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South Greenland Grand Adventure

(1 Review)
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From€2,995
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gjtravel@gjtravel.is

8 Days/ 7 nights
Availability : June - September
Keflavik / Copenhagen
Keflavik / Copenhagen
Min Age : 10+
Max People : 38
Tour Code

GJ-SGR-1

Tour Details

South Greenland Grand Adventure includes one week of travel and exploration that will help us to know both sides of Greenland intensively. On the one hand Greenland’s fantastic nature: massive glacier fronts, sailing among icebergs and hiking on a glacier tongue which is millions of years old; secondly, its people and traditions: towns like Narsaq or Qaqortoq and idyllic villages as Igaliku or Qassiarsuk with its Viking ruins. We travel by boat and zodiacs.

Departure & Return Location

Keflavik International airport (Iceland) or Copenhagen Airport (Denmark) 

Price Includes

  • Flight Keflavik/Copenhagen - Narsaruaq & return and airport taxes
  • Transfer from the airport and hotel to the harbor in Narsarsuaq
  • 6 nights accommodation in hotels
  • 1 night accommodation in bacings or twin/double room at Igaliku Country Hotel, including breakfast and dinner
  • South Greenland Expeditions guide (English speaking)
  • Zodiax boat transfer and excursions in South Greenland
  • 4x4 trip to Tasiuaq
  • Picnic at Qalerliq Glacier and Tasiusaq Farm
  • RIB/Zodiac boat travel equipment
  • City tour in Qaqortoq
  • Guided visit to Brattahlið reconstuctions

Price Excludes

  • Accommodation, food and transfers in Keflavik or Copenhagen
  • Meals not listed under included
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Travel insurance (recommended)
  • Optional Excursions: Kayak / Uunartog Thermal Springs or Hvalsey
  • Unexpected expenses as a result of weather conditions (including difficulties due to ice conditions) or flight or boat delays

Complementaries

  • Umbrella
  • Sunscreen
  • T-Shirt
  • Entrance Fees
Highlights & Experience

South Greenland Grand Adventure includes one week of travel and exploration that will help us to know both sides of Greenland intensively. On the one hand Greenland’s fantastic nature: massive glacier fronts, sailing among icebergs and hiking on a glacier tongue which is millions of years old; secondly, its people and traditions: towns like Narsaq or Qaqortoq and idyllic villages as Igaliku or Qassiarsuk with its Viking ruins. We travel by boat and zodiacs.

  • Glacier hike with crampons
  • Greenland's Inland Icecap
  • UNESCO world heritage sites (Bardar og Brattahlið)
  • Inuit settlement & viking ruins (Qassiarsuk and Igaliku)
  • Boat transfer among icebergs
  • 4x4 excursion to Tasiusaq farm
  • Narsaq & Qaqortoq towns
  • Glacier fronts & arctic fauna
  • Several walks and hikes
  • Northern Lights after mid-August
  • optional Kayak Excursions between floating icebergs
Tour Info

South Greenland Grand Adventure includes one week of travel and exploration that will help us to know both sides of Greenland intensively. On the one hand Greenland’s fantastic nature: massive glacier fronts, sailing among icebergs and hiking on a glacier tongue which is millions of years old; secondly, its people and traditions: towns like Narsaq or Qaqortoq and idyllic villages as Igaliku or Qassiarsuk with its Viking ruins. We travel by boat and zodiacs.

Currency and credit cards

Important to bring Danish Krona to Greenland. Foreign currency is not everywhere accepted. Credit cards are accepted only at few locations. i.e. at the hotels and larger stores. Using credit and debit card, a PIN-code is required.

Guide-Coordinator

The trip will be coordinated by an English-speaking guide from our local partner in South Greenland. All Excursions are guided. The guide’s job is to point the group in the right direction, to ensure all travellers’ safety and to solve any possible problems that may arise along the itinerary, making changes or adjustments if necessary. Note that one or different guides can be in charge of the group during the adventure tour.

