Greenland Northern Lights

Greenland's sky offers the gift of the northern lights from mid August onwards, normally visible during the two or three hours after nightfall. Our camp in Qaleraliq glacier, with a total absence of light pollution, is used each year by astronomers to observe these “collisions between the ions flowing outward from the Sun and atmospheric atoms”... And you can get together with them and admire!  The rest, making available for you a unbeatable range of activities, it's our task.

Where to see northern lights, trip route

As trip highlights:

  • Absence of light pollution
  • Glacier & tundra hikes
  • Kayak optional excursion
  • 3 Camp & 4 Hostel nights
  • Helicopter optional excursion
  • Admire the Inlandis or Greenland’s Polar Ice Cap
  • Greenlandic farewell dinner
  • Daily scientific conferences
  • Viking & Inuit ruins and reconstructions in Qassiarsuk
  • Boat transfers among icebergs
  • Narsaq town visit
  • Glacier tongues & arctic fauna

Day 1. Qassiarsuk (former Brattahlid): Erik the Red settlement

Flight from Keflavik (Iceland) or Copenhaguen to Narsarsuaq. Reception and transfer by speed boat through Tunulliarfik Fjord, frequently covered by icebergs, to Qassiarsuk. Guided visit to the Viking ruins of Brattahlid to learn the history of the arrival of Eric the Red from Iceland at this small settlement in 985 and Leiff, his son’s voyage to Vinland (Canada) in 1000. Of particular interest are the reconstructions of a Viking house (spacious but cold) and an Eskimo dwelling (small but warmer), transporting us back in time to the harsh conditions in which these people lived and it definitely shows us how the Inuit knew how to adapt better to the progressive cooling of the climate. Overnight stay at the Leif Eriksson Hostel.

Where to see northern lights, Qassiarsuk, Greenland, viking ruins

Day 2. Narsaq town and Qaleraliq glacier camp

Zodiac transfer to Qaleraliq camp, reaching Narsaq town first. This is  the third most populated settlement in southern Greenland with a population of about 1,500 inhabitants. Free time to stroll around, shop and visit the hunters market. Afterwards we will get the Camp in the afternoon. Qaleraliq is our main fixed domo camp, set on a sandy beach which contrasts with a spectacular view of three glacier tongues. We will spend the night at the camp, allowing our senses to enjoy the thunderclap roar of the icefall from seracs and, obviously, enjoying the absence of light pollution. Lecture about the Northern Lights from a scientific point of view. Accommodation in 4 bedded basic but comfortable rooms of Domo “loft”.

.Where to see northern lights, Qaleraliq camp in southern Greenland

Day 3. Glacier Fronts and Ice Excursion

After enjoying breakfast delightfully facing the glaciers and taking some time to explore the camp surroundings, we will navigate along the glacier fronts on our speed boat, admiring the beauty of their vertical ice walls and numerous and varied icebergs as we approach them along their more than 10 kilometres descent to the sea. From there we will start the ice excursion. An impressive hike using crampons (organised to be suitable for all travellers) on one of the oldest ice masses on the planet. We will explore its crevasses, drains, caves, seracs and other ice formations which give an incredible, almost serpentine quality to this glacier. An expert mountain guide will be in charge to make sure we are provided with the appropriate equipment, and to ensure the safety of the group during the trip. He/she will share with us their knowledge about the special characteristics of the glaciers in the South of Greenland. A unique experience, exciting and original, surprising both first-time comers and those used to the peculiarities of the glacier world. Grandiose sights and one of the best excursions in all Greenland. Lecture about the Northern Lights from a mythological point of view. Accommodation in 4 bedded basic but comfortable rooms of Domo “loft”.

Where to see northen lights, glacier fronts navigation

Where to see northern lights, ice hiking with crampons in southern greenland

Day 4. Greenland Polar Ice Cap View

Ascent by foot through a remarkable desert-like sand valley which will lead us to a surprisingly different landscape, that of the green and thick tundra. After passing the lake, we will climb a 400 metre high mountain, from which we will have a mesmerising view of the Tasersuatsiaq lake, one of the largest in Southern Greenland. The summit is also a very special viewing point of the Inlandis, the immense inland glacier. From there you can gaze upon the infinite ice sheet and see the Nunataks, floating landmarks on the ice sheet. We may pick mushrooms and blueberries, and look for caribou, which are plentiful in the area. Lecture and discussion on climate change and its effects on the country. Accommodation in 4 bedded basic but comfortable rooms of Domo “loft”.

Where to see northern lights, south Greenland ice cap sighting

Day 5. Igaliku and Qooroq Ice Fjord

Navigation from Qaleraliq to Itilleq via the Tunulliarfik fjord. Easy hike to cross the Kongevejen, or Path of the Kings, to the idyllic Igaliku, a small Inuit settlement inhabited by not quite 40 people. It is famous for being the most beautiful settlement in Greenland, and where one finds the ruins of Gardar, the archdiocese and religious capital of Viking Greenland. After eating in Igaliku, return in the afternoon to Itilleq, and then to Qassiarsuk. On our way back to Qassiarsuk we will visit the Qooroq Fjord, where one of the most active glaciers in Southern Greenland can be found, navigating to the area where iceberg density will make it impossible to carry on, and which is, with no doubt, one of Greenland's best sceneries. After staying and enjoying a hot shower at the Leif Eriksson Hostel, lecture on the history and evolution of the Greenlandic people through time. Overnight stay at the Leif Eriksson Hostel.

