Best of South Greenland | 8 Days | Narsaq
The best of South Greenland, is to be experienced on this 7 day adventure.
Come along on this South Greenland adventure, an adventure by sea and on land. Combining the two, makes for great greenlandic adventures. This tour is for anyone, in love with the wonders of South Greenland from glaciers and passing icebergs to the fruitful arctic tundra.
South Greenland is best described as the quintessence of charm. Unlike the rest of Greenland, there is easy access between the cities and attractions, both by boat and by foot.
The next 7 days will be spent exploring Erik The Reds fjord. Erik The Red settled in Greenland over 1,000 years ago and gave the country its name, today he still haunts the fjord of South Greenland, as his name lives on. The fjord holds impressively many wonders, from Norse ruins, hot springs and glaciers. The adventure takes you to several destinations around South Greenland, described in the itinerary below.
The adventure includes daily boat tours and accommodation.
You will be staying in the charming town of Narsaq. Idyllic stands horses tethered outside the Niviarsiaq Guesthouse that will accommodate you and your fellow explorers, for the next couple of nights.
You will be staying in rooms either with a double bed or a room with two single beds. If you are interested in sleeping alone, you can buy a single room as an add-on.
The adventures will take place on the Flipper 630 HT, a lovely boat with 6 seats.
Find your hiking boots and bring your binoculars! Check the booking availability by pressing ‘’Choose a date’’ above.
- Available: Jun. - Sep.
- Duration: 8 days
- Activities: Hiking, Whale Watching, Sight Seeing, Boat Trip, Hot Spring Bathing, Fishing, Boat Excursion, Glacier Watching, Seal spotting, Photography, Arctic Wildlife, Iceberg Watching
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Languages: English, Danish, Greenlandic
On a flat tableland, lies a colorful town at the foot of two mountains, Qaqqarsuaq. The town’s name is Narsaq, with a self sufficing people with agricultural roots. The agricultural roots, creates a southern atmosphere, resembling the old American west. Horses are idyllic tethered outside the houses, waiting for the true cowboys of Greenland. It is a land to be explored by horse or by feet with adventures waiting for every explorer to experience.
The town is specked with all specialities, that will decorate your inner explorer with adventure and culture.
The Town’s Background
Narsaq holds approximately 1600 inhabitants, all sufficing themselves with gardens vegetables, living of the lands of the south. With the most vigorous plains in all of Greenland, there are great conditions for farming and agriculture. The great conditions has caused the main labour of the town to be farming and agriculture.
Ancient traces of the norsemen are spread across the south, but Narsaq in particular is favored. The lands Narsaq was founded on, kept a secret of its own till the 1960’s, when the people of Narsaq found old ruins of a farm, supposedly belonging to the famous Erik The red, before settling in Brattalid. Erik The Red, is still alive, as his name lives on in the surrounding fjord of Narsaq.
Walk in the ancient path of the norsemen on an out of town adventure, as ruins of the Landnamsgaard farm is in walking distance from the town’s museum. Narsaq museum, is located in an old colonial building by the old harbor, with its core, telling stories of the modest and harsh living conditions once dominating the life in Narsaq town, in the early colonial period. The museum holds a permanent exhibition regarding the norse men and their settlements around the south. Another permanent exhibition, is a tribute to the beloved poet, painter, politician and priest Henrik Lund. Famous for being inspired by the South Greenlandic beauty, and for passing on a new generation of poetry.
For a spiritual get-away, visit Narsaq church. With its white wooden walls and reds panels, the church is a must to visit. Deeply inspired by the German Morravian missionaries is the church decorations, telling stories of the missionaries adventures along the coast.
The grounds, the town was founded on, was not the only to keep secrets from its people. The backdrop of Narsaq, keep rare earth minerals in the Dyrnæs-Narsaq complex, holding sandstones, granite, lava and tugtupit. Furthermore the complex holds sheep and horses, grassing the plains. Explore the backland of narsaq. Go on an action packed ride, on the bumpy roads leading to nearby farms and get handy with the farmers or explore the mysterious mine.
Explore with Tastebuds, Eyes & Feelings
The local fish market is worth a visit, as it is a great insight to Greenlandic Gastronomy with fish in all sizes and shapes. Befriend a local, and visit for an evening feast with greenlandic commodities, and get a taste on the tounge of Greenland.
Hike into the enchanting boondocks of Narsaq, and explore untouched valleys, in the presence of traveling icebergs, boisterous waterfalls and arctic wildlife. An adored route is to the nearby village Qassiarsuk, keeping sheep and ancient ruins from the norsemen's stronghold.
It is a unique journey to the remote village, as the possibilities for experiencing Greenlandic nature are endless. Fish for arctic char enroute, climb the mountain sides and explore the untouched tundra. For a sight of the creatures of the sea, travel by boat in the surrounding fjords. Erik The Red’s fjord, holds a sea of endless adventures, from an international airport to the small sheep holding settlements.
