Why is Iceland green and Greenland ice?
To keep away the tourists is a popular answer to this question amazing number of visitors ask when in Iceland. In reality we have no clue either.
It seems the discoverers of Iceland felt the country so cold and harsh that it deserved the name Iceland and thus later when the big glacial island next to us was discovered the name was already taken. Or perhaps those folks were just seriously colorblind!
Why on earth they chose the name Greenland for a place so completely void of all vegetation must be put down to straightforward irony or humor. We suspect both, since sarcasm seems to have been a special trait of Vikings of old and admittedly, some of that sarcasm is easily found among many in the North today.
But in this respect it is useful to remember that the Greenland name is not the name used by locals on the island and has never been. Greenland is simply a western term made by foreigners. In the local language the name of Greenland is actually Kalaallit Nunaat or the Land of the Kalaallit. Kallallit in this instance meaning the group of people, Inuits, inhabiting this largest island on earth.
Team Total Iceland highly recommends a side trip to Greenland for a day whilst visiting Iceland. There are flights few times a week from Reykjavik airport and flying time between two and three hours. Air Iceland offers tickets but those do not come cheap. Expect to fork out a hand, a leg and around 700$ / 550€ for the privilege but you can choose between visiting Nuuk, Kulusuk, Constable Point, Ilulissat or Narsarsuaq.
Another option is booking a guided trip through GJ Travel which offers organised tours to and from Greenland as well as other companies that have packages available.
We have been to Greenland a few times and we can absolutely recommend a visit. The locals are among the friendliest folks and no need for special tours to do any glacial trekking either. Simply walk in any direction for a few minutes. We´ll be glad to offer more info on trips to Greenland if requested.