Seeing the Northern Lights anywhere in the world is an unforgettable experience. But seeing the Northern Lights in Greenland is something even more extraordinary. This icy, remote country is like nature’s grand stage, showcasing the northern lights in all their glory. Every corner of Greenland offers a unique and unobstructed view of this natural phenomenon.
In this article, we’ll analyze why Greenland is the perfect destination for observing the Northern Lights. We’ll also provide valuable information on when to visit Greenland to experience the auroras, ensuring a 100% chance to see this breathtaking natural spectacle. And above all, we’ll share some spots that will make your already great Northern Lights experience in Greenland absolutely perfect.
Why is Greenland the perfect place to see the Northern Lights?
We could name several things that make Greenland an exceptional place to visit. But when it comes to seeing the Northern Lights, it’s the ideal destination for three main reasons:
1. Remote and Dark Skies: Greenland has vast uninhabited areas and little light pollution. As a result, it offers clear, dark skies, providing an ideal backdrop for the Northern Lights to shine brightly.
2. Magnetic Pole Proximity: Greenland is located near the magnetic pole, increasing the likelihood of frequent auroral displays. In other words, it is a prime spot for catching the lights in all their vibrant glory.
3. Unique Arctic Landscape: The stunning Arctic landscapes of Greenland, from icy fjords to majestic glaciers, add a breathtaking touch to the Northern Lights experience. Greenland’s nature is creating a once-in-a-lifetime moment in a truly exceptional setting.
To sum up, Greenland is one of the few places in the world where you have increased chances of seeing the northern lights and enjoying clear and vibrant views, all while surrounded by the unique beauty of its natural landscapes.
What is the best time to see the Northern Lights in Greenland?
You have great odds to see the Northern Lights in Greenland at any season. But particularly during winter, when the nights are longer, the chances of seeing the Northern Lights increase. The best time of the day to see the Northern Lights in Greenland is during the late evening and into the night. Here’s what you can anticipate:
Seeing the Northern Lights in Greenland during winter (December to February)
This is the most popular time for Northern Lights hunting due to long nights and clear skies. Winter in Greenland offers a high chance of catching the auroras in the Arctic skies.
Seeing the Northern Lights in Greenland during spring (March to May)
While the nights get shorter, there are still good opportunities to see the Northern Lights in the early spring, especially in March.
Seeing the Northern Lights in Greenland during summer (June to August)
Though it never gets completely dark during summer, the northern lights can still be visible on clear nights in Greenland’s northern regions.
Seeing the Northern Lights in Greenland during autumn (September to November)
As the nights lengthen, you can see the Northern Lights at the beginning of autumn. Your best chances are towards November.
The outcome: The best months to see the Northern Lights in Greenland are from December to March during winter. Therefore, be outside and ready for aurora-watching from around 9:00 PM until the early morning hours.
What are the best places to see the Northern Lights in Greenland?
When it comes to hunting the Aurora Borealis in Greenland, certain locations are more popular than others. Here, we offer a comprehensive list of the best places and top spots to witness the breathtaking Northern Lights in all their magnificence.
Kangerlussuaq is a small town in western Greenland, situated at the end of a long fjord. It has a relatively small population, with around 500 inhabitants. The town’s geography is characterized by vast open landscapes, surrounded by Arctic tundra and mountains.
If you had the power to design the perfect setting for seeing the Northern Lights, you wouldn’t make it much better than Kangerlussuaq. Specifically, this remote town provides the necessary elements for an unforgettable Northern Lights experience: a quiet and distant location, and beautiful Arctic landscapes.
Best spots to see the Northern Lights in Kangerlussuaq
Old Camp: This small hostel offers rooms in wooden cabins just a two minutes drive from Kangerlussuaq airport. It’s also safe from light pollution and provides breathtaking views of the town and the Arctic sky.
Panoramic Viewpoints: Several elevated viewpoints around Kangerlussuaq offer unobstructed panoramas of the Arctic skies, perfect for aurora hunting.
Arctic Circle Trail: If you’re up for an adventure, hiking along the Arctic Circle Trail allows you to witness the auroras in the middle of Greenland’s untouched wilderness.
