Colourful houses of Kulusuk and pink skies reflected in the perfectly still waters of Kulusuk harbor

Hiking Greenland – Kulusuk

My Air Greenland flight from Nuuk to Kulusuk was delayed by 3 hours due to terrible weather once again in the capital.  I love how on these internal Greenland flights there is no allocated seating 🙂

Air Greenland boarding pass showing seat=free
Seat = Free. Not often you get to choose where you want to sit on the plane! Though it is first in first served…

We eventually took off, and I headed to my third destination on this enormous island – East Greenland.

Looking along the road towards the Kulusuk airport terminal, with an Air Greenland plane parked.
Kulusuk airport terminal with Air Greenland plane

I was originally meant to immediately get a boat transfer across to Tasiilaq, but there was still a lot of pack-ice and the company I had booked through recommended that I switch to a helicopter transfer instead (surprisingly it was only twice as expensive).   However, there were no flights available after I landed, and none the next day either.  

So I had 2 days in Kulusuk, and was the only person staying at the incredible Kulusuk Hostel.   This is yet another awesome hostel, that is extremely well equipped and has an amazing view out the living room window or from the front porch, including Greenland sled dogs!

Vibrant pink skies, icebergs and 2 Greenland sled dogs as seen from the living room window of the Kulusuk Hostel in East Greenland.
View from the Kulusuk Hostel at 11pm – sled dogs, ice and beautiful skies

It is run by the company Icelandic Mountain Guides – the same company through which I’m doing the 12-day Unplugged Wilderness Trek – and it turns out that the hostel is mostly used for trekking groups rather than individual travelers.  I’m so glad they let me stay! 

Kulusuk itself is very small (only about 250 people) but very picturesque.  In fact, the tiny part of East Greenland that I’ve seen so far indicates that the scenery in East Greenland is going to be a lot more dramatic than what I saw in South Greenland and Nuuk.

Ice floes in the fjord in front of Kulusuk, East Greenland
Kulusuk harbour is a postcard

Hiking from Kulusuk to Isikajia 

On my one full day in Kulusuk, I decided to hike out to the viewpoint at Isikajia on the other side of the island.  

Map of Kulusuk Island, Greenland

The lovely Jóhanna (who looks after the hostel during summer) suggested that I cut across country rather than follow the road for the first part, but in the end, I decided not to.   I did, however, take an off-road shortcut across a short section a little further along.  Thanks Jóhanna, but I’m glad I didn’t take your original advice – it was incredibly damp and boggy and I had to backtrack several times, and still my feet ended up wet! 😉

The hike is not difficult at all – you simply follow the road around behind the airport and up over the centre of the island.

Small lake and general landscape. Seen while hiking from Kulusuk to Isikajia, East Greenland

It was pretty, but not spectacular, unless you looked behind you back towards Kulusuk and the fjord and mountains beyond.

The colourful houses of Kulusuk are dwarfed by the dramatic landscape. Seen while hiking from Kulusuk to Isikajia, East Greenland
Looking back towards Kulusuk

Just at the point where I thought the views might get spectacular in the direction I was walking, I ran into low cloud.

Snow drifts and very low cloud while hiking from Kulusuk to Isikajia, East Greenland

I persevered for a little further until I got over the next saddle point – and it did look like it would have been amazing if I could have seen the surroundings.

Icebergs in the ocean and very low cloud. Seen while hiking from Kulusuk to Isikajia in East Greenland
Oh how I wish I could have had a clear view! It looks like it would have been incredible!

But, alas, it wasn’t to be.  Having studied the movement of the fog for the previous 1.5 hours, I doubted that it was going to clear, and so rather than continuing on to the end of the road and the “viewpoint” (which was well and truly in the fog), I returned to the hostel – getting buzzed by the helicopter shuttles going between Kulusuk and Tasiilaq along the way.

An Air Greenland helicopter flying below the low cloud to transfer passengers from Tasiilaq to Kulusuk in East Greenland

I went for a bit of a wander around town.  It really is a stunning place

Views of the colorful houses of Kulusuk and the fjord - East Greenland
I love Greenland’s colourful houses!

with Greenland sled dogs chained up absolutely everywhere waiting for the winter to arrive.

Greenland sled dogs on their chains in front of the Kulusuk Hostel in East Greenland

I loved listening to their chorus of an evening

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and the ever-so-cute sled-dog puppies were a bonus 😊

Two Greenland sled dog puppies playing in Kulusuk, East Greenland

I’d read some pretty meh reviews about Kulusuk – but I thought it was beautiful and really enjoyed my time there chatting with Jóhanna and hanging out in the hostel.  

Colourful houses of Kulusuk and pink skies reflected in the perfectly still waters of Kulusuk harbor
Kulusuk really is a beautiful place

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 tours and accommodation available at Guide to Greenland.  

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