WHAT TO DO IN ILULISSAT?

Welcome to World of Greenland's universe. On this site you will find our take on the best experiences in Ilulissat. All lodges listes are owned by us and the tours listes are either operated by ourselves or other hand-picked local operators. We take responsibility for your trip from start to finish, and look forward to welcoming you in Ilulissat.

Welcome to Ilulissat

Ilulissat, formerly known as Jakobshavn, was established in 1741 and today serves as the main town of Avannaata Kommunia, the northern municipality in Greenland. The entire municipality houses around 10,650 inhabitants, of which Ilulissat alone has approximately 4,500 inhabitants and 1,500 sled dogs.

Located about 300 km north of the Arctic Circle, Ilulissat has midnight sun from approximately May 20th to July 20th. The winter darkness encloses the town from the end of November and lasts until January 13th. During this period, the sky presents itself in beautiful pastel colours, while some of the world's finest northern lights dance over the horizon.

Ilulissat is a pearl in Greenland, enriched with unique experiences such as the midnight sun, the Inland Ice Sheet, majestic icebergs and dramatic ice formations. Here you can also admire whales, seals, sled dogs, permafrost and the northern lights – a world so far from everyday life that it becomes an adventure.

Greenland is large and rich in beautiful places, but nowhere manages to deliver such a complete experience as Ilulissat by the Icefjord. With options for helicopter tours, boat adventures, dog sledding and hiking, we offer a palette of activities in an area so unique that it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2007.

For the most unforgettable experiences, we move outside of Ilulissat and have created three unique lodges that should be at the top of every visitor's "bucket-list" in Greenland. Dive into the Greenlandic culture and history, which is embedded in the city and its surroundings.

The backcountry is incredibly beautiful, and during the winter when the rocks are covered with a blanket of glittering snow, it is possible to go dogsledding, snowmobiling, skiing and snowshoe hiking.

Welcome to Ilulissat – the land of adventurous souls.

Top 10 experiences in Ilulissat

1

Walk to Sermermiut and visit the Icefjord Center.

Walking to Sermermiut is an absolute must do.
You can see icebergs many places from the town, but the truly impressive specimens appear at Sermermiut, about a 20-minute walk from the town center. The view at Sermermiut takes the breath away of anyone who experiences this spectacular place for the first time. The established board walk makes the walk accesible for almost everyone, unless you have particular walking difficulties. The tour can be done alone or with a guide. On the way back to the town, it is a convenient time to visit the Icefjord Cetner - a visitor center with a focus on the ice.

2

Stay at Glacier Lodge Eqi

Glacier Lodge Eqi is perhaps the greatest whole-experience in Disko Bay.
The Eqi glacier is one of the biggest attractions in Disko Bay - and for good reason. Here you can get up close to the glacier known as "the calving glacier". Some go on a day tour to the glacier, but the greatest experience is beyond comparison staying overnight at the lodge there. Glacier Lodge Eqi is a true wilderness lodge, and all cabins have glacier views. But the lodge also has comfortable facilities such as electricity, hot showers, sauna and good restaurant.

3

Go on an Iceberg Sightseeing

When visiting Ilulissat you should not miss out on a boat tour among the famous icebergs.
During one year, more than 48 km3 of ice flows into the fiord. The result is gigantic icebergs, which can be more than 100 meters on each side and with a height on more than 100 meters above the water surface. These giants strand at the end of the fiord, giving us the opportunity to sail among them. The Iceberg Sightseeing is available all year round, and it is fortunate that the icebergs are beautiful and breathtaking in all seasons and in all weather conditions.

4

Visit Igloo Lodge

Our take on the most cozy and authentic experience.
If you're visiting Ilulissat during the winter period from early February to mid-April, Igloo Lodge should be at the very top of your must-do list. Igloo Lodge is a whole-experience in Iluilssat's sparkling backcountry, which includes transport, real wilderness surroundings, exciting excursions, delicious food, cozy atmosphere, and not least the opportunity to spend the night in a real igloo. All igloos have a back up bedroom inside the warm cabin, so it's entirely up to you where you want to sleep.

