Kangerlussuaq in Winter | West Greenland
Join on this unique winter getaway, far away from everything you know. Experience the beautiful white, snow-covered landscape, and complete silence.
This tour starts out from Reykjavik Domestic Airport in Iceland. You will depart on an evening flight from Reykjavik and fly to the capital of Greenland, Nuuk - the smallest capital in the world. You will spend one night in Nuuk before taking another flight further north to the village of Kangerlussuaq, which is located just north of the Arctic Circle.
In Kangerlussuaq you will experience the ice cold winter, as temperatures at this time of year range between -7C to -25C.
In Kangerlussuaq you have the opportunity try dogsledding on the frozen sea ice in the big fjord. An authentic Greenlandic experience, that you can only try very few places in the world. Furthermore, if the weather permits and the sky is clear there is the opportunity to see the beautiful norther lights. An amazing sight of the dark sky, magically changing into a show of dancing green and red colors.
From Kangerlussuaq you have good access to the Greenland Ice Cap, on this tour you can add an optional tour to the Ice Cap and actually set your own feet on this huge natural phenomenon. Another option is to join on the traditional activity of ice fishing on the thick ice on the fjord.
Pack your warmest winter clothes and join on this winter adventure north of the Arctic circle. See the availability by pressing "Choose a date" and book your tour today.
- Available: Jan. - Mar.
- Duration: 4 days
- Activities: Northern Lights, Dogsledding
- Difficulty: Easy
- Languages: English
Greenlands main entrance from the world. A unique place with easy access to plenty of adventures. Experience the amazing Greenlandic Ice Cap, glacier walks, musk ox safari and dogsled in the beautiful landscape.
History & Background
Kangerlussuaq is one of the biggest villages in Greenland with a population around 500 inhabitants. Because of the international airport the place is buzzing with life. Throughout the day many people pass by, arriving from abroad and with the many domestic flights. The International Airport is a former US airbase, which was in operation from 1941 to 1992.
Kangerlussuaq means “the big fjord”. It is located at the bottom of the approximately 171 kilometer deep fjord, being the only bigger settlement in Greenland not located on the coast. Historically the place has been used as summer settlement and hunting area for the inuit settlers in the old days.
Nature & Surroundings
If arriving by plane to Kangerlussuaq, you have probably already had a sneak peak of the area - when starting the descent over the vast white of the Greenlandic Ice Cap. Closing in above the soft rounded mountains you get a view of the airport then turning over the fjord, just before approaching the runway. The location is perfect for new adventures with plenty of options in winter and summer.
Kangerlussuaq has an inland climate, which can mean very cold but beautiful winters and warm summers. Kangerlussuaq is located just north of the Arctic Circle, thus you will experience the eternal daylight in the summer, due to the midnight sun. The winter is marked by winter-night, as the sun is low on the horizon. This might sound dark, but the snow-covered landscape combined with the vague daylight gives hours of very beautiful blue light.
Greenland Ice Cap
Only 30 kilometers from the airport lies one of the great wonders of this winterland - the Greenland Ice Cap. A few years ago this place could only be reached in your wildest fantasy. However times have changed and today it is possible for the traveler to experience this amazing place. This vast sheet of ice covers most of Greenland’s surface, a quiet place, which just has been there for a thousands of years. However the Ice Cap is very alive in constant change and movement. If you listen carefully you might hear the crackling sounds of the ice moving.
From Kangerlussuaq you can arrange different excursions to the Ice Cap. You can sightseeing by plane, seeing it from above or join a bus excursion taking you close enough so you set your own feet on the Ice Cap.
Musk Ox Safari
Kangerlussuaq is also known as a perfect place to experience Greenlandic wildlife - you can see one of Greenland’s biggest land-mammals, the musk ox - called “umimmak” in Greenlandic. The male musk ox can weigh up to 400 kg. They travel in big herds in the area around Kangerlussuaq, it is therefore not necessary to travel far from the airport to see them. There are many options for going on a Musk-ox-safari either by bus or from above with AirZafari. The inner layer of wool on the musk ox is very exclusive, soft and keeps you warm on cold winter days. This exclusive wool is used for clothing and is to be found in many of the shops in Kangerlussuaq.
From Kangerlussuaq you can go on a short or a longer dog sled adventure. There is something very special about experiencing Greenland from the perspective of a dog sled, quietly swishing over the majestic white winter-landscape. Dog sledding goes way back in the Greenlandic history and still is an important means of transport. It is an unique experience of man and dog working together as a team. Before heading out into the landscape you will experience the excitement of the dogs jumping and howling, eager to work. As soon as the break of the sled is up, you will only hear the soaring silence of nature and the paws quietly stomping away on the snow.
Thus Kangerlussuaq provides plenty of opportunities for the adventurous traveler, regardless of it is just in transit or for a longer time.