Physical Conditions

ACTIVITY LEVEL: Easy / The journey is designed so that it is suitable for anyone who enjoys outdoor activities and goes hiking or trekking on a regular basis, not needing a very particular physical condition to participate. The walk to Igaliku could be arranged in situ as a car transfer (additional cost 75 DKK per person, one way). The excursion on ice with crampons will be guided by a mountain guide and is also suitable for anyone with an adventurous attitude. For the optional kayak excursion, previous experience in kayaking is not required. Recommended minimum age: 12 years

Rigid Inflatable boat (RIB) Navigation

The navigation will be done in a RIB-boat a Rigid Inflatable Boat, The Adventure boat by definition or Zodiac type. The RIB boat is an open boat fast flexible and very safe. A special coat is provided for navigation. The RIB Boat allows the traveller to feel the elements and be one with them. RIB boats enable to reach areas that are difficult to access on any other type of boats. This type of boats allows us to be more dynamic, versatile and to enjoy adventure, without compromising safety.

Weather

Weather in Greenland is very changeable. It is usually pleasant, but it is essential that you bring appropriate clothes for the rainy weather. Temperatures are often more than 15ºC in July, and between 5ºC and 10ºC in August. Mid-August nights are sometimes cold. In September, temperatures are usually between 5ºC to 8ºC during the day and may reach minus 5ºC at night.

Level & Technical information:

Trekking

  • Glacier Trek
  • Glacier View Narsarsuaq
  • King's way (return)
  • Flower Valley

Distance (km)

  • 3 km
  • 5 km
  • 11,2 km
  • 11 km

Duration aprox. (H)

  • 3-4 hours
  • 2 hours
  • 3 hours
  • 5 hours

Accumulated height (m)

  • 220 m
  • 150 m
  • 200 m
  • 200 m

Max. height (m)

  • 150 m
  • 100 m
  • 100 m
  • 100 m

Type of terrain

  • Moraine & Ice
  • Tundra
  • Way
  • Path/Rock

Cancellations:
Excursions can be cancelled because of bad weather or ice conditions. The local tour company will try to offer an alternative excursion if available or move the planned excursion to another day to do the full program. In case it becomes impossible, no refund will be applicable.

Itinerary

Day 1Narsarsuaq & Glacier View

Flight from Keflavik International airport in Iceland or from Copenhagen to Narsarsuaq, South Greenland. Reception at the airport and transfer to Hotel Narsarsuaq for check-in and information meeting. Hike to the Glacier View Point, around one hour from the hotel. Great views of the Tunulliarfik fjord, the plain of Narsarsuaq and the Kiattuut Glacier.

Accommodation: Hotel Narsarsuaq. Twin/double room with private facilities.

Day 2Qassiarsuk, the Viking Greenland and Tasiusaq "the iceberg bay"

Transfer in RIB boat through the Tunulliarfik Fjord, usually covered by icebergs, to Qassiarsuk. Visit of the church ruins and the settlement of Eric the Red comprising the old Brattahlid, capital of Viking Greenland, and where Erik the Red settled in 985. Walk through the village of about 50 inhabitants, mostly farmers. This Norse and Greenlandic core farming area was in 2017 inscribed on UNESCO’s world heritage list under the title: Kujataa Greenland, a Norse and Inuit farming landscape on the edge of the ice cap. Qassiarsuk area represents the most comprehensive and rich example of both Norse and Greenlandic farming history and contains ruins of large cattle-based Norse farms and their numerous satellite sites including, not least, Erik the Red’s Brattahlid. It was also here that Otto Frederiksen in 1924 established the first sheep farm after Igaliku, founding today’s settlement of Qassiarsuk.

Later on a 4×4 trip to the beautiful Tasiusaq farm, where seven people live in notable isolation next to the Sermilik Fjord, which is almost always blocked by icebergs coming from the Eqaloruutsit glacier. Picnic at Tasiusaq farm.

Optional Excursion: Kayak Excursion in the “iceberg bay”, a 2-hour sea kayaking trip for beginners among icebergs and ice in one of the safest and nicest places in Greenland.

We return by jeep to Qassiarsuk and transfer by zodiac boat to Narsarsuaq.

