West Greenland

Land of the Artic Circle

Around half of Greenland’s 57,000 inhabitants live in the large towns along the coast of West Greenland, in particular in Sisimiut and Maniitsoq in the north and Nuuk and Paamiut in the south. However, the region is not more densely populated than each inhabitant in West Greenland has an average of approximately 40 km2 (15 square miles) of nature to enjoy. The majority of West Greenland’s many fjord systems do not freeze over, and therefore sailing trips are available throughout most of the year with good chances of seeing seals and whales.


Nature activities in West Greenland

West Greenland offers a wealth of natural attractions and experiences, including, for example, musk ox safaris or dog sled trips at Kangerlussuaq or trips to the ice sheet. Anglers can pit their wits against the combative char almost anywhere in the region. The sea off Paamiut and Nuuk offers the chance to see whales, and Sisimiut is a perfect point of departure for hikes. If you are up for the challenge of skiing in the region, the popular cross-country skiing race Arctic Circle Race is held here. Apussuit Adventure Camp, which is situated on a glacier outside Maniitsoq, enables skiing activities during the summer, and the sea around the town is ideal for kayak sailing.


Culture in the capital

Around 15,000 people live in the capital Nuuk, which is thus one of the smallest capital cities in the world. The city is home to Greenland’s National Museum, which exhibits highlights from the history of the whole of the country, including the extremely well-preserved Qilakitsoq mummies from 1475. Numerous Norse ruins are found in the innermost of Nuuk’s fjord systems, and all the towns in West Greenland have traces of earlier Inuit cultures and can boast lovely old quarters with charming churches and fascinating local museums.


West Greenland’s primary business activities

Fishing for prawns and Greenland halibut continues to be the main industry in West Greenland. In addition, there are many people in the biggest towns that make a living in a traditional European manner through manufacturing or service activities. However, there are still West Greenlanders that either in whole or in part enjoy a traditional existence by living off the sea. The results of their efforts can be found on ’the board’, where local seal hunters and fishermen sell their catch.


Kangerlussuaq musk oxen Gateway to Greenland

The airport in Kangerlussuaq is the chief gateway to Greenland with non-stop connections to Copenhagen in Denmark. At the same time, the airport is the hub of all domestic flights in Greenland. The towns in West Greenland are very accessible, primarily by fixed wing aircraft with several flights a week. Paamiut has no airport, but a heliport with good connections to South Greenland. Coastal vessels and cruise ships also regularly call at the towns in West Greenland.