People love island vacations. Picture it… You’re relaxing on the beach, sipping a fruity cocktail with an umbrella, and listening to the turquoise warm waters lap against the shore. But not all islands are created equal.
Let’s take a look at the world’s largest island by land mass…
Greenland is 840,003 square miles (2,175,600 sq km) and is really three large islands sealed together by a gigantic ice sheet extending way into the Arctic Circle spanning the equivalent distance of Scotland to the Sahara.
Greenlanders number around 57,500 and are a mix of native Inuit (Eskimo) and Europeans, principally of Danish descent. 90% live in scattered settlements along the west coast from the stunning Disko Bay area to the rural communities, such as Narsarsuaq, in the south. In contrast, the east is virtually uninhabited outside of the Ammassalik area. Traditionally a small-scale hunting and fishing society, East Greenland in particular still retains its old-world charm, barely touched by western influences.
During the fleeting summer, the pack ice breaks up and giant icebergs drift through the fjords, migratory birds arrive to breed and hardy Arctic flora bloom. Summer also brings 24-hour daylight and north of the Arctic Circle, the midnight sun.
Air Greenland flies you safely to the world’s largest island.
Read more about Greenland on Wikitravel.
Feature image (on top) Anders Peter Photography /Shutterstock
But what about Australia?
Australia isn’t an island. It’s a continent at 2,941,299 square miles (7,617,930 sq km).
Facts about Greenland
Nuuk, Godthåb (Good Hope)
Greenlandic and Danish
Self-governing Danish territory
Best time to visit
Greenland has two basic seasons: summer and winter. During the winter months you can experience the natural scenery normally associated with the country, but Greenland is also interesting during the summer – when you can go hiking in the mountains and sailing along the coast.
Lonely Planet Iceland, Greenland & the Faroe Islands
Weight and Measures
It is prohibited to photograph in churches during sermons. It is always polite to ask the Greenlanders’ permission, before photographing them.
The tap water is safe to drink in all of Greenland, and you can also drink the water in rivers and lakes.
Common good behaviour is expected in Greenland.
Shops are open 9.00 to 17.30 (Monday to Thursday), 9.00 to 19.00 (Friday) and 9.00 to 13.00 (Saturday).
Banks are open 10.00 to 16.00 (Monday to Friday).
Offices are open 10.00 to 16.00 (Monday to Friday).
Food and drink
Traditional Greenlandic cuisine consists of freshly killed fish, seals and walruses. Traditionally the newly slaughtered animals more tender parts – such as heart, kidney and eyes – were held in reserve for the hunter at the top of the hierarchy. If you do not enjoy warm intestines, but prefer your dead creatures burned, then you can have cooked fish such as salmon, codfish, Greenland halibut, seal, whale and many others. There are not many fruits and vegetables, and those you can get in the supermarkets are rarely very fresh because of the long distances they travel.
Greenland isn’t the best place to go if you are disabled, as the rough landscape demands a good physique if you really want to experience the country at close range.
New Year’s Day, 1 January
Twelfth Night, 6 January
The Worker’s International Day (half a holiday), 1 May
Constitution Day, 5 June
Greenland’s National Day, 21 June
Christmas, 24 December
Christmas Day, 25 december
Boxing Day, 26 december
New Year’s Eve, 31 december
Easter, March or April
General Prayer Day