Highlights of Greenland

Highlights of Greenland

Discover everything Greenland on this fantastic week-long adventure in one of the most remote and magical destinations in the world. Discover small fishing towns and the iconic Disko Bay area; observe whales, seals, reindeer and muskox; explore Ilulissat's exceptional UNESCO World Heritage Site. This trip includes hikes in Greenland's dramatic landscapes, boat trips through iceberg-filled fjords and the opportunity to walk on Greenlands ice sheet...

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Ilulissat & small village Oqaatsut

    Ilulissat & small village Oqaatsut Welcome by your guide at the airport and transfer by boat to the small isolated village of Oqaatsut in the north of the bay for an immersion in the heart of the life of this village at the end of the world. Installation at the village refuge, in a colourful house facing the icebergs.

    Accommodation: shelter Walking time: 2 hrs

  • Day 2 Coastal hike to Kangerluarsuk Bay

    Today we hike by the sea towards the north and Kangerluarsuk Bay where many icebergs run aground from the nearby Kangia glacier. We evolve on a path when it exists or through mosses and rocky slabs when the path disappears. The immersion in this magnificent and wild nature of Greenland is total. It is also a privileged place for fishing and hunting for the locals who come to enjoy these ancestral activities in both summer and winter.
    As an option and depending on availability on site, it is possible to do a 2H sea kayak initiation to sail in this protected bay with a view of the icebergs.

    Accommodation: shelter Walking time: 5 hrs

  • Day 3 Hiking above the icebergs of the frozen fjord, classified by UNESCO

    Return to Ilulissat by boat and hike in the flowered valley of Sermermiut, which houses a very important archaeological site for studying the migration of the Saqqaq, Dorset and Thule peoples in Greenland. We will soon reach the icy fjord of Ilulissat. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this fjord is home to some of the largest icebergs in the northern hemisphere. A stunning spectacle of the hundreds of icebergs that gather in the fjord before slowly drifting towards the ocean.

    Accommodation: Guesthouse Walking times: 5 hrs

  • Day 4 Crossing to Disko Island and whale watching

    Early morning boat departure to Disko Island, also known as Qeqertarsuaq. After a few hours of crossing, many of them in the middle of icebergs, here appear the spectacular cliffs of Qeqertarsuaq, rising more than 1000 meters above the sea. Lunch and then installation of our accommodation for the next 2 nights. Visit the village of Qeqertarsuaq and then hike to the look-out, an observation spot in the south of the island where you can observe marine animals, especially whales. The opportunity for us to be attentive to the slightest breath, to the slightest agitation in the water, because cetaceans come very regularly to feed...

    4 hours 30 of sailing through Disko Bay

    Accommodation: Guesthouse Walking time: 2 hrs

  • Day 5 Discover

    From our base camp, we explore the island of Disko. This island of 8600 km² attracts many geologists, biologists, botanists,... thanks to the diversity of its landscapes and the richness of its fauna and flora. A research centre, Arctic Center, has been located there since 1906. During our hike of the day, we discover Blæsedalen "the valley of the winds", a superb U-shaped glacial valley with many waterfalls, then Kuannit, known for its volcanic cliffs and angelic fields. We will hike along the beaches where many icebergs born in the frozen fjord wash up on the beaches.

    Accommodation: Guesthouse Walking time: 5 hrs

  • Day 6 Qeqertarsuaq – Ilulissat

    Last day of hiking on Qeqertarsuaq, then we leave by boat for Ilulissat. Late arrival in Ilulissat and overnight in a guesthouse.

