A polar bear navigates the Arctic climes of Greenland. After the International Union for Conservation of Nature classified polar bears as a vulnerable species, Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia, and the U.S. created the Circumpolar Action Plan, a 10-year global conservation strategy to secure the long-term survival of polar bears.
The world’s largest island, Greenland—or Kalaallit Nunaat, as it’s known in the Eskimo-Aleut language spoken by nearly 60,000 Greenlandic Inuit—is a vast land of wild beauty and abundant adventure.
In the summer months, a midnight sun illuminates northern towns such as Qaanaaq and Uummannaq for 24 hours a day; while this may challenge some sleep patterns it flings open the doors to practically endless explorations. During the summer solstice (June 21), locals pour into the streets for Greenland’s National Day, a nation-wide kaffemik—social gathering—celebrating Greenlandic culture.
Start by exploring the island’s many fjords in East Greenland by kayaking around icebergs—you may even glimpse an elusive polar bear. Heli-ski down remote slopes, trek on slippery glaciers, learn to lead a dogsled, and straddle a snowmobile. Then venture to the the southern and western coasts for epic hiking trails, secluded fishing spots, and picturesque campgrounds. And, in more populated areas such as Nuuk and Sisimiut, learn about Inuit culture and cuisine. (Read more on how Greenlanders preserve their heritage through kayaking)
Discover boundless Arctic adventures in this set of images by National Geographic photographer Keith Ladzinski.
- Nat Geo Expeditions