Review by

Greenland & The Arctic
(Lonely Planet Publications) ISBN 1740590953

Lonely Planet covers what to see and do in Greenland and the regions of Russia, Norway, Sweden, Canada and Alaska north of the Arctic Circle. Readers learn about Arctic and Greenland attractions, when to go, differences between Eskimo and Inuit; Sami, Athapaskan and Chukchi cultures; customs and foods.

This 352-page guide book provides information on costs, cruises, roads, lodging, activities like kayaking and hiking, icebergs, aurora borealis, midnight sun, development and exploration history, climate change and wildlife.

Weather information

Greenland and The Arctic is helpful and well-organized. Numerous sidebars provide climate charts and information on permits, sidetrips, North Pole adventures and dangers of plutonium contamination.

Fast Facts summarize best times to travel, difficulty level, gateway cities and time needed. Essential Facts and Directory sections provide information on reading lists, money, telephone, time zones, visas, embassies, mail, internet access and shopping.

Road maps

Twelve pages of color photos help whet the appetite to travel to the top of the world. Greenland and The Arctic contains many detailed black and white maps with roads, air and boat routes.

Did you Know? notes, in the margins of the Snapshot sections, provide interesting facts. For example, did you know that Greenland has the world's lowest population density (0.026 people per square kilometer)?

National parks

The short language guide at the back of the book is an invaluable list of basic words and phrases translated from English into Greenlandic and Danish. Unfortunately, east and west coast dialects are different, so pronunciation of Greenlandic words may be even more awkward than trying to remember the long multi-syllabic words.

A Quick Reference section on the inside cover gives exchange rates, business hours, telephone codes and key phrases. In the Arctic Environment section, a sidebar lists national parks of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia and Russia, with descriptions, activities and best times to visit.

Suggested itineraries in Greenland

  • the classic southern route from Narsarsuaq to Nanortalik or Aappilattoq
  • Disko Bay on the west coast, from Aasiaat to Disko Island via Qasigiannguit and Ilulissat (Kangerlua, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the most prolific glacier for icebergs outside Antarctica.)
  • tailored trips featuring:
    • hiking (Sisimiut to Kangerlussuaq trek)
    • climbing Tasermiut Fjord and Torsukattak Fjord with their kilometer-high granite cliff faces
    • dog sledding
    • fishing trips for salmon and Arctic char near Nuuk and Kangerlussuaq
    • sea-kayaking (Narsq to Narsarsuaq route)
    • awesome fjords (Aapilattoq and Nanortalik in the south)
    • picturesque villages (Uummannaq, Nanortalik, Qaqortoq and Sisimiut)
    • ghost towns and ruins (reconstructions at Hvalsey and Qassiarsuk)
    • museums (Nuuk, Paamiut and Upernavik)
Greenland and The Arctic (Lonely Planet Travel Guides)


  • Highlights
  • Getting Started
  • The Authors
  • Arctic Snapshot
  • Arctic History & Exploration
  • Arctic Research
  • Indigenous Peoples & Cultures of the Arctic
  • The Arctic Environment
  • Arctic Food & Drink
  • Touring the Arctic
  • Greenland
  • Greenland Itineraries
  • Greenland Snapshots
    • History
    • The Culture
    • Religion
    • Arts
    • Environment
    • Food & Drink
  • South Greenland
  • Southwest Greenland
  • Disko Bay
  • Northwest Greenland
  • East Greenland
  • Greenland Directory
  • Greenland Transport
  • The Arctic
  • Arctic North America Travel Routes
  • Arctic Russia Travel Routes
  • Health
  • World Time Zones
  • Language
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Index


Etain O'Carroll is the coordinating author. She also contributed to Lonely Planet guides on Morocco, Wales, Iceland and Germany.

Mark Elliott contributed to Lonely Planet Guides on Eastern Europe, Central Europe, Russia & Belarus, Trans-Siberian Railway, Scandinavian Europe and Indonesia. A prolific writer, he has also written many other travel related books.

More things to see and do in the Arctic:

Nunavut - Birding, Wildlife and Whale Watching

Nunavut - What to See and Do in East Arctic Canada

Arctic Cruise - Adventure Canada Expedition to Nunavut and Greenland

What to See in Qaummaarviit Park - Iqaluit, Nunavut

Return to Travel Index