Greenland is 50 times larger than Denmark. The world's largest island is more than 2,700 km long. Greenland is dominated by vast frozen wastes, with 85% of the island covered by a sheet of ice up to 3 km thick.
As new snow falls, the ice cap grows thicker and spreads outwards, sending out rivers of ice that carve deep fjords as they seek a passage through the coastal mountains. And when these glaciers reach open water, huge chunks calve into the water to form icebergs.
A green land
But Greenland is also green. An offshoot of the Gulf Stream brings warmer water to the west coast of Greenland, providing it with a relatively mild climate. During the short arctic summer, meadows and mountainsides burst into bloom. Many valleys in the South have groves of arctic birch that grow to a height of 6 meters.
Greenland is also home to a wide variety of animals. While polar bears are usually found to the north and the east, while seals can be seen in nearly every fjord. There are also whales, muskoxen, reindeer, foxes, hares, and a rich variety of birds.
The Inuit culture and hunting methods have allowed them to survive in this harsh climate for more than 4,000 years. Today, roughly 56,000 people live in the country. Most of them are bilingual and speak the Inuit language, Greenlandic, as well as Danish.
The country's most important industry is fishing. In South Greenland, sheep farming and reindeer herding are also important sources of income. Tourism has grown in recent years, but nothing even close to mass tourism has developed in the country. Most tourists stay in hotels or youth hostels. However, private rooms or summer cottages are still a rarity.
The Danish crown (krone) is legal tender in Greenland.