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Hiking Around Ilulissat In Greenland: A Complete Guide


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Lela Otte



Welcome to Ilulissat, a charming town located in western Greenland. Known for its stunning landscapes, Ilulissat is an adventurer’s paradise, offering a plethora of outdoor activities. One of the most exhilarating ways to explore the beauty of this region is through hiking.


With its rugged terrain, dramatic fjords, and vast ice sheets, Ilulissat provides a truly unique hiking experience. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner looking for a memorable adventure, you’ll find a variety of trails that cater to all skill levels.


During your hikes, you’ll be surrounded by breathtaking views of the Kangia Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The towering icebergs against the backdrop of the Arctic landscape create a mesmerizing spectacle that will leave you in awe. Not only will you witness the raw power of nature, but you’ll also have the opportunity to spot wildlife such as seals, whales, and a variety of bird species along the way.


While tackling these trails, it’s important to respect the local environment and adhere to the hiking regulations in place. This ensures the preservation of the pristine wilderness that makes Ilulissat so magical.


In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide you with essential information on how to get to Ilulissat, the best time to visit, permits and regulations, the most popular hiking routes, safety tips, essential gear, accommodation options, places to eat, and other activities to complement your hiking adventure.


So, lace up your boots, pack your backpack, and let’s embark on an unforgettable journey through the stunning landscapes of Ilulissat.


Getting to Ilulissat

Getting to Ilulissat is an adventure in itself. Due to its remote location in western Greenland, there are limited options for reaching this picturesque town. However, the journey is well worth it once you witness the natural beauty that awaits you.


The most common way to reach Ilulissat is by air. Ilulissat Airport (JAV) is served by several domestic flights from the capital city of Nuuk, as well as from other towns in Greenland. Air Greenland operates regular flights to and from Ilulissat, making air travel the most convenient and efficient option.


Another option is to travel by boat. During the summer months, passenger ships and cruise vessels dock at Ilulissat’s harbor, providing a unique way to experience the breathtaking landscapes of Greenland. This option allows you to combine your hiking adventure with a cruise, giving you the opportunity to explore untouched wilderness from a different perspective.


Once you arrive in Ilulissat, getting around the town is fairly easy. The compact size of the town makes it possible to explore most places on foot. You can also rent a bike to navigate the streets, offering a convenient and eco-friendly mode of transportation.


It’s important to note that transportation options can be limited in Ilulissat, especially during the winter months when snow and ice make it more challenging to travel. It’s advisable to check the schedules and availability of flights or boat trips in advance and plan accordingly.


Now that you know how to get to Ilulissat, it’s time to choose the best time to visit this stunning destination.


Best Time to Visit

Choosing the best time to visit Ilulissat is crucial to ensure an enjoyable hiking experience. The climate in Greenland is characterized by long, cold winters and short, cool summers. Therefore, it’s important to consider the weather conditions and the activities you wish to engage in when deciding when to plan your trip.


The summer months, from June to August, are the most popular time to visit Ilulissat. During this period, the temperatures are milder, ranging from 5°C to 15°C (41°F to 59°F), making it more comfortable for hiking. The days are also longer, with nearly 24 hours of daylight, providing ample time to explore the trails and enjoy the stunning scenery. Additionally, the warmer temperatures allow for the melting of ice, creating breathtaking displays of icebergs in the Kangia Icefjord.


If you’re interested in witnessing the mesmerizing Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, visiting Ilulissat in the winter months is recommended. From November to February, the nights are longer, providing optimal conditions to witness this natural phenomenon. However, it’s important to note that the temperatures can be extremely cold, ranging from -20°C to -10°C (-4°F to 14°F). Proper winter gear and precautions should be taken if you plan to hike during this time.


Visiting Ilulissat during the spring and autumn months can offer a unique experience, with fewer crowds and changing landscapes. In the spring, from March to May, the days gradually become longer, and the temperatures start to rise. It’s a great time to witness the transition from winter to spring, with the possibility of spotting Arctic wildlife such as seals and migrating birds.


