Export restrictions

It is illegal to import any art or artifact created from a marine mammal, including whalebone, walrus tusks (ivory) and narwhal tusks (also ivory) into the USA. For more information, contact a local tourist office.


220 voltages is standard (as in much of Europe and with the same pins as in Denmark). You may want to bring an adapter.

Health system

Hospitals and dental clinics are found in most towns. Acute treatment is free. There is no hospital in Kangerlussuaq, but a nursing station is open. You are advised to bring your own prescription medicine on the trip. Travel health insurance is recommended. No vaccines are required for travel in Greenland.

National Day

Greenland’s National Day is June 21 and is called “Ullortuneq”, which means the longest day of the year. It is also the official Flag Day, so in addition to festivities you will see the striking flag with the red half circle flying proudly everywhere.


Be prepared. In July and August mosquitoes can be a plague in Greenland just as they are in all Arctic areas. You are advised to bring a mosquito net or insect spray or even medicine if you are allergic to insect bites.


Greenland has a modern telecommunications infrastructure, and it is possible to access the internet at most hotels and many net cafes. GSM 850/1900 can be used if you have an agreement with AT&T Wireless PCS, T Mobile and Singular Wireless.

Time Zones

There is a four hour difference between Copenhagen and Greenland (Kangerlussuaq). When it is 10.00 am in Greenland it is 14.00 in Copenhagen.There is a two hour difference between the American East Coast and Greenland. When it is 10:00 am in Greenland it is 8:00 am EST in Baltimore.

Midnight Sun and Northern Lights

The midnight sun is present north of the Arctic Circle during the summer. But even towns located further south tend to be light at night. The midnight sun can be experienced above the Disko Bay from the end of May to the end of July. The northern lights actually occur all year round, but cannot be seen during the summer months in Greenland due to the midnight sun. The northern lights can be seen at its best from September to April.


The Greenland Church is part of the Danish Protestant Church. Churches are found in all towns, although smaller buildings may be used in smaller communities. The local Greenlandic language is used. You are welcome to visit the churches. If they are locked, ask the local tourist agency for help. Please note that taking photos is generally forbidden during mass.

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