What is the best way to add a Greenland trip to an Iceland holiday?
Greenland has very limited international flight connections, so plan to start your journey in Iceland. From Europe and North America there are many airlines with flights to Keflavík International Airport in Iceland, which is just 45 minutes by car from Reykjavik. Then from Reykjavik Domestic Airport in Iceland you can fly direct to towns in southern and western Greenland, including the iceberg town of Ilulissat.
How long does it take to fly to Greenland from Iceland? From Reykjavik it’s just 3 hours and 20 minutes to Nuuk, Greenland’s capital city. When you consider that Greenland is the largest island in the world -- and that Iceland and Greenland are both fairly remote, that’s not so long!
Nordic Visitor’s Iceland tours generally start and end in Reykjavik, so we recommend spending the first leg of your trip in Iceland. On a multi-day tour with day trips, or on a self-drive tour around Iceland, you can start off by taking in the top attractions of Iceland. Make sure to include day tours or a drive with your rental car along Iceland’s south coast so you can visit the glacial sites that are comparable to Greenland.
Another advantage of starting your Arctic adventure in Iceland is the relaxing, convenient amenities available to you after an international flight. Soak off your jet lag in the Blue Lagoon, the famous geothermal spa surrounded by lava fields on Reykjanes Peninsula, close to Keflavik Airport. Then spend some time in the Reykjavik city centre, sampling the variety of local and international cuisines. To get into adventure mode, take a day trip to the Golden Circle route, where you can visit iconic highlights like Gullfoss waterfall, the Geysir hot springs and Þingvellir National Park.
Short on time with your travel plans? You can just do a day trip to Greenland! From Reykjavik the flight to to the small village of Kulusuk in East Greenland is just 2 hours, and on an 8-hour day tour you’d have some time for hiking, checking out Greenlandic handicrafts and getting insights into Inuit culture and traditions.
When is the best time for Greenland tours from Iceland?
Iceland and Greenland both have extreme seasonal differences in daylight hours and weather conditions. So the attractions and activities you can enjoy will vary quite a bit by month, but especially so in Greenland.
In Iceland you can enjoy most of the famous attractions year-round, as most highlights are located just off the Ring Road, Iceland’s main highway. Of course, the pavements can get slippery in winter -- and the daylights hours are short between November and January -- but this is prime northern lights season in both countries. Furthermore, in Greenland the winter months -- namely February to April -- offer the best snow for dog sledding.
Please note, however, that Greenland tours from Iceland in wintertime require a lot of flexibility with travel dates. Due to unpredictable and fast-changing winter weather conditions over both Greenland and Iceland, there’s a higher likelihood of flight cancellations in wintertime. That being said, we highly recommend the summer months, primarily June through August, for combining Iceland and Greenland in one holiday.
Summertime is, ironically, the best time for enjoying the ice in Greenland. With the nearly 24-hour daylight at this time of year, you’ll have plenty of time to watch huge icebergs floating off the coasts of small villages. And nothing beats the experience of getting close up to these massive chunks of ice on a guided boat tour, which is only possible in summer. You can even sail on the Ilulissat Icefjord, a World Heritage Site, under the midnight sun!
Is the Greenland Ice Cap on your bucket list? As it covers about around 80% of the island’s landmass, It’s pretty hard to miss on a trip to Greenland! This massive glacier, the second largest ice sheet in the world, can be experienced via guided day tours in many of Nordic Visitor’s summer travel packages in Greenland.
If your heart is set on whale watching, then you’re in luck! Both destinations are rich in marine life, with June through August being the peak whale watching months in Iceland and Greenland. For a glimpse of minke, fin and humpback whales in Greenland, we recommend taking a whale watching day tour in the Nuuk Fjord from the city of Nuuk. Whale watching tours are also available from the harbours of Reykjavik and Húsavík in Iceland.
Nordic Visitor offers a wide range of tours in Iceland and Greenland that can be combined and customised to your liking, such as with extra nights and optional activities added to your itinerary.