Roundtrip: Off the beaten track

10 days along the Greenland West coast

Explore Greenland off the beaten track on this tour. The tour combines the most popular attractions in Greenland with two unique and unspoiled places in Northern Greenland. You will not find a more varied tour combining nature, culture, and history.

You should consider this tour if you are an active, independent, and curious traveler. You will experience nature that is so impressive you will not believe your own eyes. You will be sailing, hiking, and maybe even driving an ATV and going glacier hiking through unspoiled areas.

We will take you to areas of unique natural beauty, where even the most experienced Greenland visitors dream of going. Along the way, we will stay at hotels, hostels, and camps in premium locations so you can enjoy every minute of your holiday.

The tour offers you a chance to see the way of life in Greenland. You will also get a cultural insight into early Inuit immigration in Greenland. We will visit several former settlements and get a sense of the country’s rich history.

Among the tour’s highlights is an overnight stay on Greenland Ice Sheet near Kangerlussuaq. We will visit what is nicknamed the whale capital of Greenland, Qasigiannquit. After this, we hike to Camp Qinngua, where we will relax, cook, go fishing, hike, and look for muscles in the water.

By the end of the tour, we will have spent several days in the iceberg capital Ilulissat. You can get close to the world-famous Ilulissat Ice Fjord in many ways.

We also offer this tour with a tour guide.

Highlights 

  • Stay in a safe camp on the ice sheet
  • Experience life in small and big towns
  • Stay in a camp far from everything
  • Hike along the coast and in the mountains
  • Get up close to UNESCO World Heritage
  • Feel the calm of authentic Greenland

Included

  • Flight Copenhagen – Kangerlussuaq round trip
  • Flight Kangerlussuaq – Aasiaat
  • Flight Ilulissat – Kangerlussuaq
  • Boat Aasiaat – Qasigiannguit
  • Boat Camp Qinngua – Ilulissat
  • Transfers
  • 1 night in Camp Ice Cap on the ice sheet
  • 1 night at Polar Lodge (shared bath/toilet)
  • 2 nights at Mikami Hostel (shared bath/toilet)
  • 2 nights at Camp Qinngua (with a toilet tent)
  • 3 nights at Hotel Arctic (shared bath/toilet)
  • Breakfast all days
  • Full board at Camp Ice Cap (drinks not included)
  • Full board at Camp Qinngua (drinks not included)
  • 2 x dinner in Qasigiannguit (drinks not included)
  • Welcome dinner at Hotel Arctic (drinks not included)
  • Meals on the flights between Copenhagen and Kangerlussuaq
  • Welcome meetings in all towns with accommodation – English-speaking local guides
  • Town tour and museum visit in Qasigiannguit (2-3 hours)
  • Town tour in Ilulissat (2 hours)
  • Boat trip to an abandoned settlement near Qasigiannguit (3-4 hours)
  • Hike to Camp Qinngua from Qasigiannguit (luggage will be transported)
  • Hike at Camp Qinngua (4-5 hours)
  • Hike to Sermermiut in Ilulissat (2 hours)
  • All taxes and fees declared to Greenland Travel Agency until today
  • 20 kilos of checked baggage and 8 kilos of hand baggage are included

Not included

  • Meals other than those mentioned above
  • Optional excursions (we recommend pre-booking our excursion package)
  • Travel insurance

Day program

Day 1:
Flight Copenhagen-Kangerlussuaq and Camp Ice Cap

Your trip starts at Kastrup airport, where you will fly with Air Greenland to Greenland. The flight takes about 4.5 hours, and you fly directly to Kangerlussuaq. Kangerlussuaq is located north of the Arctic Circle, and you’ll feel at first breath that something has changed. The air is dry and fresh, and you can see the ice sheet on the horizon. On your flight in, you’ve seen the giant white ice sheet from above, and now you’re just 25 kilometers from it.

