Winter dogsledding in Ilulissat by UNESCO site Ilulissat Icefiord
Dogsled trip in Ilulissat for the adventurous!
Ever dreamt about dogsledding in Greenland? Fulfill your dream on this 8 day trip to Ilulissat with 4 days out on the dogsled.
The silence is overwhelming, and the horizon never seems to end. The white surface is covered with a new topping of snow and the sun shines from a cloudless blue sky. The frost bites the cheeks and the dogs are eager to get going. The air is full of expectation. On the command of the driver the sled takes off. You are being pushed back. The speed surprises you as well as the significant smell from the dogs…
The program of this trip includes not only a meeting with the fantastic landscape surrounding Ilulissat but will also present you to the traditional hunting methods as well as the daily life in settlements. The dogsled trails followed on the trip are used by the fishermen going out to the fishing grounds even in winter time. Watching them work and by hand and long line pull out Halibut from the deep, cold waters is a unique experience. You won’t get closer to nature.
Ilulissat is Greenland’s largest dogsled district which – inspired by the world famous explorer Knud Rasmussen – to its fullest explore the Greenlandic winter and the 1000 year old tradition.
Release your inner adventurer and participate on this ultimate sled trip experiencing the best of Ilulissat in winter time. The four day sled trip will give you lots of highlights of some of the most striking experiences in the grand nature full of snow, ice, silence and the magical northern lights combined with Ilulissat’s town and cultural life.
The winter temperature in Greenland is between 30 and 5 minus degrees so we welcome you to this unique white world where the nature sets the agenda!
Day 1 Copenhagen-Kangerlussuaq-Ilulissat-Hotel Arctic-information meeting and dinner
Air Greenland takes you from Copenhagen to Ilulissat via Kangerlussuaq. The moist and dark winter months are soon to be replaced by Greenland’s fresh snow white landscape. In Kangerlussuaq you will get your first surprising meeting with a winter cold that hits you like a wall when you step out of the flight. From Kangerlussuaq off it goes to Ilulissat and after 45 minutes up in the air – with a stunning view of the amazing landscape – the flight lands in the town of the icebergs. A transfer bus takes you from the airport to Hotel Arctic.
The 4 star hotel is a perfect choice for the days in Ilulissat and gives you a fine opportunity to rewind before the dogsled trip begins. The hotel is beautifully situated with a wonderful view over the town and the stunning icefjord. After check-in you will meet a guide from World of Greenland, who welcomes you to the town and informs you about the coming days' experiences.
In the evening you can enjoy a welcome dinner in Hotel Arctic’s sublime restaurant and the breathtaking view over the town and the giants of ice scattered around in the UNESCO listed ice fjord.
Day 2 On your own in Ilulissat – optional excursions
The program of today is at your own disposal. Ilulissat is rich on excursion possibilities and the town itself is definitely worth a walk with its fine colourful houses, the icy harbour, the exciting museum, souvenir shops with arts and crafts from the local artists, cafés and restaurants. Otherwise, we recommend:
Hiking trip to the former Sermermiut settlement
– a hiking trip along the beautiful ice fjord to Sermermiut 1,5 kilometre south of Ilulissat. For 4000 years different Inuit cultures lived in this area.
Boat tour to the ice fjord
– a 2-3 hour sailing trip day or evening (depending on the ice condition) among the majestic icebergs which can be more than 100 metres on each side and with a height of more than 100 metres.
Helicopter trip to Ilulissat glacier
– a wonderful experience to the heart of the UNESCO area. The Ilulissat glacier is the most productive glacier in the northern hemisphere. The glacier is 7 kilometres wide and more than 1 kilometre steep – it produces 43 tons of ice and moves about 50 metres a day.
Sailing trip to the settlement Oqaatsut (depending on the ice condition)
A 5 hour sailing trip to the isolated and very idyllic settlement Oqaatsut. Oqaatsut has 45 inhabitants and is a small well functioning settlement which for centuries was a favourite area for Dutch whalers. The area is rich on natural beauty and playground for many arctic animals.