    Accommodation: Guesthouse

  • Day 7 Cruise in Disko Bay to Eqi Glacier

    This morning we board a former converted fisherman's boat for passenger transport that will allow us to discover Disko Bay by sea. We sail north along the coast and weave between icebergs to the glacier tongue of Eqip Sermia. This majestic glacier with its vertical wall of more than 60 metres that falls directly into the fjord was a highlight of the French polar expeditions led by Paul Émile Victor. Return to Ilulissat in the afternoon via Disko Bay where we enjoy an exceptional view of Disko Island to the west and the polar ice cap to the east. It will also be a great opportunity to try to observe the humpback whales that inhabit the bay at this time of year.
    7 to 10 hours onboard

    Accommodation: Guesthouse

  • Day 8 Discovery the polar ice cap

    Morning flight to Kangerlussuaq, further south in Greenland. Today will not be a day like any other since we will walk on the ice sheet, the largest expanse of ice in the northern hemisphere.
    An all-terrain vehicle takes us across the tundra to the moraine stretches adjacent to the polar ice cap. We walk in this mineral chaos to the dead part of the glacier, then we will evolve on this majestic universe for a few hours. On the way, we will try to observe reindeer and muskoxen, massive animals emblematic of Greenland that live in high concentrations in the area. Free evening on Kangerlerssuaq.

    4 hours of transport by off-road vehicle

    Accommodation: Guesthouse Walking time: 4 hrs

  • Day 9 Kangerlussuaq - Home

    Free morning in Kangerlussuaq. The opportunity to explore the surroundings on foot with its melting rivers, hills and tundra where muskox and reindeer graze.
    Flight home

The details in this programme are regularly updated but imponderables and unpredictable circumstances may result in inaccuracies. In order to provide the adventure which is best suited to your demands, the weather and the operational conditions, changes to the itinerary may be made. For safety reasons, we reserve the rights to interrupt your participation at any time if your technical level or fitness is deemed unsuitable or if you are seen as a danger to yourself or to those around you. This will in no case give rise to refunds or compensation. Additional optional activities are not included in the price, please see 'Dates & Prices' for more information.

Other trips you may like

Whale watching among icebergs in Greenland 
Disko Bay Kayaking Adventure: An unforgettable Greenlandic experience living like Inuits in one of the most remote and enchanting places in the world. This action packed adventure in the iconic Disko Bay area includes full board and 3 days in the wilderness kayaking and hiking from your remote campsite about as far 'off the beaten track' as you can possibly get.

Dates & prices

Departures for French-speaking groups:

No departure for now

Trip code: EGROW1C

Included

  • In-country transfers as detailed in itinerary
  • Full board (except first and last dinners)
  • Accompanied by an English-speaking Altai guide in the Disko Bay region
  • Activities in Kangerlussuaq supervised by an English-speaking Activity Leader
  • Free walking tour of Ilulissat
  • Disko Bay whale watching day cruise (7-10 hours)
  • 2x boat trips across Disko Bay to Disko Island
  • Walking tour of Qeqertarsuaq town
  • Qeqertarsuaq museum entrance fee

Not included

  • Registration fee: €18 (free for under 12s)
  • International flights
  • Insurance

Additional Options
Please let us know if you would like to reserve any of the following optional activities:
  • Greenlandic meal in traditional restaurant from: €25
  • Lyngmark Glacier hike & dog-sledding excursion: from €220 (+790m/-790m)
  • Kangerlussuaq muskox safari: from €40
  • Kangerlussuaq Museum: from €8

Notes

For many years, we put our know-how and our experience of nature and adventure travel in Greenland to the service of travelers from different horizons. You may find yourself in an international group with participants from our various partners.

Comfort: 4/5 Comfortable

Well-equipped accommodation options like basic hostels or charming guesthouses are rated 4/5 for comfort. Please note that this does not guarantee private bathroom and kitchen facilities. Any ‘special’ accommodation options  like our especially built wooden sailing boat in Greenland are rated 4/5 for comfort.

Level: 2/5 Moderate

This trip is accessible to everyone with a sense of adventure and a positive attitude. Physically, you should be able to walk 2-6 hours per day, our hikes are not technically difficult but may venture off-trail. Please note that your help during the trip with tasks like cooking is much appreciated and expected - we want you to be a part of our team. Please note that our difficulty ratings may vary depending on the weather.