The airport and the village of Kangerlussuaq are in the middle of nowhere, practically on the Arctic tundra. Tundra is a landscape you’ll only find in the northern hemisphere. One of the characteristics of tundra is permafrost. This means that the ground beneath is permanently frozen. This phenomenon gives rise to an exciting landscape we will experience today.

Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by a local guide from our partner, Albatros Arctic Circle, who will tell you about the experiences of the next two days. We start with a real adventure: a full day with an overnight stay on the ice sheet, where you will stay in a tent camp.

You can deposit part of your luggage at Polar Lodge, so we recommend you pack your luggage at home so you can take a smaller backpack on your trip to the Ice Sheet.

Camp Ice Cap

The tour begins in an all-terrain vehicle with good panoramic windows so you can enjoy the changing landscape along the way. It’s about an hour’s drive to Point 660, where the tour guide reviews the equipment and the next day’s events.

The climate in Kangerlussuaq is usually stable, and our route on the ice is relatively smooth, and the guide is highly experienced in walking on ice. Once at Camp Ice Cap, you will be accommodated in the expedition tents. Then it’s time to enjoy some hot drinks and the total silence a few kilometers in on the ice. If the weather permits and you are up to it, you can go on a short hike and enjoy the wintery landscapes in the summertime. Dinner is simple and warm as it consists of freeze-dried food, which is easy to carry.
In the summer, the sun is up late, so some will relax in the camp, while others go to bed early because the time difference is four hours from CET, so if it is 8 PM in Greenland, it is midnight back in Europe. The tents have nice warm thermal sleeping bags, so don’t worry about freezing at night.

Day 2:
Camp Ice Cap and Kangerlussuaq

After a nutritious breakfast and a good night’s sleep on the ice in the warm sleeping bags, it’s time for a slightly longer hike than the day before. We bring crampons and hiking poles, but we don’t need ropes as we walk on safe terrain the whole time.

We hike on the endless meadows of ice. Cracks in the ice in the distance testify to the fact that, in summer, the ice is changeable and breaking up, while in winter, the opposite is true. We keep a safe distance from danger while we see some turquoise lakes and rivers forming on the ice in summer.

Depending on the whims of the weather, we enjoy our lunch along the way or back at camp. Then it’s time to pack up and head back to civilization.

You’ve worked hard on this trip, with an experience of the ice sheet that few get to experience. Now we drive back to Kangerlussuaq, where we will stay at Polar Lodge. It is a cozy hostel with simple good rooms. There are baths and toilets in the hallway.

Polar Lodge is centrally located and just a few meters from shopping and the airport. Here, you will find a grocery store, a small equipment store, and shops selling arts, crafts, and souvenirs. You have the rest of the day at leisure to wander the area.In the evening, we highly recommend dinner at the Rowing Club. A shuttle bus takes you to and from

Roklubben, located on a beautiful lake six kilometers from Kangerlussuaq.

Day 3:
To Qasigiannguit via Aasiaat by plane and boat

Today offers varied experiences as we travel north to the coast and Disko Bay.

Flight to Aasiaat

After breakfast, you can walk around before the trip continues north to Disko Bay. We take a domestic flight to the town of Aasiaat, which takes 45 minutes. Domestic flights in Greenland fly at relatively low altitudes so that you can follow the scenery from above.

After arrival in Aasiaat, we will be picked up at the airport and driven to the harbor. From here, we sail to Qasigiannguit.

Sailing to Qasigiannguit – the Whale Capital

We set off on a 4-hour boat tour in the southern part of Disko Bay in the early afternoon. From the archipelago at Aasiaat, we head northwest west towards the mainland. The next stop is the small town of Qasigiannguit. We will sail with Diskoline and arrive in Qasigiannguit around 3:30 PM.

On arrival in Qasigiannguit, Mikami Hostel will be our home for two days. It is a family-run hostel located in two houses in town.

Qasigiannguit is a nice, small town. The mountains behind the town are up to 450 meters high and create a nice contrast to the coast. We walk a short distance from the harbor to our hostel while the luggage is transported.

