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Home Destinations Nordic Europe Greenland West Coast and Disko Bay

West Coast and Disko Bay Holidays

This is the centre for the fishing industry and the location of the country’s capital, Nuuk, but it is the acclaimed Disko Bay that is the draw for visitors. Incredible calving glaciers include the most productive in the world, which advances 30 metres every 24 hours. Some of its icebergs can be several kilometres in length and, eroded by the elements, assume weird and wonderful shapes that are a magnet for photographers.

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Disko Bay has been a centre of Inuit settlement for thousands of years and many valuable archaeological finds have been made there, including 3,500 year old remains at Sermermiut, the famous Ice Fjord viewpoint. The bay still supports a number of Greenlandic villages, among them Saqqaq and Rodebay, where visitors can observe the traditional hunting and fishing way of life.

Centre for the region is Greenland’s fourth largest town, Ilulissat, whose history dates back to 1742, when it became a summer mission. Originally called Jakobshavn, after an influential merchant, it was later birthplace to explorer Knud Rasmussen. Now an important fishing town and centre for shrimp processing, Ilulissat has a museum, two hotels and some good walks in its dramatic surrounds.

Ilulissat is also home to the new ‘Kangiata Illorsua’ Icefjord Centre. The Icefjord Centre’s excellent ‘Tale of Ice’ exhibition is well worth a visit and explains the history of the region’s glaciers, its indigenous culture, and the impacts of climate change.

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