July 20, 2017
Nuuk is the capital of Greenland, situated on the west coast, around 150 miles (240km) south of the Arctic Circle. It is the world’s smallest and most northerly capital city, with around 16.8 thousand residents, which is almost one third of the country’s entire population. However, its size and position do not stop it from being a fascinating and culturally rich city worthy of exploration, with many fantastic opportunities for sailing around the stunning coastline of Greenland. Here are some interesting facts about Nuuk and what you can expect to find there.
1. It was founded in 1728.
Greenland’s capital city was founded in 1728 by Hans Egede, who was a Christian missionary from Denmark, but Nuuk’s sense of history reaches back much further. There are settlements in and around the city dating back over 4,000 years.
2. It boasts some of the most stunning natural scenery
Although Nuuk is Greenland’s largest city, it is very much still connected to nature. You don’t have to travel far to see the beautiful arctic scenery surrounding Nuuk. In particular, the giant fjord system around the capital is stunning—this is an intricate water system where the sea meets the mountains, and it is common for the water to be full of icebergs.
Greenland boasts some of the world’s most remote and ruggedly beautiful scenery.
3. It is a fantastic place for whale watching
You can often see whales in the fjords around Nuuk. In fact, it’s possible to see 15 different whale species here, the most common of which are humpback, minke, beluga, narwhal and bowhead whales.
4. It has some fascinating museums
For a capital city of this size, there are a number of museums to explore. The Greenland National Museum, for instance, holds an exhibition on geology and displays some of the world’s oldest rocks, dating back some 3.8 billion years old and originating from the Nuuk region. The famous Qilakitsoq Mummies are another highlight, which include 15th-century mummified women and a mummified child. An incredible collection, but slightly unnerving at the same time!
5. It’s a top spot to experience the Northern Lights
Nuuk is a wonderful location to observe the natural phenomenon that is the Northern Lights. You can often see lights dancing in the sky on clear, cold, dark nights from September through to April. During the coldest month of the year, Nuuk also plays host to a snow festival. It’s held annually on the third weekend of the year. Teams are given a block of snow to sculpt and the results are amazing!
Greenland offers some of the best views of the Northern Lights – an amazing natural phenomenon.
6. It has long summer days.
In Greenland, there is a period during the summer when the days lengthen and daylight lasts well into the night. These white nights are when the effects of the Midnight Sun can be felt below the Arctic Circle. In Nuuk, from June through to August, the days are incredibly long and you can be out and about exploring the beautiful coastline long into the night, thanks to the golden evening sunlight. It’s a wonderfully unique experience.
For more information on our trips, including those which take in Greenland, please get in touch with us at expeditionsonline.com Sailing around the coast of Greenland is one of our favourite cruise options—it really is the ultimate escape from today’s hectic lifestyles.