5

Join this true adventure all the way to the huge glacier and the Icesheet.
On the helicopter tour, we fly over the Icefjord all the way in to "Sermeq Kujallaq", and the edge of the Icesheet, with a breathtaking view of the glacier, ice, and sourrounding landscape. Here we have a 30-minute ground stop, where we have time to learn more about the glacier and the Icesheet, and to enjoy a glass of champagne. If you had to choose the best places in the world to take a helicopter ride, this surreal scenery could be a good bet.

6

Stay at Ilimanaq Lodge

Ilimanaq Lodge is Greenlandic luxury, relaxation and settlement atmosphere.
At Ilimanaq Lodge, guests stay in bungalows with a view of Disko Bay. The lodge's restaurant and reception are two of Greenland's oldest buildings, which have been beautifully restored and exude the whir of history. Ilimanaq Lodge is a pioneering project in Greenlandic tourism. The lodge is built in a small settlement with only 50 residents. The project has started in collaboration between the municipality, Realdania and World of Greenland. The purpose of the project is to create life in the settlement and to preserve Greenlandic cultural heritage.

7

Go dog sledding

The dog sled is one of the strongest icons of Greenland, and a huge experience that everyone must try, if visiting Iluissat durint winter time.
The Greenlandic Sled Dog is a protected breed that has adapted to the harsh arctic conditions over thousands of years. The dog sled has historically played an important role in Inuit everyday life, and still does to this day. It is an important part of the culture, which is why you should definitely try dog ​​sledding if you visit Ilulissat in winter. We offer several different tours with local mushers.

8

The the snowmobile tour "Walking amongst Giants"

This snowmobile tour has it all - adventure, beautiful viewpoints, walking on sea ice among frozen icebergs, and stories about local life.
Walking amongst Giants is by far the best snowmobile tour in the area. The tour starts from Igloo Lodge, and is only offered to the lodge's guests. Several times along the way we have a view of the Icesheet and glaciers. We drive down to the local ice fishermen's residence during the winter. Here you can go out on the sea ice among the frozen icebergs. The area has a very special atmosphere, and is much loved by locals as well as visitors.

9

Go whale watching

Seeing the giants of the sea up close is a huge experience and the highlight of many people's visits to Ilulissat.
Whales are beautiful creatures and it's always amazing to see them, no matter if you've seen them 100 times before. The setting for going whale watching doesn't get any better than here at Ilulissat with icebergs and crystal clear waters. Whale watching is an experience that should be on the bucket list if you visit Ilulissat between June and September.

10

Hunt for northern lights

Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, is undoubtedly the most spectacular phenomenon in the night sky.
When dark evenings occur with clear skies, there is a magical event that often unfolds over Ilulissat – the breathtaking northern lights. Here, 300 km north of the Arctic Circle, the conditions for experiencing the phenomenon are optimal. There are various northern lights tours, but it can also be experienced from Igloo Lodge, or on your own.

Weather in Ilulissat

The weather in Greenland is very contrasting. From the midnight sun of summer to the complete darkness of winter. 

Winters in Ilulissat are extremely cold, with temperatures that can dip below -20 degrees Celsius. The winter period is a good time to see the northern lights.

From March, the sun really begins to take hold, and the light intensifies. Spring is generally characterized by long days and lots of snow. The temperatures here are milder – around -10 degrees. On the other hand, the light means that spring is not the best time to visit if your highlight is to experience the northern lights.

The summer in Greenland runs from June to September. Here the climate is temperate with temperatures around 5 to10 degrees Celsius. In the summer there is no snow, but instead lots of ice in the bay, and good opportunities for sailing and hiking.

Autumn from October-November is characterized by long sunsets, dark evenings and lots of northern lights. There is not much snow at that time, but temperatures are often -5 to -10 degrees.

In Greenland, the weather decides, and you decorate accordingly. The weather is full of contracts and can change from one hour to the next. 

Unique accommodation near Ilulisat

How to get to Ilulissat

1

https://www.airgreenland.com/ flies from Denmark to Kangerlussuaq. From Kangerlussuaq, you are diverted in smaller propeller planes to the final destination - eg Ilulissat. The flight time from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq is approx. 4.5 hours, and from Kangerlussuaq to Ilulissat it takes approx. 45 minutes. When you arrive at the airport, you can hail a taxi into the town - it's only 4 km. 

2

https://www.airgreenland.com/ and https://www.icelandair.com/ flies from Keflavik in Iceland direct to Ilulissat during some periods of the year. The flight time is approx. 3.5 hours.