On the other hand, autumn, from September to October, is a time of vibrant colors as the foliage starts to change. The temperatures begin to drop, but it’s still possible to enjoy hiking in comfortable conditions. It’s also a great time to experience the local culture and festivities, as Greenlandic communities celebrate the harvest season.


When planning your trip to Ilulissat, consider the activities you wish to engage in, the weather conditions, and your personal preferences. Regardless of the season you choose, you’ll be greeted with pristine landscapes and unforgettable hiking opportunities in this remote Arctic gem.


Permits and Regulations

When embarking on a hiking adventure in Ilulissat, it’s essential to be aware of the permits and regulations that are in place to ensure the preservation of the natural environment and to prioritize safety.


First and foremost, it’s important to obtain the necessary permits before starting your hike. Depending on the specific trail you choose, there may be different permit requirements. Some trails may require a fee or registration, while others may simply require you to notify the local authorities or visitor center of your plans. It’s recommended to research and familiarize yourself with the specific permit requirements for the trails you plan to hike to avoid any issues.


In addition to permits, there are strict regulations in place to protect the delicate ecosystem of Ilulissat. It is crucial to follow these regulations to ensure the preservation of the environment and the safety of both hikers and wildlife.


One important regulation is to stay on designated trails and paths. Straying from the established trails can cause damage to fragile vegetation and disturb wildlife habitats. It’s essential to respect the natural surroundings and avoid venturing into restricted areas that are marked off or protected for the safety of visitors and the preservation of the environment.


It’s also important to pack out what you pack in. This means leaving no trace of your presence behind, including any rubbish or waste. Take the time to properly dispose of garbage in designated bins and minimize your impact on the environment.


Another regulation to keep in mind is respecting wildlife. Greenland is home to a diverse range of wildlife, and it’s crucial to observe them from a safe distance and avoid any actions that may cause harm or distress to the animals. Do not feed or approach wild animals, and always maintain a respectful distance.


Lastly, it’s essential to be prepared and take necessary safety precautions when hiking in Ilulissat. Weather conditions in Greenland can change rapidly and can be unpredictable, so it’s crucial to check the forecast before setting out. Dress appropriately in layers, wear sturdy footwear, and carry essential gear such as a compass, map, first aid kit, and sufficient food and water.


By following these permits and regulations, you can enjoy a safe and environmentally responsible hiking experience in Ilulissat while ensuring the preservation of this spectacular Arctic landscape for future generations.


Hiking Routes

Ilulissat offers a range of hiking routes that showcase the breathtaking natural beauty of the region. From scenic coastal trails to icy landscapes, there is something for every level of hiker. Here are some of the most popular hiking routes in Ilulissat:

1. City Walk

If you’re looking for a leisurely hike that showcases the charm of Ilulissat town, the City Walk is a perfect choice. This trail takes you through the colorful streets of Ilulissat, allowing you to explore the local shops, cafes, and museums. Along the way, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the Kangia Icefjord and the surrounding landscapes.

2. Kangia Icefjord Trail

The Kangia Icefjord Trail is a moderate hiking route that takes you closer to the majestic icebergs of the Kangia Icefjord. This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers mesmerizing views of the glacier as it meets the sea. The trail takes you along rugged coastal terrain, providing opportunities to spot wildlife such as seals and birds. Be prepared for some steep sections and uneven terrain, but the stunning vistas make it all worthwhile.

3. Sermermiut Valley Trail

The Sermermiut Valley Trail is a must-do hike for those interested in history and culture. This easy trail takes you to the ancient Inuit settlement of Sermermiut, where you can explore the ruins and learn about the Inuit way of life. Along the way, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the Icefjord and its massive icebergs. Keep an eye out for Arctic flora and fauna, as the area is filled with unique plant species.

4. Eqi Glacier Trail

For a more challenging and remote hiking experience, the Eqi Glacier Trail is a great option. This trail takes you to the Eqi Glacier, one of the most active tidewater glaciers in Greenland. The hike requires some hiking experience and is typically done as part of a multi-day excursion. Along the way, you’ll witness the immense power of the glacier as it carves its way through the landscape, and you’ll have the chance to camp near the glacier to witness calving events.

