There is a wonderful legend that the Vikings named Greenland Green and Iceland Ice in order to confuse potential attackers. Because it is quite the opposite; if Iceland is full of emerald forest, then expect ice in Greenland. Lots and lots of ice.
Thus one shouldn’t be too surprised to learn that the name Nanortalik means “place of polar bears”. Although, as Nanortalik is Greenland’s most southerly town, don’t be too disappointed if you don’t see any. In truth, Greenland’s polar bears typically live much further north.
What you will see however is Mother Nature at her finest. Vertical cliff walls, sheets of floating sea ice and a plethora of Arctic wildlife that amount to an adventurer’s wonderland. As Nanortalik itself is located on a small island in the southern tip of Greenland, nature is never far away, wherever you find yourself.
The optimistically named city centre is surrounded by the pristine waters of Tasermiut Fjord and dotted with the colourful houses you would expect this far north. Traditionally, artisans’ houses were painted different colours to showcase what they did, i.e. commercial houses were red; hospitals were yellow; police stations were black; the telephone company was green and fish factories were blue. Today it is more a case of anything goes! Nanortalik locals are warm and welcoming, and are known to extent the art of Kaffe-Mik to its visitors. This old tradition is where a family invites guests into their home to drink coffee and taste their famous Greenlandic cake.