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When you choose to elope, you’re choosing to do something wild, something adventurous, something unique. And nothing says wild, adventurous and unique like Greenland. I’m in love with this rugged Arctic island for many reasons, and it’s currently at the top of my travel bucket list. Its scenery is breathtaking, the hiking is amazing, and icebergs are a part of everyday life.
But the best thing about Greenland is its remoteness. In comparison to the crowds in Iceland, you can go for weeks in Greenland without seeing another soul. If you’re looking to create a beautiful and meaningful adventure with just the two of you, Greenland could be the ideal place to do it. Here is my guide for adventurous couples who are wondering if they could really elope in Greenland!
How To Plan An Elopement In Greenland
Where Is Greenland?
Greenland is the world’s largest island. It’s located close to Canada, is technically part of Denmark, and has a population of just 56,000 people. Most of Greenland’s inhabitants live in a few coastal towns, the rest of the island is almost entirely untouched by humans. This is what gives Greenland it’s unique feeling of remoteness.
How To Get To Greenland
The best way to reach Greenland is by plane. There are flights all year round from both Copenhagen in Denmark and Reykjavik in Iceland, so you first need to fly from your home country to one of these two cities. From there, you can fly to Greenland’s main airport in Kangerlussuaq, or other towns on the island such as Nuuk or Kulusuk. Check out Air Greenland or Air Iceland Connect for more details.
There are no commercial ferry services to Greenland, but there are a few Arctic cruise ships that stop on the island.
When To Travel To Greenland
Most of Greenland lies beyond the Arctic circle, so winter and summer are very different from each other. Greenland’s winter is absolutely stunning and lasts for six months, making it great for dog sledding, ski touring and Northern Lights hunting. Keep in mind that winter days are short, with about three to four hours of sunlight a day between mid-November and mid-January. If you’re wanting to make the most of Greenland’s winter activities, it is best to come in March or April, when the days are longer and slightly warmer.
In May, the snow melts, the fjords open up, and Greenland becomes a hiking and kayaking mecca. You can trek across the rugged landscape or explore the island’s amazing coast by boat or kayak. Summer days in Greenland are mild, with a mixture of sun, cloud and wind. They are also very long. A nighttime elopement ceremony under the famous midnight sun is entirely possible and a beautiful way to celebrate your love for each other.Find great last-minute deals on flights Flight Guru!
How To Travel Around Greenland
Travelling around Greenland can be a challenge. There are almost no roads connecting the different towns and settlements, and the only way to get around the island is by air or boat. If you’re planning on visiting different locations in Greenland during your elopement trip, then be sure to organise your transport in advance.
Air Greenland offers year-round flights between the island’s major destinations and it’s the most convenient way to get around. However, a boat is definitely the more scenic and adventurous option. Arctic Umiaq Line runs a frequent service up and down the west coast from late March until late December. It takes four days to sail from Qaqortoq in the south up to Ilulissat in the north, and you can stop at many amazing places in between.
Getting Married In Greenland
Can I Get Married In Greenland?
Put simply, yes! Greenland is an autonomous province of Denmark, and so follows Danish wedding laws. As Denmark is one of the easiest countries for non-residents to get married in, organising a wedding in Greenland is fairly straightforward, particularly for bi-national and LGBTQ+ couples. You can find out more about the conditions for getting married in Denmark here.
You will need to contact the town hall in advance and provide the documents they ask for. This often includes passports, proof of entry to Denmark or the Schengen area, and a certificate of your marital status. They will accept certificates in English, as well as Danish and German, but you will need an official translation if your documents are in other languages. You will also need to pay an administrative fee.
Of course, you can also do what many of my couples do: sort out all the legal things at home and have a purely symbolic ceremony in Greenland. That way, you can make your elopement purely about the things you both love, rather than legal requirements.
Where To Elope In Greenland
Greenland has so many unique and stunning locations, from ice caps in the north to lush hills in the south. Here are some of the top places to elope in Greenland.