5. Ice Sheet Trail

If you’re up for an epic adventure, the Ice Sheet Trail is the ultimate hiking experience in Ilulissat. This challenging trail takes you onto the massive Greenland Ice Sheet, offering a surreal and untouched wilderness. This multi-day hike requires proper equipment, navigation skills, and experience in glacier trekking. The vast expanse of the ice sheet and the raw beauty of the landscape make this an unforgettable journey for experienced hikers.


Whether you’re seeking a leisurely stroll or a challenging trek, Ilulissat has hiking routes that cater to every explorer. Remember to plan accordingly, consider your fitness level and experience, and always be prepared for changing weather conditions to make the most of your hiking adventure.


# 1. City Walk

The City Walk in Ilulissat is a delightful and accessible hiking trail that allows you to explore the charm and beauty of the town. This leisurely hike offers a unique perspective on the local culture, history, and breathtaking landscapes.


The City Walk starts at the harbor and takes you through the colorful streets of Ilulissat. As you stroll along the well-marked path, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the town. Explore the local shops, cafes, and museums, and interact with the friendly locals who call Ilulissat home.


One of the highlights of the City Walk is the stunning views of the Kangia Icefjord. As you walk along the trail, you’ll catch glimpses of the massive icebergs against the backdrop of the Arctic landscape. The ever-changing shapes and sizes of the icebergs create a mesmerizing spectacle that is truly awe-inspiring.


Along the way, you’ll also come across several vantage points that offer panoramic views of the surrounding scenery. These viewpoints provide the perfect opportunity to pause, take in the beauty of your surroundings, and capture some memorable photographs.


As you continue the City Walk, you’ll discover interesting historical landmarks that tell the story of Ilulissat’s rich Inuit heritage. Keep an eye out for the old buildings and the remnants of the town’s history, which blend harmoniously with the natural surroundings.


The City Walk is suitable for all ages and fitness levels, as it is relatively flat and easy to navigate. The trail is well-maintained, and there are benches and picnic areas along the way where you can take a break and enjoy a snack or a packed lunch.


While the City Walk can be completed in a few hours, it’s worth taking your time to fully experience the unique atmosphere of Ilulissat. Consider exploring the local shops and art galleries, where you can find authentic Greenlandic crafts and souvenirs to commemorate your visit.


Whether you’re looking for a pleasant morning stroll or an evening walk to catch the vibrant colors of the Arctic sunset, the City Walk in Ilulissat offers a delightful way to immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of this enchanting town.


# 2. Kangia Icefjord Trail

The Kangia Icefjord Trail is a mesmerizing hiking route that takes you closer to the magnificent icebergs of the Kangia Icefjord. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and offers a truly unique and awe-inspiring experience.


The trail starts from Ilulissat town and follows a scenic coastal path along the edges of the Kangia Icefjord. As you embark on this moderate hike, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the icy landscape, towering icebergs, and the vast expanse of the Arctic Ocean.


Along the trail, you’ll encounter a variety of terrains, from rocky stretches to sandy beaches, providing a dynamic and ever-changing hiking experience. The jagged cliffs and rugged coastline serve as a stunning backdrop as you navigate the trail.


One of the highlights of the Kangia Icefjord Trail is the opportunity to witness the grandeur of the icebergs up close. These majestic ice formations, which originate from the nearby Sermeq Kujalleq glacier, create a sight that is truly awe-inspiring. The colors and shapes of the icebergs are constantly changing, offering a unique spectacle with every visit.


As you hike along the Kangia Icefjord Trail, keep an eye out for the local wildlife that calls the region home. Seals can often be spotted lounging on the ice floes, and various bird species, including Arctic terns and gulls, can be seen soaring overhead. The trail also offers a chance to experience the tranquility and solitude of the Arctic wilderness, immersing you in nature’s beauty.


