Greenland Travel Guide
When to go? Seasons, climate, festivities
May to SeptemberGreenland only really has two seasons, a short summer and a long winter. Around April the snows start to melt as the temperature gradually begins to rise. Waterfalls begin to fall down the mountain sides and the sea ice breaks up leaving thousands of icebergs drifting along the fjords and coasts. Flowers start to bloom and the ocean and sky comes alive with sea birds and whales. As the summer progresses the sun almost never goes down so visitors have never ending days to explore the magnificent scenery. The average temperatures in summer are between 3°C and 11°C but it could get as high as 15°C in July or August.
October to AprilFor 7 months of the year Greenland is covered in snow, the colourful houses contrasting sharply with the pure white landscape. This doesn't mean you cannot visit during this period. In the winter you can enjoy dog sledding or cross country skiing but the short days and extreme temperatures don't leave you with much time to be outside. The temperature will vary greatly in different parts of the country, the southern tip of Greenland may be -11°C while Disko Bay further north is -25°C.
Temperatures and climate
Min/max temp (°C) / Average rainfall (mm)
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Average temp C° min / max-10° / -6°-10° / -7°-10° / -6°-6° / -3°-1° / 4°2° / 9°4° / 12°4° / 8°2° / 5°-2° / 1°-5° / -2°-7° / -4° Average rainfall (mm)405040606060909070707060
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Average temp C° min / max-17° / -10°-18° / -11°-19° / -12°-13° / -5°-3° / 3°2° / 8°5° / 11°4° / 10°0° / 5°-6° / -1°-11° / -5°-15° / -9° Average rainfall (mm)131313131722282734262318
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Average temp C° min / max-8° / -2°-9° / -3°-9° / -2°-6° / 2°-2° / 5°2° / 9°4° / 12°4° / 11°3° / 8°-2° / 2°-5° / 0°-7° / -2° Average rainfall (mm)184103114102747139731507688108
Holidays and festivities
MitaartutJanuaryMore of a tradition than a festival, this is Greenland’s version of Halloween and people can be seen dressed up as various ghoulish creatures.
Nuuk Snow FestivalFebruary / MarchStarted in 1994 this awesome festival is a celebration of ice sculpture. Competitors are only allowed to use traditional tools to create the most huge and impressive ice sculptures they can. The results are superb and well worth a visit if you can!
Polar Circle MarathonOctoberSurely the most wild marathon in the world! Runners start on the ice cap near Kangerlussuaq and pass frozen lakes, mountains, bewildered reindeer and cheering spectators.