South Greenland, Nuuk and Ilulissat

This summer trip starts in South Greenland in a slightly more adventurous way, with activities such as ice hiking, boat transfers among icebergs, kayaking, nights in a glacier camp or hikes to small towns formerly inhabited by the vikings. Then, we continue with the flight to Nuuk, the modern capital of Greenland, where we will stay for one day before a impressive boat trip across the west coast and Disko Bay that will take us to the gigantic icebergs that surround Ilulissat city. From there we will undertake other activities such as the Guided City Tour or a short boat trip to reach a isolated Inuit settlement. For the last day, there is a range of optional excursions (not included in the price) appropriate to different preferences.

From South Greenland to Nuuk and Ilulissat, route map

As trip highlights:

  • Navigation in a sea filled with icebergs, traveling around the glaciers fronts on a speed boat.
  • A unique excursion with crampons, guided through labyrinthine crevasses in one of the oldest ice fields in the planet.  
  • Witnessing the northern lights, or “Dance of the Sky”, from one of the world’s most special areas (since mid august onwards).
  • Sighting of local fauna such as eagles, caribou, foxes and arctic hares, or whales and seals when the journey takes us to the sea.
  • Opportunity to enjoy an impressive kayak excursion surrounded by icebergs.
  • Visiting the ruins of Gardar and Brattahlid, the most important archaeological treasures in Greenland.
  • ​Discover the Norse history at Nuuk, capital of Greenland.
  • Cultural exchange with the local inuit during the “Kaffemik” in Nuuk.
  • Ilulissat city tour
  • Boat tour to the settlement of Ilimanaq, sailing among massive icebergs.
  • Discover the Ilulissat Icefjord, glacier wich has been declared a UNESCO Word Heritage Site
  • A range of optional excursions in Ilulissat: Helicopter flight, Trekking to the Sermermiut valley, Boat tour to Rodebay, Boat tour to Eqi Sermia Glacier, Whale Safari or Fishing tour.

Day 1. Flight to Narsarsuaq. Visit of the main vestiges of the viking period in Greenland

Flight from Nuuk to Narsarsuaq in southern Greenland. Reception at the airport by our English speaking guide and transfer to the harbor to cross the Eriksfjord in the direction of Qassiarsuk. Once settled in our hostel we are going to start the guided tour of the Viking ruins of Brattahlid (present day Qassiarsuk), learning the history of the arrival of Eric the Red from Iceland at this small settlement in 985. Of particular interest are the reconstructions of a viking house (spacious but cold) and an inuit 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.

Dinner and overnight stay at the Leif Eriksson Hostel.

Summer travel in Greenland, viking ruins in Qassiarsuk

Day 2. Narsaq town and Qaleraliq Glacier Camp

We will set off for Qaleraliq camp, our base beside the greenlandic ice cap, navigating along the Tunulliarfik fjord among icebergs. Halfway we will stop at Narsaq, the third most populated town in South Greenland with about 1,500 inhabitants. Free time to visit the museum, the fish market or the fur shops before boarding the boat again to navigate towards the Inlandis. We will arrive to our 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.

Overnight stay in four bedded rooms of Domo "loft".

Summer travel to Greenland, hiking at the Qaleraliq camp

Day 3. 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 up to the north coast of the island and towards the Arctic Ocean, and see the Nunataks, floating landmarks on the ice sheet. We may pick mushrooms and blueberries (from mid August), and look for caribou, which are plentiful in the area.

Overnight stay in four bedded rooms of Domo "loft".

Summer travel to Greenland. Icebergs at the Qaleraliq glacier

Day 4. Glacier Fronts and Ice Excursion

We will navigate along the glacier fronts on a RIB 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 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.  

Overnight stay in four bedded rooms of Domo "loft".

Summer travel in Greenland, glacier hiking

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 where one finds the ruins of Gardar, the archdiocese and religious capital of Viking Greenland. Igaliku is famous for being the most beautiful settlement in Greenland. On our way back by boat 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: with no doubt, one of Greenland's best sceneries.  

Accommodation stay at the Leif Eriksson Hostel.