What to see & what to do in Kangerlussuaq
- Greenland Ice Cap
- Musk Ox Safari
- Arctic Circle Trail
- Midnight Sun
- Northern Lights
Departure time : 19:45
Reykjavik Domestic Airport
3 nights in hotels, standard double rooms with private facilities
Breakfast at the hotels
2 hours dogsled tour (incl. warm sealskin clothing and boots)
Northern lights evening tour
Accommodation in Iceland before and after the trip to Greenland
What to bring:
Winter jacket and trousers
Warm winter boots
Hat, mittens, scarf/buff
Good to know:
To be best prepared for the weather conditions, follow the multilayer principle, as it can get very cold in winter.
A 3-layer structure is usually adequate, whereby each layer has its own specialized purpose: a moisture transfer base layer next to your skin, then one or more adjustable insulating layers, and finally an outer shell to protect you from snow, wind and rain.
When dogsledding you should be aware that the surface that you are sledding on might be bumpy, this activity is therefore not recommended for people with back problems or other conditions, that could be affected.
Most airlines allow 20kg of language weight. So it is good to know what you really will need for your journey.
Price per person is based on double room. Prices for single room supplement per night from 2.195DKK.
NOTICE: Terms and conditions for this tour, can be found in the supplier description.
Day 1 - Arrival in Greenlands Capital, Nuuk
Today your adventure to Greenland begins. You will take the evening flight from Reykjavík Domestic Airport directly to Greenlands capital, Nuuk. The flying time will be around 2 hours and 20 minutes. Greenland is three hours behind Iceland in timedifference, so you will have some time to enjoy the evening in Nuuk.
In Nuuk you will stay at Hotel Hans Egede, which is located in the town center. When you have settled at the hotel you can take a short evening walk to the old Colonial Harbour, the oldest part of town with cozy colonial buildings. It is only a 5 minutes walk from the hotel to the Colonial Harbour.
Do not go to bed too late, as the adventure continues tomorrow!
Day 2 - Dogsled and Northern Lights
Today you have to get up early to catch the morning flight from Nuuk further north to Kangerlussuaq.
Kangerlussuaq means the big fjord, the village is thus situated in the bottom of a long fjord and the only settlement in Greenland this far from the coast. Because of this location Kangerlussuaq has an inland climate. In the winter you will experience very cold temperatures here, in general ranging from -25C to -7C.
For the day there is plenty of adventure planned. First you are invited to join on a two hours dogsled tour. An unique Greenlandic experience! It is an amazing experience to travel through the white winter landscape on a dogsled. You will drive over the thick frozen sea ice on the fjord, all dressed up in warm seal fur clothes and polar boots to keep warm. It is fascinating to see how man and dogs in this way can work together, you will see how the sled driver and dogs can understand each other.
In the evening an Northern Lights Tour is planned. On a clear night you will see the beautiful aurora borealis dance across the night sky in green and sometimes purple colours. On this excursion you will be taken away from the village and into the landscape, where there is no artificial light, that will prevent you from seeing the northern lights. The guide will tell you about northern lights, how this phenomenon is made and what stories and myths are connected to it. Afterwards the guide will make you a good Greenlandic coffee, where "northern lights" is an ingredient - a sight to look forward to!
You will stay at Hotel Kangerlussuaq.
Northern Lights Tour
Day 3 - Optional Activities
Today you have time off for going on optional tours in the area. In the booking process you have the possibility to book these tours additionally.
Ice Cap Point 660 Tour (200EUR/ 1489DKK):
Kangerlussuaq is one of the places in Greenland with best access to the Ice Cap, that covers most of the surface of Greenland. Do not miss this possibility to see this natural phenomenon with your own eyes and even set your feet on it! On powerful 4WD-vehicles you will be taken through white landscape, through mountains, plains and desert-like valleys. When you get close to Ice Cap you will drive through the moraine landscape - the edge of the Ice Cap, where ice mixed with rocks is pushed forward. From here you will be able to walk out onto the vast ice landscape. Spend some time with exploring the structure of the thousand years old ice. After spending some time exploring the ice it is time to return to the vehicle and drive back to Kangerlussuaq. Keep an eye at the landscape while driving, because the area is home to some great wildlife and there might be chances to spot musk oxen and reindeers on the way.
This tour will take around five hours and will only be confirmed if there all together are four participants.
Ice Fishing in the Fjord (EUR 80/ 595DKK):
You will be driven to the harbour and from there walk out on the frozen fjord to find the perfect spot for ice fishing. In order to fish on the frozen fjord you will have to drill holes in the thick sea ice. After drilling you just have to get the fishing gear out and try your luck. Nothing can be promised, but usually there is plenty of fish in the area. Fishing is great fun and you will get an insigt to how the greenlanders have sustained their families in the winter time.
This tour will take around three hours and will only be confirmed if there all together are four participants.
Day 4 - Return to Iceland
You have the morning and early afternoon off to do what you want in Kangerlussuaq and packing before your flight back to Nuuk at 15:25.
In Kangerlussuaq you can take a look in the shops and buy some exclusive souvenirs to look at when you get home from your holiday in Greenland.
You will arrive in Nuuk at around 16:20. You will have the rest of the afternoon and early evening in town. Here you can go for a walk in the area around the airport or go into town and get a good dinner before the flight back to Reykjavík Domestic Airport at 21:15 in the evening.