Narsaq will astonish every explorer with its taste of history, nature and kind-hearted people. It is the perfect destination for an authentic and once in a lifetime experience.
What to do & what to see
- Horseback riding
- Farming & agriculture
- Uunartoq hot springs
- Boat tours
- Norse artefacts & ruins
- Narsaq church
- Narsaq Museum
Explore the Arctic tundra of the south coast of Greenland. A place that will mesmerize any traveler with its green, grassy mountains and blue fjords. An experience that you will cherish the rest of your life.
History & Background
Between colourful plains and blue sea of Qaqortoq fjord, a small town, yet the biggest and most charming in all of southern Greenland, is situated and goes by the name Qaqortoq. It holds a population of 3500 inhabitants and was founded in 1775, by the Norwegian colonialist Anders Olsen. The name Qaqortoq means "white" in Greenlandic.
In the oldest building in the city-center you find Qaqortoq Museum. The museum holds, an exceptional collection of the traditional Tupilaks, yet with a twist of modernity. The collection is an outstanding interpretation of the ancient inuit spiritual world, displaying the inuits fear of the unknown. If interested in late history, explore the old colonial buildings surrounding the museum. Furthermore the museum focuses on the northerners settlements in South Greenland.
The museum is situated in the center right next to the City-square. Qaqortoq City-square, holds the oldest out of Greenlands two fountains. Visit a nearby café and sit in the shade from the arctic sun, with a cup of something good and cold in summertime.
Experience what Qaqortoq has to Offer
Qaqortoq, regardless winter or summer, is the quintessence of charm.
From the top of the mountain hills, down the small Spanish passages routing through colorful houses to the harbor of charming, colorful and radiant Qaqortoq, will enchant every explorer to fall in love with the city.
The town is famous for its urban, avant-garde and creative city life, as artists and explorers reside the town, creating a Southern European and relaxing atmosphere, overlaying the beautiful landscape. Qaqortoq is specked with history, as the grounds that the town rests on, was a former trading ground for inuits.
Qaqortoq is to be explored by foot, and when strolling through the colourful town, be attentive of stone carvings, made by the famous south greenlandic artist Aka Høegh and fellow Nordic artists. Explore ancient inuit culture and vanished ages at the local museum of Qaqortoq.
Hiking, Hot Springs & Norse Ruins
Escape civilisation and hike the surrounding mountains. Qaqortoq is heavily vegetated, as the arctic sun is warmer, down south. Hike the colorful plains, in the presence of arctic sheep and herbs. There are plenty of hiking routes in the area connecting the small settlements. On your way you can visit the farmers in different settlements, who often offer accommodation and good meals. If looking for an out of town adventure, travel to the small settlements in the fjord, by kayak or on a local passenger boat. The fjord offers plenty adventurous opportunities. Visit the hot springs in Uunartoq and indulge in the soothing warm waters as you see the icebergs quietly drift by in the fjord. This area was where the Norsemen led by Eric the Red arrived over a century ago. Join on a boat tour and explore the Norse ruins in e.g. Hvalsey and Igaliku, which also is a very lively settlement today. The blue fjord is yours to explore and so is Qaqortoq.
What to see & what to do in Qaqortoq
- Norse Ruins
- Art & Culture
- Hot Springs
- Surrounding Settlements
- Boat Tours
South Greenland’s gates from the rest of the world. A unique place with easy access to plenty adventures. A place to experience the Greenland Ice cap, Glaciers, Norse ruins and sub arctic agriculture.
History & Background
Narsarsuaq is one of the few international airports in Greenland, with its 120 inhabitants. Because of the international airport the place is buzzing with life in the summer time. Throughout the year, many foreign visitors pass by enroute to one of the many South Greenlandic destinations. The international airport is the former US airbase Bluie West 1, and today you will find remains of the americans scattered along Narsarsuaq.
Narsarsuaq means ‘’The big plain’’ and is located at the bottom of Erik the Reds Fjord, on a huge flat plain made by glacier moraines and meltwater from the Icecap. Historically Narsarsuaq has only existed since 1941.
Nature & Surroundings
If arriving by plane to Narsarsuaq, 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 luscious mountain hills 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. Narsarsuaq is the outdoor persons paradise, as there are great opportunities for mountain biking, hiking, sailing, kayaking, fishing and settlement visits.
Erik The Red’s Fjord | UNESCO
Due to its richly flowering subarctic vegetion, Tunnulliarfik fjord has been inhabited by the Thule-eskimos and the Norse vikings. Today the remains of their existence are scattered across the fjord, and from Narsarsuaq you have easy access to visit the now UNESCO World heritage sites. Enroute to the several destinations you will be surrounded by luscious green mountains sides and migrating icebergs.
