Icebergs as far as the eye can see... whether you stroll through the town of Ilulissat, watch humpback whales on a boat trip or hike along the ice fjord of Kangia, the fascinating ice colossuses are omnipresent and awe inspiring.

Each place has its own celebrities. In the small West Greenland town of Ilulissat, these are undoubtedly the icebergs. The first encounter with the ice colossuses is unforgettable and makes you humble. As soon as you land, you inevitably fall in love with the magnificent landscape and the colourful houses, the deep blue sea and the gigantic sculpture gallery made of ice. The icebergs in Disko Bay originate from the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier. With a daily movement of 40 metres and an annual ice production of 46 cubic kilometres, it is one of the fastest glaciers in the world.

Take a week and rent an apartment from the friendly hosts Paa and Jannik. I won't forget the first walk on the balcony for the rest of my life: The icebergs are at your feet - big and small chunks, in every imaginable shade of white and imaginative shapes, plus the unique smell of the Arctic Sea.

Ilulissat was founded in 1741 as Jakobshavn. With about 4500 inhabitants it is the third largest city in Greenland - almost as many sled dogs live here. The approximately 3500 four-legged friends can be found at every corner. Some are suckling their offspring, some are lazing around in the warming sun, others can hardly wait when it gets colder again and they can finally pull their sleds on the snow.

The arctic summer is short, but extremely mild. I was lucky and experienced a week Greenland with daily mild 15 degrees and pure sunshine. With such pleasant temperatures it inevitably pulls you out and yes, there is a lot to discover:

Take a hike to the ice fjord of Kangia, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A 2-hour round trip takes you to the edge of the ice fjord. The icebergs, which lie close to each other, look like a closed ice cover. As you get closer, you will see the outlines of the individual blocks, between which the ice blue water of the fjord shimmers.

In the evening, take a boat out to the open sea and enjoy the midnight sun and the floating ice colossi, which shimmer in the evening light in all imaginable shades of purple and gold; you can almost touch the giants in the ice fjord. On a full moon night, the trip to Disko Bay will be a magical experience that you will never forget for the rest of your life!

The next day, a whale safari will entice you - and you will come amazingly close to the humpback whales. A whale mother swam with her calf for an hour in front of my excursion boat and showed me her flukes again and again before they both went down to eat.
We also recommend a two-day trip to the calving glacier Eqip Sermia, 70km northeast of Ilulissat. The varied journey by boat between the icebergs alone is worth the trip. Arrived at the glacier, the boat ploughs through ice water and ventures up to a few hundred metres to the impressive ice wall that rises up to 100 metres into the blue sky. Despite global warming, the ice wall is still a proud four kilometres wide. Treat yourself to an overnight stay at the Icecamp Eqi in a comfort hut with a view of the calving glacier. In addition to hiking to the edge of the glacier, there is also the opportunity to work as a gold prospector on the river Eqip Kuusua.    
The next day back in Ilulissat, there's nothing better than sitting in a café and marvelling at the icebergs on the open sea and when you close your eyes, you'll hear the crackling and rumbling of the icebergs as a melody in your head.

To properly prepare for your trip

How you get there:
Air Greenland via Copenhagen or Air Iceland via Reykjavik

How long should I go:
at least 1 week

Best travel time:
all year

Icebergs, Icefjord Kangia, Glacier Eqip Sermia

Accommodation tip:
Apartment of Paa and Jannik

Excursion tip:
Whale and Icecamptour

More info:



Written by Michael Bachmann
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