Facts about Upernavik
Upernavik - land of contrasts
Kommuneqarfik Upernavik (Upernavik Municipal authority): this name, which covers the entire municipal authority, is the name that will be used in the following text.
Upernavik can be described as a land of contrasts: its 450 km from north to south encompasses huge climatic variations, with an arctic climate in the south and a high arctic climate in the north. The southern part is extremely fertile, with a covering of humus providing ideal conditions for the growth of heather, birch thickets and trees up to 2 metres in height.
The midnight sun and the polar night alternate in an annual cycle, with the midnight sun appearing from 12th May until 1st August, and the polar night extending from 4th November, when the sun peeps out for the last time until it appears again on 5th February. The shift from light to dark and vice versa does not occur suddenly; the days become markedly lighter or darker day by day.
Kommuneqarfik Upernavik consists of Upernavik Town itself and ten outlying settlements. The largest of these settlements is Kullorsuaq, with a population of 400, and the smallest is Tussaaq, with only one inhabitant registered.
In commercial terms, Kommuneqarfik Upernavik is a mixture of ancient hunter culture and high-tech fishing industry, with traditional dogsleds and modern snow scooters working side by side.
Tourism in Kommuneqarfik Upernavik
The The Tourist Information is located at the museum. Open Monday to Friday 9 - 16
Upernavik means "springtime place". This was where people came in spring, when the ice broke up, both to trade and to fish and to drive the catch out to the open sea.
Upernavik, which was founded in 1772, celebrated its 225-year jubilee in 1997, when the Danish royal family were among the guests who visited the town and outlying settlements.
Upernavik: a brief summary
Location: 72 47` north and 56 10` west
The municipal authority occupies an area of 200,000 km2, which is slightly smaller than Great Britain. It extends to a length of 450 km, which is equivalent to the distance between East and West Iceland.
The population as of 2nd March 2004 numbers 2,905 inhabitants, of which 1169 lives in Upernavik Town and the rest are divided among the municipal authority's ten outlying settlements. Roughly 60 percent of the population lives in these settlements.
Upernavik Kujalleq (Southern Upernavik): 194 inhabitants; 81 km south of Upernavik.
Kangersuatsiaq (Prøven): 237 inhabitants; 56 km south of Upernavik.
Aappilattoq: 200 inhabitants; 23 km east of Upernavik.
Tussaaq: 1 inhabitant; 33 km north of Upernavik.
Naajaat: 55 inhabitants; 45 km north of Upernavik.
Innaarsuit: 150 inhabitants; 55 km north of Upernavik.
Tasiusaq: 237 inhabitants; 71 km north of Upernavik.
Nutaarmiut: 55 inhabitants; 91 km north of Upernavik.
Nuussuaq: 197 inhabitants; 200 km north of Upernavik.
Kullorsuaq: 398 inhabitants; 300 km north of Upernavik.
Midnight sun: 12th May - 1st August
Polar night: 4th November - 5th February
Mean temperature - winter: (Nov. - Apr. 1999): -15 - -20 C.
Coldest month: March, when the temperature can drop to - 40 C.
Mean temperature - summer: Around 5-6 C. Warmest month is July.
Winter ice: These years the global changes in the climate are visible here at Upernavik town. The sea doesn´t freece up untill february or march now. It disapears again in april or may. In the northernmost villages it is different, as the sea freece up around november and uncovers again in june or july.
Open: 09.00 - 15.00 Monday - Friday. Closed Saturday and Sunday.
The following credit cards may be used: Diners, Eurocard, Mastercard, Visa/Dankort.
American Express cannot be used Upernavik.
N.B. Cheques cannot be cashed at the bank. In the settlements, only cash or Danish currency can be used.
Open 14-16 Tuesday-Friday and Sunday. Monday and Saturday closed.
Tourist Office (at the museum)
Open 9-16 Monday-Friday. Saturday and Sunday closed.
Police and medical assistance
Police +299 961222
Hospital +299 961211