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Frequently Asked Questions

About Hiking & Trekking Tours

1. What kind of clothing do I need for hiking and trekking in Greenland?

Prepare for all kinds of weather. Bring warm layers of wool and fleece. The outer layer must be waterproof and windproof. Bring plenty of layers, and adjust along the way. You need to keep warm, but don’t sweat because the wind can pick up quickly and it will be cold if you’re wet. Always have a warm hat and gloves with you, and a neck warmer is good to have on a cold or windy day.

2. Do I need hiking shoes for short hikes?

Yes, it is always recommended to wear proper hiking shoes with ankle support and water protection. To avoid blisters, it is recommended that you wear hiking socks and that you are not using your hiking shoes for the first time. You should always bring extra pairs of socks on your hike.

3. Can I go on a short day-hike?

There are plenty of Day Tours around Greenland that take you hiking, ranging from 2 hours to a whole day. The areas around Nuuk, Sisimiut, Kangerlussuaq and Ilulissat are popular hiking & trekking locations and these towns have local guides that operate shorter hiking tours. 

In Greenland, roads end at the edge of town. A few minutes out of town, you are in fantastic nature with no cars, only icebergs, majestic peaks, or Arctic flowers around you.

4. Are there many hiking trails in Greenland?

There are very few places that have hiking trails. You may well be setting your foot on ground where no human being has tread before. When there are trails, please follow them. When not, and you're not with a guide, please take proper precautions - make sure you have a map, a compass, a gps and a way to make contact, either with a satellite phone or radio, the emergency VHF radio channel is 16.

5. Is there anything special I need for the Arctic landscape?

Not really, but come with good waterproof hiking boots. There are a lot of marshy places especially in early summer. If you are going far into the wilderness, be prepared to ford streams if necessary. If you are not with a guide, ask locals before you go.

If you come in the summer, make sure to bring a mosquito net that covers your head. Although they don't carry any diseases they can be rather annoying as there are lots of them.

Bring binoculars! The distances are great, and you will be looking at a hill top or icebergs 15km/10miles away, trying to spot a muskox or whale that the guide is pointing at. It’s not only wildlife. The shapes and colors of icebergs and glaciers are fantastic when the binoculars give you details.

6. What should I be careful of, that is special to Greenland?

Always keep in mind that there can be a tsunami if an iceberg rolls over or cracks. Large icebergs close to shore can be dangerous. Glacier fronts calving icebergs will also cause tsunamis. If you hear a sound like thunder, either from a glacier of an iceberg, look up, assess the situation, and go to higher ground if necessary. 

7. Are there dangerous animals?

There are Arctic fox everywhere, and they can have rabies. If they do, they will behave abnormally by getting close and trying to bite your shoes. Try to scare them off with a stick, never with your hands or any kind of open skin. If you get bit, go to the nearest emergency room immediately. 

 Muskoxen are usually very calm animals and will most likely move away from you, but they are a force to be reckoned with. They are especially rowdy around mating season between August and October, so if they start to growl you are too close. If you suddenly find one just on the other side of a big rock or hill, stop quietly and back out slowly.

If you are going to areas where there can be polar bear, always have a local guide with a rifle with you. That’s around Melville Bay in the northwest and Ittoqqortoormiit on the east coast, during winter and spring. There is a remote possibility of polar bear anywhere in Greenland in any season (although very seldom), so tell locals where you are going and they will let you know you if there have been any sightings.