Accommodation: is at Hotel Narsarsuaq. Twin/double room with private facilities

Day 3Narsarsuaq to Qaqortog, capital of Southern Greenland

Transfer by zodiac boat from Narsarsuaq to Qaqortoq through the complex system of fjords and among numerous icebergs, admiring the beauty of their vertical ice walls. A guided city tours in Qaqortoq, the capital of South Greenland, which was founded in 1775 and nowadays has almost 3.000 inhabitants. It’s described as the most charming and attractive town in all Greenland. We will discover the beauty of its colourful buildings, the awe-inspiring landscapes and some of its thirty different rock sculpture designs, spread over the town. We visit the museum, the fur shops, the traditional kayak club, the church and the only fountain in the country.
In the afternoon, free time to have dinner in one of its restaurants or enjoy a drink with the local people.

Accommodation: Hotel Qaqortoq. Double room with private facilities.

Day 4Qaqortog and boat transfer to Narsaq

Time for leisure to walk around this charming town and explore on your own a city which is considered a sub-arctic Riviera.

You can join one of our wonderful optional excursions:

* Excursion to Hvalsoy Church
Hvalsoy or Whale Island is the location of a church that was probably built in the 14th century and is the best-preserved church in Greenland from the period. People gathered there from far and wide to attend Christian festivals throughout the year. The fells and the fjord which surround the church have not changed at all over the centuries and are very scenic. Southern Greenland holds the ruins of the Norse Settlements and their Inuit neighbours. Recently, UNESCO inscribed this old Viking farming landscape as a world heritage.

In the afternoon transfer by zodiac boat to Narsaq city, the third most populated town in South Greenland, with about 1500 inhabitants. You will have free-time to visit the local market, fur shops, hunters harbour and the Greenlandic folk museum or go for a walk to do some shopping.

Accommodationt Hotel Narsaq. Twin/Double room with private facilities.

Day 5Qalerliq adventure glacier camp & excursions on ice - Narsaq

In the morning we set off for Qaleraliq camp, towards the Inland Icecap. We will arrive at a cosy, enchanting camp set on a sandy beach, which contrasts with a spectacular view of three glacier tongues.

We navigate on a RIB boat along the glacier fronts, admiring the beauty of their vertical ice walls and numerous icebergs as we approach them along their 10 kilometres descent to the sea. The glacier fronts extended in only one, but the dramatic progress of climate change divided it into three glacier fronts. From there we start the glacier hike. An impressive trek using crampons takes us on one of the oldest masses of ice on the planet. We explore its crevasses, drains, caves, seracs and other ice formations, which give an incredible labyrinthine quality to this glacier. An expert mountain guide and glacier specialist will be in be in charge of the excursion to ensure the right equipment and the safety of the group, while he shares with us his knowledge about the characteristics of the glaciers in the South of Greenland. A unique experience, exciting and original, surprising both for first-timers and more experienced glacier hikers. This is one of the most impressive sights and one of the best excursions in all of Greenland. Picnic lunch on the ice or at the camp depending on conditions.

In the afternoon, transfer by zodiac boat to Narsaq. We will be surprised by enormous icebergs falling off from the Eqaloruutsit glacier and floating through the Sermilik Fjord. Sometimes, they are blocking the access to Narsaq ports.

Accommodation: Hotel Narsaq. Twin/Double room with private facilities.

Day 6City of Narsaq and Igaliku (Gardar)

In the morning we have time off to walk around the city of Narsaq and discover the beauty of its colourful buildings or visit the local market, fur shops, hunters harbour, the Greenlandic museum. Surrounded by awe-inspiring landscapes, you can enjoy a drink with the local people and discover the modern Inuit’s way of life.

After that, we will navigate by zodiac boat to Itilleq. Once we disembark from the boat, we will start and easy hike across the “Kongevejen”, or Path of the Kings. Our destination will be the idyllic Igaliku, a small Inuit settlement inhabited by no more than 40 people. This place is famous for being the most beautiful settlement in South Greenland, and know by the unique architecture of the Igaliku stone houses. We discover the ruins of Gardar, the archdiocese and religious capital of Viking Greenland. The area has been recently declared part of the UNESCO world heritage list. You see the Norse bishop’s farm, the largest in all of Greenland, and the setting of Anders Olsen’s farm.

