Greenland has always enticed adventurers with the courage to take on unique challenges. A number of annual events involve the country’s nature and culture in close interaction with the local inhabitants.
Photo by Mads Pihl
There’s plenty to excite…
Participants come from most parts of the world. The adventures know no boundaries. Get involved, spectate and experience the thrill. The natural settings give all adventures involving running, skiing, music, art, kayaking and cycling a new dimension.
Each town has its sports hall, its football pitch and its cross-country slopes, and every year a number of national championships are held. In the following calendar we’ve only included championships and events which are characteristic for Greenland and which guests from abroad can participate in.
Arctic Circle Race – also known as the world’s toughest cross-country skiing race – is Greenland’s biggest international event. Three days and 160 km. The race attracts skiers from all over the world, who live in the middle of the white wilderness and stay overnight in small tents. These ingredients create the particular feeling of togetherness for which the race is famous. Read more about Arctic Circle Race here
Arctic Winter Games - the Arctic Winter Games are the largest sporting and cultural event in the North Pole area. In 2016, AWG was held in Nuuk for the second time. The AWG brings together several thousand participants from the Arctic peoples of the United States, Canada, Russia and Greenland and includes both traditionally known winter sports disciplines and special Arctic sports.
Greenlandic dogsled racing championship - Around 30 drivers with their teams of dogs compete for the annual national championship in dogsled driving. 2013 saw a female driver competing for the very first time.
Arctic Palerfik – The hunters’ final dogsled trip before the snow melts and the power of the sun becomes too strong. The traditional dogsled trip is a three-day farewell to winter and the cold season. The trip follows the same route that Arctic adventurer Knud Rasmussen used when he was training for his long expeditions in North Greenland.
Arctic Midnight Orienteering – orienteering race over 20 km – and in the light of the midnight sun. The terrain is an experience in itself: very undulating with heather, lichen, moss and grass as the only vegetation – plus a unique view of the Icefjord at Ilulissat.
Aasiaat Midnight Sun Marathon – marathon in the 'land of a thousand islands'. The route, which leads the runners around the town and out to the town’s airport, has to be run four times. The beautiful archipelago, midnight sun, whales and enthusiastic spectators make the tough physical challenge worthwhile.
Aasivik summer festival - Music, art, workshops and debate are the focus of the Aasivik summer festival. The summer festival was revived in 2012 in a new version that will make up the platform for future festivals. Read more about festivals in Greenland here
Nuuk Marathon - the capital forms the setting for a classic marathon every year. The route is challenging and hilly, and leads the participants through both the new and old Nuuk and out into the nature around the city. Every year the number of participants increases, and participants from outside are more than welcome. Read more about the Nuuk Marathon here
Nuuk O-party - an international orienteering event organized by Nuuk's orienteering club, NASP. Three days of orienteering in a fantastic exciting and challenging terrain. Here there are no trees and vegetation boundaries, but mountains, streams and cliffs.
Greenland Adventure Race – an adventure race in the land of the Norse settlers in South Greenland. Five days of physical exertion involving running, cycling and kayaking. It can best be described as a Greenlandic version of 'ironman', with swimming being replaced by kayaking.
Polar Circle Marathon - The Polar Circle Marathon starts at the Ice Sheet close to Kangerlussuaq. The route runs through a hilly moraine landscape with musk oxen and reindeer as casual spectators. The runners continue the route along an ice road on the ice cap itself. You may thus meet “the wall” in more ways than one.