My trip to Ittoqqortoormiit

By Verified Expert

If you are dreaming of visiting East Greenland, I hope you include Ittoqqortoormiit in your dream! 

When you are sailing, it is not so easy to get there at the beginning of the summer, due to the amount of ice in the fiords, and sometimes it is only an icebreaker vessel capable of reaching this place. You can fly from Iceland to Nerlerit Inaat Airport, and then reach Ittoqqortoormiit by helicopter. 

I luckily reached this settlement during the summer season. Be aware that sometimes and in some places in Greenland, a mosquito net could be your best friend. People are super friendly here! I visited the small museum, where a young lady was wearing a national costume, and another one was beading colorful collars. You can pay with cash or credit cards when the internet connection is ok.

There is a Guesthouse and a couple of grocery stores. Handcrafts and sealskin products are some of the souvenirs you can find in town, do not forget to check the regulations from your home country before buying any souvenir made of animal skins, bones, or antlers. Next to the tourist information office, a friendly hunter put up a tent where he was offering musk-ox meat and exhibiting trousers made of polar bear skin. 

We have witnessed a musher feeding his dogs next to the river, also showing his sled covered with polar bear skins. The principal activity is hunting and fishing, therefore, they need their dogs to always be in good shape, since they are all working together (hunters and dogs) when the snow sets the pads for their excursions. 

Better for you not to get distracted by the beauty of this picturesque town, because drivers in summertime are speeding up their cars and ATVs. Having a walk around the town, you will find animal skins hanging on the dryer, such as polar bears and musk-ox skins.

If you go all the way up to the cemetery, you could probably find hares! Close to the hostel, you can find Memorial Pourquoi Pas, which was the name of the expedition vessel that served Commandant Charcot on several missions around the Arctic and Antarctic and got caught by a storm on his way from Greenland to Iceland, by the end of the summer of 1936.

If you are into expedition history, you would like to reach the other side of the town, just across the river where the Weather Station is, you will find Ejnar Mikkelsen’s memorial. 

Last but not least, as in almost every Greenlandic village, there is a soccer field next to the airport. Summertime is not cold at all here, so many flowers decorate the fields, and it is admirable how they survive the winter season and come alive as soon as the snow is gone. As with every place in the Arctic, the beauty has different faces, winter time, summer time, and depending on the month, you can enjoy the white landscapes or the flowery ones while the green northern lights dance in the sky. 

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