So you’re planning a trip to the “land of the midnight sun” but you’re not quite sure when is the best time to go? Greenland can be a great travel destination all year round depending on what you want to see. The biggest difference is the length of day and the weather – in the winter, temperatures range from highs of 5ºC to lows of -30ºC with heavy snowfall; in the summer, lows are around 5ºC with highs reaching 15ºC and green landscapes. Throughout the year, because of its northern geography, the inland ice and the icebergs are present all year. The changing seasons make for a diversity of activities, so here’s our tips on when to visit Greenland:
Sitting atop the globe, Greenland enjoys some of the longest days of the year, lasting up to 20 hours during the summer. This has given it the nickname “land of the midnight sun.” The bright sun and warmer temperatures make it perfect for hiking, sailing around the fjords
, and the many other outdoor activities available in Greenland. This is also the best time to see the whales
that frequent these northern waters in the summer.
This season is marked by much colder temperatures and shorter days, but that just means there is a different set of attractions, including the Northern Lights, dog sledding, and trekking across glaciers
. Many people who visit Greenland come specifically for the region’s unique location in the Arctic, so the cold is just part of the experience. During the winter months, Aurora Borealis can be seen in stunning clarity during the long, dark nights, unaffected by the light pollution you’d encounter in other parts of the world. If you’re bundled up with several thick layers, then you’ll even be able to enjoy the outdoor activities like winter hikes
These can be great times to visit Greenland if you’re hoping to find a deal, since most of the tourist traffic either comes during the warmer summer months or for the unique attractions that the northern winter offers. There’s also considerably less tourist traffic during these times:
- Spring (April & May) – During this time, the summer sun quickly melts the winter snow as the days grow longer. However, depending on the year and atmospheric conditions, the weather can be unpredictable. Sometimes, the snow can endure all the way through April, while other years it is mostly gone early in the season. If you are planning to travel during Greenland’s spring season, there’s no certainty what the conditions will be, so be prepared for a unique experience.
- Fall (September-November) – This season is similarly short, lasting just several months while transitioning to winter. It is said that you can experience all three seasons in one day in the fall. Wake up to a bright summer sun and enjoy the brisk fall temperatures before they drop for the winter; then evening comes early, bringing with it a dark and peaceful winter night.