It’s important to be prepared for some challenging sections of the trail, including steep ascents and descents, as well as uneven terrain. However, the effort is rewarded with breathtaking viewpoints and the chance to witness the raw power and beauty of the Kangia Icefjord.


Remember to dress appropriately for the weather and wear sturdy hiking boots. Pack essentials such as water, snacks, sunscreen, and insect repellent. It’s also advisable to bring a camera to capture the stunning vistas along the trail.


The Kangia Icefjord Trail offers an unforgettable hiking experience that will leave you with lifelong memories. As you immerse yourself in the beauty of the Arctic landscape, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the power of nature and the wonders of Greenland. Don’t miss the chance to explore this iconic trail in Ilulissat.


# 3. Sermermiut Valley Trail

The Sermermiut Valley Trail is a captivating hiking route in Ilulissat that takes you back in time to the ancient Inuit settlement of Sermermiut. This easy and informative trail offers a glimpse into the rich cultural history of the region and provides breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes.


The trail begins near Ilulissat town and follows a well-marked path along the edges of the Kangia Icefjord. As you walk along the trail, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the ruins and remnants of the ancient Inuit settlement, which dates back more than 4,000 years.


One of the highlights of the Sermermiut Valley Trail is the chance to witness the remarkable panorama of the Kangia Icefjord. The majestic icebergs, formed by the nearby Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier, create a mesmerizing backdrop against the Arctic sky. The constantly changing shapes and sizes of the icebergs provide a captivating sight that captivates hikers.


As you delve deeper into the trail, you’ll encounter fascinating archaeological sites and cultural artifacts that provide insight into the daily lives and hunting practices of the ancient Inuit people who once called this place home. Interpretive signs along the trail provide information about the history and significance of these cultural sites, enhancing the educational aspect of the hike.


The Sermermiut Valley Trail also offers opportunities for wildlife spotting. Keep an eye out for Arctic foxes that roam the area, as well as a variety of bird species, including ravens and arctic terns. The trail meanders through the rich vegetation of the valley, where you can admire the vibrant Arctic flora and possibly spot wildflowers in full bloom during the summer months.


The trail is relatively flat and accessible, making it suitable for hikers of all ages and fitness levels. It’s recommended to wear comfortable walking shoes and dress in layers, as weather conditions can change rapidly in this Arctic environment.


As you hike along the Sermermiut Valley Trail, take the time to soak in the serene atmosphere and appreciate the beauty and tranquility of the surroundings. The combination of cultural history, striking landscapes, and glimpses of Arctic wildlife make this trail a must-do for visitors to Ilulissat.


Immerse yourself in Greenlandic history, marvel at the breathtaking views, and create lasting memories as you explore the Sermermiut Valley Trail.


# 4. Eqi Glacier Trail

The Eqi Glacier Trail is a captivating and challenging hiking route in Ilulissat that offers a unique opportunity to experience the awe-inspiring beauty and power of the Eqi Glacier. This remote trail takes you on a journey to witness one of the most active tidewater glaciers in Greenland.


The trail begins with a boat ride from Ilulissat to Eqi Glacier Camp, where you’ll disembark and start your hike. The trail winds its way through rugged terrain, offering magnificent views of the Arctic wilderness and the towering Eqi Glacier in the distance.


As you hike, the surroundings will gradually transform, immersing you in the serenity and grandeur of the glacier. The towering ice walls and vast expanse of ice will leave you in awe of nature’s power and beauty.


One of the highlights of the Eqi Glacier Trail is the opportunity to witness calving events. These dramatic occurrences happen when parts of the glacier break off and crash into the sea, creating a spectacle of crashing ice and thunderous sounds. It’s a truly unforgettable experience to witness the birth of icebergs as they are released into the fjord.


The trail to Eqi Glacier is challenging and requires a good level of fitness and hiking experience. The terrain can be steep and rocky, and proper hiking equipment, including sturdy boots, is essential. It’s recommended to embark on this hike as part of a guided tour or with an experienced hiking partner.


Camping near the glacier is an option for those who wish to fully immerse themselves in the experience. Waking up to the sight of the glacier in the morning light and witnessing the ever-changing landscape is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.