Day 3 The dogsled trip starts-Aattartoq-Nunatarsuaq-Kangerlukasik
Today the dogsled trip begins! Early morning you will meet the sled drivers and dogs, and then off it goes out of the sled track to Aattartoq where you meet the sea ice. Then out to the fishing grounds where the town's long-line fishermen carry out one of the toughest jobs in the world.
You experience the atmosphere among the small groups of hardy men who through the winter time by hand pull up halibut from the depths and live in primitive sled tents on the ice fjord. After the visit at the fishing grounds the trip continues over to Nunatarsuaq which is the island north of Ilulissat glacier. On the beautiful sled trail you go to the small fjord Kangerlukasik where you stay in tents for the night with an amazing view to the Ilulissat glacier.
Day 4 Out on dogsled-Nunatarsuaq-the ice cap
Very few people ever get the opportunity to stand with more than a kilometer ice underfoot, but today it's your turn. The trip passes over the sea ice along the edge of Nunatarsuaq, and after 2-3 hours of driving, you turn east and drive up on the ice cap. 2-3 kilometer up on the ice you eat lunch overlooking the ice where you look. Back on the ice you continue along the "dead glacier" until you reach two small fishing cabins. You stay indoor or in tents.
Day 5 Out on dogsled-Aattartoq-Qoororsuaq
On the third sled day you go through via Aattartoq over the hilly and beautiful Qoororsuaq. which is the sled track, normally used by the longline fishermen from the village Oqaatsut. It is trip's longest sled day so both dogs, drivers and you are undoubtedly very tired at the end of the day. Overnight in a hut or tent.
Day 6 Out on dogsled-the settlement Oqaatsut-return to Ilulissat-Hotel Arctic
You drive north through the bay Kangersuneq and then over the sea ice until you reach the small settlement Oqaatsut. Here you stay for about an hour and enjoy lunch before you continue south over Bredebugt to Ilulissat. Accommodation again at Hotel Arctic. We recommend a hot bath as a perfect ending of this unforgettable trip.
Day 7 Ilulissat on your own
The day is at your own disposal in Ilulissat. Maybe you want to focus upon the cultural activities? The shopping possibilities are perfect – are you for example looking for a typical Greenlandic souvenir the traditional arts and crafts are a perfect choice.
You can also visit the birth place of Knud Rasmussen, which today is the town’s museum rich in historical remnants. The museum was opened in 1779 and has a large collection of local photos, an exciting library and various informational material about Knud Rasmussen. Another fine experience is Ilulissat art museum, which is situated in the beautiful former house of the colony administrator with a wonderful view over the harbour.
There are many fine restaurants in Ilulissat offering both products from the traditional Greenlandic kitchen as well as new culinary inventions – it’s worth a try!
Day 8 Ilulissat-Kangerlussuaq-Copenhagen
The Greenland adventure is about to end. A bus takes you from the hotel to the airport. And seated on the Dash flight you will see the gigantic ice bergs and the colored houses getting smaller and smaller and eventually be replaced by a remote white landscape. There is a short stay in Kangerlussuaq before the Airbus flyes to Copenhagen with arrival early evening.
Nature is rough 300 kilometer north of the Arctic circle. The weather and the sledging determine the route. There may be impassable deep snow in Qoororsuaq, snow storms or ice bergs in the fjord Sikuiuitsoq preventing the fishermen from placing their long lines. Accomodation enroute also depends on the weather condition, so be prepared to sleep in cabins or tents. This is the essence of nature’s power, but rest assured that the experienced sled drivers will do what they can to give you a perfect trip full of memorable moments.
- Further information about the tour (Click to udfold!)
- Suggested packing list
Below is a suggested packing list for your winter tour to Greenland that includes dogsledge tours. Please contact us if you have any questions!