Summer travel to Greenland, glacier navigation

Day 6. Tasiusaq bay, the Kayaking among Icebergs spot

Easy and nice hike to Tasiusaq farms, next to Sermilik fjord which is almost always blocked by the icebergs coming from Eqaloruutsit glacier. This is not the only sheep farm of the area and we can continue our walk to reach the idyllic Nunataaq. Then, 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 spots in southern Greenland (70€ per person, minimum 2 participants).

Accommodation at the Tasiusaq Hostel or hike back to Qassiarsuk and accommodation at the Leif Eriksson Hostel.

Summer travel to Greenland, kayaking amid icebergs at the Tasiusaq bay

Day 7. Flower Valley hike and Kiattut Glacier

We will cross to Narsarsuaq on our zodiac boat. Then, we will 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. 

Overnight stay at the Leif Eriksson Hostel.

Summer travel to Greenland, Kiattut glacier

Day 8. Hike to Ineruuralik and Sillisit farms

Hiking to the farm of Ineruuralik, situated in a beautiful place beside the fiord and continuing towards the farms of Issormiut and Sillisit. The scenery along this trail, with horses and sheep grazing with icebergs in the background and rocky walls, where at any time it seems that we will meet with Eric the Red, is unforgettable.

Dinner and overnight stay at the Sillisit Hostel.

Summer travel to Greenland, farms of the Eriksfjord

Day 9. Trek through the mountains and lakes ​

From Sillisit we can climb to a height of 420 meters from where we can see across to the majestic mountain of Illerfissalik on the other side of the fjord, above the mouth of the Qooroq glacier. At over 1700 meters, the Vikings climbed its peak laden with branches for a fire to lead the boats to Brattahlid (present-day Qassiarsuk). Trek way back to Qassiarsuk and farewell dinner, with typical Inuit dishes as whale, seal, caribou or mattak, among others.

Day 10. Helicopter optional excursion before flight to Nuuk, capital of Greenland

Once in the airport of Narsarsuaq we have time to walk around in the area or visit the Bluie West One museum, frozen in time since the Second World War. Also it is possible to enjoy a unforgettable helicopter flight over viewing the South Greenland’s fjord system surrounded by the polar ice cap. This is a 32 minutes flight with a 30 minutes ground stop on a fantastic and unique view point, very close to the ice cap. Price: 400 € per person (minimum 4 participants). The helicopter trip depends upon availability of air craft. Need to be reserved with some days in advance.

Flight Narsarsuaq-Nuuk. Arrival to Nuuk airport and transfer to the hotel for check-in.

Summer travel to Greenland. Nuuk, the capital

National Costume Workshop and "Kaffemik" in Nuuk

This visit will take almost 2 hours 30 min. Together with the guide, you will walk down to the workshop where the Greenlandic National Costume are made. From here, you will walk towards the home of a local family for a "Kaffemik" where coffee, tea and homemade cake will be offered.

Accommodation at Hotel. Small apartment with private facilities.

Days 11, 12 and 13. Cruise among icebergs from Nuuk to Ilulissat

In the morning you can stroll around in Nuuk or, perhaps, visit and bathe in the only swimming pool in Greenland: Malik Nuuk Swimming. This is the most beautiful swimming pool in all of the Nordic countries, with panoramic views to the fiord and surrounding mountains.

Transfer from the hotel to the harbour. The cruise will be in the Sarfaq Ittuk, the ship that Greenlandic use to move between Ilulissat and Narsaq, and it will be an excellent opportunity to discover a part of the Greenlandic western coast. Indeed, the sea has always been the primary way to get around in Greenland and this cruise is the  best chance to travel as –and along with– the local population... For the locals, this is a lifeline to family and a pleasant break while travelling. However, for the traveller, a sea travel is the chance to see some of the most beautiful places in the world: icebergs near the Ilulissat Icefjord (included in the Unesco World Heritage list since 2014), breathtaking Disko Bay and Greenland western coast, and all the main cities including Sisimiut (where the boat makes a stop for several hours), Maniitsoq and other settlements in between... This is not a luxury cruise... It’s much more!

Accommodation will be in double cabin with private shower and toilet.  

Summer travel to Greenland, cruise from Nuuk to Ilulissat

Day 13. Ilulissat city tour

Arrival to Ilulissat will be on Sunday at 13:00. Once settled in the hotel we start the visit of the city with a guide who will describe the history of Ilulissat and its buildings. The tour will start from the old part of town where there are the buildings of the first Danish settlement with the harbour, the church and the museum.

