Positioned alongside the west coast of Greenland, the city of Ilulissat is world well-known because the iceberg capital of the world. A lot in order that the icebergs even gave its title: Ilulissat means “iceberg” in Inuit.
Hundreds of icebergs fill the world well-known Ilulissat Icefjord all 12 months spherical. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is the star of the present on this Arctic city. I too was drawn to Ilulissat due to the Icefjord, however solely after visiting did I realise there’s extra to Ilulissat than the icebergs.
Humpback whales frolic within the waters of the fjord each summer season, whereas Greenlandic canine race throughout the slopes of Ilulissat. There are many mountain climbing trails, museums and Inuit cultural experiences. Plus epic glaciers and looking settlements only a hop away. Ilulissat is certainly paradise for modern-day adventurers.
Information to Ilulissat Greenland
Why Go to Ilulissat, Greenland?
As in comparison with different cities in Greenland like Nuuk, Ilulissat has nice tourism infrastructure. With the Ilulissat Icefjord drawing in vacationers all over the world, it undoubtedly is the most well-liked city in Greenland.
Positioned on the sting of Disko Bay, Ilulissat is discovered over 220 miles (350 km) north of the Arctic Circle. Meaning the solar by no means dips under the horizon in summer season, and by no means rises in winter!
Regardless of being Greenland’s third-largest metropolis, it has a inhabitants of simply 5,000 folks. It has a distant, small city really feel, and undoubtedly provides you a chance to expertise Greenland at its most genuine.
Easy methods to Get to Ilulissat
Do You Must E-book a Tour for Ilulissat?
It’s completely potential to discover Ilulissat independently. I encourage you to guide your personal flights, inns, after which guide day excursions like boat journeys or dogsledding excursions. Day excursions value round US$100-199.
Guide to Greenland is an effective useful resource to guide excursions straight by means of an automated reserving system. Listed below are some Greenland excursions that I’ve been on and extremely suggest:
Finest Issues to Do in Ilulissat
1. Take an Ilulissat Icefjord Boat Journey
No doubt, an Ilulissat icefjord boat tour is the #1 factor to do in Greenland. The Ilulissat Icefjord is listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, and for good motive! An astronomical 35 billion tonnes (46km3) of ice make its approach by means of Disko Bay in Ilulissat yearly.
Among the icebergs within the Ilulissat Icefjord stand at 100m above the extent of the water (keep in mind that is solely 7-10% of the full measurement!). However it’s only by wanting up at these icebergs from the water that you simply get a real sense of their huge scale.
2. Kayak within the Ilulissat Icefjord
The Inuit have been utilizing kayaks for 1000’s of years. In reality, kayaks had been invented by the Inuits and the phrase “kayak” comes from the Inuit language.
Kayaking in the Ilulissat icefjord provides new which means to iceberg sightseeing from the water as you rise up near the sheer ice towers. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime expertise that shouldn’t be missed.
Information to Greenland runs kayak tours each throughout the day and within the night throughout Midnight Solar. Your native guides will present all the right tools together with a dry go well with. Whale sightings are an actual chance!
3. Go on a Whale Watching Safari
In summer season (July and Aug), Disko Bay is a mecca for whale watching. Humpback whales, minke whales and fin whales frequent its nutrient-rich waters to feast on giant teams of krill and small fish.
Ilulissat is an ideal place to hunt them out – particularly with the backdrop of the Ilulissat Icefjord and its huge icebergs. The Ilulissat whale safari is instructional and interactive, permitting you to be taught all concerning the light giants of their pure habitats.
4. Discover the City of Ilulissat
As Ilulissat is the primary vacationer city of Greenland, it undoubtedly has probably the most attention-grabbing sights and finest tourism infrastructure in Greenland. The city is situated subsequent to the ocean full of icebergs, and a stroll round city will reveal a lot of lovely viewpoints.
