Tasermiut Kayak & Hike

The area of Tasermiut Fjord is one of the most savage and unknown in South Greenland and holds some of the most desired climbing walls in the world: Ketil, Ulamertorsuaq and Nalumasortoq. We are proposing to paddle along the fiord exploring every corner, and combining it with hiking in hidden valleys. This is an authentic expedition trip, wandering around without a pre fixed schedule, and taking full advantages of ice and weather conditions.

South Greenland, Tasermiut fjord kayak exploration route map

As trip highlights:

  • Fully-guided kayaking exploration
  • Hikes to the Big Walls of Tasermiut Fjord
  • Double Prijon kayaks, highly stable
  • Helicopter trip
  • Hot springs bath in Uunartoq Island
  • Kayaking beside the impressive Tasermiut glacier front
  • Sighting of local fauna
  • Explore the Quingua forest
  • Narsaq, Qaqortoq and Nanortalik towns
  • Qassiarsuk, Eric the Red’s viking ruins
  • Fishing for salmon and cod

Day 1. Boat transfer to Narsaq town

Three-hour flight from Iceland (Keflavik international airport) or from Copenhagen to South Greenland (Narsarsuaq airport) with views of the sea ice and the glacier tongues of the southern tip of Greenland… The Arctic! Reception at the airport and one-hour high-powered zodiac trip through a breathtaking landscape of canyons and icebergs before reaching Narsaq, the third most populated town in South Greenland with about 1,500 inhabitants. This town is really lovely, apart from being stocked with everything (second last chance to do some last minute shopping), and well worth a good stroll around.

Dinner and overnight stay at the Kayak Hostel.

Tasermiut Fjord kayaking exploration, Narsaq, South Greenland

Day 2. Heading south to Qaqortoq and Nanortalik

Boat transfer from Narsaq to Qaqortoq, the South Greenland capital. Qaqortoq, founded in 1775 and nowadays with almost 3,000 inhabitants, is described as the most charming and attractive town in Greenland. After stroll around in Qaqortoq (where you should not miss a visit to the genuine “Qajaq”club) we keep on sailing to the picturesque and isolated Nanortalik, the southernmost city of Greenland of about 2,300 inhabitants. 

Navigation between Qaqortoq and Nanortalik through a difficult system of fiords reminding us somehow of Scotland, although here, we are encircled by icebergs. On our way, we will go past Alluitsup Paa, a vivid settlement and the capital for whale watching in South Greenland. Here we will have the chance to search for whales during the transfer. 

Dinner and overnight stay at the hostel in Nanortalik.

Nanortalik, southernmost town in South Greenland

Days 3 to 6. Kuusuaq and lake Tasersuaq

Preparation of equipment and boat navigation to the quaint village of Tasiusaq. After visiting this small and picturesque village, we will approach several farms in the area like Nugarssuk and Saputit to later on camp at Kuussuaq River, one of the top fishing villages in South Greenland.

From Kuussuaq River we will be porting our kayaks up to Tasersuaq Lake, where we will commence paddling towards the end of it surrounded by scenical alpine mountains. Upon attaining the shore we will explore the Qinngua Forest with 4 meter (13 ft) high birches, being the only natural forest in Greenland. From there we will return to Tasermiut Fjord.

Accommodation in expedition tents.

Tasersuaq lake, south Greenland

Days 7 to 11. On course to the Big Walls

Once again at the fiord we will paddle through the eastern side, an easy coast with long beaches to halt in every valley and see Mt. Ulamertorssuaq, a massive vertical wall similar to “El Capitan” at Yosemite National Park, as well as Mt. Nalumasortoq, with its characteristic double sheet similar to one in a book, very appealing to climbers for its perfect 800 m (2624 ft) vertical wall. 

Nalumasortoq mountain in Tasermiut ford, South Greenland

Then we arrive to Mt. Ketil, where the ruins of a Viking monastery can be seen together with Tininertuup and other valleys so rarely visited that they have no name. Each one is unique. Combining paddling with hiking we will reach the end of the fiord where Tasermiut Glacier falls down 1500 meters (4921 ft) to the shoreline. From there we will start the way back to Tasiusaq through the western shore where other hikes with totally different views can be explored.

