Ittoqqortoormiit: Greenland’s Most Isolated Town

Dog sledding in Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland.
Dog sledding in Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland.
Dog sledding in Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland.

Home to just 450 residents, Ittoqqortoormiit (formerly known as Scoresbysund) in eastern Greenland is the most remote inhabited community in the western hemisphere.

Founded in 1925 by a team of Inuit settlers, this tiny settlement is nestled between the world’s biggest national park, Northeast Greenland National Park, and the glaciers and towering fjords of Scoresby Sund.

Ittoqqortoormiit is frozen for nine months a year, and its temperatures often creep towards the minus 4 °F (20 °C) mark. It was mapped for the first time in 1822 by English Arctic explorer William Scoresby.

Red, green, yellow and blue wooden structures dot the town of Ittoqqortoormiit in eastern Greenland.
Red, green, yellow and blue wooden structures dot the town of Ittoqqortoormiit in eastern Greenland.

The town with the brightly painted wooden buildings has just one cozy lodging (Ittoqqortoormiit Guesthouse), a pub serving delicious drinks one night a week, one grocery store, a couple of small convenience stores and a post office.

Ittoqqortoormiit Guesthouse in Greenland offers off-grid stays surrounded by arctic wilderness.
Ittoqqortoormiit Guesthouse in Greenland offers off-grid stays surrounded by arctic wilderness.

If you are the adventurous kind, Ittoqqortoormiit is an epic bucket list destination for hunting, hiking, kayaking, and snow sledding with dogs or… wolves. Its remote location makes it perfect for spotting the famous Northern Lights. This tiny town is also surrounded by all sorts of wildlife such as halibut, narwhals, walruses, polar bears, reindeer, and musk oxen.

Brightly colored homes set against the austere backdrop of a snow-covered landscape in Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland.
Brightly colored homes set against the austere backdrop of a snow-covered landscape in Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland.

Wondering when to visit? Due to its harsh weather, visitors usually reach Ittoqqortoormiit during spring, however, this is still not an easy feat. You first have to fly into Reykjavik, Iceland. After that, you need to join the boarding crew of a smaller plane and then fly to Akureyri, another Icelandic town, where you will have to spend the night. The next day, a third plane will get you to Constable Point airport in Greenland, where a helicopter will wait for you to finally transfer you to the remote land of Ittoqqortoormiit.

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