Greenland- South and Southwest
Landscapes that gave Greenland its name
Information about Greenland- South and Southwest
Southern Greenland and the southwest of the island is the most verdant part, and it was this region that gave the island its name. As the area with the “mildest” climate (although that’s relative!), it is home to many sheep farms and small farming communities.
Visitors often comment on the “Scandinavian” appearance of Southern Greenland - fjords and mountains, with small settlements and sheep farms, all watched over by floating icebergs and towering glaciers.
Nuuk is the capital of Greenland (and the most northerly capital in the world), and despite its remoteness, it’s a vibrant and cosmopolitan city of 17,000 inhabitants.
The South west coast is the where the White-tailed Eagle can be seen, whilst birds that occur throughout the south include Common Loon, Gyrfalcon, Harlequin Duck, Iceland Gull, the Raven, the Wheatear, and the Lapland Bunting. The Iceland Gull is a smaller version of the Glaucous Gull that breeds in southern Greenland and winters in Iceland, that should really be called the Greenland Gull!
The SE of Greenland is the closest part to Iceland, and the 'far' SE includes some isolated and spectacular fjords that are more isolated from the rest of southern Greenland.
Interesting facts about Greenland- South and Southwest
Our expert guide says: “The south of Greenland is rich with human history, and there are the remains of several Norse and Inuit settlements in the area. It’s geologically active, and you can find hot springs in several locations.”
With the Ice-sheet coming down to the coast in parts of Greenland in the NW and east, it means the terrestrial wildlife of southern and western Greenland are isolated, and species like the Lemming do not occur here, whilst the Musk Ox was introduced. Furthermore, the Polar Bear is very rare in much of Southern Greenland and the best chance is in the remoter parts of the SE coast.
Pictures of Greenland- South and Southwest
Highlights in Greenland- South and Southwest
Tasiilaq & Kulusak
Tasiilaq is the largest town in south-east Greenland, close to the mouth of the rugged and long Sermilik Fjord. With the ice sheet just to the west the Sermilik glacier carves numerous icebergs. Kulusak is nearby and with an airport is popular with the short flight from Iceland.
Area good for the landscape, whale watching, the wildlife, and the flora.
Narsarsuaq & Qaqortoq
This area of deep fjords and lush scenery was probably the area where that the Vikings came up with the name of Greenland, and where first church in the New World was built.
Icebergs contrast with the verdant landscape that is great explore. Qaqortoq is South Greenland’s largest town with lots of colourful houses. It is also a good area to see White-tailed Eagles and other Greenland wildlfe.
The main Danish naval base in Greenland, plus various quarries in the region, with interesting geology, and the ‘ghost’ mining town of Ivittut. Arsuk Fjord is an attractive fjord to explore with a tidewater glacier in south-west Greenland, and for Musk Ox (introduced in SW Greenland), White-tailed Eagles and other wildlife.
Narsarmijit & Tasermiut Fjord
Pretty Greenland village at the southern tip of Greenland that was the easternmost of the Norse settlements during their colonization of Greenland, with remains in the area (most settlements were on the south-west coast).
The fjords are great to explore including Tasermiut Fjord with the largest hanging glacier in southern Greenland, with World challenging big walls for climbing such as Ulamertorsuaq and Nalumasortoq.
Large Island, mid-way along the south-east coast, in an area with numerous fjords coming down from the icecap, and some of the best landscapes in SE Greenland.
Uninhabited today, it was used by nomadic people for thousands of years with the remains of Inuit dwellings here. A harsh area to survive in, the Vikings never settled this stretch of coast. Tidewater glaciers calve into the fjords for great ship and Zodiac cruising.