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Hiking around Ilulissat in Greenland is the quickest and easiest way to get up close and personal to the immense Ilulissat icefjord.
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For those in the Greenlandic town of Ilulissat, it’s also an enchanting neighbor.
Everything you need to know about visiting Ilulissat, Greenland. Things to do in Ilulissat, where to stay, how to get there, best time to go and more.
When you hear ‘Greenland,’ what immediately comes to mind? For me, it used to be a remote, ice-covered place that seemed slightly mysterious and even a little intimidating. Before starting to plan a trip to Greenland of my own, I assumed that it was the sort of country that was only really enjoyed by the most intrepid of travelers. But, as I’ve learned recently, Greenland isn’t ‘just’ for travelers who love hiking off-grid and roughing it in the wilderness.
Though usually associated with Norway, fjords are found in many places throughout the globe, such as Alaska, Chile, New Zealand, Labrador, British Columbia and quite a few more. They are formed by glaciers through cutting a U-shaped valley in the terrain, with some being formed a long, long time ago, and others in the process today.
The word fjord comes indeed from Norwegian and it means a long narrow body of water, channel or inlet. The reason why many people associate fjords with Norway alone is the fact that this country does have some of the most impressive fjords in the world, thus making it the prime tourist attraction when it comes to these monumental land formations.
Let’s now take a look at The Top 10 Fjords in the World, the ones that are the most beautiful and that impress the most:
10. Howe Sound – Canada
Situated to the northwest of Vancouver, Canada, the Howe Sound fjord is more like a triangular network of fjords and islands, with high peaks sticking out of the sea in a marvelous natural show of beauty.
Read more from source: The Top 10 Most Amazing Fjords in the World
Greenland visit caps off an epic trip through the Northwest Passage.
How exciting to wake up anchored off the Greenland community of Ilullissat, a tidy collection of very colourful buildings huddled amongst dark bedrock. We went ashore bright and early and landed at a dock in a small protected harbour crammed with fishing boats.
Once ashore I walked up the very narrow streets trying hard not to get killed by some very aggressive local drivers. The town is much larger and brighter than the Canadian Arctic communities we had visited. I headed straight for the famous Illulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The road led past hundreds of sled dogs chained up on the outskirts of town. I learned later that there are almost as many dogs as people (population 4,500) in Illulissat.
Given that this ‘city’ is much more of a small town, Ilulissat is the sort of place which you could go your entire life without hearing about. While this is completely understandable, it is also a little bit of a travesty.
The third largest town in Greenland may only be home to around 3500 people, but it is the sort of place that you’ll find yourself dreaming about until long after you’ve left.
Here’s how to make a visit to Ilulissat as easy and as amazing as possible.
WHEN TO GO
If you are on a budget, then you really cannot go passed the summer months of May-August. A lot of hostels in Greenland are only open in the high season – meaning that outside of these months budget accommodation is very limited.
Hike along the Ilulissat Icefjord and see icebergs from one of the most active glaciers in the world. It’s easy to see why Disko Bay is an UNESCO World Heritage Site!
Hike a 6.9km trail starting from the Old Heliport in Ilulissat and ending at the Quarry in Ilulissat. Luckily, Ilulissat is a very small town and although this hike starts and ends at different points, it’s very easy to get back to the main part of town just by looking around when you finish the hike.
From the main part of town, take Kussangajaannguaq to Alanngukasik then make a left on Kuunnguarsuk and keep walking until you reach the Old Heliport. Here, you will see a large sign with maps of all of the trails around the icefjords.