In Qasigiannguit, there is an information meeting held by our partners from Diskobay Tours. This is a local company we have worked closely with for many years, and they are actually in charge of the program for the next 4-5 days.

Easy hike

In the late afternoon, we will take an easy hike to Kangerluluk, also known as Paradise Bay. It is a nice hike of about 8 kilometers, and we expect to spend about three hours on this hike. It is a good idea to bring a water bottle, and you may also want to bring a thermos with something warm to drink. The difficulty level is 2 on this hike.

Dinner at the sports hall’s cafe and relaxing on the terrace

We will have dinner in the sports hall cafeteria/cafe in the evening. A local family runs the café. Eating here is very local, and many locals do the same along the Greenland coast. We like our sports halls, and the cafes are typically popular places as they serve Greenlandic food. We will have the dish of the day – and we can’t say exactly what it is, as it depends on the fresh produce available that week. After dinner, we go back to our hostel.

Mikami Hostel is located with a good view of Disko Bay. In summer, you can sit on the terrace and look out over the bay, often spotting an iceberg or two – and probably also some whales.

Day 4:
Qasigiannguit town tour and an afternoon boat trip

After a good night’s sleep, breakfast is served at Mikami Hostel. Today, there are several exciting things on the program.

Town tour and museum visit

Qasigiannguit is an exciting town to explore, and we start at the town museum. The museum is located in Poul Egede’s old shop, built in 1734. The museum now houses a unique archaeological collection from the excavations of a Saqqaq culture settlement (we will visit the island with the former settlement in the afternoon).

There are also exhibitions on the lives of the fishermen and the shrimp industry that made Qasigiannguit a thriving town in the 1960s and for decades to come, where shrimps were known as the Pink Gold.

Later, we pass the heliport and the site of the many sled dogs before returning to the town center. Along the way, your guide will tell you about the history of Qasigiannguit from the colony of Christianshåb (Christian’s Hope) to the present day.

Boat trip to Qeqertassussuk and Akulliit

The afternoon offers an exciting boat trip to the protected island of Qeqertassussuk and the abandoned settlement of Akulliit, where the houses are now used as summer cottages.

The first stop on the cruise is Qeqertasussuk, where, as mentioned, all the finds you saw at the museum earlier today have been excavated. Inuit from the Saqqaq culture lived here on the island from 2400 to 1400 BC, and the Qasigiannguit Museum found more than 200,000 animal bones during the excavation, which lasted from 1983 to 1987. In addition to the many bones, they found huts, stone tools, fireplaces, and organic remains of feathers, plants, insects, and wooden tools.

From Qeqertasussuk, we now sail on to the abandoned settlement of Akulliit, a holiday resort for people from Qasigiannguit. The place has been inhabited on and off for centuries and has an interesting but often tragic history.

Dinner

Tonight, you’ll get a taste of life at the camp where we will go tomorrow, in the sense that you will be cooking together at Mikami Hostel, based on the fresh produce caught here in Qasigiannguit.

Day 5:
Hike to the tent camp at Qinngua

After our breakfast at Mikami Hostel, it’s time for a hike from Qasigiannguit to Camp Qinngua, a beautiful hike of about 16 kilometers in relatively easy terrain (the difficulty level is 2-3, and we cross two rivers along the way). And don’t worry: you won’t have to carry all your luggage on this hike. The luggage will be sailed to the camp, so you just need to bring a daypack.

We now walk along the beautiful Eqalunnguit Fjord (Salmon Bay) to the head of the fjord, where we will spend two nights at Camp Qinngua, a cozy tent camp in the wilderness.
The sleeping tents contain a field bed, sleeping bag, and fleece/cotton liner (you are welcome to bring your own liner if you prefer). The kitchen tent contains tables, chairs, cooking, and eating utensils. Meals, coffee, and tea will be served in the camp. Everyone on the trip can actively participate in camp life by getting water, cooking, brewing coffee, or whatever you can think of.