Accommodation in expedition tents.

Tasermiut glacier at the end of the fjord, South Greenland

Day 12. Arrival by paddle to Tasiusaq and then boat transfer to Nanortalik.

Free time in Nanortalik, “the town where the polar bears are” – at least that is the meaning of its name, though there is extremely little chance of meeting one – and which still remains isolated due to ice for a considerable part of year. Possibility of a guided tour through the city and its surroundings.

Visit to the Museum of Inuit Culture and Traditions, considered the best museum in the south. Free time for dinner and during the evening. You may visit the town, go shopping, explore the hunters market, enjoy a meal in a restaurant or drink a beer.

Accommodation in hostel or hostel-house.

Nanortalik town in South Greenland

Day 13. Uunartoq thermal springs before reach Qaqortoq

Boat transfer to Uunartoq Island. Free time to enjoy a relaxing bath in warm thermal springs (the only accessible thermal springs in Greenland), a holiday resort for many natives who come from all over the country to camp and bathe in thermal waters, while icebergs are floating only 500 metres (547 yards) away in the fiords. Then, we will pursue our navigation in order to get to Qaqortoq.

Overnight stay at the hostel in Qaqortoq.

Uunartoq hot springs in South Greenland

Day 14. Helicopter flight and hike to Tasiusaq Bay

After enjoying the views of the vast Inlandis and the whole system of fjords seen from the helicopter (regular line from Qaqortoq) we reach the airport of Narsarsuaq and get the small village of Qassiarsuk by boat. From there we start hiking towards Tasiusaq, populated by only three families who live on their farms throughout the year. It takes about two and a half hours at a comfortable pace through a unique environment, with a way up to a hill from which we see the Sermilik fjord filled with icebergs from the Eqalorutsit glacier. Optional: kayaking excursion among icebergs.

Overnight stay at the hostel in Tasiusaq.

Kayaking among icebergs at the Tasiusaq bay, South Greenland

Day 15. Brattahlid viking reconstructions before flight

Trekking way back to Qassairsuk, where we will do the visit of the Viking ruins of Brattahlid. In two hours we will hear the story of the arrival of Eric the Red from Iceland to this small settlement in 985, why it is called “green land” or why they established here the first Christian church in the Americas. Especially interesting is the reconstruction of a viking house (spacious but cold) and an Inuit dwelling (small but cozy), transporting us back in time to the harsh conditions in which these people lived and clearly shows how the Inuit were better adapted to widespread worsening weather conditions.

Brattahlid viking reconstructions, South Greenland

Then we cross the Eriksfjord to Narsarsuaq Airport. We recommend, after luggage check-in, that you step back in time and visit the Bluie West One Museum of the American Base WWII… Nothing has changed!

Flight from Narsarsuaq to Keflavik (Iceland) or Copenhagen.

From (date) To (date) Departure Price in Euros Availability
Jul 13, 2017Jul 27, 2017From Iceland€2795Available
Jul 13, 2017Jul 27, 2017From Copenhagen€3095Available
Aug 01, 2017Aug 15, 2017From Iceland€2795Available
Aug 01, 2017Aug 15, 2017From Copenhagen€3095Available

This expedition is carried out with Nature only. There is no contact with civilisation whatsoever since we leave Nanortalik until our return to the settlement.

Since the Tasermiut fjord is very sheltered and has beaches all along its shores, embarkations and landings will be particularly easy at all times. This, together with the stability of our double kayaks, makes previous experience in kayaking not essential, although desirable. However, skilled kayakers who know how to eskimo roll may choose to use a single kayak on this trip. From a physical point of view, the Exploration of the Tasermiut Fjord combines kayaking with fairly intense hiking, requiring some physical fitness or at least having a habit of countryside hiking to really enjoy the trip.

Tasermiut Fjord conditions.

Tasermiut fiord conditions are quite special; the area can be totally blocked by ice until mid of July, that being the reason why the route is planned for mid July onwards. Temperatures may begin to freeze at that time of the year, and weather is very changeable. Mid-August nights are sometimes cold. Foehn winds can form in fiords and make navigation difficult and challenging. Broad availability of landing spots makes navigation especially safe. Except for Tasiusaq and some farms surrounding it, the area is unoccupied.

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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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