Hiking in the Kingdom of Ice

Hiking in the Kingdom of Ice

This adventure is ideal for those who love hiking and want alternate between the intimacies of camping in the wilderness with the comforts of local accommodation. Explore Greenlands enormously varied landscapes from volcanic islands to flowery valleys; from beaches to glaciers; from vibrant settlements to remote snowy peaks... Let our adventure transport you back to a simpler time, discover how locals thrive in this remote environment and experience true quietness, just you and your thoughts, alone on the ice cap surrounded by Greenlands vast and breathtaking wilderness...

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Ilulissat

    Ilulissat Welcome to Greenland! We will greet you at the airport and escort you to your accommodation in the centre of Ilulissat. Located approximately 220 miles north of the Arctic Circle Ilulissat is an interesting place - it has many sled dogs as people! Discover more about the local culture, history and traditions on a walking tour of this iconic Greenlandic city.

    Activities: Free walking tour of Ilulissat
    Accommodation: Hostel or Guesthouse

  • Day 2 Disko Island: Whales, hiking & dog-sledding

    Disko Island: Whales, hiking & dog-sledding We will board a local ferry and sail across Disko Bay to the island of Disko (also called Qeqertarsuaq). Disko Bay is known as the sea of ice but it is said that during the summer months there are more whales than icebergs here! Keep your eyes open, particularly for humpback whales, as the ferry weaves between icebergs and heads towards the impressive 1000m cliffs of Qeqertarsuaq. We will spend two nights camping on this island exploring its range of landscapes and rich varieties of fauna and flora. We will set up a basecamp near to a picturesque fishing village in a sheltered spot surrounded by mountains, with views of the Bay, its icebergs and whales. We can enjoy guided hikes featuring some of this island’s most impressive features like Blaesedalen ‘the valley of the winds’, a superb U-shaped glacial valley with numerous waterfalls. We will cross beaches with icebergs which have run aground and discover Kuannit with its fields, hot springs and volcanic cliffs. We can even climb to Lyngmark Glacier to enjoy a breathtaking panorama view of the island!

    Transport: Boat Trip across Disko Bay with whales and icebergs - 4 hours 30 minutes
    Accommodation: 2 nights camping on Disko Island and 1 night in local accommodation in Ilulissat
    Walking time: 3 hrs

  • Day 3 Discovering Disko Island

    From our base camp, we explore Disko Island, a paradise for geologists, biologists and other scientists for the diversity of its landscapes and the richness of its fauna and flora. It is also a vast playground for hikers! We climb the impressive Lyngmark glacier which will offer us a superb panoramic view of the whole island and we meet in the evening in the mess tent for a friendly moment around the stove.

    Accommodation : Camping Altitude difference +/-: 900 m Walking time: 7 h

  • Day 4 Discovering Disko Island

    Every day allows us to discover a new facet of this Arctic universe. Today we hike on iceberg covered beaches or to bird cliffs. We leave the camp and sail to Ilulissat in the evening. Settling in our accommodation.

    Accommodation: Guesthouse Walking time: 3hrs

  • Days 5 to 6 Into the Wilderness: Eqip Sermia Glacier

    Into the Wilderness: Eqip Sermia Glacier We leave for three days for the discovery of Eqip Sermia, 50km north of Ilulissat. The glacier in front of Eqi falling abruptly into the sea is particularly impressive. This glacier very often drops its ice in the bays, and it is frequent to see gigantic seracs collapse into the sea, a most impressive visual and sound spectacle! Set up our camp for three nights and hike in the region, near the glacier and the ice cap. Each hike leads us to discover very varied areas of this wilderness area. Hiking on the delta of the river to observe the icebergs stranded on the sand, hiking to the moraine overlooking the imposing glacier front of Eqi at the foot of which the seals venture and finally, hiking up the trail traced by Paul Emile Victor To the ice sheet.

    Accommodation: camping

  • Day 7 Ascent of the ice sheet

    This last great hike will have a very special flavour. Indeed, we will now go back in time to follow in the footsteps of French polar expeditions from the Victor cabin on the bay to the ice sheet where the advanced research camp was located. We use the path that Paul Emile Victor's teams dug into the rock in 1947 to approach the ice cap. Every step brings us closer to this frozen vastness that we will explore, just like the great explorers of the past.
    The hike to the ice sheet lasts between 9 and 11 hours. Climbing on the ice sheet is therefore optional and dependent on weather conditions.

