East Greenland



This area, characterized by impressive mountain peaks, has several villages. The inhabitants are primarily hunters of seals and bears, and their lifestyle and language are distinct from the fishing communities of western Greenland.

Tasiilaq (Ammassalik)—This village is on an island off the east coast of Greenland and just south of the Arctic Circle (close to the airport at Kulusuk). It was unknown to the outside world before 1884. Plan on three or four days visiting the Inuit people of Tasiilaq and viewing spectacular Sermilik Fjord, glaciers and icebergs (which are often seen by air). Rare arctic flora can be viewed on hikes in the nearby Valley of Flowers. The mountains of the area are suitable for skiing in the winter (there's a ski lift in Tasiilaq). One of our favorite activities is to tour the icebergs by boat: Gliding among the icebergs is spooky—but not to be missed. Other boat trips—good for viewing birds and seals—can take you to the village of Kuummiut.

Because the Tasiilaq/Kulusuk area lies much closer to Iceland than the other parts of Greenland, it remains popular as an Icelandair tour destination. Day-trippers descend on Kulusuk (Cape Dan), a typical outpost tucked between towering mountains and an iceberg-filled bay. It's a good place to buy local beadwork and sculpture. Kulusuk was the site of one of the original Distant Early Warning radar posts, set up by the U.S. during the Cold War to watch for incoming Soviet missiles. The post has since been dismantled. Tasiilaq is 450 mi/725 km northeast of Nuuk.

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