Accommodation at Hotel. Twin / Double room with private facilities.

Summer travel to Greenland, dog in Ilulissat

Day 14.  Boat Tour to the settlement of Ilimanaq

Ilimanaq is a settlement in the Municipality of Qasigiannguit (south of Ilulissat) with a population of 80 inhabitants. The settlement was founded around 1741 and the community’s main occupations are still hunting and fishing. The boat tour to Ilimanaq is an opportunity to visit this old and almost untouched inuit settlement and, at the same time, sail among the massive icebergs that lay at the mouth of the Ilulissat Icefjord.  

The boat leaves Ilulissat harbour at 10 am. with direction Ilimanaq. Before reaching the village the boat will cross the famous Ilulissat Icefjord with its massive icebergs. In Ilimanaq you will have a couple of hours where you can visit the village, in particular the little church that was built in 1904. Lunch is included in this second day and, furthermore, will be with a greenlandic family that will cook the traditional dish called "suasast", a soup with rice, vegetables and seal or fish. At 2 pm. the boat will sail back to Ilulissat crossing the icefjord again. Arrival in Ilulissat is around 4 pm.  

Accommodation at Hotel. Twin / Double room with private facilities.

Summer travel to Greenland, boat trip from Ilulissat to Ilimanaq

Day 15. Optional excursions in Ilulissat area

Day at leisure in Ilulissat for optional excursions. Please note that there is an option to stay one more day in Ilulissat.

Accommodation at Hotel. Twin / Double room with private facilities.

Optional excursions are:

Trekking to the Sermermiut valley: guided tour to an area where 3 different cultures of Inuit fishermans and hunters families settled almost 4000 years ago. The short trekking starts from the old heliport and it will take you to the icefjord where you can admire huge icebergs.

Duration: 3 hours (approx.) Price: 325 DKK (44€)

Boat tour to Rodebay: the excursion to Rodebay is the perfect choice if you are interested in visiting a greenlandic little settlement with its coloured houses and having a sailing tour admiring the landscape and the icebergs of the Disko bay area. The boat journey takes approximately 1,5 hours to get to the village. Once at the village you will be able to visit the settlement and have lunch at the restaurant H8 or a kaffe-mik at one of the local families (optional). The boat will leave Rodebay at 2 pm. to sail back to Ilulissat.  

Duration: 5 hours (approx.) Price: 800 DKK (110€)

Helicopter Tour: the helicopter tour is a unique opportunity to visit the Jakobshavn Glacier or Sermeq Kujalleq (in Greenlandic) which is the is a large glacier in West Greenland. It is located at the end of the Ilulissat icefjord approx 56 km from the city of Ilulissat. The Sermeq Kujalleq  front is about 10km wide and 1 km high. It produces 46km3 equal to 63 billion tons of ice (12% of the USA yearly water consume) and produces around 10% of all Greenland icebergs. It is also the fastest glacier in the north hemisphere with 38 metres per day. The helicopter tour takes off from Ilulissat airport and it reaches the south part of the glacier (Kujalleq) in about 35 minutes flying over the city and the 56km long fjord. It lands by the glacier for about 30 minutes before returning to Ilulissat.  Operation depend on weather and helicopter capacity.

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes (approx.) Price: 3,500 DKK (480€)

Boat tour to Eqi Sermia Glacier: the Eqi Sermia Glacier (100 meters high and 5 kilometers from edge to edge) is located 100 km north of Ilulissat. It’s called the “calving glacier” because ice breaks off from it more frequently than other glaciers. It is also the easiest place from which you can get onto the inland ice. The tour starts from Ilulissat harbor around 8 am. The boat journey to the glacier depends on the sea conditions but it’s approximately 4 hours. At the glacier the boat stops approx 500 metres from it and there you will have time to admire the calving while drinking a cup of coffee. Lunch will be served at the restaurant in Ataa (a small Inuit settlement that was abandoned in 1960). In Ataa, there will be approx 2 hours where guests can have lunch and visit the settlement. Return to Ilulissat is expected around 6 pm.  