It’s important to remember that safety is paramount when hiking near a glacier. Always follow the guidance of experienced guides and check the weather conditions before setting out. It’s advisable to carry essential safety equipment, such as a satellite phone or emergency beacon, in case of unforeseen circumstances.


The Eqi Glacier Trail offers a truly remarkable and humbling experience for adventurous hikers. The power and beauty of the glacier, combined with the untouched Arctic wilderness, create a hiking adventure that will leave a lasting impression on all who venture on this trail.


# 5. Ice Sheet Trail

The Ice Sheet Trail in Ilulissat is an epic and challenging hiking experience that takes you onto the vast expanse of the Greenland Ice Sheet. This trail offers a unique opportunity to explore the untouched wilderness of the Arctic and witness the awe-inspiring beauty of one of the largest ice bodies on Earth.


The Ice Sheet Trail is a multi-day hiking adventure that requires proper planning and preparation. It’s important to have previous hiking experience, knowledge of navigation, and appropriate equipment before embarking on this journey.


The trail begins at the edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet, where you’ll be greeted by a seemingly endless expanse of snow and ice. As you venture onto the ice, you’ll feel a sense of isolation and wonder, surrounded by a pristine and untouched landscape.


Walking on the Ice Sheet requires careful navigation and awareness of crevasses and other hazards. It’s essential to have the proper equipment, including crampons, ice axes, and ropes, to ensure your safety. It’s highly recommended to join a guided tour or hire an experienced local guide who can provide guidance and support throughout the trek.


One of the most remarkable aspects of the Ice Sheet Trail is the constantly changing scenery. The colors and textures of the ice shift as the sunlight plays upon the surface, creating a mesmerizing display of light and shadow. As you hike, you’ll come across ice formations, moulins (ice shafts), and seracs, adding to the enchantment of the trail.


The breathtaking solitude and vastness of the Ice Sheet truly make you feel a sense of insignificance in the face of nature’s might. The silence interrupted only by your footsteps and the occasional sound of cracking ice creates a serene and humbling atmosphere.


During the journey, you’ll have the opportunity to camp on the Ice Sheet, surrounded by the ethereal beauty of the Arctic. Spending the night under the starry sky and waking up to the tranquility of the ice is an experience like no other, allowing you to truly connect with the raw natural environment.


It’s crucial to be well-prepared for the Ice Sheet Trail. Proper clothing, equipment, food, and provisions are essential for a safe and enjoyable experience. It’s also important to check weather conditions and have contingency plans in place as the weather can change rapidly in this remote Arctic region.


The Ice Sheet Trail is an extraordinary journey into the heart of Greenland’s icy wilderness. It’s an adventure that will push your limits, test your resilience, and reward you with unparalleled beauty and a sense of accomplishment. If you’re up for the challenge, the Ice Sheet Trail will leave an indelible mark on your spirit and become a cherished memory for years to come.


Safety Tips

When venturing into the wilderness of Ilulissat for a hiking adventure, it is important to prioritize safety to ensure a enjoyable and incident-free experience. Here are some essential safety tips to keep in mind:

1. Plan and Prepare:

Before heading out on a hike, it is crucial to plan your route, familiarize yourself with the trail, and check the weather forecast. Inform someone of your hiking plans and estimated return time, especially for longer or more challenging hikes.

2. Dress Appropriately:

Wear layers of clothing to account for changing weather conditions. Make sure to have a waterproof and wind-resistant outer layer. Proper footwear, such as sturdy hiking boots, is important to provide support and grip on varying terrains.

3. Carry Essential Gear:

Carry a map, compass, or GPS device to help with navigation. Pack a first aid kit, emergency whistle, headlamp or flashlight, and a survival blanket. Bring sufficient food and water, and consider using a water filtration system for refilling along the trail.

4. Stay Hydrated and Energized:

Drink water regularly to stay hydrated, even if you may not feel thirsty. Carry high-energy snacks or trail mix to maintain your energy levels throughout the hike.

