A field of white crosses and plastic flowers marking the graves in the cemetery just outside of Tasiilaq on the way to the Flower Valley

Hiking Greenland – Tasiilaq and the Flower Valley

My original plan was to catch boat transfers between Kulusuk and Tasiilaq – and that’s what I’d booked in advance.  However, a few days before my arrival in East Greenland, the company I was arranging things through suggested that it might be safer to book the helicopter transfer, given the large amount of pack ice still in the area.  Which is how I found myself on a Bell 212 helicopter at lunchtime.

The outside and inside of the Air Greenland helicopter that does the transfers between Kulusuk and Tasiilaq in East Greenland

It is only a 10-minute flight from Kulusuk to Tasiilaq, and fortunately the weather was mostly clear for some awesome views of the ice and mountains in the fjords.

Aerial views of the fjord, Kulusuk and Tasiilaq during my helicopter transfer in East Greenland

I lucked out with another room upgrade at The Red House to be in the main building and not in a dorm, but when I asked about hiking in the area, I ran into an unexpected problem.

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

Short hikes were apparently OK, but longer hikes were out unless I went with someone with a gun.   Hmmm… I hadn’t really thought about polar bears…   

I decided to spend the afternoon enjoying the sunshine and the view out on the front deck of The Red House reading a book (The Circle) and having a bit of a look around town – I’d worry about a hike the next day.

Views of different parts of Tasiilaq in East Greenland

Hiking the Flower Valley

My second day in Tasiilaq dawned quite foggy, so I hung around waiting for the fog to lift, and ended up finishing my book around lunchtime.   I then decided that I was going to brave the polar bears (they somehow seemed less frightening than the disturbingly plausible future painted in The Circle) and asked whether it was possible to do a couple of the specific hikes marked on the map without a gun.  The answer was “most likely, yes”.  Though there had been polar bears quite close to town relatively recently.  Okaaaaaaay….

Map of the Tasiilaq area - East Greenland
Map of the Tasiilaq area. I did the loop around the lake to the west of town, and most of the climb up to Qaqqartivakajik

Given that the fog was lingering over in the next valley, I decided to hike up the Flower Valley and around some of the lakes.   Before leaving, the manager of The Red House, Robert, quipped that I wouldn’t see too many flowers in the Flower Valley that aren’t plastic … yes, the first thing you walk past is the cemetery.

A field of white crosses and plastic flowers marking the graves in the cemetery just outside of Tasiilaq on the way to the Flower Valley
Admittedly I’d only just started the hike, but yes. I’d seen more plastic flowers than real ones up to this point.

It is a really easy but lovely walk that was sheltered from the wind, and passed by a series of lakes.

Views of the lakes that you pass as you hike along the Flower Valley near Tasiilaq, East Greenland

The views back towards the fjord on the last stretch were also amazing, though the fog was coming back in quite quickly.

Views of the Tasiilaq fjord as I re-enter the town after the Flower Valley Hike, East Greenland

I spent the evening ogling everyone else’s food and wishing I’d ordered dinner at The Red House.  It looked amazing, and if I come back for another visit – I’m totally buying dinner here!

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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