    Accommodation: Camping Walking time: 6 hrs

  • Day 8 Eqi - Ilulissat

    Last walk, tidying up the camp and return to Ilulissat by boat. We settle in at the accommodation for two nights.

    Accommodation: Guesthouse

  • Day 9 Ilulissat - Sermermiut Valley and Ice Fjord

    We finish this stay in apotheosis with a hike in the flowery valley of Sermermiut. Little by little, the frozen fjord of Ilulissat is revealed to us. A most striking spectacle than the thousands of icebergs that gather in the fjord until they slowly drift towards the ocean!

    Accommodation: Guesthouse Walking time: 5 hrs

  • Day 10 Farewell Greenland

    Free morning in Ilulissat. Visit the Knud Rasmussen Museum (optional) which traces the history of the great polar expeditions and in particular the life of Knud Rasmussen. Flight returning 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.

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Dates & prices

Departures for English-speaking groups:

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€4,000 No Book now!
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Trip code: EGROW2VA

Included

  • All in-country transfers as detailed in itinerary
  • Accommodation as detailed in itinerary
  • Full board (except the final evening meal in Ilulissat)
  • Full supervision by a qualified expert guide
  • Free walking tour of Ilulissat
  • 4 nights accommodation in Ilulissat
  • Guided hiking in some of the most remote destinations in the world including Eqi Sermia Glacier
  • All technical camping equipment

Not included

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

Optional activities
Please let us know if you would like to reserve any of the following optional activities:
  • Ilulissat Museum: €8
  • Greenlandic meal in traditional restaurant: Prices vary
  • Glacier walking or dog-sledding on Disko Island: from €220

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 - 3/5 Various

Some of our trips involve a mixture of accommodation options. These trips often include several nights of camping interspaced by guesthouse stays and often with hotel accommodation for the first and last nights.
This trip includes youth hostel, guesthouse and camping accommodation.

Level - 4/5 Demanding

This adventure is for people who love hiking and want to alternate between the intimacies of camping in the wilderness with comfort of living like a local in traditional style accommodation. You should have a sense of adventure, a positive attitude and be prepared to walk 4-6 hours a day. Our hikes may venture off-trail and include height gain of up to 700m. This trip involves camping and please note that your help 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 for the duration of your holiday. Armed with an abundance of experience and a wealth of expert knowledge our professional Greenland team know the country inside out. All activities are lead by our qualified guides. They are all English speaking outdoor practitioners with a passion for everything Greenlandic. 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 one evening meal - we are proud of the varied, fresh and frankly delicious food we provide even when camping. 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

Basic Greenlandic hostel, guesthouse and communal house accommodation are used for this trip. All are well equipped with shared facilities, heating and hot showers available.

Wild Camping
We provide quality 3 man dome tents, 1 per 2 people for maximum space and comfort plus a spacious fully equipped mess tent complete with a table and stools for communal moments and mealtimes.


Transportation

In Greenland we use local boats, specially adapted for ice navigation, to cross fjords.

Budget & exchange

The currency in Greenland is the Danish Krone (DKK)
Please budget for a meal in Ilulissat: €25-€70 / 200-500DKK. 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 including:
  • 3 man dome tents (1 per 2 people for maximum space and comfort)
  • Self-inflating sleeping matt
  • A mess tent with table, stools and cooking equipment

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 will carry your lunch, water, spare layers and any personal medication with you each day when hiking. You will also need a larger bag to store your other clothes and belongings in, please ensure that this is a soft, easy to transport back like a ruckack. You will have to carry this bag for several metres when setting up camps. 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
Activity
Hiking Summer
Duration
10 days
Group
5 to 12 people
Code
EGROW2VA
Price
From €2,740
Level
4/5
Comfort
3/5
Language(s)
English

Strengths

  • Hiking with professional guides in remote Eastern Greenland
  • Alternate between camping in the wilderness and staying in comfortable accommodation in Ilulissat
  • This adventure includes full board, supervision by experienced qualified guides and all technical equipment is provided

Required level

This adventure is for people who love hiking and want to alternate between the intimacies of camping in the wilderness with comfort of living like a local in traditional style accommodation. You should have a sense of adventure, a positive attitude and be prepared to walk 4-6 hours a day. Our hikes may venture off-trail and include height gain of up to 700m. This trip involves camping and please note that your help with tasks like cooking is much appreciated and expected - we want you to be a part of our team.
Book this trip