Ilulissat (Jakobshavn), Greenland

There is no other place on Earth, other than Ilulissat, Greenland that can define itself by the size and volume of its icebergs. The name Ilulissat, in fact, is the Greenlandic word for ‘Iceberg’. This is truly an iceberg paradise! Despite its proximity to huge glaciers, people have lived here in excess of 4,000 years. The modern town of Ilulissat was founded in 1741 by the Danish merchant, Jacob Severin. With a current population of 4,500 it is the third-largest city in Greenland. The narrow inner harbor is lined by a kaleidoscope of colorful houses so typical of Greenlandic villages.

The mass and sheer volume of icebergs from nearby Jacobshvn Glacier has made Ilulissat the most popular tourist destination in Greenland. Moving at up to 45 meters (150’) per day, when averaged annually, the glacier drains 6.5% of the Greenland ice sheet and produces about 10% of all icebergs. For this reason, Ilulissat Icefjord is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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