Hiking and Trekking Greenland – A Summary from 2017

My long-awaited 5 weeks in Greenland this year were pretty much spent hiking and trekking 🙂  I divided my time between South and East Greenland, which, it turns out, have vastly different scenery!

Trekking group descending towards Karale Fjord with Knud Rasmussen Glacier and mountains in the background
One of my favourite images from East Greenland.  An amazing view over the Knud Rasmussen Glacier taken on Day 3 of the Unplugged Wilderness Trek

I know there are plenty of others out there who are as keen as me for outdoor adventure, so the following is a very brief summary of hiking in these areas, and links off to my detailed blog posts for each of the individual hikes.

South Greenland

I spent 14 days in South Greenland this year between 20 June and 3 July. The weather was good for the most part and, with a couple of exceptions, I often found myself hiking in shirt-sleeves.  The flies and mosquitoes that you read so much about were not too bad on most days, though you definitely need to take a head net.  They will drive you crazy if they do find you!

Me with my head net on, protecting me from the flies on Waterfall Hike near Igaliku in South Greenland
Doesn’t matter how daggy it looks – you need a head net if the flies find you in Greenland!  I’m a terrible selfie-taker 🙁

I worked with Blue Ice Explorer to come up with my 14 day excursion in South Greenland for only slightly more money that it would have cost me to arrange it all myself.  The nice thing was that they included luggage transfers with it – so I only ever had to hike with a day pack 🙂

If you aren’t confident travelling independently, then I would probably suggest going with a more formal package tour.   After all – this was all the information I received before being sent off to explore and hike by myself.

My voucher book and brief information brochures from Blue Ice Explorer

However, if you are used to traveling alone and figuring things out for yourself – I highly recommend this company!

The hikes I did in South Greenland were:

East Greenland

I spent 16 days in East Greenland: 8 – 25 July. It was much colder than South Greenland, and the weather more unpredictable, ranging from bright blue skies with loads of sun (you will need your head net here too!), to fog and rain.  You need to be prepared for all temperatures and weather conditions while hiking here!

I spent the first few days travelling independently, but was limited in the hiking I could do because of recent polar bear sightings.

Paper sign pasted on the door as you exit the Red House, warning about leaving town without first discussing with staff
I admit that this gave me some pause

My main reason for visiting East Greenland, however, was the Unplugged Wilderness Trek with Greenland Adventures. It turned out to be my favourite thing I did in a year of full-time travel – and I highly recommend Greenland Adventures as a trekking company.

I absolutely love long-distance trekking, but unless you are a super-experienced, backcountry trekker who knows how to use a gun (and have one with you), you pretty much have to trek with a company if you want to explore these more remote areas.

The hikes I did in East Greenland were:

  • Kulusuk to Isikajia – an easy hike across Kulusuk Island
  • The Flower Valley – a very easy and popular day-hike from Tasiilaq
  • Qaqqartivakajik mountain – a more difficult 1/2-day hike from Tasiilaq
  • The 12-day Unplugged Wilderness Trek 
    • Day 1 – Tasiilaq to Kulusuk and along the Sermiligaaq Fjord 
    • Day 2 – Hike to the Karale Glacier
    • Day 3 – Hike to the lookout over Sermiligaaq Fjord and Karale Fjord
    • Day 4 – Karale Fjord camp to Beach camp
    • Day 5 – Beach camp to Bluie East Two
    • Day 6 – Bluie East Two along the Ikateq strait to the Tunu Fjord
    • Day 7 – Tunup Kua Valley to Tasiilaq Fjord
    • Day 8 – Along the Tasiilaq Fjord
    • Day 9 – Tasiilaq Fjord to Tasiilaq Mountain Hut
    • Day 10 – Tasiilaq Mountain Hut
    • Day 11 – Tasiilaq Mountain Hut to Tasiilaq Fjord to Kulusuk
    • Day 12 – Kulusuk to Reykjavik
    • Video Slideshow – of some of my favourite images

A Note on Accommodation

I highly recommend staying at hostels in Greenland.   All the hostels I stayed in were amazing, and the average cost for a bed (shared room) was about AUD$60.   Yes.  Ouch.  It’s a lot for a dorm room.   But on par with Iceland, and all the hostels were warm and wonderful with fantastic caretakers.  The other advantage is that you can cook for yourself – food is not cheap in Greenland!  I stayed at:

Discover more about Greenland

If this post has piqued your curiosity about Greenland, learn more about this amazing country at Visit Greenland, and check out the wide range of hiking and trekking tours at Guide to Greenland.

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