We will have dinner at the camp. It is Greenlandic food and will depend on the season and what is available. It can be freshly caught mussels, trout from the river, or cod from the bay. It will be delicious!

After dinner, it’s time to relax or go for a walk before we go to bed in the tents.

Day 6:
Life in a camp with a cold dip, fishing, hiking, and mussels

Those who get up early can start making breakfast, and then we will enjoy our coffee. Some may want a cool dip, which is available on the beach just below camp. It’s voluntary, of course.

Later we head over and fish in the river and lake. If we’re lucky, we’ll catch some Arctic char using our hands in the traditional Greenlandic way. It might be part of our dinner tonight.

Then we hike to the top of the mountain behind the camp. It takes about an hour to reach the plateau at the top. We have brought a packed lunch, and when we reach the top, we can look for musk oxen and enjoy the lovely views.

Depending on the tide, when we get down, we may collect mussels, which can also become part of the evening meal. The mussels live on rocks in the sea and should be collected at low tide on the north side of the rocks.

There will also be time for exploring on your own, both before and after dinner.

Day 7:
Sailing to Ilulissat - town tour (optional: Ilimanaq Glacier Adventure)

After a final breakfast in the lovely camp, we help each other clean up so it’s neat for the next batch of lucky guests.

We are then picked up by boat and sail to Ilulissat. It is a boat trip of about 1-1½ hours. However, there is also the option of purchasing an exciting excursion, Ilimanaq Glacier Adventure.

Ilimanaq Glacier Adventure

On this exciting trip, you will sail in a speedboat, drive off-road with ATVs, and trek on a glacier! We sail south from Ilimanaq to Itilliup Ilua. Here we are set off on a very wide sandy beach, and from here, we drive off-road in all-terrain ATVs to the Tasiusaq Fjord. We now sail deeper into the fjord until we reach a place with two glaciers, and the Greenland Ice Sheet can be seen.

We go ashore and enjoy a packed lunch and the great view. After this, we trek a bit and finally climb onto the huge ice sheet.

If you choose to join the Ilimanaq Glacier Adventure – a popular excursion – be aware that you will miss the guided town tour in Ilulissat. However, you can do this on your own later with the help of a map. If you choose to go on the Ilimanaq Glacier Adventure, you will arrive in Ilulissat before dinner.

Ilulissat Icefjord is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

If you’re not joining the Ilimanaq Glacier Adventure, we’ll sail on from the quaint little town of Ilimanaq before reaching the mouth of the Ilulissat Icefjord. Here we’ll see the amazing giant icebergs that lie aground there.

If you’ve seen pictures from Greenland of huge icebergs, it’s likely to have been from the Ilulissat Icefjord. During the boat trip, we pass these giant icebergs. Every year, more than 48 cubic kilometers of ice flow from the Ilulissat Glacier into the fjord. The result is enormous icebergs that can be hundreds of meters long and stretch high above sea level.

On the way to the harbor, we pass the town and can see our hotel, Hotel Arctic.

Arrival in Ilulissat with check-in and subsequent town tour

In Ilulissat, we drive to Hotel Arctic, where there is an information meeting. The hotel offers another excellent view, with all rooms having partial or full views of Disko Bay. We deposit our luggage at the hotel and then take a town tour.

A guided walk around Ilulissat

Ilulissat is Greenlandic for “the icebergs,” and the town is located right next to the Ilulissat Ice Fjord, which is essential to life in the town. It is Greenland’s largest town with approximately 4,500 people – or 7,000 souls if you include all the sled dogs. Ilulissat is a busy town throughout the year.

The town was founded in 1741 by Jacob Severin, and the Danish name used to be Jakobshavn. Today, Ilulissat is the tourism and business center of Disko Bay. During summer, Ilulissat is the most visited tourist destination in Greenland. Many of the tourists come from cruise ships and spend a day here.