5. Be Wildlife Aware:

Respect wildlife and keep a safe distance. Do not feed or approach wild animals. Carry bear spray or other deterrents if hiking in an area with potential encounters with large mammals.

6. Be Weather-Wise:

Be prepared for changing weather conditions. Check the forecast and be aware of signs of incoming storms or high winds. Seek shelter and postpone the hike if necessary.

7. Stay on Designated Trails:

Stick to designated trails and avoid venturing into restricted or protected areas. Straying from the trails can cause environmental damage and pose risks to both hikers and wildlife.

8. Hike with Others:

Whenever possible, hike with a partner or a group. Hiking in a group adds an extra layer of safety in case of an emergency or unexpected circumstances.

9. Respect the Environment:

Leave no trace of your presence. Pack out all trash and dispose of it properly. Respect nature and its inhabitants by minimizing your impact on the environment.


By following these safety tips, you can have a safe and memorable hiking experience in the stunning wilderness of Ilulissat. Remember to use common sense, trust your instincts, and be prepared for the unexpected. Enjoy the beauty of the nature while maintaining your well-being.


Essential Gear

When preparing for a hiking adventure in Ilulissat, it’s important to have the right gear to ensure your comfort, safety, and enjoyment throughout the journey. Here are some essential gear items to consider packing:

1. Backpack:

A sturdy and comfortable backpack is essential for carrying all your gear. Look for a backpack with adjustable straps and multiple compartments to distribute the weight evenly.

2. Hiking Boots:

Invest in a pair of sturdy and waterproof hiking boots that provide ankle support and a good grip on varied terrains. Make sure to break them in before your hike to avoid discomfort and blisters.

3. Clothing Layers:

Layering is important to adapt to changing weather conditions. Bring moisture-wicking base layers, insulating mid-layers, and a waterproof and wind-resistant outer layer. Consider packing extra clothing in case of unexpected weather changes or emergencies.

4. Navigation Tools:

Carry a map, compass, or GPS device to help with navigation along the trails. Familiarize yourself with these tools before your hike to ensure you know how to use them effectively.

5. First Aid Kit:

Pack a basic first aid kit that includes bandages, sterile gauze pads, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any necessary personal medications. Additionally, include any specific items you may need, such as insect repellent or sunscreen.

6. Water and Food:

Bring enough water to stay hydrated throughout your hike. Consider using a hydration bladder or water bottle with a built-in filter. Pack energy-rich snacks, trail mix, or energy bars to keep you fueled on the trail.

7. Emergency Essentials:

Carry essential emergency items, including a whistle, flashlight or headlamp, extra batteries, a multi-tool, a small knife, a fire starter, and a space blanket. These items can be crucial in unexpected situations.

8. Personal Protection:

Protect yourself from the elements with items such as a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Insect repellent is also recommended, especially during the summer months when mosquitos may be present.

9. Communication Devices:

Carry a fully charged mobile phone or a satellite phone for emergencies. Ensure you have a reliable means of communication in case of unexpected situations or the need to seek assistance.

10. Other Essentials:

Other items to consider include trekking poles for added stability, a waterproof bag or cover for your backpack, comfortable and moisture-wicking socks, and a camera to capture the stunning landscapes and memories of your journey.


Before your hike, make sure to test and familiarize yourself with your gear to ensure proper functioning and fit. It’s also essential to pack according to the specific requirements and recommendations of the trails you plan to hike.


By having the right gear and being prepared, you can fully enjoy your hiking adventure in Ilulissat and have a memorable experience surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of Greenland’s wilderness.


Accommodation Options

When visiting Ilulissat for a hiking adventure, you’ll find various accommodation options that cater to different preferences and budgets. Here are some popular choices for places to stay in Ilulissat:

1. Hotels and Guesthouses:

Ilulissat offers a range of hotels and guesthouses that provide comfortable accommodation with amenities such as private bathrooms, Wi-Fi, and restaurant facilities. These options cater to different budgets and preferences, ranging from budget-friendly guesthouses to upscale hotels offering stunning views of the Kangia Icefjord.

