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Sermermiut – a beautiful, exciting cultural hike

Inspiration / Excursions / Sermermiut – a beautiful, exciting cultural hike

Starting in Ilulissat, you can embark on various astonishing hikes. The most popular one is relatively short, but incredibly beautiful. It takes to the old Inuit-settlement Sermermiut on the northern shore of Ilulissat Ice Fjord.

The short walk to Sermermiut

On the north side of the Ice Fjord, the abandoned settlement by the name of Sermermiut is waiting for you to explore it. We are going back in time 4.000 years to meet the first people who settled here. Immigration to Greenland took place at different points in time. Read more about this part of culture here. The early Dorset and Thule cultures took up residence by Sermermiut. There has always been great potential for hunting in this area due to its location next to the Ice Fjord. The area has a large and varied animal and marine life. The combination of the Ice Sheet’s fresh water and the salty water of the sea offer fantastic possibilities for food.

Sermermiut was excavated in 1952 and 1983, where evidence of many different cultures were found. This knowledge makes Sermermiut a culturally exciting area. But we know very well that most people come here because of the beauty of the raw nature.

Walking to Sermermiut is super easy. Take the hike with some friends or join a guided tour arranged by our subsidiary World of Greenland. Walk there from the town of Ilulissat or get a ride to the previous helicopter airfield at the edge of the town. From here, a wooden walkway leads you all the way to the waterside. It was built to protect the old cultural memories that are part of the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Greenland. The future Ice Fjord Center is being built, and already now it is part of your hike: the walkway leads you across its roof.

At the end of the gangway, you reach the shore of the Ice Fjord. Continue from here and get to Nakkaavik, which means “the place where you fall”. The name comes from a time when the elderly threw themselves down the cliff during a famine. They sacrificed their lives for the younger people so they could have enough food to continue and feed the new generations. The Danish name is “Kællingekløften”, “the Old Women’s Gorge,” and it was featured in Season 4 of the popular TV series “Borgen.”

Heading to Sermermiut on a longer hike through the mountains

An alternative to the short hike is a walk along the Ice Fjord, slightly longer into the country, on marked routes. Continue from Nakkaavik along the fjord, heading for the actual glacier. Most people, however, start their trip by the quarry at the edge of the town Ilulissat. They walk through the cliff called Qoororsuaq. The top of the mountains provide a fantastic view over the town as well as Disco Bay with Disco Island and Alluttoq Island on the horizon.

Read more about the longer hike to Sermermiut.

Other things to experience in Greenland