Of the four seasons in Greenland, it's no secret that winter is the longest and most dominant. On the other hand, spring, summer and autumn are short. However, autumn contains a myriad of gifts in the form of golden foliage and the most exciting natural phenomena: the Northern Lights.
Kangerlussuaq is only 25 km from the Ice Cap and is one of the best places in Greenland to view the Northern Lights. On this journey you’ll learn about local stories attached to the Northern Lights in Greenland.
Ilulissat Icefjord is a beautiful and interesting place, regardless of the season. It has its own very special colours for each period, but the autumn offers the most dramatic colour contrast. The day often ends with blazing Northern Lights filling the sky.
- Possibility to view the Northern Lights in one of the world's most beautiful countries
- Learn a little about Greenlandic myths and legends
- Visit and walk on the Greenland Ice Cap
- Scenic flight from Kangerlussuaq to Ilulissat
- Stay in one of Greenland's best-located hotels: Hotel Icefiord
- Explore a UNESCO World Heritage Listed destination by land and by sea
- Possibility to eat really well at one of the many good restaurants in Ilulissat
- An Icefjord cruise among autumn colours for great photo opportunities
The gateway to Greenland is Kangerlussuaq, reached by direct flight from Copenhagen.
Day 2. Kangerlussuaq – Inland Ice Tour
An exciting trip to the Inland Ice Cap awaits you, with the opportunity to walk on it.
Day 3. Kangerlussuaq - Ilulissat
Short and scenic domestic flight 300 km north to the iceberg capital Ilulissat, where you’ll stay at Hotel Icefiord. Afternoon guided tour of the ‘city’.
Day 4. Ilulissat
Today is at your disposal in Ilulissat, with optional excursions to choose from.
Day 5. Ilulissat: Sermermiut Walk and Icefjord Cruise
Today’s theme is the magnificent Ilulissat Icefjord, with the chance to view the Icefjord on land from Sermermiut and from water during a boat cruise.
Day 6. Ilulissat
You have one more free day for optional excursions.
Day 7. Ilulissat - Kangerlussuaq - Copenhagen
Return home from Ilulissat to Copenhagen via Kangerlussuaq.
Day 1. Copenhagen - Kangerlussuaq
Your adventure begins with a flight to Greenland's main gateway, Kangerlussuaq. Kangerlussuaq is really "just" an airport town with a population of around 600 people.
Located at the end of a 190 km long fjord, there is a school, church, nursing home, leisure facilities and a few shops. Outside the town you’ll find amazing scenery and wildlife. Spend the next 2 nights at Polar Lodge hostel, just 100 meters from the airport.
Kangerlussuaq was founded by the Americans during World War II and was a military base until 1992. Today, it’s a small civilian population, however the buildings and barracks left by the American military are now used to support the airport operations and community.
Tonight will be your first opportunity to view the Northern Lights. We have some good advice for you: Take an afternoon nap. Greenland is 4 hours behind Denmark, so by this evening you’ll feel a little jet-lagged and ready for bed, before the Aurora action begins.
Kangerlussuaq is one of Greenland's best Northern Lights destinations. A guided tour offers much more than just seeing the Northern Lights by going outside and looking up. Your guide will explain the phenomena and tell stories surrounding the Northern Lights in Greenland. The evening ends with a small "Northern Lightshow" in the form of delicious hot Greenlandic coffee.
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Day 2. Kangerlussuaq - Inland Ice Tour
Today’s guided tour is to “Point 660” at the edge of the ice cap. The inland ice reaches the coast in many parts of Greenland, but there are few places with direct access to enable a walk on the ice. The trip takes you through tundra, valleys and rivers. If you're lucky, you may see reindeer and muskoxen. After 1½ hours driving through wilderness, the bus reaches the edge of the ice cap, and you get a true sense of scale.
This evening we recommend dinner at Restaurant Roklubben, renowned for using locally sourced produce. Ask the staff at Polar Lodge for help with booking and to check if the famous Greenlandic buffet is available this evening. Reservation is required and includes a bus transfer. The restaurant is located 5 kilometres from Kangerlussuaq, on the bank of Lake Ferguson.
Remember one important thing: LOOK UP!!! This is a great spot to see the Northern Lights.
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Kangerlussuaq - close to the icecap
Kangerlussuaq is Greenland’s main air transportation gateway. This small airport town belongs to Qeqqata Municipality, and has a population of approx. 600 people. Just 40 km from the ice cap, the town offers much more than an airport.
Day 3. Kangerlussuaq - Ilulissat. City Tour
Most people travelling to Greenland want to see glaciers and icebergs. Today you’ll fly to the iceberg capital, Ilulissat. Flight time is approx. 45 minutes and in good weather you’ll have a spectacular view over Ilulissat Icefjord shortly before landing.
You’ll be transferred by bus from Ilulissat Airport to your comfortable accommodation at Hotel Icefiord, where you’ll be staying for the next 4 nights in a seaview room.