Terms and conditions

Please see our terms and conditions and information for insurances by clicking the following link: greenland.altaibasecamp.com/en/terms-and-conditions

Practical info

Staff

You will be welcomed at the airport by a representative from our friendly team and accompanied by an Altai guide for the duration of your stay in the Disko Bay region. When in Kangerlussuaq, activities will be run by a qualified English-speaking guide. Armed with an abundance of experience and a wealth of expert knowledge our professional Greenland team know the country inside out. Please note that this adventure takes place in an isolated polar environment which can be hostile - your guide will explain safety rules which must be followed.

Food

This trip includes full board apart from the first and last evening meals - we are proud of the varied, fresh and frankly delicious food we provide. Meals are based on a selection of local products and you will have the opportunity to try Greenlandic delicacies such as cod, arctic char and mussels.

Each day will start with a hearty breakfast accompanied by plenty of tea and coffee. Then you will prepare your own picnic lunch for the day from a buffet style array of options - everyday there will definitely be sandwiches, hot drinks and cakes among the other options. Each evening meal will include three courses- we try to offer fresh fruit and vegetables everyday but this is not always possible in Greenland!

Your help in the kitchen is expected and much appreciated, particularly in the evenings. We like when the whole group work as a team to cook dinner, it creates a pleasant atmosphere as we reflect on the days adventures together.

Please let us know about any dietary requirements when you book the trip and we will work with you to cater for your needs.

Accommodation

This trip uses hostel, guesthouse and communal house accommodation. All are well equipped with shared facilities, heating and hot showers available. Please bring a sleeping bag.

Transportation

In Greenland we travel by foot or use local boats, specially adapted for ice navigation, to cross fjords. This trip includes a flight to Kangerlussuaq in a small aircraft designed for Greenlands harsh winter conditions - we love this scenic flight in an adorable aircraft!

Budget & exchange

The currency in Greenland is the Danish Krone (DKK)
Please budget for two dinners from €25 / 200DKK. Alcohol is very expensive in Greenland, if you want to enjoy an evening drink after your days adventures, we recommend buying Duty Free alcohol in the airport.

Tips

Although the custom is not widespread here, if you are satisfied with the services of your guide, tipping is always appreciated - it is not obligatory and should be left to the discretion of each individual.

Supplied equipment

We provide you with the technical equipment you will need for this adventure - all you need to bring are your hiking boots. We will provide crampons for walking on the ice sheet.

Vital equipment

  • A warm sleeping bag
  • Walking boots
  • Waterproof jacket (with a hood)
  • Waterproof trousers
  • A warm jumper or two
  • Suitable underwear, t-shirts and walking trousers
  • Thermals - top & long johns
  • A swimsuit
  • Warm gloves and hat (even in the summer - evenings can be chilly)
  • Sunhat and sun cream
  • Sunglasses (UV 400)
  • Any personal medication
  • Towel & toiletries
  • A water bottle
  • A small rucksack to use as a day bag
  • Warm pyjamas
  • Head torch & spare batteries (although it is nearly always light in the summer months)

Material

We prefer that you do not wear cotton clothing, including underwear, when participating in activities. When cotton gets wet from water or sweat it ceases to insulate and it does not dry fast. The best materials for outdoor activities are fast drying materials like polyester or materials which are warm when wet like wool. The most powerful materials against the wind and rain are 'breathable' materials like Gore-Tex or Nikwax.

Our advice for keeping warm
Winter in Greenland can be very cold, please think carefully about what clothes you bring, although we will provide warm outer layers, the layers you wear next to your skin make the biggest difference. We recommend:
  • No cotton
  • Bring dry spares of everything, even underwear and gloves
  • Wear multiple layers including:
    1. A warm breathable base layer
    2. A second thermal layer
    3. Wind and waterproof protective out layer (we provide an additional quality jacket and over trousers)

Helpful equipment

You may also consider packing
  • Your camera
  • Binoculars
  • A notepad and pencil
  • A thermos flask
  • Plastic bags for wet/dirty clothing
  • A comfortable evening outfit
  • Walking poles
  • Inflatable pillow
  • Insect repellant
  • Blister plasters
  • Tissues

Luggage

Please bring a small rucksack to use as a day bag. You can bring this as hand luggage on the aeroplane. You will carry your lunch, water, spare layers and any personal medication with you each day in this bag. You will also need a larger bag to store your other clothes and belongings in, please ensure that this is a soft bag like a ruckack or holdall rather than a hard cased suitcase because it is more practical to transport. We recommend packing all of your clothes in plastic bags so that they stay dry in the event of wet weather.