Greenland Ice Cap
Only 9 kilometers from the airport lies one of the great wonders of this winterland - the Greenland Ice Cap. The destination of your wildest fantasy can be reach on foot or by car. 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 Narsarsuaq you can arrange different hikes to the Ice Cap.
What to see & what to do in Narsarsuaq
Greenland Ice cap
UNESCO World Heritage sites
Farm visit | Inneruulalik
Horseback riding | Inneruulalik
Mountainbiking, kayaking & trekking
2nd World War history
Departure time : Afternoon Departure - when the flight arrives
Alkohol & soft drinks
Flight return from Greenland
Flight to Greenland
What to bring:
Backpack suitable for adventure
Summer season extras
Good to know:
As the adventures takes place by sea, bring warm clothes.
The currency in Greenland, is Danish kroner.
The weather is undependable in Greenland, therefore the itinerary can be changed or a tour can be cancelled.
Day 1 - Arriving in South Greenland
Today you arrive in Narsarsuaq, South Greenland.
Narsarsuaq is a former military base, and today an airport settlement. Situated in the Tunulliarfik fjord, Narsarsuaq is the gate to South Greenland. With Narsarsuaq as your first destination, you are set for the adventure. Before leaving on your passenger boat to Narsaq, you have a little time to explore ''The big plain'', that is the meaning of the name Narsarsuaq.
There is easy access to the Greenland ice sheet, as it is only 6 kilometers away from the settlement. Furthermore traces of the second world war are scattered across the area, explore abandoned factories and get an insight to the involvement of Greenland in the second world war. If not interested in history, explore the beautiful surroundings. Narsarsuaq has its own forrest, planted by the inhabitants of the settlement. The arctic forrest is to be explored by you, in the presence of arctic hares, foxes and eagles.
After exploring the small settlement and its surrounding, you will venture into Erik the red's fjord and your next destination of the day will be Narsaq. Get on board the passenger boat, and feel the arctic winds flow through your finger tips and travel along the humpback whales and traveling icebergs.
Arriving in Narsaq you will settle in at Guest house Niviarsiaq. The rest of the day will be spend by fishing for arctic charr.
Mastering the art of fishing is tricky, as you must have patience for getting a fish on the hook. HKM Travel, will show you the best artic charr-fishing spots in the area.
Day 2 - The Greenland Icecap & fishing for cod
Today's adventure takes you to the biggest arctic wonder of them all, the Greenland Ice cap.
With the bare eye, you can spot the Greenland icecap from Narsaq, but of course you want to get closer to get a better glimpse of the majestic ice azure.
Your adventure starts from your base camp in Narsaq. Get on board HKM Travel's boat and venture towards Qalerallit Sermia glacier.
The journey to the glacier, is filled with travelling icebergs in all sizes and shapes. Stand in the rays of reflection of the blue and white nuanced ice flakes, as you make your way to the Greenland ice cap. The arctic winds will long to play with your hair, and adrenaline will rush through your body, as you move between the icefilled passages.
Arriving at the glacier, you will get as close as safety allows. The glacier proudly stands, with it glacier walls reflecting themselves in the water. Hearing the soaring of the glacier, is a unique experience.
Next glacier stop will be to the Naajat Sermia glacier.
After admiring the majestic glacier, you will explore the deep seas by cod fishing. Fishing is a highly adored by the locals, as it is a part of the Greenlandic lifestyle. Cod fishing by sea angling requires a bit more strength, as you get a larger amount of fish on your hook.
Return to Narsaq will be just as mesmerizing, as the ice filled passages never stops to impress.
Day 3 - Uunartoq Hotsprings
Remote and uninhabited lies Uunartoq Island.
Despite holding hot springs the island was never inhabited, as ancient tales of the Inuit, explains that the island was haunted.
Today the only haunting of the island, is its beauty that will leave you emotionally drained. Surrounded by sky high mountain tins and passing icebergs.
Your adventure sets out with a boat ride of 4 hours, that will lead to the Uunartoq Island. By now, you might already have gotten familiar with the Greenlandic seas, that is chronically surrounded by stunning nature.
Go a shore and wander through the wilderness of the island, following a small path that will take you to the Hot springs.
The hot springs are a leading destination in South Greenland, so you will be accompanied by visitors from all towns of Erik The Reds fjord.
Sit in the 38° celsius water temperature and enjoy a glass of sparkling champagne, while you enjoy the mesmerizing view. Pull on your bathing suit and bring a towel for this day's adventure. If you are not already bloated from adventure, visit the nearby settlement Alluitsup Paa.
Day 4 - Exploring Narsaq
Today you will have the time to explore Narsaq. The adventure takes place on solid ground.