This afternoon you’ll take a guided city walk to gain insight into everyday life and a little about local history.
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Day 4. Ilulissat on Your Own
Today is at leisure to explore Ilulissat as you wish. You may like to relax and enjoy the local atmosphere around town, go to a café, visit the art museum or one of the local artisan studios. If you’d prefer to make the most of your time with some guided excursions, we have a good selection to choose from, including tours with a Northern Lights theme.
See the excursion selection here.
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Ilulissat - enourmouse icebergs
For many enthusiasts, Ilulissat (formally Jakobshavn) is considered “the Navel of the World” when discussing travel to Greenland.
Day 5. Sermermiut Hiking and Icefjord Cruise
Today’s focal point is the icefjord. Ilulissat Icefjord was admitted to UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2004. This morning’s guided hike will take you back thousands of years as you visit the ruins of the historic Inuit settlement of Sermermiut. Beautifully situated on the outskirts of Ilulissat, the hike is about 5 km and reasonably easy.
This afternoon you’ll cruise among the icebergs. Many are bigger than a football field and over 100 metres high. Your guide will explain about the inland ice, glaciers and the huge icebergs which lay stranded just south of Ilulissat. Warmly dressed and with spare charged camera batteries, you’ll find it easy to capture amazing photographs.
The autumn colours on land make a nice contrast to the icebergs, especially when bathed in the special light at this time of year.
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Day 6. Ilulissat on Your Own
Greenlandic church services typically start at 10:00 hrs. It can be an interesting experience, especially if there is a baby christening, wedding or choir. The Zion church near the water is beautiful, still popular for religious services and is a natural gathering point for many locals. Some tourists have been fortunate enough to be invited to coffee by locals, and thus closer to ‘real Greenland’. If you receive a personal invitation, remember to bring a little gift for your hosts.
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Day 7. Ilulissat - Copenhagen (via Kangerlussuaq)
With hopefully a memory and camera full of Northern Lights, the adventure is now over. Your homeward journey starts from Ilulissat with a flight to Kangerlussuaq and onwards to Copenhagen.
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NOTE! – Would you like to extend the journey?
Northern Lights Facts
The Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) occur when electrically charged solar particles collide with the Earth’s magnetic field. Attracted to the magnetic poles, the particles produce dazzling Auroral light when they collide with oxygen and nitrogen atoms: North Pole = Northern Lights / Aurora Borealis and South Pole = Southern Lights / Aurora Australis.
This phenomenon occurs year-round but is seen only in dark, clear skies. In Greenland it is best experienced in autumn and winter, with some places better than others.
Price and Practical Info
- Flights Copenhagen (Denmark, Europe) - Kangerlussuaq (Greenland) - Ilulissat (Greenland) incl. taxes
- Flights Ilulissat (Greenland) - Kangerlussuaq (Greenland) - Copenhagen (Denmark, Europe) incl. taxes
- 2 nights at Polar Lodge (Kangerlussuaq) with shared facilities incl. breakfast**
- 4 nights at Hotel Icefiord (Ilulissat) in shared double room incl. breakfast
- Excursions Kangerlussuaq: Northern Lights tour and Inland Ice tour (Point 660)
- Excursions Ilulissat: City tour, Sermermiut Hiking and Icefjord cruise
- Transport from / to airport and hotel (Ilulissat)
- Contribution to the Travel Guarantee Fund
- All taxes and charges
** We have chosen Polar Lodge hostel as we think it is the nicest accommodation for this trip. If you prefer a room with a private bathroom and toilet (Hotel Kangerlussuaq), this can be arranged at extra charge.
- Meals, except breakfast and meals on the Atlantic flight
- Other excursions except those specifically mentioned in "Price Includes"
- Tour guide (this trip is on your own)
- Travel and cancellation insurance
- Single room supplement / cabin allowance of 2,450 DKK
Please note: The price of this trip is a base-level estimate, calculated on a certain category of seat on the flights and room/cabin category of accommodation. The actual price for your travel date may differ, according to availability at the time of booking. Please confirm with us any possible surcharges at the time of making your booking.
If you need further explanation, please feel free to contact us.
Included meals are marked with B (breakfast), L (lunch), D (dinner) on each day. If meals are not included, these are marked with -.
On Air Greenland flights between Denmark and Greenland, free meals and drinks are served on board. On domestic flights in Greenland, a cup of coffee and a biscuit is typically served.
Access to Electricity
Mobile phone coverage is sparse during this trip, so there will only be limited opportunities to use your phone.
The programme is subject to change without notice. A trip like this is dependent on good weather. There may therefore be some changes in the programme. Delays and cancellations may occur, especially in air and ship transportation.
No compensation is granted for the first 24 hours of delay or travel changes due to external circumstances. We will strive to reduce the disruption as much as possible and endeavour to provide an alternative programme or fill in the additional waiting time.