Medicine

Your guide is a trained first-aider and will carry a full first aid kit at all times during the trip in case of emergencies. We recommend that you bring a small personal first aid kit containing any medication you may need such as inhalers, plasters, antiseptic and painkillers.

Passport

Most travellers require a passport that is valid for at least three months after the return date. It is your responsibility to confirm your specific passport requirements and please be aware that proof of onwards travel may be required.

Visa

Most travellers do not need a VISA to travel to Greenland but proof of onwards travel may be required. It is your responsibility to confirm your specific visa requirements.

Mandatory vaccines

There are no specific health risks.

Health information & recommendations

It is your responsibility to check that your personal health insurance covers everything in this trip. A consultation with your doctor is a prerequisite for any trip.

Weather

Year round the temperatures in Greenland can range from -25°C to more than 20°C (-13°F to +68°F). The air is low in humidity which means that the temperatures do not feel as cold as you might imagine and that the views are amazing, it appears that you can see further. Generally speaking Greenland is not very windy and the warmest months are June - August.

The length of the day varies significantly throughout the year. The shortest day of the year is 21st December with no sunlight! The longest day, with 24 hours of sunlight, is 20th June. You can see the midnight sun from May - July and the Northern Lights in the darker months.

Electricity

Greenland uses Northern European electrical standards (50Hz/220 volts)  and the standard Europlug socket with two round prongs.

Local time

Most of Greenland uses Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)/ Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) -3; most areas use Daylight Saving Time (DST).

Topography

Area: 836,300 mi²
Population: 56,186 inhabitants (2016)
Capital: Nuuk
Languages: Kalaallisut or West Greenlandic, Danish is also widely used
Regime: Part of the Kingdom of Denmark but politically autonomous

Part of the continent of North America, Greenland is the largest island on Earth and it is covered by the largest ice sheet in the world outside of antarctica.

Sustainable tourism

As adventure and wilderness travel experts who run trips to some of the most remote parts of the world, we take responsible tourism very seriously.

We respect the ‘Leave No Trace’ outdoor ethical code and try to explore this beautiful location whilst causing minimal environmental damage.

The Leave No Trace policy can be summarized in 7 simple steps which we hope you will follow during ourtrip...
  1. Be prepared
  2. Stick to trails and camp overnight right
  3. Stash your trash and pick up waste
  4. Leave it as you find it
  5. Be careful with fire
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors

Over the years we have built up good relations with our local suppliers and we are keen to support local businesses as much as possible. We are a small company and we pay our local partners and suppliers directly insuring fair rates.

Our small group sizes not only provide a more intimate adventure but also cause less impact on the environment and local communities.

We expect all who travel with us to support and uphold our Sustainable Tourism philosophies.
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Isabelle

My local agent
Isabelle

  • Outdoor activities enthusiast
  • Adventure travel expert
  • Graduated with a UK First Class Honours Degree in Outdoor Leadership
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Region
Disko Bay Polar circle
Activity
Hiking Summer Whale Watching
Duration
9 days
Group
5 to 12 people
Code
EGROW1C
Price
From €3,440
Level
2/5
Comfort
4/5
Language(s)
French

Strengths

  • Explore Disko Bay, Qeqertarsuaq, Ilulissat & Kangerlussuaq
  • Under the guidance of an expert professional guide
  • Quality technical equipment provided
  • See whales, muskox and icebergs; enjoy city tours, hiking and boat trips...

Guide's advice

'An ideal trip for your first time in Greenland'

Required level

This trip is accessible to everyone with a sense of adventure and a positive attitude. Physically, you should be able to walk 2-6 hours per day, our hikes are not technically difficult but may venture off-trail. Please note that your help during the trip with tasks like cooking is much appreciated and expected - we want you to be a part of our team.
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