Kulusuk, Greenland, Denmark
GPS: 65.568726283269, -37.18623757025
Although only a two-hour flight from the Icelandic capital Reykjavík, Kulusuk remains one of the most isolated localities in the world. Fully blocked by ice in winter, this small hilly Danish island in southern Greenland is inhabited by some 250 people a year.
The Vikings are the first Europeans to discover Greenland in the 10th century. They settle on the eastern coast of this virgin territory thanks to the navigation skills of Erik Thorvaldsson (better known as Erik the Red), a Norwegian explorer who had to flee Iceland. A few years later, his son Leif Erikson will realize the feat of reaching and colonizing the coasts of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. These events are part of a long Viking saga described in a manuscript by an Icelandic cleric in the 13th century. Attached to the Kingdom of Denmark since the 1700s, Greenland has enjoyed the status of an autonomous region since 1979 (like the Faroe Islands) but is not part of the European Community. This vast territory is 50 times bigger than the mainland of Denmark but has 100 times fewer inhabitants. It is home to 56,000 Greenlanders, the majority of whom are Inuit (with an infinitely low density of 0.03 inhabitants/km²) compared with 5.8 million Danes living on the Jutland peninsula.
Kulusuk Island is located in an area of Greenland where one of the first camps in Inuit was discovered in 1884. These are the Inuit of Ammassalik, established in the region since the 13th century, and known for making tupilaqs. These figurines finely carved from different materials (including animal bones), symbolize spirits and bad spells. Living mainly from fishing and hunting, this people managed to settle permanently in this region with extreme climatic conditions (unlike the Vikings who disappeared in the 15th century). In 2009, the village of Kulusuk celebrated the centenary of the establishment of permanent habitats on its lands, symbolized by the village church. The construction of this monument dates back to 1908. It is the work of the crew of a Danish sailing boat, having run aground on the neighbouring coast, which used the remains of the woods of their ship to erect it. Timeless destination, Kulusuk offers a unique experience and breathtaking landscapes to its visitors. This rocky island is surrounded by high mountains and vast fjords. Gateway to Greenland, it allows a real immersion in the heart of Inuit culture.