When you’re searching for an area information to indicate you round, I extremely suggest Jan Cortsen (pictured), an skilled information born and raised in Ilulissat. He’s enjoyable and interesting, and is obsessed with Greenlandic tradition and historical past.
5. Go to the Museums of Ilulissat
Apart from having a lot of scenic spots for photograph opps, Ilulissat additionally has two nice museums. One among them is the Ilulissat Museum, housed in an constructing that dates again to 1848. The museum is centered on showcasing the historical past of the city and the story of explorer Knud Rasmussen.
The opposite is the Inuit Art Museum, which options work from Greenland, Faroese and Denmark, with probably the most notable by Emanuel A. Peterson. In summer season, the museum additionally opens its lovely Arctic kitchen backyard for visits.
6. Hike the Ilulissat Trails
Ilulissat is likely one of the finest locations to go to in Greenland, primarily due to the vary of out of doors actions you are able to do within the space. Mountain climbing in Ilulissat is a good way to discover the backcountry with out spending a lot.
There are three marked routes simply outdoors of Ilulissat. Every one affords mountain climbing with spectacular views of each Ilulissat and the ice fjord. Beneath is a mountain climbing route map from Ilulissat Guesthouse.
- Yellow Route – 1.7 miles or 2.7 kilometers (1.5-2 hours). That is the most well-liked route as you get implausible views of the Ilulissat Icefjord with out doing a protracted or troublesome hike.
- Blue Route – 4.Three miles or 7 kilometers (Four hours). A comparatively difficult path that provides wonderful views of the ice and surrounding space.
- Pink Route – 0.6 miles or 1 kilometer (30min). This isn’t a loop path i.e. it’s essential stroll again the identical approach you got here from. If you’re quick on time, this route will take you on to a viewpoint the place you’ll be able to see the icefjord.
7. Discover the Previous Inuit Settlement of Sermermiut
Sermermiut is an previous Inuit settlement situated on the outskirts of Ilulissat. All the space has been designated as a part of the Ilulissat Icefjord UNESCO World Heritage Website.
In summer season, it’s potential to make this quick hike from the middle of city. There’s not a lot to see right here per se, just some stone ruins to mark an space. However there are spectacular views of the Ice Fjord from Sermermiut.
8. Go Dogsledding in Ilulissat
Canine sledding in Greenland has been a mode of transportation and trying to find roughly 5000 years. Opposite to different Arctic places, canine sledding in Greenland is a lifestyle, by alternative if not by necessity.
Ilulissat is thought for having virtually the identical variety of sled canine as folks, at present the city is house to 4600 folks and practically 3500 sled canine. That is undoubtedly top-of-the-line locations to go canine sledding in Greenland.
Through the dogsledding tour, you’ll first meet an area musher who introduces you to his canine. The Greenlandic sled canine is the purest canine race, as a consequence of is isolation from different canine races. The canine are raised as work canine, and subsequently it’s not secure to strategy the canine by yourself.
9. Go Snowmobiling to Oqaatsut
The snowmobile has grow to be a really frequent type of transport in Greenland, as a result of it adapts to all kinds of terrains and permits fast entry to the remotest locations.
On a guided snowmobile tour, you may get a style of how Greenlanders reside and likewise expertise the backcountry of Greenland. The settlement of Oqaatsut is simply 20km north of Ilulissat, however it is extremely distant with no street entry. Solely 37 Inuits reside there all 12 months spherical.
Initially often known as Rodebay, it was established within the 18th century as a buying and selling submit for Dutch whalers. Its primary trade now’s fishing and tourism. It’s potential to hike to Oqaatsut from Ilulissat, however I like to recommend hiring a information.
10. Chase the Northern Lights
Because of its location near the Arctic Circle, Ilulissat is likely one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights. The Aurora Borealis are seen right here for over eight months a 12 months, from early September to the top of April. I noticed them in Greenland throughout my March journey.
For larger probabilities of seeing the Northern Lights, I like to recommend reserving a Northern Lights tour. In spite of everything, these tour operators have been chasing the Northern Lights for years and know the very best spots for viewing the Northern Lights.
