Traveling in Greenland is expensive - and maybe that's why hiking around Ilulissat is so much more amazing.
The only costs are sore feet and a bit of sweat.
The air is fresh when I take a deep breath. In front of me lies tons of ice – the ilulissat Icefjord. Never have I experienced landscapes this unspoiled and impressive.
350 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle lies the small town of Ilulissat on a rocky coast.
Even though the place is home to just a few thousand people, the area offers amazing adventures - including world class hiking.
3 Hiking Routes
Many visitors choose to explore the surrounding nature on foot. A good way of doing it is by hiking the three official trails which vary from an hour to a day trip.
All routes are relatively hilly, yet possible to complete by the average tourist. All three routes take you by the magnificent icefjord, which is one of Greenland’s top sights.
Illulissat Icefjord has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004 and is today Greenland’s greatest attraction.
At the base of the fjord you’ll find Sermeq Kulalleq, which is the fastest glacier in the northern hemisphere, moving 40 meters a day.
Due to climate changes, the fjord is longer than ever. In just 10-15 years the fjord has become 10 kilometers longer being 55 kilometers today.
Yellow Route (1,5-2 hours)
This 2,7 kilometers route heads out from the old heliport and take you up on a hill from where you can see the Icefjord.
Though you’re watching the icebergs from a distance, you can still feel the grandeur of the tons of ice floating in the sea.
As i continue along the trail I walk by the sea where smaller icebergs are traveling down the coast.
After a short while I could see Ilulissat’s colorful, wooden houses by the water.
Blue Route (4-5 hours)
This route is my favorite. With 6,9 kilometers it’s the longest route in the area which makes it perfect for a day trip. Pack a lunch to enjoy halfway.
Most people heads out from the old heliport like the Yellow Route. But I’d recommend to begin at the end of the trail at the stone quarry.
Then you’ll save the best for last: the view of the Icefjord.
After passing through the steep quarry, a landscape by a lake rises. When I looked up, the first thing that came into mind was that I had went beyond the Wall in Game of Thrones or had arrived in Narnia.
I took a small break before going along the hill side that brought me down to a stream.
The stream is frozen, but I could hear the water running beneath the ice as I followed it to the icefjord where I enjoyed my lunch.
Later I came by Nakkaavik – meaning 'the bitch cliff'. The story goes that elderly threw themselves off the cliff if there wasn’t enough food and they felt getting in the way of younger family members.
From here I was able to get down to the ice in the fjord and touch the ice - it was somehow magical to get this close to ice, that has been a part of the Greenlandic Ice Cap.
On the way back to Ilulissat we passed by the settlement of Sermermiut, where the first people in the area lived 4000 years ago.
Today you still able to see the remains of the settlement.
Red Route (0,5-1 hours)
This route is the shortest one. It begins at the heliport like the others.
Being only 1 kilometers long it's perfect for an afternoon stroll - or to watch the sunset over the icebergs.
If you want to extent the trail you can combine it with the part of the blue route that includes the Nakkaavik and the Sermermiut Settlement.