Greenland is the place to go for dramatic glacial scenery, including its famous Ice Cap. For centuries it was almost impossible to reach this mighty natural wonder, now there is a road from Kangerlussuaq that makes day trips, or overnight camping trips, a reality. If you want to say your vows in the middle of some of the world’s most unique scenery, this is the place to do it.
Humpback whales can be found throughout Greenland, but Maniitsoq is particularly popular with these beautiful animals. A boat trip is the best way to explore in summer, and in winter, the area is home to the best heliskiing in Greenland.
This town in northern Greenland literally translates as “icebergs” and it is clear to see why. Ilulissat is located next to the magnificent Disko Bay, where icebergs as big as skyscrapers rise up out of the ocean. These ice giants make the perfect backdrop to a private elopement ceremony, either on the shore or onboard a local boat.
Southern Greenland is known for its lush, green pastures set against a backdrop of jagged mountain peaks. It’s also home to some of Greenland’s most spectacular fjords, and the ideal destination for an elopement adventure by kayak. There are plenty of kayak rental providers in the area and some kayaking experience is recommended.
If you want to elope far away from the crowds, Greenland’s most isolated town might be what you are looking for. The 450 residents are mostly indigenously Greenlandic and have a more traditional way of life, including activities like dog sledding and fishing. Ittoqqortoormiit is also the gateway to Greenland’s National Park, the largest in the world and home to hundreds of Arctic species.
Where To Stay
Airbnb In Greenland
There are a number of extremely cute Airbnbs across Greenland if you’re looking for a more authentic and “homely” experience.
I’ve compiled a list of my favourite cabins and apartments here:
Best Hotels For Your Wedding In Greenland
If you’re looking for a country house wedding (which I doubt you are, as you’re on an adventure wedding website), you won’t find it in Greenland. But if you’re looking for a hotel in the wilderness with nothing but the icebergs for company, this is where Greenland comes into its own.
Ilimanaq Lodge, close to Ilulissat
These beautiful two-storey lodges are the perfect getaway. Situated right on the water’s edge, you can simply relax on the balcony and watch the icebergs drift by. The lodges were designed with sustainable tourism in mind, and offer plenty of eating and activity options run by the local community.
Hotel Arctic, Ilulissat
In the heart of Ilulissat is the Hotel Arctic, where you can swop a regular hotel room for an igloo on the clifftop. The igloos are made of aluminium, not ice, which means they have all the modern features you’d expect but with a taste of the wild outside.
Camp Ice Cap, Kangerlussuaq
On the other hand, if you want a full-on expedition, Camp Ice Cap is the way to go. This is one of the few places you can sleep on the Greenland Ice Cap, and the experience is one you’ll never forget. Think Northern Lights, glacial hiking, and simply enjoying the pure silence of the endless ice all around.
Glacier Lodge Eqi, close to Ilulissat
Watching a glacier calve is an amazing natural wonder and Glacier Lodge Eqi gives you a front-row seat. The lodges are located right by Eqip Sermia glacier, one of Greenland’s most famous calving glaciers, and feature panoramic windows so you don’t miss the big event.
Adventurous Wedding Activities In Greenland
There is so much to do in Greenland, I can’t possibly describe it all in one post. But there are some things you really should try during your elopement adventure.
There is no privately-owned land in Greenland, which means you can hike wherever you want to! If you’re planning a hiking elopement, you might want to try the Arctic Circle Trail, a 160km trail through stunning landscapes that takes around 8-9 days to complete. There are huts along the way, which are all completely free to stay in.
As there are almost no roads in Greenland, dog sledding is a way of life, and an amazing way to incorporate nature into your special day.
Where’s the best place to see the Northern Lights in Greenland? Well according to locals it’s Kangerlussuaq, which has on average 300 clear nights a year. The further you venture into the wilderness, the more likely you are to see them.
Greenland doesn’t have ski resorts, but it does have skiing. From Maniitsoq, you can take the helicopter up to some of the region’s most epic peaks, and ride down through the untouched powder.
Greenland’s network of fjords makes it the perfect place for kayaking tours, with the best spots in southern and eastern Greenland. Where else can you kayak through icebergs with whales swimming alongside?
Learn more about Greenland at Visit Greenland