In Ilulissat, tourism forms the basis for the many activities offered and the large supply of quality handmade arts and crafts. Moreover, Ilulissat is home to several exceptional restaurants.

During the town tour, we will visit the central part of town. The guide will tell you about the town’s history and the way of life in a modern Greenlandic town 300 kilometers north of the Polar Circle. We will make several stops along the way – for instance, at the harbor and the market where the catch of the day is sold.

At night there is a welcome dinner at Hotel Arctic.

Day 8:
Hike to Sermermiut and optional whale safari (optional) or kayaking (optional)

Today, there is the possibility of going hiking and possibly some excursions.

Sermermiut by Ilulissat Icefjord

Sermermiut means “those who live by the ice” and refers to the fact that the place used to be a settlement. For 4000 years, various Inuit cultures lived in the Sermermiut valley. The site is 1.5 kilometers from Ilulissat town center, and the walk is easy. There is a path all the way. However, it is not easy to find the traces and remains of the settlement without a local guide.

A trip to Sermermiut is an absolute must when visiting Ilulissat. The views are magnificent. You have a view of the Ilulissat Icefjord, and there are icebergs as far as the eye can see.

In between excursions – or if you choose not to go on excursions – you’ll have time to fill the day with your adventures. You can visit one of the town’s museums. We recommend the Ilulissat Museum, the birthplace of polar explorer Knud Rasmussen. The Emanuel Petersen Art Museum is also worth a visit.
You can also indulge yourself in the town’s shops and the local sealskin workshop. You can also enjoy refreshments and a light meal at a café in the city center and soak up the atmosphere.

Whale watching in Greenland (optional)

Whales are abundant in Greenland, especially in Disko Bay, in summer. Today you can spend the afternoon on a whale boating safari and experience them up close.
Fifteen species of whale can be seen in Greenlandic waters. During the summer, we usually see humpback, sperm, and fin whales. At up to 18 meters and 30 tonnes, the humpback is the acrobat of the big whales. It can throw itself out of the water and flap its tail and flippers. It’s easy to spot by its humped dorsal fin and white flippers, and it usually lifts its tail as it dives. The trip lasts 3½ hours, and we sail in the fast Targa type of boat so we can get far and about.

Later in the day, you will have the opportunity to go kayaking.

Kayak Experience in Ilulissat (optional)

Inuit have kayaked in Greenland waters for more than a thousand years, and you can do it too. As the kayak glides silently through the water, you see the huge icebergs rising around you. The midnight sun gives the ice a unique hue. In cloudy weather, the beautiful blue colors of the icebergs will be very clear. With a little luck, we may even meet whales. All tours take place in stable double kayaks, and a boat follows. The excursion takes about 3½-4 hours, and we will be at sea for at least two hours.

Greenlandic buffet

Several restaurants in town offer a Greenlandic buffet once a week. Your guide will tell you about the options. This is not included in the travel program

Day 9:
Ilulissat: Boat trip to the calving Eqi Glacier

This day is free at leisure. We recommend a day trip to the calving Eqi Glacier 80 kilometers north of Ilulissat. If you are not in the mood for sailing, you have plenty of other options to choose from – our guide will be happy to advise you!

On some departures, this excursion takes place on Tuesday instead of Wednesday, but then the program is switched, so you can go whale watching and kayaking today.

The calving Eqi Glacier (optional)

Near Eqi in Greenland, you can get close to a calving glacier front. The active Eqi Glacier is located 80 kilometers north of Ilulissat and by boat, it is possible to get close to the edge of the glacier and experience how large chunks of ice fall into the water. The crashes are deafening, and the sight of ice tumbling into the water is mesmerizing.

The trip to Eqi takes place on board comfortable tourist boats. We drift in front of the glacier for approximately two hours waiting for the glacier to calve. A nice lunch will be served on board. The total duration of the trip is 6-12 hours, depending on the boat used that day.

