The highland in the mountains behind Ilulissat offers a variety of hikes. 11 km into the hinterland lies the Nalluarsuk Hut. It takes a good day’s hiking up and down and round the lakes before you reach the large Nalluarsup Tasia Lake. The trip to Sermermiut is shorter. In this protected area traces have been found of the first humans who lived in Greenland approx. 4,500 years ago.
If you don’t go sea kayaking in Greenland, where do you? The kayak is a genuine Greenlandic invention, which together with the harpoon and needle has been the most important survival tool through the millennia. In Ilulissat and Disko Bay – as elsewhere in Greenland – the kayak has undergone something of a renaissance. Become one with the sea and sky and enjoy magnificent experiences in the slender little vessel.
Ilulissat is a modern town, but the Inuit culture is not forsaken. The ancient legends and myths are still sources of inspiration to many young artists and musicians. Today they are expressed in new forms. The town’s choirs perform at special events – often dressed in beautiful national costumes and traditional drum and mask dances can be arranged for the town’s guests.
Go on a tour of Ilulissat. Preferably with a guide who can tell you all the good local stories. On the tour you will learn about the history of the town, the culture and about modern life 300 km north of the Arctic Circle. You will pass fishermen at the harbour and experience the atmosphere at “brættet” (the fish market). The tour continues on through the old colonial quarter, past Knud Rasmussen’s birthplace and Zion’s Church, the old wooden church.
In the gourmet kitchen at Restaurant Ulo, the country’s top chefs conjure up masterpieces from the finest ingredients. And Hotel Hvide Falk and Hotel Icefjord are also noble contenders in the running to produce food in class of its own, with a wonderful view as a side dish. An incredible culinary experience can also be had at Restaurant H8 at Rodebay, which can be reached by ship from Ilulissat.
Boats and ships sail from Ilulissat port to settlements along the coast, glaciers and Disko Island. Take a 15 km voyage to the settlement of Ilimanq, south of the Icefjord and discover whales and giant icebergs. Take an evening voyage among the amber coloured icebergs in the midnight sun. Sail out to the settlement of Rodebay and eat lunch at the cosy restaurant. Sail to Eqi and get close-up to an active glacier.
Sounds, movements and the size of icebergs are fascinating and hardly anyone leaves Ilulissat’s Icefjord unaffected. A hike, a voyage or a trip by helicopter to the icefjord is simply a must. At the bottom of the fjord lies “Sermeq Kujalleq”, a glacier that moves up to 38 metres a day during the summer months. In 2004, the icefjord was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Icebergs Icebergs of up to 100 metres in height tower white and proud above sea level right outside Ilulissat. An outstanding sight, which captivates anyone who is given the chance to experience these natural masterpieces. The icebergs run aground at the mouth of the fjord, where it is just 250 metres deep. After melting and degradation, they glide out of the fjord on course for the Atlantic.
Midnight sun means that the sun does not set north of the Arctic Circle and remains above the horizon during the summer. The period of midnight sun in Ilulissat is from 27th of May to 18th of July.
Join a whale safari and experience humpback whales and fin whales. If you’re lucky you may also meet the Greenland whale, because as the sea ice breaks up it heads for Disko Bay to look for food. It lives mainly on animal plankton and moves in line with the ice melting. The Greenland whale stays in Disko Bay during the spring months and leaves in mid May, heading for Canada.
The Ice Sheet
The inland ice is a must for tourists in Ilulissat. By helicopter, dog sled and walking boots it is possible to get right up close to the gigantic ice sheet and get an impression of its magnitude and the loud creaking it makes. Take a boat ride to Pakitsoqfjorden and wander through the arctic landscape to the inland ice.
Imagine yourself on the Icefjord – densely packed with ice. The pressure from the glacier is enormous, and it’s difficult to see where the glacier ends and the fjord begins. Whatever else, you can see the colossal mass of ice moving out of the fjord with the naked eye! The best view of this magnificent sight is from a helicopter. Approximately 50 km east of Ilulissat the helicopter lands on the ice and you can get out. As mentioned earlier, it’s an absolutely fascinating sight.
Greenland from the seaward side treats you to icebergs in all shapes and sizes, playful whales and a glimpse of life in the towns and settlements. Relax in the lounger on deck and enjoy the view. Once you have docked, you can visit museums, take a helicopter ride to the Ice Sheet, or there might be a planned mask and drum dance, kayak display or choir concert going on. Experience the busy harbour life, with its motley collection of small multi-coloured motor boats and red fishing vessels.