Ilulissat (Jakobshavn), Greenland

No place on earth, other than Ilulissat, Greenland, 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 for at least 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 kaleidoscopic array of colorful houses so typical of Greenlandic villages.


The mass and sheer volume of icebergs from nearby Jakobshavn Glacier has made Ilulissat the most popular tourist destination in Greenland. Moving at an annuzal average of over 150’ (45 m) per day, the glacier drains 6.5% of the Greenland ice sheet and produces about 10% of all icebergs. For this reason, Ilulissat Icefjord is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.