Hot Springs and Bubbly – Greenland’s Arctic Thermal Pools

Written By: The Planet D

We all know that Iceland is the land of fire, ice and water. Whenever someone speaks of the country, they always mention its famous thermal baths. Well, Greenland has a thermal bath or two itself.

Whenever we tell people that we just returned from Greenland, they say to us “Did you know Greenland is white and Iceland is Green?” As a matter a fact we did!

Greenland is 80% covered by a polar ice cap. It has the second largest body of ice in the world after Antarctica ice and it creates the most icebergs in the Northern Hemisphere.

Needless to say, there isn’t a lot of Green in Greenland. So when we heard that there was a thermal bath at one of our landings, we had to check it out.

Bathing at the Top of the World in Greenland

greenland hot springs champagne
Enjoying champagne surrounded by beauty.

Uunartoq means ‘the warming island’.

We had been blessed with sunshine and balmy weather during our expedition around the West Coast of Greenland but that’s not to say we weren’t thrilled to take a dip in a warm pool.

The thermal pool was first established by the Norse settlers over 1000 years ago.

When the Norse disappeared, the Thule People took up use of it and today, Greenlandic people and tourists like us continue to use it.

It is thought to have healing qualities and was used by the Benedictine nuns dedicated to Olaf the Holy to help heal the sick.

We went to help soothe our aching muscles, but I don’t think a whole lot of healing went on once the bubbly was brought out.

It was a treat enough to strip down to our bathing suits in the Arctic Circle and jump in the warm water, but quite another to enjoy champagne while sitting in a hot pool surrounded by glaciers, mountains, water and ice.

Stunning Scenery of Greenland

greenland hot springs dave
Dave takes it all in!

The surrounding scenery was astounding. Greenland surprised us.

We didn’t quite know what to expect when travelling to Greenland and worried that we should have visited Greenland before seeing Antarctica.

Antarctica was beautiful and we thought that nothing could compare to it.

As it turned out, Greenland gave it a run for its money. What we loved about Greenland was the diversity of the destination.

The colourful tundra was a sharp contrast from the blue ice.

Enormous glaciers snaked through jagged peaks leading out to the sea. Sometimes the terrain would be rocky while others it would be covered in moss.

Sometimes mountains were black as coal, other times they were covered in ice.

Each turn of the head offered a unique and completely different view. Sitting in the pool, we had a 360-degree view of the entire landscape and we couldn’t get enough of it.

greenland hot springs group
The die hards left to finish off the Champagne!

For more articles on our polar adventures check out our Antarctica posts. 

Not many people from the ship opted for a dip in the Uunartoq thermal pool, and the staff brought quite a few bottles of bubbly anticipating more people.

They kept filling our plastic cups with champagne informing us that we weren’t allowed to leave until it was all gone.

Hey, it was a 20-minute hike out there, would you want to carry a cooler full of the bubbly back?

We dutifully listened to their orders and by the time we had to return to the ship, nobody was feeling pain.

Alas, all good things must come to an end and after our skin was perfectly pruned and every drop of bubbly was gone, it was time to return to the Sea Spirit.

Back to the Ship

greenland hot springs outside
The Bathing Beauties! Deb, Emily, Dale and Fiona

Following the command of fellow passenger Dale from England, all the women went back to the ship in our bathing suits.

Normally we all dress up in Quark parkas and hats, but Dale decided that we should return as we would for a Caribbean Cruise.

It was one thing to hike through the tundra in our swimsuits, it was quite another to get on the zodiac whisking through the freezing water to take us back to the ship.

With parkas in hand, we put on our life vests, sat on the rubber sides and held on for the short, and very cold ride.

Hot Tub on the Ship

hot springs party
Chillin’ in the Hot Tub! Dennis, Dale, Brian and Deb

Luckily, the Sea Spirit has a hot tub on the top deck, so instead of retiring to our rooms before dinner, we all hiked upstairs and kept the festivities going.

We may not have been on land, but the scenery was still outstanding as we sat outside enjoying our last look at the Fjord before heading off to our next destination.

Each day is an adventure in Greenland, we can’t wait to see what comes next.

Travel through Greenland is difficult. There are no roads leading from one town to another.

With a polar ice cap covering most to the country, the only way to travel is by plane, dogsled, kayak or ship.

An expeditions cruise is your best way to see a lot of Greenland at the most reasonable rate and fastest time.

Read More:

Greenland, Where an Ancient Culture Meets the Modern World

23 Epic Photos of Remarkable Arctic Ice

Kayaking in Greenland – The Greatest Arctic Adventure in Photos

Incredible Greenland – The Final Frontier for Adventure Travel

Arctic or Antarctica? How to Choose your Polar Expedition

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Book Your Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner. We have used them for years and have found that they have the best flight deals.

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor.

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO.ย 

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Safety Wing - Occasional Travelers.
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Book Your Activities: Looking for walking tours, skip-the-line tickets, private guides, and more? Then we recommend Get Your Guide.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

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23 thoughts on “Hot Springs and Bubbly – Greenland’s Arctic Thermal Pools”

  1. I always love special bath in a Tub and Hot tubs does not need any introduction now as almost everyone know about it and also desire to have one in their bathrooms. Hot tubs are the best way to relax your body and mind. The warm water and the bubbles in the hot tubs that massage your body is truly a treat for you. A long day work and the tiredness after that can be overcome only with a good peaceful ambience and a good body massage. Hot tubs are the best way to soothe your mind. It is not only a great stress reliever but it is also very beneficial for health. It helps in getting rid of numerous health problems like blood pressure, heart problems, muscle pain, arthritis pain and a lot more. It is truly the most comfortable way of treating your body for any ailment or disease. Thanks for your interesting information.

  2. Oh no. A new obsession for me…Greenland :). I boggles my mind that someone would turn down a dip in a thermal pool holding a glass/bottle of champagne. Fabulous photos!

  3. Love it–for the first time I’m thinking about taking a hot bath in a very cold climate! And guys, seriously, love the photos you take for your blog. I’m just getting started with a DSLR camera, and it’s educational seeing yours.

    • Alright! It’s something you must try. A lot of Canadians have hot tubs in their back yard and winter is always the best time to go hut tubbing. Enjoy your new camera, you are going to love it!

  4. Looks like you had a lot of fun in “white” Greenland! (though your pics show it as a lot more colourful than we’d have thought) And what lovely bathing beauties!

    • So true eh, we didn’t expect so much colour, although I’m sure it’s all white by now and we only just got back. Summers are very short up there.

  5. Looks like you had a great time ๐Ÿ™‚

    The good thing about Greenland is that the Champagne would have stayed chilled ๐Ÿ˜›

  6. Make sure you put the photo of the two of you enjoying a bottle of Champagne on a frame because it is just beautiful.

    • Awe, thank you! It’s one of our favs too. When we get a house, we’re going to have lot of shots to choose from ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. What awesome pictures and what an awesome experience! The details you have shared about your trip make me feel its ice-chilling texture!