Qaqortoq Road – Qaqortoq,, Greenland - Atlas Obscura
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Qaqortoq,, Greenland

Qaqortoq Road

In a country where driving from one town to another is literally impossible, this small stretch of gravel is a remarkable feat. 

With only some 55,000 people spread out over more than 800,000 square miles, Greenland takes home the prize for the least densely populated country in the world. While this means Greenlanders have plenty of space to roam, it makes the actual logistics of getting from one point to another much more complicated than your average developed nation.

In fact, the country’s vastness coupled with its naturally icy and rocky terrain means that while there are roads within communities, none of Greenland’s towns or cities are connected to one another over land. Constructing even a basic road between two Greenlandic population centers is prohibitively expensive and equally impractical. As a result, Greenlanders must take to the skies, or hop on a boat when the weather allows, to travel any meaningfully long distance within the country.

That’s why at just 3.8 miles (6.2 kilometers) long, a newly built road in Qaqortoq, in the country’s far south, holds the impressive title of  the country’s longest single road built since World War II. To be honest, there isn’t much competition.

As of now, though, the longest road in Greenland is also a road to nowhere. Constructed in 2015 to link the town to a new nearby airport that will boast a nearly 5,000 foot (1,500 meters) long runway, the road was completed but the airport has yet to materialize. Until that happens, Qaqortoq’s 3,000 residents will have to stick to the town’s helipad for their travel needs.

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