Greenland: Summer versus Winter Photos

It truly is difficult for me to decide when Greenland is most beautiful during the year. Summer is fantastic with long days full of ever-changing light, water that sparkles like diamonds, and clear blue fjords. But winter is also extremely striking with lots of snow juxtaposed by colorful houses.

I’ll let you be the judge! Here are a few photos to compare Greenland towns in both summer and winter versions.


Kangerlussuaq has an Arctic desert climate and goes through an incredible costume change between summer and winter. Due to the settlement’s close proximity to the Greenland Ice Sheet, it can be one of the colder places in Greenland in winter, easily reaching -30*C / -22*F. Oddly enough, though, it can also be one of the warmest places in Greenland in summer, approaching 25*C / 77*F.

In winter, one can go dogsledding and snowmobiling and watch the Northern Lights. In summer, the activities transform to hiking, kayaking, and seeing the Midnight Sun. The Greenland Ice Sheet is a favorite all year round.

Read more about Kangerlussuaq

Here is Kangerlussuaq in winter version and summer version, looking westward from the top of Kitchen Mountain behind the airport. Which is more beautiful?


Nuuk, Greenland’s capital, is a coastal city and usually has a fairly mild environment. However, climate change has made extreme temperatures, hot and cold, less surprising when they happen. This year, winter/spring was very long and very cold with snow showers still into April and May.

In winter, one can delve into city culture at Katuaq Culture House, the Greenland National Museum, and fine restaurants. In summer, it’s all about spending time in Nuuk Fjord, whale watching for 3 dedicated Humpback whales that return year after year, or walking in the mountains that surround the city.

Read more about Nuuk .

Here is Nuuk in winter version and summer version, looking toward Colonial Harbor, the area where Danish colonists first settled in 1729. Which is more beautiful?


Ilulissat is home to Greenland’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, comprising Sermermiut (ancient settlement grounds) and the Ilulissat Icefjord. Winter is full of Northern Lights watching, dog sledding, and snowshoeing while summer gives ample opportunity to sail around the Icefjord and to small settlements, bask in the Midnight Sun, and kayak.

Read more about Ilulissat .

Here is the UNESCO World Heritage Site in winter and summer version, looking south over the Ilulissat Icefjord. Which is more beautiful?


Tasiilaq is the only town in East Greenland, and is home to 60% of East Greenlanders. All others live in settlements of just 79 – 426 inhabitants. Winter is great for snowshoeing, heliskiing, and dog sledding. Summer is ideal for hiking through the Valley of Flowers and sailing through iceberg-filled waters.

Read more about Tasiilaq .

Here is Tasiilaq in winter and summer version, looking north across the water at the Polheim Mountain. Which is more beautiful?

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4 thoughts on “Greenland: Summer versus Winter Photos

  1. The temperature variation is very interesting. In fact it sounds more moderate than the climate in Northern Ontario (Canada) where I originated. The coldest temperature I’ve experienced was -55C with winter temperatures of -40C and colder not unusual.
    It is a goal of mine to one day experience the Midnight Sun and Polar Winter Day.

    • Wow – so you yourself have not only experienced extreme temperatures but you have lived them!! I think you are a perfect candidate to try Greenland in the winter 🙂

      As I’m sure you are well aware, the Midnight Sun can be experienced in Greenland in summer time above the Arctic Circle. There are even special tour offerings like sailing tours scheduled in the late evening so you can see the beautiful light casting upon icebergs, for example.

      Back in late 2013 I wrote this post about polar darkness in Greenland: It was very interesting to be so far north of the Arctic Circle (I was at 69*N) on the day the sun ‘disappeared’. On the other hand, I was also fortunate enough to be in the exact same town this year on the day the sun ‘reappeared’, around 13 January. Also a magical time of the year!

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