Ilulissat is the most popular destination for people traveling to Greenland for good reason. It harmonically combines all the incredible aspects of Greenland. It also provides the chance to see the Northern Lights in a unique setting.
The town’s Arctic landscapes, with its icy fjords and dramatic icebergs, provide a dream-like set to experience the auroras. Ilulissat’s unique blend of natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and magical Northern Lights make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Greenland.
Best spots to see the Northern Lights in Ilulissat
Ilulissat Icefjord: This UNESCO World Heritage site offers an incredible vantage point to see the Northern Lights in Greenland shining above the majestic icebergs and glaciers.
Hotel Icefjord Terrace: Situated along the shores of Ilulissat, guests can step outside and get some views of the auroras right from the hotel’s doorstep.
Old Helipad: Located outside the town, the old Helipad offers an open area with less light interference, allowing for excellent opportunities to catch the Northern Lights.
Qaanaaq, or Thule, is a remote town located in northern Greenland. It is situated on the coast of the Arctic Ocean and is the northernmost inhabited place in the world. Qaanaaq has a relatively small population of around 600 people, primarily consisting of the Inughuit people.
Being the northernmost place in the northernmost country in the world, Qaanaaq offers an unparalleled Northern Lights experience in Greenland. Additionally, its extreme latitude and remote location provide optimal conditions for catching the auroras in all their glory. It is undoubtedly one of the best places on Earth to enjoy this breathtaking natural phenomenon.
Best spots to see the Northern Lights in Qaanaaq
Pituffik Peninsula: This former settlement provides a wide-open area with minimal light pollution, allowing clear views of the auroras dancing across the Arctic sky.
Qaanaaq Cemetery Hill: Positioned on a hill, this old cemetery provides elevated views of the Northern Lights amidst the Arctic landscapes.
Qaanaaq Harbor: The harbor area offers a unique setting to catch the Northern Lights reflecting on the waters of the Arctic Ocean.
Nuuk, the capital city of Greenland, is located on the southwestern coast of the country. It is situated on the shores of the Nuuk Fjord, surrounded by icy mountains and landscapes. With around 18,000 inhabitants, Nuuk is the largest city in Greenland and serves as its political and cultural center.
Despite being the biggest city in Greenland, Nuuk is still a paradise for Northern Lights hunters. Wherever you are in Nuuk, you can take a short walk and find yourself in a spot to see the Northern Lights of Greenland. The city’s relatively low light pollution and the stunning natural beauty of its surroundings create a perfect setting to see the lights in the Arctic sky.
Best spots to see the Northern Lights in Nuuk
Quassussuaq (Lille Malene): This hilltop offers a panoramic view of Nuuk and the surrounding landscapes. It also provides an ideal vantage point for watching the Northern Lights in Greenland.
Qeqertarsuatsiaat (Sweet Little Island): Taking a late-night boat trip to this nearby island is a unique experience. It will also allow you to chase the Northern Lights away from city lights.
Qornok: For a bit of adventure, hike to the top of Qornok Hill. It will grant you sweeping views of Nuuk and one of the best locations to see the Northern Lights in Greenland.
How to get to the best places to see the Northern Lights in Greenland?
For getting to the best places to see the Northern Lights in Greenland, you have two options. Firstly, you can join a tour, as excellent Northern Lights tours are available in every town during winter. These tours offer reasonable prices and easy access to some of the best spots for aurora viewing.
Alternatively, you can explore some of those spots on your own. Some prime locations to see the Northern Lights are easily accessible. However, please be careful and avoid venturing to more remote areas at night, since it can be dangerous with all that ice and darkness.
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In conclusion, Greenland offers the most beautiful setting in the world for Northern Lights viewing. In this article, we’ve explored some of the best places to see the Northern Lights in Greenland that are relatively easy to access. However, you can discover many more if you are willing to do some exploration on your own. All you have to do is escape the city lights and be cautious. By doing so, you can embrace the tranquility of Greenland’s untouched beauty, allowing the Northern Lights to captivate your senses.