You may have heard the myth about the naming of Greenland and Iceland—the first inhabitants to arrive in Iceland saw the gorgeous green planes of grass and mountaintops and decided on the frigid, perhaps more unappealing name so pirates or other explorers would choose to head toward the soft pastures and warmer climate of Greenland (or so they thought!), which is the real land of miles and miles of ice.
Despite their differences in terrain, the two make the perfect combination for a northern adventure, being just under 900 miles from one another. If you choose to build one of our custom Iceland itineraries, our expert Travel Specialists can easily add a tour to Greenland from Iceland so you can experience the best of these two worlds—explore deep fjords, hop aboard a whale-watching cruise or visit the local Oqaatsut settlement and learn the way natives keep warm and live off the land.
As you fly from Reykjavik, Iceland, to Ilulissat, Greenland, on a tiny 37-seater plane, you may think you’re soaring over a neverending cloud formation. But look a bit closer and you’ll realize that you’re making your way over miles and miles and miles of ice.
Although I count myself incredibly blessed with some of the places that I’ve visited in my years of travel, the immense honor of getting to land at Ilulissat airport wasn’t lost on me. Although our Icelandair flight had 37 seats, because of the landing runway restrictions, only 34 lucky souls per flight are allowed to actually land in this town with a population of about 4,500 permanent residents.
With only six hotels and a limited number of flights per day, coordinating both having a place to sleep plus air travel takes professional assistance (and thankfully, Tenon Tours has an amazing partner to help with these logistics!).