From the boat, you can also see Glacier Lodge Eqi, which is a small group of red lodges and a restaurant. Glacier Lodge Eqi is built by our subsidiary World of Greenland and based on several principles of sustainability. The lodges are heated via solar power, for example.

The boat trip takes us along the coast, passing many interesting places along the way. We will go past Bredebugt, the Oqaatsut village and the large Pakitsoq fjord system where whales and seals often play in the water. From there, we continue up through Ataa Sound, which is surrounded by tall, steep mountains with birdlife and waterfalls.

When we return to the hotel, the evening is yours to enjoy at one of the restaurants in town.

Day 10:
Flight from Ilulissat to Copenhagen via Kangerlussuaq

After many days with experiences of a lifetime, the journey goes south towards Copenhagen Airport, Denmark. However, you will get one final experience to bring home with you. On the plane from Ilulissat to Kangerlussuaq, you will get a chance to see the Ilulissat Ice Fjord from above.

Departing from Kangerlussuaq

We will fly from Ilulissat after breakfast, landing in Kangerlussuaq sometime before noon. Here, you will experience how the airport is filled with passengers, who – just like you – have flown in from the coast. The airport is bustling with anticipation when the plane from Copenhagen is approaching.

Greenland is a massive country, but with a population of about 56,000 people, many people know each other. You will witness joyful reunions at the airport. You might also bump into other travelers that you have met during your tour of Greenland. It is easy and natural to begin a conversation with strangers in Greenland.

Immaqa

Greenlanders often say ”Immaqa,” which means maybe. Traveling in Arctic regions is subject to some uncertainty.

The flight toward Copenhagen Airport is scheduled to depart at 11:40 AM. You will arrive in Copenhagen at 9:30 PM (on June 30th we leave Greenland a little earlier and arrive in Copenhagen at 8:00 PM).

The plane from Kangerlussuaq can be delayed, however, as it is normal to wait for passengers from the coast. Please bear this in mind when you plan your onward journey from Copenhagen Airport. We recommend that you spend the night in Copenhagen. It is easy to get to a hotel near the airport. Contact us for more information and to book.

Map

Kangerlussuaq

Aasiaat

Qasigiannguit

Ilimanaq

Ilulissat

Kangerlussuaq

Hotels on this tour

Optional purchases

Practical information

Flight schedule (local times)

Departure from Copenhagen at 10:00 AM.

Return flights arrive in Copenhagen at 9:00 PM.

Departure times are subject to change by the airline.

Please note: On the tour with departure on August 16, 2022, you will fly to Ilulissat instead of Aasiaat, and then sail from Ilulissat to Qasigiannguit.

Please also note that the content of this trip was updated on January 11, 2022. If you purchased the trip before this date, the tasting menu of Restaurant Koks is not included in the price, unless you have purchased this separately.

Find the packing list for your trip here.

Travelers with reduced mobility and wheelchair users

Unfortunately, this trip is not suitable for people with reduced mobility and wheelchair users. Greenland Travel’s difficulty level advise on the excursions are intended for travelers who are not disabled. Of course, we are happy to provide you with information on the suitability of the trip, taking into account the needs you have. Please note that if you choose this trip based on a conversation with Greenland Travel, it is on your responsibility, as we do not have medical competence for advice.

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Roundtrip: Off the beaten track

10 days along the Greenland West coast

This tour will take you off the beaten track in Greenland. Explore the most popular places as well as three unique locations: Qasigiannguit, Camp Ice Cap, and Camp Qinngua.

From
4.215 EUR
per person in double room
June - August  | 10 days  | 9 nights Travel id: 1162 Departure from Copenhagen Guaranteed departure
Optional experiences
IcebergsWhalesafariIce SheetCulture

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You are always welcome to contact us if you have any questions regarding your trip or if you need advice or guidance.

We strive to respond to inquiries within 24 hours on weekdays.

You can call us at: +45 3313 1011