Greenland may not be on your vacation radar, but it should be a destination that gets a look. Although Ilulissat is becoming a popular destination in Greenland, its visitors usually come from one of the Nordic or Scandinavian countries. Ilulissat is only a 3 hour flight from the capital city of Reykjavik, Iceland. Once you land here, you’re actually in the 3rd largest city in Greenland, but you may not think so given its remote nature. Here are a few reasons why a visit to Ilulissat will not disappoint:
- Ilulissat Icefjord – A beautiful backdrop to the entire town, the slow moving icebergs are a small reminder of what lies north of here – the world’s second largest glacier. At first glance, nothing is more mesmorizing than watching these majestic white blobs floating around in your backyard. Seeing it from land is one thing, but getting an up close and personal view from a boat, brings the experience to a whole other level.
2. Hotel Arctic – Not just a place to rest for the night, this 4-star hotel offers uniquely designed igloos overlooking the Ilulissat Icefjord. Walk through the hotel’s hallway along a deck, observing the manager’s sled dogs, and make your way to your room/igloo. There is a comfortable double bed with 180 degrees view of the fjord, that lay only a few steps beyond. These dome shaped huts are designed with modern day amenities, including flat screen televisions and private bathrooms. Although the space is small, it fits 1-2 people and makes for a very secluded romantic getaway.
3. The Harbor – A small harbor packed with fishing and private boats mark the focal point of the city. Fishing is the main occupation of its town people. The houses are brightly painted in different hues – red, yellow, black, blue – creating a collage of color.
4. History of the Inuit- In a town outside of Ilulissat lies Sermermiut, a 4000 year old Inuit settlement that was abounded in 1850. Although the archeological site has very little remaining, it gives you a good idea of the circumstances under which different Inuit populations thrived. There is a replica of their summer home, where an entire family would sleep using lamps fueled by whale oil. The residents spent their days fishing and hunting by the glaciers, and moved inland during the winters.
5. Eqi Glacier – This glacier offers an exclusive opportunity to witness an active glacier calve ice. Throughout the day, large and small chunks of ice break off at regular intervals.
The Eqi glacier is located 80 kilometres north of Ilulissat and most people get there by boat. The boat ride itself is beautiful and will take you past the town of Oqaatsut/Rodebay and further up into the northern Disco Bay. The Eqi glacier is one of the most active glaciers in Greenland, and your chances of seeing ice fall from the enormous glacier are really good.