2. Hostels and Guesthouses:

For budget-conscious travelers or those looking for a more communal experience, hostels and guesthouses in Ilulissat provide affordable accommodation options. These establishments usually offer shared rooms, common areas, and kitchen facilities, allowing you to meet fellow travelers and prepare your own meals.

3. Camping:

If you prefer a closer connection to nature, camping is a popular choice in Ilulissat. There are camping areas equipped with facilities such as restrooms, showers, and cooking areas. Camping allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Arctic wilderness and provides a unique experience, especially during the extended daylight hours of the summer months.

4. Arctic Cabins:

For a cozy and intimate experience, consider staying in one of the Arctic cabins available in Ilulissat. These cabins offer a combination of rustic charm and modern comforts, providing a comfortable and private retreat after a day of hiking. Some cabins may include amenities such as kitchenettes, fireplaces, and stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.

5. Local Inns and Guesthouses:

For a more authentic Greenlandic experience, consider staying in a local inn or guesthouse. These accommodations are often family-run establishments that provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere. You’ll have the chance to connect with the locals, learn about their way of life, and enjoy traditional Greenlandic hospitality.


Regardless of the accommodation option you choose, it’s advisable to book in advance, especially during the peak summer season. Keep in mind that availability may be limited, so planning ahead will ensure a comfortable and hassle-free stay.


Whichever accommodation option suits your preferences, you’ll find comfort and convenience in Ilulissat after a day of hiking and exploring the stunning landscapes of this Arctic paradise.


Places to Eat

After a day of hiking and exploring the beautiful landscapes of Ilulissat, you’ll likely work up an appetite. Fortunately, this charming town offers a variety of dining options that cater to different tastes and budgets. Here are some recommended places to eat in Ilulissat:

1. Local Greenlandic Cuisine:

Immerse yourself in the local culture by trying traditional Greenlandic cuisine. Several restaurants in Ilulissat serve dishes made from local ingredients such as fish, musk ox, reindeer, and Arctic herbs. Sample classic dishes like “mattak” (whale skin and blubber) or “suaasat” (a traditional Greenlandic meat soup) for an authentic dining experience.

2. Seafood Restaurants:

Ilulissat’s location on the coast means that fresh seafood is readily available. Indulge in the abundance of freshly caught fish, shrimp, scallops, and other ocean delicacies at seafood restaurants. Enjoy dishes like grilled Arctic char or pan-seared Greenlandic halibut, expertly prepared to highlight the flavors of the sea.

3. International Cuisine:

If you’re in the mood for international flavors, Ilulissat has options to satisfy your cravings. Discover restaurants that offer a range of international cuisines, including Italian, Thai, Chinese, and more. These establishments often incorporate local ingredients into their dishes, giving you a unique fusion dining experience.

4. Cafés and Bakeries:

For a quick bite or a relaxing break, visit one of Ilulissat’s cozy cafés or bakeries. Enjoy a cup of Greenlandic coffee or hot chocolate accompanied by freshly baked pastries, bread, or cakes. These places are perfect for a light lunch or a sweet treat to recharge during your hiking adventures.

5. Local Food Markets:

For a truly authentic experience, explore the local food markets in Ilulissat. These markets offer an opportunity to sample Greenlandic treats, such as dried fish, smoked reindeer meat, and local berries. You can also purchase ingredients to prepare your own meals if you’re camping or staying in self-catering accommodations.


When dining out in Ilulissat, it’s important to note that prices can be higher due to the remote location of the town. However, the quality and freshness of the ingredients, as well as the unique dining experiences, make it well worth it.


Remember to check the opening hours of the restaurants, as some may operate on limited schedules, especially during the quieter winter months. It’s also advisable to make reservations in advance for popular dining establishments.


Whether you choose to indulge in local Greenlandic cuisine or explore international flavors, dining in Ilulissat is a culinary adventure that complements your hiking experience and allows you to savor the diverse flavors of this Arctic gem.