Accommodation: Igaliku Country Hotel. Twin/Double room with shared facilities.
Meals: Dinner at the hotel.

Day 7Excursions in Igaliku & boat trip to Qooroq Ice Fjord

In the morning, we can enjoy the spectacular views of Einarsfjord, a surprising fjord which is one of the few in Greenland that can’t impress visitors with big icebergs. However, green hills provide guests with a warm relaxing in a quiet environment. We hike back to Itilleq where we embark in the RIB boat and start a sea excursion to Qooroq fjord. This is probably the most spectacular glacier in the South of Greenland. We will navigate among blocks of ice until the density of ice is such that we can no longer continue. It’s an incredible sight of ice floating around us. We continue our navigation by zodiac boat all the way to Narsarsuaq. Car transfer to Hotel Narsarsuaq.

Free time to visit by your own the Narsarsuaq Museum Blue West One. It is recommended as it reflects the town history from ancient times and especially its role in the Second World War.

Accommodation: Hotel Narsarsuaq, twin/double rooms with private facilities.

Day 8The flower Valley Hike, then flight home

We reserve the morning for the most famous hike in South Greenland, the Flower Valley. A spectacular hike with sights of the Kiattut river and glacier. You will enjoy the spectacular view of this valley formed due to the retreat and the consequent glacial sedimentation with plenty of flowers. Trekking way back to Narsarsuaq. Free time to visit and walk around in the area.

Flight Narsarsuaq-Keflavik international airport in Iceland or Copenhagen.

IMPORTANT:
This itinerary is a unique journey, designed and organised by the company South Greenland Expeditions. It keeps the adventure and discovery ingredients present in all our journeys. The route can be done as it is explained above or in reverse order. The order of the activities may not be exactly as planned in this outline. Greenland is the wildest country in the northern hemisphere, infrastructures are almost non-existent, and logistics pose enormous challenges. That is the reason why we may not follow this daily itinerary exactly as planned. It is subject to change in order to adapt the journey to weather conditions, sea conditions, or technical and organisational difficulties, and therefore requires flexibility from the traveller. Some activities may be cancelled because of weather or ice conditions as locals say “the weather is the boss in Greenland”.

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Client from Baltic Travel Company

Solo Traveller

From the minute we flew in over the ice cap I took my last look at Greenland, the whole adventure was amazing. I won’t call it a holiday because it was so much more than that. Not exhausting as I feared it might be but exhilerating. Our guides Daniella and Bertie did everything they could to ensure we gained the maximum opportunities every day. If you could go further then that was fine, if you needed a rest that was fine and if you couldn’t quite make it then there was a way to ensure you got there.

The zodiac was a bit daunting on that first morning but the skill and attention to detail and safety by all concerned inspired confidence as we sped off down our first fjord dodging icebergs.

Every nightly resting place was different from 4 star luxury to the local hotel to the most beautifully maintained hostel with a delicious menu.

You quickly realise that you eat what is available and it was always good and fresh. This was not the place of extensive choice but when you take in the environment what would you expect? You catch it you eat it or you import it. When they run out they run out but that got me to try what I would normally pass on and it was delicious.

I never dreamed that I would put on the crampons and climb up onto that glacier but I did. Our guide helped and supported but never intimidated. His hand was always there to catch on to but equally he encouraged me to go on alone and soon I was crunching away on the ice like a veteran. Well almost…

The kayaking option was never going to happen but somehow by the time we got there I was completely sold on grabbing every opportunity. Greenland kind of gets you like that. It inspires confidence, it makes you feel safe and valued in the great scheme of things. So here I am returned with new skills and the greatest respect for the people and places I have been privileged to see and meet.

Thank you for making this adventure available and for the support at every step of the way. No question has ever been too trivial and this gave me the confidence to go.

July 18, 2018