Lying between the North American continent and the North Pole, Greenland is a vast island country covered almost completely (and to a depth of several kilometres in places) by ice. Only in a few places, in coastal locations, is there any human settlement. The capital is Nuuk, on the west coast, and this quaint fishing port has a population of just 16,000. Greenland has been very sparsely inhabited by Arctic peoples for almost 5000 years and then, in the 10th century, its southern tip was colonised by ‘Norsemen' from Iceland and Denmark. Greenland became a Danish colony in the early 19th century and links with Denmark remain strong, although the island has had home rule since 1979. The interior of the island is a harsh place, ice-covered and prone to strong winds. It is the preserve of scientists and rugged explorers, such as those attempting a crossing of the Greenland Ice-cap on skis. During the summer months, the temperatures climb in sheltered coastal locations, flowers bloom and sea-birds make their nests. At this time of year, notably amongst the fjords in the vicinity of the airfield at Kulusuk on the east coast, Greenland offers unique opportunities for adventure travellers. Hiking and camping, with boat support, it is possible to explore a landscape unlike anything else on earth, where granite peaks rise above glaciers which calve their icebergs directly into the sea.