Where to see northern lights, south Greenland Qooroq fjord

Day 6. Tasiusaq, the kayaking amid icebergs spot

Hiking to Tasiusaq farms, next to Sermilik fjord which is almost always blocked by icebergs. This is not the only sheep farm of the area and we can continue our walk to reach the idyllic Nunataaq with sights of the Eqaloruutsit glacier. Later, after the picnic, it’s time for action: optional kayak excursion in the “Iceberg Bay”, a 2 hour kayaking trip for beginners among icebergs in one of the safest and nicest spots in southern Greenland (70€ , minimum 2 participants). Accommodation at the Tasiusaq hostel or hike back to Qassiarsuk and accommodation at the Leif Eriksson Hostel.

Day 7. Flower Valley hike and Kiattut Glacier

We will cross to Narsarsuaq on our zodiac boat. Then, after a short transfer by car, walk through Flower Valley enjoying the spectacular view of a valley formed due to the retreat and the consequent glacial sedimentation. We will walk until we reach a view of Kiattut glacier and the landscape around it, with a superb panoramic view of the ice sheet and its Nunataks. Farewell dinner will be made of inuit dishes as whale, seal, caribou, mattak, etc. Night at the Leif Eriksson Hostel. Overnight stay at the Leif Eriksson Hostel.

Where to see northern lights, Tasiusaq bay, south Greenland

Day 8. Helicopter optional excursion before go home

Boat transfer to Narsarsuaq. Time to walk around the area and visit the Bluie West One, former American military base untouched since WWII.

Also it is possible to enjoy a unforgettable helicopter flight over viewing the fjord system and  the Inlandis. This is a 32 minutes flight with a 30 minutes ground stop on a fantastic and unique view point, very close to the Polar Ice Cap. Price: 2,980 DKK (400 €) per person (4 participants minimum). The helicopter trip depends upon availability of air craft and need to be reserved with some days in advance.

Flight from Narsarsuaq to Keflavik (Iceland) or to Copenhagen.

Prices:

2,095 € from Keflavik, Iceland (round-trip ticket included)

2,395 €  from Copenhagen, Denmark (round-trip ticket included)

Send a enquiry  to check available dates in 2018 for this trip.

From (date) To (date) Departure Price in Euros Availability
Aug 14, 2018Sep 22, 2018From Iceland€2095Available
Aug 14, 2018Sep 22, 2018From Copenhagen€2395Available

Physical Condition

The journey is designed so that it is suitable for anyone who enjoys the outdoors, who doesn’t mind sleeping in a tent or sharing accommodation and who goes hiking or trekking on a regular basis. The longest trek takes approximately 5-6 walking hours (with a light-weight bag) on easy terrain. All other excursions are easier, approximately 3 or 4 walking hours, on alternate days. Walks are optional. Travellers who wish to stay at the camp or the hostel may do so. If you are not sure if you are fit enough for the journey, please contact our staff for further information and advice.

Level and technical information for hiking

The journey is an adventure in spectacular scenery, surrounded by an atmosphere of exploration and discovery of this wild country, in sometimes difficult conditions, which requires a special type of attitude. Nevertheless, the hikes are quite easy, and suitable for most abilities. The ice excursion with crampons will be guided by a mountain guide, and is also suitable for anyone physically active and with an adventurous attitude.

Trekking

Distance (km)

Duration aprox.(h)

Accumulated altitude(m)

Maximum altitude (m)

Type of terrain

 

 

Tasersuatsiaq Lake

15

5

500

410

Sand/Tundra

King’s Way

9,2

3

200

100

Path

Tasiusaq

13,2

4,5

375

200

Path

Flower Valley

13,8

6,5

550

300

Path/Rock

 

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Ready to travel?

Call + 00299 52 28 22
info@greenland.net

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Our commitments

Environmental sustainability. We believe in a responsible tourism with unspoilt nature of Greenland, so all our trips are planned to have the least possible impact on the environment.

Safety. All our guides are expert about Greenland and know when either it is or it is not convinient to carry out an activity. Our safety records are unmatchable.

Local population. Our Inuit Climate Change Patrol   ensures the maintanance of Inuit traditions by involving local people in utilization of a sustainable tourism.

Inuit Windsled 

To collaborate in the deepest knowledge of the most unfamiliar places on the planet and do so without affecting ecosystems. This is the philosophy that marks the Inuit Windsled Project, the only totally ecological vehicle designed for research in Polar lands.

Based on the ancient knowledge of the Inuit peoples, the Windsled developers have managed to create a means of transportation that combines tradition with modern means through kites that harness aeolian energy.

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Inuit Climate Change Patrol;

In Thule today sled dogs are still used and the inhabitants go in search of their livelihood in cloth-lined kayaks, but we are witnessing the last generation of true Inuit hunters. Most of these people are between 45 and 60 years old and the next generation aren’t continuing in these traditions… Are we witnessing  the last dynasty of the Kings of Thule?  

This fear is the germ of the Inuit Climate Change Patrol, current project led by Ramon Larramendi (founder of Greenland.net)

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