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Narsarsuaq

Travel Guide North America Greenland Narsarsuaq

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Introduction

Narsarsuaq is a village in Southern Greenland. The village is based around the airport, which was built in 1941 by the US military, but is now in commercial use.

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Sights and Activities

For easy trips you can climb the Signal Hill (Danish: Signalhøjen), which give you a beautiful view over the fjord. Else you can go to the harbour or the beach to watch icebergs sail by and hear them break. One official sight is the lone standing fireplace of a burned down to ground hospital north east of town.

The Inland ice is reachable within walking distance from Narsarsuaq. One follows the road to the burned down hospital and walk through the scenic Flower Valley (Danish: Blomsterdalen). An almost vertical 300-metre-climb, gets you to the beautiful view of the Narsarsuaq Glacier, and it is even possible to get quite close (though you have to keep a very long safety distance!!!). Aside for the climb, it is an easy walk (approximately 10 kilometres), and the climb is possible for people with at reasonable condition, as the steepest parts are supported by ropes, you can hold on to. Guided tours can be arranged with the tourist office.

Hiking maps of the area makes longer trips possible, but beware that trails on the map are suggestive, meaning it may be possible to walk this route. Green trails are routes along roads which are easy and hard to get lost. Blue are fairly easy cross country paths. Red are difficult. Black route are extremely difficult and should be avoided if possible, even for very experienced hikers. The trail down from Nakkaalaaq, for example, is little more than over-steepened talus slope. Don't expect anything to be marked, nor that lakes and streams have the size indicated, as this varies throughout seasons. Beware the mosquitos and flies. Though not dangerous, they are quite a nuisance, so bring a net and lots of repellant.

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Getting There

By Plane

Narsarsuaq airport is one of the two airports (the other being Kangerlussuaq) in Greenland large enough for Atlantic traffic. Air Greenland used to offer weekly flights form Copenhagen, Denmark and Airiceland has 5 weekly flights from Reykjavík, Iceland.

Domestically Air Greenland has flights to and from Narsaq, Qaqortoq, Alluitsup Paa and Nanortalik to the south and Kangilinngui, Paamiut and Nuuk to the west.

By Boat

From may to September Arctic Umiaq Line has a weekly ferry to and from Narsarsuaq. It follows the coastline to the west and, if possible, sails all the way to Ilulisat, passing Qaqortoq, Nuuk and Sisimiut on the way. The company is trying to make the route more attractive to tourists, i.e. the captains are instructed to sail announce and sail closer to any whales spotted on the route. So if you hear a sudden speaker mumble resembling the Danish word hvaler, do hurry to the upper deck for a spectacular view of jumping whales.

Small boats sail the waters south of Narsarsuaq all the time. The tourist office arranges boats to most of the cities in Southern Greenland, but you might be able to catch a lift on a fishingboat going you direction.

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Getting Around

Most places are within walking distance, but taxi can be arranged by the hotel or tourist office. If you need to go to the harbour, a bus (owned by the hotel) can be arranged to pick you up. The fare is approx. 10 DKK or free if you live at the hotel. Further distances can almost only be reached by boat. Check with the tourist office or a fisherboat at the harbour.

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Eat

Fast food can be bought at the airport, and you can probably get a bun, coffee or cake at the tourist office.

A restaurant is situated in the hotel.

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Drink

There's a small bar in the hotel that serves local beer (Tuborg) and various imported drinks along with some interesting cocktails. The general store also sells some alcoholic drinks.

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Sleep

The youth hostel is situated 600 m northeast of the airport a bit of the side of the main road. Prices can be found on the Blue Ice café website.

The more expensive solution is to stay at the hotel. Take the bus from the airport (free if you stay at the hotel) or ask at the tourist office.

The cheap option is to put up a tent. Just stay out of the gasoline tank areas, the airport and the centre of town, then nobody will mind.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Thanks to undersea fiber optic cable links to Europe and broadband satellite, Greenland is well connected with 93% of the population having internet access. Your hotel or hosts (if staying in a guesthouse or private home) will likely have wifi or an internet connected PC, and all settlements have an internet cafe or some location with public wifi. Ask around if you need help finding it.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international telephone code for Greenland is 299.

Tele Greenland is the only telephone and internet provider. Mobile phones have coverage in all larger villages, including 3G internet access. The mobile phone system in Greenland is GSM 900/1800, and with the exception of one or two settlements the system covers all the inhabited areas of Greenland. Note that roaming charges are international (as Greenland is outside the EU), and much higher than someone from EU would pay inside EU.

Post

Post Greenland is the company responsible for postal service in Greenland. It has reliable services, but as you might imagine, it takes a while for your letter or postcard to arrive. Post offices can be found in all major communities in Greenland. Business hours are typically Monday-Friday 9:00am-3:00pm. Mail from Greenland takes about four to five days to reach Europe.

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This is version 1. Last edited at 9:21 on Mar 2, 15 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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