Surroundings doesn’t normally make me weep. I’ve been to Botswanan bush camps, Cambodian seashores and Ethiopian lakes, and infrequently have I discovered myself reaching for the tissues. However the mauve gentle that floods Greenland’s snow-drenched panorama in late autumn is so dramatically lovely that my eyes welled with tears.

Though it doesn’t pay to be sentimental within the Arctic. On the day we arrived, the temperature hit an off-the-cuff minus -25C, and people tears of pleasure froze painfully on my cheek. Life is harsh in Ittoqqortoormiit, a city that’s 4 levels north of the Arctic Circle on Greenland’s frozen east coast.

Apart from the occasional helicopter bringing guests and piles of Amazon packages from Iceland, the folks of Ittoqqortoormiit don’t see many different guests. That may very well be about to vary.

Learn extra

On this settlement of 450 folks – all of whom are Inuits – there may be now a single guesthouse with six small bedrooms that may be rented individually or taken over by a bunch. Visiting someplace extraordinary with out one other vacationer in sight is modern-day journey nirvana, however in Ittoqqortoormiit, it’s virtually completely assured.

Up till now the guesthouse has been occupied by researchers, however on the finish of November, reserving platform added it to its web site, giving the remainder of us the possibility to go to a spot we’ve solely seen on-screen with a David Attenborough narration. To have fun the launch of the guesthouse – which is painted Mediterranean orange and glimmers prettily within the thick snow – is providing all rooms free for March 2019, a time when the native polar bears are very energetic.

The world’s most distant guesthouse in Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland

The residents of Ittoqqortoormiit dwell very like they’ve for the final 100 years, searching for seals within the wealthy Arctic waters and musk ox within the frigid tundra that surrounds their pink, blue and inexperienced settlement. Even their garments come from the land – polar-bear pores and skin trousers, seal-skin gloves and moose-hair jackets.

There aren’t any eating places or pubs, so enjoyable means cross-country snowboarding within the surrounding mountains or sledding with packs of smooth, narrow-eyed Greenlandic canine, which have been bred from home animals and wolves. Bushes can’t develop this far north, so hurtling by way of the tundra leaves you dangerously uncovered to the brutal winds. And for the wildlife – locals at all times carry a rifle to keep at bay the aggressive polar bears they share their shoreline with.

The city of Ittoqqortoormiit in east Greenland

“You usually don’t know a polar bear is there till it’s attacking you,” says Mitte Barselajsen, who runs the guesthouse. “These days, there are extra bears than there have been after I was small, and we have now to warn our youngsters to remain near city after they play.”

UN reviews counsel the rationale for this supposed enhance in bears is local weather change: as ice floes soften, the animals are discovering it tough to hunt for seals and are due to this fact pressured to scavenge for human meals. Barselajsen thinks it’s all the way down to WWF directives defending Arctic wildlife. To the north of the city is the huge, forbidding Greenland Nationwide Park: the largest parkland on earth and a frozen playground for the bears that reaches -60C in winter.

Going husky sledding is a part of the Greenland expertise

Locals like Barselajsen have lived off the land for hundreds of years, however current WWF restrictions have curtailed the variety of animals they’re legally allowed to hunt – and consequently, they should look elsewhere for a steady earnings. The answer is tourism.

I visited Ittoqqortoormiit in mid-November, when the solar edges above the horizon for a number of hours a day and sends out a lightweight so weak that it turns the thick snow a shade of very pale purple – therefore all of the weeping. This imaginative and prescient of northern magnificence introduced me with a bodily painful conundrum: I used to be compelled to {photograph} it however eradicating my hand from its padded mitten felt like being gripped by the icy claw of loss of life.

The one means out and in of Ittoqqortoormiit is by way of helicopter

The rumours are true, there are 13 phrases for snow in Greenlandic, and being actually, actually chilly is an inevitability – though on the plus facet, you’ll snort with derision once you go dwelling and individuals are whining about -8C. Canine sledding on the tundra was bone-chilling however the terror of negotiating the perilous cliff drop into the Arctic Sea made me neglect about my limbs. As I gripped the sting of the wood sledge on this totally colourless world, I felt just like the White Witch in Narnia, if much less glamorous in my scarlet padded snowsuit.

Later that afternoon, I climbed on the again of a snowmobile with one of many native lads – the Arctic model of whizzing round Rome on a scooter, I suppose – and we bombed to an deserted city on the tip of the fjord. It was the whole silence that struck me, essentially the most desolate place I’ve ever been, the place polar bears typically meet to mate, and packs of wolves shelter from storms.

Maintain your eyes out for the Northern Lights

At evening we ate Arctic char and ox within the heat guesthouse and infrequently darted into the frigid evening to test for Northern Lights. Ittoqqortoormiit is likely one of the most distant settlements within the northern world and judging from the smartphone snaps Barselajsen confirmed me, an unimaginable place to see the lights. Frustratingly it snowed each evening I used to be there, however I had glimpsed some in Iceland earlier that week.

There’s something fascinating in regards to the individuals who dwell right here, fortunately selecting to remain in one of many harshest environments on earth. Local weather change and searching quotas are additionally affecting their lives – as Danish residents, why not swap the -35C temperatures of an Ittoqqortoormiit January for the relative consolation of Copenhagen?

“As a result of nowhere else is as lovely, or as quiet,” says Barselajsen. “You flip off the snowmobile and you’ve got full silence. After Ittoqqortoormiit, the remainder of the world could be a lot too loud.”

Journey necessities

Getting there

Fly from London to Akureyri in northern Iceland, then fly from Akureyri to Constable Level in Greenland. The flight takes 1.5 hours and goes twice every week. After that, it’s a 15-minute helicopter journey to Ittoqqortoormiit. All flights are operated by Air Greenland.

Staying there

On your probability to win a free room within the Ittoqqortoormiit visitor home in March 2019, go to and apply the REMOTE coupon code at checkout. Provide legitimate from 27 to 31 December 2018.

For extra details about east Greenland, go to