Horses are idyllic tethered outside the houses, waiting for the true cowboys of Greenland. It is a land to be explored by horse or by feet with adventures waiting for every explorer to experience. The town is specked with all specialities, that will decorate your inner explorer with adventure and culture.
Walk in the ancient path of the Norsemen on an out of town adventure, as ruins of the Landnamsgaard farm is in walking distance from the town’s museum. Narsaq museum is located in an old colonial building by the harbor, with its core telling stories of the modest and harsh living conditions once dominating the life in Narsaq town, in the early colonial period. The museum holds a permanent exhibition regarding the Norsemen and their settlements around the South. Another permanent exhibition, is a tribute to the beloved poet, painter, politician and priest Henrik Lund. Famous for being inspired by the South Greenlandic beauty, and for passing on a new generation of poetry.
For a spiritual get-away, visit Narsaq church. With its white wood walls, and reds panels, the church is a must to visit. Deeply inspired by the German Morravian missionaries is the church decorations, telling stories of the missionaries travels along the coast.
The backdrop of Narsaq, keep rare earth minerals in the Dyrnæs-Narsaq complex, holding sandstones, granite, lava and tugtupit. Further more the complex holds sheep and horses, grassing the plains. Explore the backland of Narsaq. Go on an action packed ride on the bumpy roads leading to nearby farms and get handy with the farmers, or a mysterious mine.
Day 5 - Excursion to Qarqortukulooq & Qaqortoq City
Today's adventure will take you to the captial area of the South.
First stop of the day will be Qarqortukulooq, also known as Hvalsey Church ruins.
The Hvalsey Church ruins are the best kept ruins from the norsemen. It is said to be the first christian church in Greenland and was built in around 1300. The fruitful arctic tundra and the massive beauty, attracted the norsemen to settle here. An adventurous historic atmosphere dominates the area, and as you walk through the plains, you see why the norsemen chose to settle here. A briefing of the area's history will take place at the Hvalsey church ruins.
Next stop of the day, will take you to Qaqortoq. Qaqortoq is the capital of the south and resembles the Italian rivera, just in a smaller and arctic version. Qaqortoq regardless winter or summer, is the quintessence of coziness.
From the top of the mountain hills, down the small Spanish passages routing through colorful houses to the harbor of charming, colorful and radiant Qaqortoq, will enchant you to fall in love with the city.
The town is famous for its urban, avant-garde and creative city life, as artists and explorers resides the town, creating a south European and relaxing atmosphere. Qaqortoq is specked with history, as the grounds that the town rests on, was a former trading ground for inuits.
The town is to be explored by foot, and when strolling through the colorful town, be attentive of stone carvings made by the famous South Greenlandic Aka Høegh and fellow nordic artists. Explore ancient Inuit culture and vanished ages , at the local museum of Qaqortoq.
Day 6 - Exploring Igaliku
Igaliku is famous for being Greenlands most beautiful settlement.
When going a shore you will be enchanted by the beautiful surroundings. Your adventure starts by hiking the Kings road, that will lead to Igaliku. Sky high mountain tins with powder white snow resting at their peaks, colorful flowers and grassing sheep, is to be taken in on this breathtaking excursion.
The settlement is a popular vacation destination for the Greenlandic people, as the stunning surroundings provide balm for the soul, and so does the wonderful people of the settlement.
Day 7 - Qanassiassat forrest & Qassiarsuk village tour
Today's first adventure is to the science project Qanassiassat, that has evolved into a tourist destination, as the planted forest is surrounded by mesmerizing surroundings creating a picturesque scene.
Qanassiassat was planted by scientists in 1953. The mission of planting the forrest was and is now a self growing forest, that will be able to grow in large parts of the ice-free areas in South Greenland by 2100. Enjoy the remoteness, and explore the forrest, by climbing a South Greenlandic tree. Leave a trace of your existence, that hopefully will be there by 2100.
Next stop will be Qassiarsuk. Centuries of sheep farming and agriculture both by the norsemen and the Greenlandic people, is to be explored.
The village Qassiarsuk was established by Erik the red and became the Norsemen's stronghold, Brattahlíð. The establishment of agriculture and sheep farming, is still in continuance today in the small village.
Day 8 - Return to Narsarsuaq
Today the adventure ends, but not before exploring what you missed last time, you visited Narsarsuaq.
Now it is up to you, if you want to return home or explore the rest of the mesmerizing country. Many Greenlandic adventures awaits you!
We had an absolutely fantastic holiday in Narsaq and the surroundings! Our lovely tour guides Ulrikka and Hans from HKM Travel made really their utmost to make us feel comfortable and let us enjoy the beautiful nature, villages and people of South Greenland. An unforgettable 10+ holiday! Also a special thank for Iluuna from Guide to Greenland for good communication and patience for my endless questions. Thank you!