Highlights of the Arctic winter in 5 days | Ilulissat | Disko Bay
Are you keen on experiencing the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Ilulissat Icefjord? Have you been curious about what an Arctic winter is like? Join us on this 5-day trip where you will experience all the top highlights of an Arctic winter in one of the most famous places in Greenland.
Many of the pictures you see of Ilulissat and the enormous icebergs for which it is known are taken during the Summer when the majority of people visit. This tour offers an alternate adventure, where you will travel by snowshoe, snowmobile, dogsled and boat to explore the area around Greenland’s 3rd largest town.
During your 5-day visit, you will see the incredible Ilulissat Icefjord from above and from the water-line, explore the back-country around the town via a modern (snowmobile) and ancient (dogsled) form of Winter transportation in the Arctic, and have the opportunity to witness one of the highlights of the darker months of the year – the colourful, dancing Northern Lights.
Click on the Itinerary tab to read more information about each day of the tour, and then reserve your place on this exploration of Ilulissat by clicking on Book Now.
City walk and snowshoe hike to Ilulissat Icefjord
Your winter adventure begins when we meet you at the Ilulissat Guesthouse and give you an overview of the program for the next 5 days. We will then help you get your bearings and make the most of your free time in Ilulissat by introducing you to the most important sites on a guided City Walk.
In the afternoon, we will walk out to the start of the UNESCO World Heritage Listed area where we will don snowshoes for the hike to the Ilulissat Icefjord. Haven’t used snowshoes before? No worries at all! It is quite easy to use them and we will help you with the equipment. Our snowshoe hike will take us through the Sermermiut Valley where we will pass the remains of Inuit dwellings, before delivering us to Icefjord for breathtaking views of this impressive natural wonder.
Today you will have a different view of the enormous icebergs released by the Ilulissat Glacier as we set sail on Disko Bay. Gliding slowly past these cathedrals of ice is a mind-blowing experience – it is impossible to comprehend how large they are until you are down at water level. Make sure you have extra batteries (the cold drains them faster) and plenty of space on your memory card, as the shapes of the icebergs constantly change as our boat weaves its way through them.
This evening, we will return to our snowshoes and head slightly out of town to witness one of the highlights of the Arctic winter – the magical Northern Lights. Of course, the weather has to cooperate (we will not see them if it is cloudy), and we must hope for a good amount of Solar activity (that is what causes them to appear), but seeing them dancing over the icebergs is an unforgettable experience. Make sure you rug up in warm clothing and have fully charged camera batteries and preferably a tripod if you are planning on photographing them.
This day is all about exploring the back-country around Ilulissat on snow scooter. Mountains, valleys, frozen lakes and sea ice are just some of the potential highlights of our journey, with the exact route dependent on weather conditions. It may be that we visit the small settlement of Oqaatsut (population: 27), or head out to where the dog sleds are running between Ilulissat and the place where locals go ice fishing. We will let you know on the day.
Having experienced a modern form of winter transportation, today we set out to explore the area on a more traditional method – the dogsled. Dogs have been used for hunting and transportation for thousands of years and are a proud and important tradition here in Greenland.
We will schedule this day according to the weather forecast and determine the exact route based upon conditions. We may drive along the shore to the North and head out onto the sea ice if it is safe, or head into the back-country for a spectacular view of the Icefjord.
Option: The dogsled tour is scheduled to be 2 hours long. However, it is possible to upgrade to 5 hours.
Today we bid you goodbye and wish you well for your onward journey. Depending on the time of your flight, you may have time to browse the souvenir shops before your departure to pick up a memento of your winter Arctic adventure. Or, if you decide to stay for a few extra days, we look forward to seeing you around town! You might like to read the Ultimate Guide to Ilulissat for more ideas of what to do in the area if you are planning extra days.
- Accommodation | Ilulissat Guesthouse
- Afternoon Snowshoe-Hike | Tour
- City Walk | Tour
- Icefjord Cruise | Tour
- Northern Lights Snowshoe-Hike |Tour
- Snowmobile Excursion | Tour
- Dog sled Trip | Tour•
- 6 Fully Guide Tours
- Single Room Supplement, mandatory if travelling alone
- All Meals
- Flights T/F Ilulissat
- Airport Transfer
- Travel insurance
- Unexpected expenses as a result of weather conditions (including difficulties or cancellations due to ice or weather conditions) or flight or boat delays
What to bring
- Warm winter wear. Ideally, you should dress in layers: at least one thermal underwear layer (top and bottom), activity layer (e.g. hiking pants and shirt), and insulation layer (e.g. fleece or down jacket). The outer layer must be proper winter gear which typically has lots of insulation and is windproof. Think ski jacket and pants if you come from a warmer climate.
- Warm hat, thick windproof gloves, buff or scarf
- Insulated winter boots
- Sunglasses and sunscreen - snow is very bright and even the winter sun can cause sunburn
- Camera with extra batteries (the cold drains the batteries faster)
- Day pack
- Water bottle
- If traveling alone, you must choose the single room supplement when booking this tour.
- Please note that this tour does not include flights to and from Ilulissat, or meals during your stay at our guesthouse.
- Trips to Greenland are always subject to weather conditions. Delays and flight cancellations can happen. We therefore strongly recommend that you do not book onward international flights directly after your trip to Greenland. Give yourself at least one extra day to make an international connection. We also recommend purchasing travel insurance that will cover any expenses should your flights be delayed or cancelled due to bad weather.
- The airlines that fly to Greenland only allow 20 kg of checked-in baggage. If you go over this limit, there is a fee (often strictly enforced) for the extra weight.
- It is important to bring cash in the form of Danish Krona to Greenland. While credit cards are accepted in larger locations (eg hotels, supermarkets), they may not be accepted elsewhere. Foreign currency is often not accepted.
Our customers are the foundation of Guide to Greenland so we make great efforts to provide you with the best possible service.
We are located in Greenland and cooperate with everyone involved in the Greenlandic tourism industry. We are therefore perfectly placed to quickly react to changes or new wishes you may have to ensure you have the trip of a lifetime.
The earlier you book your trip, the better the prices will be, and the more likely you will be able to book the tour you want for the dates/times you want.
Package tours can be sold out more than half a year in advance (note that Guide to Greenland does not include international flights in packages, except where indicated from Iceland or Denmark). Day trips may sell out closer to your arrival date, but for popular destinations, certain dates/times can also sell out months in advance. We recommend that you secure all of your experiences by booking them well in advance of your trip.
All cancellations must be made via e-mail.
Although Guide to Greenland is committed to ensuring the best protection and service for our customers in the event of a cancellation, we are obliged to charge cancellation fees. This is in accordance with Greenland travel industry business practices. Details can be found in our general cancellation policy
Note: Due to COVID-19, a temporary cancellation policy applies. You can find it in the footer of the website under the “Terms & Conditions”.