They are going to take you to the outskirts of Ilulissat the place your information will clarify how the Northern Lights are shaped, when you watch them dancing above. There’s nothing fairly like watching the ribbons and curtains of sunshine flowing silently throughout the backdrop of crystal stars.
11. Go Flightseeing over Ilulissat
There isn’t any higher strategy to see Ilulissat than on a scenic flight over the wonderful glaciers and icebergs round Ilulissat Icefjord. Solely from the sky are you able to actually get a way of how huge the Ilulissat Icefjord is.
On a flightseeing tour, the small plane flies gradual and low, all the best way to the glacier wall. And with solely a handful of seats, everybody has the very best view within the cabin. You may even really feel the rumble of the glacier calving beneath you, after which it actually appears like an adventurous experience!
When flying over the enormous icebergs, you’ll get near them differently and typically see azure blue lakes with melted water on the icebergs. You may additionally be fortunate to identify a whale or different Arctic wildlife whereas flying across the space.
12. Go to a Native’s Residence for Kaffemik
The Greenlanders are extraordinarily happy with their kaffemik, an area custom that’s an enormous a part of their tradition. Greenlanders maintain kaffemik to have fun particular occasions of all types – births and birthdays, first days of faculty and confirmations.
Most individuals begin making ready days prematurely and reserve nice china and ornamental desk linens for such events. When the massive day comes, their house turns into a revolving door of celebration with previous pals, household, and colleagues all by means of the day.
I used to be fortunate to hitch a kaffemik in Nuuk — it was an extremely enjoyable and immersive expertise going to a Greenlander’s house and speaking to the household about their meals and traditions.
13. Take a Day Tour to Eqi Glacier
Positioned 80km from Ilulissat is Eqi Glacier, one of the energetic glaciers in Greenland. On this Greenland tour, you’ll sail north, passing the small settlement of Oqaatsut/Rodebay, the large fjord system of Pakitsoq, and thru the Ataa Strait lined with tall mountains.
This journey is gorgeous in and of itself and you might be fortunate and see whales and seals alongside the best way. Additionally, you will most seemingly see chunks of the glacier face break off and fall into the fjord. Simply be sure you are hanging onto the railing when the ensuing wave reaches the boat!
Finest Time to Go to Ilulissat
One of the best time to go to Ilulissat is in summer season (July and August), when temperatures are snug and circumstances are good for outside actions.
Summer in Greenland is superb: all the pieces turns inexperienced, whereas lakes and fjords will shine underneath the midnight solar. The midnight solar is a pure phenomenon that Greenland experiences between Might 25th to July 25th. The solar doesn’t set in any respect.
When you go to Ilulissat in spring (April-June) or autumn (Sept-Nov), anticipate a lot of snow. The temperature ranges between 5°F (-15°C) and 40°F (5°C). Ilulissat has extraordinarily harsh winters and the solar doesn’t rise for months. The temperature can go as little as -49°F(-45°C).
How A lot Time Do You Want in Ilulissat?
I like to recommend spending a minimum of 5 days in Ilulissat to have sufficient time to discover the city and surrounding areas. Throughout my winter journey, I had Four days deliberate in Ilulissat however it was prolonged to six days after our return flight was cancelled as a consequence of a snow storm.
Due to the cruel climate circumstances, flights in Greenland are sometimes cancelled/rescheduled. When reserving your flights, be sure so as to add a buffer of 1/2 additional days to your Ilulissat itinerary earlier than your flight house.
5-Day Ilulissat Itinerary
- Day 1: Wander round Ilulissat city & go mountain climbing
- Day 2: Take a ship journey into Ilulissat Icefjord
- Day 3: Go canine sledding in Ilulissat
- Day 4: Take a day tour to Eqi Glacier
- Day 5: Residence!
