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

  • Days 2 to 4 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: here, not only is there a breathtaking panorama view of the entire island but also the only dog sledding opportunity in summer in Greenland!

    Activities: Two half day guided hikes and one full day hike to Lyngmark Glacier
    Optional Activities: Glacier walking and or dog-sledding
    Transport: Boat Trip across Disko Bay with whales and icebergs - 4 hours 30 minutes (x2)
    Accommodation: 2 nights camping on Disko Island and 1 night in local accommodation in Ilulissat

  • Days 5 to 7 Into the Wilderness: Eqip Sermia Glacier

    Into the Wilderness: Eqip Sermia Glacier Eqip Sermia Glacier is located around 30 miles north of Ilulissat; it is one of the most active glaciers in Greenland. Here we can observe large chunks of ice breaking free from the glacier with a deafening crash and falling abruptly into the sea creating an enormous splash. We will set up a new basecamp near here for the next two nights. From our campsite we can go hiking and explore the varied zones of the wild region around Eqi glacier. We can hike on the river delta, observe icebergs stranded on sand and walk at the foot of the imposing glacier where seals play. We will hike up to the ice sheet, the most challenging hike of the trip and walk on the glacier if it is safe! This is a truly special hike, it follows the footsteps of the famous the French polar explorers who first ventured here in the 1940s. After a full day and two half days of hiking it is time pack up camp and take the scenic boat trip back to Ilullisat for another night in traditional style accommodation there.

    Transport: Return boat trip
    Activities: 2x 3-6 hour guided hikes, a 9-11 hour day hike (+800m/-800m) & Glacier Walking (weather permitting)
    Accommodation: 2 nights camping & 1 night in traditional style accommodation in Ilulissat

  • Day 8 Hiking in Ilulissat Icefjord UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Hiking in Ilulissat Icefjord UNESCO World Heritage Site Today we will hike through dramatic scenery and discover Ilulissat Icefjord UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ilulissat Icejford is home to one of the largest glaciers in the northern hemisphere and it is mesmerising watching hundreds of icebergs break free and pile up in the fjord before drifting into the ocean. We will explore the ancient archaeological site of Sermermiut Valley which is now part of the World Heritage Site. Abandoned since 1850, the old Inuit settlement was used by Saqqaq, Early Dorset, and Thule cultures, a stunning area with a fascinating history. Plus, tonight you can discover the culinary specialities of Greenland with a final evening meal in a traditional local restaurant.

    Activities: 4-5 hour guided walk (+450m/-450m)
    Optional activities: Local meal in traditional Greenlandic restaurant
    Accommodation: Guesthouse or hostel

  • Day 9 Ilulissat & flight home

    Ilulissat & flight home Spend your final morning in Greenland exploring the vibrant, cultural town of Ilulissat at leisure, you even have time to visit a museum before your flight home. We have lots of suggestions for your last morning in Greenland.

    Optional activities: Museum visit

Please note that this itinerary, including walking distances and times, is indicative. Our guides aim to provide the adventure that is best suited to the weather, your interests and the demands of the group. Please be aware that in order to achieve this, changes to the programme may be made.

Other trips you may like

hiking in east greenland with beautiful flowers

Hiking East Greenland: an 8 day hiking trip in one of the most isolated and unspoilt regions in the world including daily hikes from hotel accommodation...

Dates & prices

Departures for English-speaking groups:

No departure for now

Trip code: GROW2

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 fights

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 €200

Notes

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
You should be in very good physical shape and prepared for adventure; a positive attitude and love of the outdoors is essential.
Please note that our difficulty ratings may vary depending on the weather.

Terms and conditions

Booking conditions

Booking a trip with us implies acceptance of the terms and conditions of sale. Each customer is required to complete a registration form and, subject to availability at the time of registration, travellers are expected to pay a deposit of 30% of the total price to complete their booking. Payments can be made online or by bank transfer. You will receive an e-mail with your booking confirmation.

