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.
Museums & Exhibitions
Ilulissat is home to two exciting museums. Ilulissat Museum is also Knud
Rasmussen's birthplace and provides an interesting insight into this
great explorer's life and numerous expeditions. The Inuit Art Museum
contains a large collection of paintings by Greenland's probably best
known painter, Emanuel A. Petersen. Over 100 paintings by Greenlandic,
Faroese and Danish artists are exhibited here.
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. 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. The BBQ on the terrace of Hotel Arctic is an unforgettable experience!
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.
The beautiful jewellery, animal skins and handicraft objects in
Ilulissat's shops provide a glimpse into an ancient and proud culture,
where every corner of nature's gifts were utilised with an eye for
quality and beauty in the detail. It is a tradition that lives on in
many of the quality objects you are tempted by as a tourist.
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 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.
Arctic Wild Life
You often come across animals in the wild. At sea, on land and in the
air. Seals swim all the way along the Greenlandic coastline and 20
different species of whale live in the waters around it. There are lots
of whales in Ilulissat. If you are lucky, you might also spot arctic
foxes and arctic hares. The raven is perhaps the bird you will see most
frequently out of the 50 different species in Greenland, while the
majestic sea eagle is a rarer sight.
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
Book optional tours in advance - see selection here!