Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland’s Remote Settlement. Ittoqqortoormiit, try saying that three times fast. Ittoqqortoormiit is one of the most remote settlements in Greenland. Less than 500 settlers live here. Approximately, 55,000 people call Greenland home and it is the world’s largest in the island. The majority of the citizens live on the west coast of the island. And Ittoqqortoormiit is located on the sparsely populated east coast. Greenland is not recognized as one of the 193 UN recognized countries, but is part of the Kingdom of Denmark.
Ittoqqortoormiit, which means “Big-House Dwellers” in the Eastern Greenlandic dialect, was founded in 1925 by 80 Inuit settlers and prospered on excellent hunting conditions including walrus, arctic fox, seals, and polar bears. Today, the inhabitants are the only individuals allowed to hunt in North East Greenland National Park, the largest national park in the world.
There are no roads to Ittoqqortoormiit. Transportation with the outside world is provided by helicopter which connects the Ittoqqortoormiit Heliport by Air Greenland to Nerlerit Inaat Airport, which is 24 miles away. Then you can take a weekly flight to Kangerlussuaq and Nuuk, airports on the west coast.
I arrived via a cruise ship after visiting the North East Greenland National Park. It was August but still quite chilly, with my jacket completely zipped up. Average highs in July is 43 F while the average lows are -9 F in February.
The little village looked uninviting despite the brightly colored houses that dotted the settlement. Dirt roads twisted thought-out the town with the locals zipping by on ATVs. It was early morning yet I passed a couple of very inebriated locals stumbling through the streets. I imagined a lack of entertainment options in the town.
As I strolled through the settlement I noticed a white face amongst the Greenlandic Inuits. After a brief conversation with a British man with a thick cockney accents had been living here for years, living off the land with his husky dogs. He shared with me he would partake on long solo dog sledding trips into Greenland’s wilderness.
Ittoqqortoormiit was founded in 1925 by Ejnar Mikkelsen.
The sole church in Ittoqqortoormiit.
After my short visit, I climbed back on the Zodiac to return the cruise ship.
Check out the amazing Danish soldiers that patrol the largest national park in the world in Greenland!!
Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland’s Remote Settlement
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[…] goes to remote Ittoqqortoormiit in Greenland. Spell that again a few times, wow! I guess no bingo nights here in the […]
Which company did you use for this cruise and what was the rest of the itinerary like? I watched a travel documentary on Greenland years ago where the hosts spent about three days there just before Winter was setting in exploring the East coast of Greenland and trying to live off the land while they were there. Seems like a fascinating place to visit that receives little attention.
Hey Ray: I went with Hurtigruten, but strongly advise people not to use them. The East coast is incredibly desolate and unpopulated. We spent several days on the ship going down the east coast making stops.
Here is what happened with Hurtigruten. http://www.globalgaz.com/hurtigruten-cruise-vs-celebrity-x-cruise-quest-value/