Narsarsuaq means the great plain, and the airport is the international gateway to South Greenland. The runway’s nearest neighbour is the fjord with its own ‘natives’ – attractive icebergs. Navigating a zigzagging path between the icebergs to the calving Qoorooq glacier may well be your first experience of sailing in South Greenland.
History speaks for itself
South Greenland is Icelander Erik the Red’s country. He initially explored the region from 982 until 985. He then made his home in a settlement which he christened Brattahlid, which today is the sheep-farmers’ settlement of Qassiarsuk. It’s just 30 minutes away by boat across from the airport, and it’s here you’ll find the earliest remnants of the early Vikings. In South Greenland more than 500 groups of ruins have been found scattered throughout the entire area, and it’s easy to feel the presence of history as you walk amongst sheep and horses in a mild and fertile landscape.
At Narsarsuaq Museum you’ll find materials and photos from contemporary history when Greenland came under American influence.
Colourful and blooming
Overwhelming and surprising! The flowers can cause even the most hard-bitten hiker to catch their breath. The colours of the flowers change in line with the subterranean deposits, and the different species are everywhere. Five species of orchid, rosebay willow herb and angelica sway in the wind. Prick up your ears and your sensory awareness of the colours, the scent and the purling of the meltwater in the nearby river will be heightened. The peregrine falcon may even be out flying in your honour.
Drop by the tourist office to pick up material that enables you to get the most out of the trip. It’s also here that you can hear about unforgettable helicopter flights and sailing trips.
Did you know?
- Narsarsuaq was an American base in 1941 during World War II and the Korean War – it has a strategic location well concealed between the fells.
- Time turns back some 1,000 years when you step into the reconstructions of Erik the Red’s longhouse and Thodhildur’s Church – Northern Europe’s first church. Both are found in the settlement of Qassiarsuk.
- The region is ideal for hiking, angling and sea kayaking. You can hire mountain bikes and sea kayaks at the local tourist office.
- The plain is formed from material deposited by glacial tongues and meltwater.
- Fearless Icelander Erik the Red first visited Narsarsuaq in 982. Thrilled by the sight of the mild and fertile area, he christened the country Greenland.