Why endless days? Have you ever heard of a polar day or midnight sun? Unusual, this phenomenon is one of the most beautiful in nature and occurs in the Arctic Circle, including Greenland. Effective in only one period of the year, at this time, the sun does not set in some regions, being apparent above the horizon line.
During the phenomenon, the Earth’s rotation is on an axis inclined in relation to the sun, passing through the two poles (North and South) every six months. The sky turns almost like a spectacle and gains colors that oscillate between yellow and red, in addition to having the soft glow of the biggest king throughout the day. With good reason, aurora borealis lovers often go to Greenland to enjoy this incredible event of nature as well.
As it happens
In June, the northern hemisphere receives a greater amount of sunlight, therefore, it is brighter than the southern hemisphere – a fact due to the tilt of the Earth’s rotation axis. This means that the high altitude areas located in the southern hemisphere are devoid of insolation at this time, starting their polar night phase.
All terrestrial movements cause, in some way, changes and variations in the composition of climates, in addition to how the incidence of sunlight on Earth will be. The Arctic remains illuminated for eight months of the year and four with the conventional division – with a clear day and a dark night. However, of the eight months lit, in only two the sun is visible for 24 hours.
Summer in Greenland
In Greenland, it’s very worthwhile to surrender body and soul to the midnight sun to observe the phenomenon up close. A night boat trip, for example, from Ilulissat, Greenland’s third largest city, travels through ice fjords in sunlight, even at the height of night.
As we’ve said here on the blog, being on this big island during the months when the sun doesn’t set is practically a state of mind. In the center of Greenland, the sun shines from late May to late July, early August. During this period, the soft, warm rays of the low sun make the scenery around you seem almost like a dream. Icebergs and mountain tops are bathed in a surreal palette of pink, lilac, yellow and red.
If your intention is to visit Greenland, why not in summer? The region is one of the most inhospitable places to visit and at the same time it is home to some of the most unbelievable landscapes on the planet, whatever the season. A stunning place that justifies the stamp in your passport, especially when you navigate between huge icebergs in the midnight sun and watch humpback whales feeding in the fjords.
Script for an amazing summer
Greenland’s summer itineraries include cultural and nature exploration tours, showing native life and customs. To get an idea of what Borealis offers its travel partners, upon arrival, the traveler learns about the history of the airport at which he disembarks. During the Cold War, it was Kangerlussuaq – a former American air base, which remained in business before becoming a modern civil international airport.
Then, the traveler is guided to a visit to “point 660”, located at 660 meters above sea level. The path, traversed over ice in adapted vehicles, reveals a surprising beauty of the local nature with varied species. At the end of the road, a hike will take you to the largest ice sheet in the northern hemisphere and the second largest in the world, second only to the Larsen Platform in Antarctica. Another opportunity on the same occasion is to see the region’s wildlife, with reindeer, musk oxen, hares and mountain foxes. Have you found it amazing? Wait to find out more.
Also present on Borealis itineraries, is the third largest city in Greenland, as mentioned a little further up, and is located at the “mouth” of a huge ice fjord. Founded in 1727, the region is suitable for a pleasant walk, including a visit to the Knud Rasmussen Museum, which has a collection of artifacts linked to the Inuit and is dedicated to a Danish explorer, who was the first European to cross the Passage of the Northwest on a dog sled.
But, as it’s the night that magic happens, the itinerary still offers an incredible experience in Ilulissat: a night boat ride through the city’s ice fjord, under the sun’s glare. The navigation takes you to the mouth of the Kangia Fjord, in the middle of huge icebergs, whose passage is blocked by a large moraine. The tour shows all the fantastic beauty of the place and its mysteries, especially when the captain turns off the boat’s engine, emphasizing the perfect silence that reigns in the Arctic. Experience is indescribable.
Still about boating, the program also takes you to the Eqi Glacier. It is located in a fjord 80 km north of Ilulissat and it is possible to get very close to its shore by witnessing the breaking of huge chunks of ice. The glacier is over 3.4 km wide and the average height of the bed to the top is about 200 meters. During this tour, you pass through Bredebugt, the village of Oqaatsut and finally the huge Pakitsoq fjord system, frequently visited by whales and seals.
Before arriving in Eqi, the trip offers an incredible walk through the Ataa Strait, surrounded by steep mountains with rich birdlife and wonderful waterfalls. Another tour included in the plans is through the Sermermiut Valley. The place, which was populated for thousands of years due to the abundant fauna for hunting and fishing, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located on the outskirts of the city.
And to impress even more with what Greenland has to offer, there is also an incredible activity to see the whales that live there. There are 15 species in the region, and in summer, normally, the humpback, minke and fin whale are the most exhibited.
Summer around the world offers amazing, colorful and refreshing attractions, but nothing compared to Greenland’s summer and its endless days! Enjoy this incredible trip with Borealis.