Invoice procedure

Once your booking is confirmed you will receive an invoice by e-mail. The full balance of the trip must be received at least 35 days before your departure date.
For Polar Cruises, we require a deposit on the day of registration, 30% of the balance 3 months before departure and the full amount at least 45 days before departure. If registration is less than 35 days before departure then an invoice will be attached to this travel contract and the full amount must be paid upon registration. If registration is less than 15 days before departure, payment is only accepted by credit card or cash. If registration is less than 8 days before departure you may be charged an additional free for sending your ticket. If the full balance of the trip has not arrived 35 days before departure, Altaï Greenland reserves the right to cancel your registration without compensation.

Cancellation policy

If for any reason you have to cancel your trip we require a written confirmation of your decision so please contact us by e-mail, fax or letter.The money you have paid will then be refunded according to the following deductions:
  • Cancellation received more than 30 days before the departure date: 15% of trip price will be retained
  • Cancellation received 30 to 21 days before the departure date: 45% of trip price will be retained
  • Cancellation  received within 20 days of the departure date: 100% of trip price will be retained
If we have to cancel a departure due to an insufficient number of participants, you will be informed no later than 21 days before departure and a full refund will be issued, you will not be entitled to further compensation. We reserve the rights to cancel departures due to exceptional circumstances which may impact the safety of participants. Such circumstances may include those amounting to 'force majeure' in which case participants will receive a full refund but they will not be entitled to any compensation.

Changes to travel contract

If you wish to make a change to your booking please contact us in writing. If your change is requested after our confirmation has been issued and more than 30 days prior to the departure date, your change will be subject to an amendment fee of 45€. If you request a change within 30 days of departure it will be treated as a cancellation of the original booking and will be subject to cancellation charges.

Pricing

The prices on our website are updated regularly and all of the prices we advertise are accurate when published. We reserve the rights to make changes to any of these prices. Before you make a booking we will give you the up-to-date price of your chosen holiday including any supplements, upgrades or additional activities you may have requested. If the number of travellers is fewer than the indicated number of participants on the website, a small group surcharge may be applied. For all of our trips we include details of services, prices and what is/is not included but please be aware that changes to the prices may be necessary in accordance with exchange rates or price changes of various components of the journey.

Contract transfer

If you are unable to travel for any reason, you can transfer your booking to another person, subject to the following conditions:
a) you must notify us in writing
b) the transferee must fulfil any conditions that apply to the booking
c) Change and cancellation fees apply
Both the transferor and transferee will be jointly and severally liable for payment of the total holiday price and other associated expenses. Some airline carriers treat name changes as cancellations and you may be required to pay for the cost of a new ticket.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you take out personal travel insurance for your trip with Altaï Greenland as soon as your booking is confirmed. We advice you to purchase a travel insurance policy which covers flight cancellations, luggage loss and emergency health care. Please look carefully at which activities are covered by your insurer and do not forget to bring all necessary documents and information with you (name of the company, name of the contract, insurance policy number, telephone number...)

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

During this trip you will have the chance to stay in a range of different traditional style accomodation including hostel, guesthouse and communal house options. All are well equipped with shared facilities, heating and hot showers.

This adventure includes camping  - we will provide you with state of the art 3 man tents, 1 per 2 people for maximum space and comfort plus a fully equipped spacious mess tent for mealtimes. Please bring a sleeping bag.



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.

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 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. We recommend packing all of your clothes in plastic bags so that they stay dry in the event of bad weather.

Medicine

Your guide is a trained first-aider and will carry a full first aid kit at all times during the trip. 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.
Request a quote
Isabelle

My local agent
Isabelle

  • Outdoor activities enthusiast
  • Adventure travel expert
  • Graduated with a UK First Class Honours Degree in Outdoor Leadership
Request a quote
Region
Disko Bay
Activity
Hiking Summer
Duration
9 days
Group
5 to 12 people
Code
GROW2
Price
From €2,800
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; not just a sheep!
Request a quote