Easy methods to Get Round Ilulissat
The Ilulissat airport is barely out of city, however most inns will choose up and drop off friends on the airport. Hotel Arctic, a landmark resort in Ilulissat, affords common van service to town heart (though it’s solely a 20 minute stroll must you want to go on foot.)
When you’re in Ilulissat, it’s comparatively simple to get round on foot because the city is fairly small small. Simply costume warmly and be ready to stroll within the snow even in summer season.
There’s an Ilulissat city bus (10 DKK or $1.50), which operates like a communal taxi and has no mounted route and timetable. It runs each 10-15 minutes from 7:30am to 10pm Mon-Fri. There are many taxis in Ilulissat and a taxi experience often prices round 40-50 DKK ($6-8) every approach.
The place to Keep in Ilulissat
Ilulissat hotels are the very best in Greenland, and I like to recommend splurging on one with views of the Ilulissat Icefjord. However lodging remains to be restricted in Ilulissat and might get booked up a number of months prematurely, particularly in summer season. Remember to guide early to make sure availability!
Luxurious: Lodge Icefiord
Among the best inns in Ilulissat, Hotel Icefiord has superior views of the ice fjords from most rooms. I liked waking as much as see icebergs proper outdoors my window. Its eating room has an important menu and glorious views. Effectively price splurging to remain right here! Check rates here.
Luxurious: Lodge Arctic
This landmark hotel might be probably the most well-known resort on the town, due to their iconic metallic igloo suites (pictured). Regardless of its location outdoors of city, the resort supplies a free shuttle to Ilulissat centre for all friends. With the waterfront location, most of its rooms supply spectacular views of the icebergs. Check rates here.
Midrange: Lodge Avannaa
Additionally providing panoramas of the Ilulissat Icefjord, Hotel Avannaa has barely outdated interiors however its decrease charges may make staying right here worthwhile. Every ground of the resort has a balcony walkway to which you’ll entry every room. There’s additionally a penthouse residence with kitchen services. Check rates here.
Price range: Icefjord Residences
One of the vital inexpensive Ilulissat inns, this guesthouse has fashionable and exquisite studio residences with a kitchenette and a communal terrace with BBQ. Nice worth for cash! Check the latest rates.
What to Eat in Ilulissat
Due to its location, you’ll be able to anticipate finding a lot of extremely contemporary seafood in Greenland. There are fairly a number of good eating places in Nuuk and Ilulissat that serve wonderful fish stews and fillets.
Meals is pricey in Greenland. When you’re searching for a correct fish or lamb meal in a pleasant restaurant, anticipate to fork out a minimum of $50 for a full meal. There are cafes and Asian diners that serve extra inexpensive choices that value $15 for a meal.
For these on a shoestring price range, try native supermarkets like SPAR and Pisiffik for ready-made sizzling canine and sandwiches. You may also get groceries to prepare dinner your self if you happen to’re staying at a guesthouse with a kitchen.
The place to Eat in Ilulissat
Since I stayed on the Hotel Icefiord, I ate at their in-house restaurant a number of occasions for each lunch and dinner. Their lunch menu is proscribed, providing only a Greenlandic snack plate (with chilly cuts and cured meat). The dinner menu is spectacular although, and contains grilled fish and Asian dishes. Read Tripadvisor reviews.
The in-house restaurant at Lodge Arctic is likely one of the most well-known eating places in Ilulissat. It serves connoisseur Greenlandic meals, albeit at excessive costs, however in a comfortable setting and spectacular backdrop. Read Tripadvisor reviews.
Hvide Falk Restaurant
For extra conventional flavors, head to this classic restaurant that’s embellished with polar bear disguise and an previous kayak. On its menu are contemporary out-of-the-sea meals, together with their signature fish soup. The crabs had been the freshest I’ve ever had! Read Tripadvisor reviews.
An informal cafe and diner that serves wholesome and opulent salads and paninis. They’ve glorious shakes and lunch dishes. We ended up coming right here virtually on a regular basis! Read Tripadvisor reviews.