Duration: 9 hours 30 minutes (approx.) Price per person: 1,995 DKK (275€) The price includes lunch and the transfer by bus from the accommodation to the harbor and return.

Kaffemik: is a Greenlandic way of celebrating birthdays and weddings but kaffemiks are also organised as “get together”. The Greenlanders open their homes to family and friends for a cup of coffee and home made cakes. Sometimes they are proper buffet with fish and meat.  

Duration: 2 hours (approx.) Price: 150 DKK (21€)

Fishing tour: during the summer we can experiment fishing tours in Ilulissat and in the Disko bay area. There are different fishing techniques, location and periods depending on the fish.  

Duration: 5 hours (approx.) Price: 1,195 DKK (163€)

Whale Safari: in the summer months many species of whales migrate to the cooler waters of the Disko bay area. If you sail in this area in the months of July and August you have huge chances to see these big mammals swimming around and, if you are lucky, jumping out of the water. The most common whales that you can meet on the whale safari tour are Humpbacks and Fin Whale but also Sei Whale, Blue Whale and the Bowhead Whale, known as Greenland Right Whale or Arctic Whale. This last specie spends all of its life in Arctic waters.

Duration: 5 hours (approx). Price: 900 DKK (123€)

IMPORTANT:  The indicated prices are per person unless otherwise stated. Prices may change without prior notice due to specific conditions at the time and place of the excursion. Please note that not all excursions are available during every tour-programme that includes this destination. Please contact with us to get more information.

Day 16. Flight from Ilulissat to Reykjavik (Iceland's domestic airport) or Copenhagen

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport and check in for the return flight to Iceland or Denmark.

 

Discount: 200 € off for June's departures

From (date) To (date) Departure Price in Euros Availability
Jun 14, 2016Jun 29, 2016From Iceland€4940Available
Jun 14, 2016Jun 29, 2016From Copenhagen€4850Available
Jun 21, 2016Jul 06, 2016From Iceland€4940Available
Jun 21, 2016Jul 06, 2016From Copenhagen€4850Available
Jun 28, 2016Jul 13, 2016From Copenhagen€4850Available
Jun 28, 2016Jul 13, 2016From Iceland€4940Available
Jul 05, 2016Jul 20, 2016From Iceland€4940Available
Jul 05, 2016Jul 20, 2016From Copenhagen€4850Available
Jul 12, 2016Jul 27, 2016From Iceland€4940Available
Jul 12, 2016Jul 27, 2016From Copenhagen€4850Available
Jul 19, 2016Aug 03, 2016From Copenhagen€4850Available
Jul 19, 2016Aug 03, 2016From Iceland€4940Available
Jul 26, 2016Aug 10, 2016From Iceland€4940Available
Jul 26, 2016Aug 10, 2016From Copenhagen€4850Available
Aug 02, 2016Aug 17, 2016From Iceland€4940Available
Aug 02, 2016Aug 17, 2016From Copenhagen€4850Available
Aug 09, 2016Aug 24, 2016From Iceland€4940Available
Aug 09, 2016Aug 24, 2016From Copenhagen€4850Available
Aug 16, 2016Aug 31, 2016From Iceland€4940Available
Aug 16, 2016Aug 31, 2016From Copenhagen€4850Available

The journey is physically challenging but it's designed so that it is suitable for anyone who enjoys the outdoors, who doesn’t mind sleeping in a tent, share accommodation and goes hiking or trekking on a regular basis. The longest trek takes approximately 5-6 hours walking (with a light-weight bag) on easy terrain – maximum accumulate high: 600 metres. All other excursions are easier, approximately 3 or 4 hours walking 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.

Both in Ilulissat and Nuuk, you will make easy hikes in order to discover the cities, Greenlandic and Norse histories.

Level and technical information in the trekking

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 attitude. Nevertheless, the treks are quite easy, and suitable for most abilities. The excursion on ice 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 heigh (m)

Maximum heigh (m)

Type of terrain

 

 

Tasersuatsiaq Lake

15

5

500

410

Sand/Tundra

King’s way

9,2

3

200

100

Way

Tasiusaq

13,2

4,5

375

200

Path

Flower Valley

13,8

6,5

550

300

Path/Rock

Glacier Trek

5

3,5-4,5

200

50

Ice

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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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