Other Activities in Ilulissat

While hiking is undoubtedly a highlight of any visit to Ilulissat, this charming town offers a range of other activities to complement your adventure and immerse yourself in the unique culture and natural wonders. Here are some recommended activities to consider during your stay in Ilulissat:

1. Boat Tours:

Embark on a boat tour to explore the stunning Kangia Icefjord and get up close to the massive icebergs. These tours offer an opportunity to witness calving events, where chunks of ice break off from the glacier and create a dramatic spectacle. It’s a chance to experience the awe-inspiring power and beauty of the ice formations.

2. Midnight Sun Cruises:

During the summer months, Ilulissat experiences the phenomenon known as the Midnight Sun. Take a cruise during the evening hours to witness the magical phenomenon of the sun never fully setting. The glow of the sun creates a surreal ambiance, bathing the landscapes in soft golden light.

3. Dog Sledding:

Experience the traditional mode of transportation in Greenland by going on a dog sledding excursion. Glide through the snow-covered landscapes, led by a team of energetic and friendly sled dogs. This adventure allows you to appreciate the bond between humans and animals and learn about the fascinating history of dog sledding in Greenland.

4. Cultural Tours:

Immerse yourself in the local culture by joining a cultural tour in Ilulissat. Visit the local museum to learn about the history, traditions, and lifestyle of the indigenous Inuit people. Engage in workshops where you can try your hand at traditional crafts like basket weaving or seal skin sewing. These activities provide a deeper understanding of the unique heritage and way of life in Greenland.

5. Photography Tours:

Capture the beauty of Ilulissat and its surrounding landscapes through a photography tour. Join experienced local photographers who can guide you to the best vantage points, offer tips and techniques, and help you capture incredible images of icebergs, wildlife, and Arctic scenery.

6. Northern Lights Viewing:

During the winter months, Ilulissat offers a breathtaking display of the Northern Lights. Seek out opportunities to view this natural phenomenon, either by joining a guided tour or simply finding a dark spot away from city lights. Witness the dancing curtains of swirling colors across the night sky, creating a magical and unforgettable experience.


These activities in Ilulissat provide a well-rounded experience to complement your hiking adventures and allow you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty, culture, and natural wonders of this Arctic destination. No matter what you choose, you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime.



Ilulissat, located in the breathtaking wilderness of western Greenland, offers a truly extraordinary adventure for hiking enthusiasts. Its rugged landscapes, towering icebergs, and serene Arctic beauty create a perfect backdrop for outdoor exploration. Whether you’re embarking on a leisurely stroll along the City Walk or venturing onto the vast Greenland Ice Sheet, Ilulissat offers hiking trails that cater to all levels of experience and provide unmatched natural beauty.


From the mesmerizing Kangia Icefjord Trail to the ancient ruins of the Sermermiut Valley Trail, each hiking route in Ilulissat offers a unique experience, allowing you to connect with the awe-inspiring natural world and immerse yourself in the local culture and history. The diverse range of trails ensures that every hiker, regardless of skill level, can find a route that suits their abilities and desires.


While hiking is the main attraction in Ilulissat, the town also offers a range of other activities that allow you to further explore and appreciate the wonders of the Arctic. Boat tours, cultural experiences, dog sledding, and enchanting Northern Lights viewing opportunities are just a few examples of the remarkable adventures that await you in this remote and captivating destination.


As you embark on your hiking adventures and engage in other activities in Ilulissat, it’s important to prioritize safety and respect for the environment. Adhere to hiking regulations, pack essential gear, and make responsible choices to ensure the preservation of the pristine wilderness that makes Ilulissat so magical.


In conclusion, Ilulissat is a haven for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. Its stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and diverse range of activities make it an exceptional destination for hiking and immersing oneself in the beauty of the Arctic. Whether you’re captivated by the towering icebergs, intrigued by the ancient ruins, or enchanted by the dazzling Northern Lights, Ilulissat will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. So, lace up your boots, embrace the wilderness, and embark on an unforgettable journey through the captivating landscapes of Ilulissat.