Web and Information in Ilulissat, Greenland
Getting linked in Greenland is unfortunately not simple or low-cost. The cruel climate circumstances typically disrupts the web community. Typically the web connection in Greenland can drop for a number of days, and there’s no approach of going surfing besides to attend.
Most hostels cost for his or her WiFi service, and so they can value as much as $10/hour. If getting excessive velocity connection is crucial, I recommend staying at upscale inns to be sure you can get a secure web connection.
Alternatively, you may get the pay as you go SIM playing cards of Tele Greenland (referred to as Tusass) at each submit workplace in Ilulissat. Word that even EU SIM playing cards don’t work in Greenland.
What to Pack for Ilulissat
Whatever the time of 12 months you might be visiting Greenland, be positive to carry prime quality winter gear. I’ve been in Greenland each in summer season and winter, and might guarantee you you’ll want correct heat gear.
For these touring Ilulissat in summer season, I counsel carrying Three layers: wool backside, fleece and a water-resistant jacket.
If you’re visiting Ilulissat outdoors of summer season, I like to recommend carrying 4-5 layers: thermals, wool backside, fleece and a thick winter parka.
My Ilulissat Packing Checklist
1. Long Sleeve Moisture Wicking Tees: The important thing to staying heat in Greenland is layering. Convey some lengthy sleeve t-shirts which might be nice for mountain climbing, which you can simply take away all through the day and night time.
2. Fleece-lined Long Sleeve Thermal Underwear: Pack thermals even if you happen to’re touring in summer season. Temperatures can dip under zero – and so they’ll be notably helpful if you happen to’re kayaking or dogsledding.
3. Fleece Base: That is my favourite gear for chilly climates. It’s thick however light-weight, and retains me heat even in sub-zero temperatures. Plus most fleece are low-cost and simple to search out in every single place.
4. Soft Shell Jacket: Pack a skinny waterproof, mushy shell jacket whatever the season you’re touring. I used this virtually on a regular basis on my summer season journey in Greenland.
5. Waterproof Ski Jacket: It might be heavy and a ache to journey with, however you’ll want it if you happen to’re touring outdoors of summer season. Don’t skimp on a high quality coat as it would maintain you snug.
6. Quick-Dry Pants: These pants are light-weight, skinny, snug and waterproof. I can put on them in winter and summer season, with out feeling too heat or chilly.
7. Fleece-lined Leggings: For women, these are good to maintain heat and comfy. You should use them as they’re in summer season, or as a base layer in winter.
8. Beanie:You’ll undoubtedly want one thing heat on the highest of your head in winter.
9. Ski Gloves: Convey thick ski gloves as they’re good for snow and rain. I might suggest getting a pair of gloves with touchscreen pads so that you don’t have to take them off to snap photographs on out of your smartphone.
10. Wool Socks: Spend money on some prime quality wool socks that may maintain your toes dry and heat when mountain climbing within the mushy tundra of Iceland.
Sensible Ideas for Touring Ilulissat, Greenland
- Due to the cruel climate circumstances, flights in Greenland are sometimes cancelled/rescheduled. Remember to add 1/2 free days to your Greenland itinerary to compensate for flight delays. On each of my journeys to Greenland, cancellations on home flights made me miss my flight house.
- Air Greenland operates a really strict checked baggage coverage. Extra baggage price applies for baggage that weigh greater than 44 lbs (or 20kg). In addition they weigh your stick with it baggage, the restrict is 8kg and extra baggage charges apply too.
- There aren’t any ATMs on the Ilulissat airport. Attempt to get Danish Kroner on the Copenhagen airport prematurely or you’ll have to wait till you get into city to withdraw some.
- Nearly each taxi, grocery store, resort and restaurant in Ilulissat take main bank cards like VISA and Mastercard.
Are you planning a visit to Ilulissat, Greenland? I’ve tried my finest to cowl all of the issues to do in Ilulissat, and finest Ilulissat inns and eating places. Let me know within the feedback subject under if I’ve missed out something!
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