Adventures / Wild Hikes

Wilderness Trekking Expedition in Greenland

Hike and wild camp 100km across the Arctic tundra to reach the majestic Greenland Ice Sheet

This trip is no longer on sale

Trip Ref #10434

Adventures / Wild Hikes

Wilderness Trekking Expedition in Greenland

Hike and wild camp 100km across the Arctic tundra to reach the majestic Greenland Ice Sheet

DURATION

8 nights

LOCATION

Greenland

ANNUAL LEAVE

6 days off work

SEASON

Jun-Aug

GROUP SIZE

Up to 8 people

MEETING POINT

Kangerlussuaq Airport

ACCOMMODATION

Wild camping · Hostel

DIFFICULTY

Challenging

You’ll need to have good fitness levels, some multi-day trekking experience and a true love for the wilderness

A wild journey deep into the wilderness through old Inuit hunting grounds to the isolated iceberg lake of Iluliartooq

Wild camp amongst the mountains, rivers and plateaus of Western Greenland, eyes peeled for musk-ox and caribou

Walk on the Greenland Ice Sheet and listen out for calvings from your basecamp beneath the midnight sun

All our reviews are verified

We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

Connor, July 2022

Just back from this trip and had a really good time. The guide was excellent and seemed really happy to be out doing these tours again which radiated throughout our small group!

Myrto, June 2022

This tour exceeded my expectations in every way! The landscape is untouched and awe-inspiring at every turn and each campsite is beautifully unique. We spent eight days immersed in nature - and our guide’s respect for his surroundings shone through and helped me appreciate it all the more. Stunning part of the world and a wonderful experience, couldn’t recomm

Included

Guides

Expert, local English speaking wilderness guides

Accommodation

7 nights wild camping, 1 night in a hotel

Meals

All your meals

Transfers

Transfers to and from the trek start and end points

Equipment

Expedition tents, sleeping mats and all group cooking equipment

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

Some meals as described

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Kangerlussuaq Airport

11:00am

Ends

Kangerlussuaq Airport

Depart any time on Day 9

Transfers

Your host will meet you at Kangerlussuaq Airport on arrival and take you to the start point for the expedition. On Day 9 you'll be dropped back off at Kangerlussuaq Airport in time for the return flight back to Copenhagen.

Travel options

There are direct flights between Kangerlussuaq Airport and Copenhagen departing up to six days a week in the summer. The flights depart Copenhagen at either 09:00 or 10:00 depending on which trip you are on, so in most cases, you'll need to overnight in Copenhagen before taking the morning flight.

Day 1

Wild camping · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 7

Wild camping · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 8

Hostel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 9

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

As this is a true wilderness trip, the food options are limited with the emphasis on food as fuel and protein. Breakfast is muesli and tea or coffee, lunches will be rye bread or high protein 'logan bread' with a variety of sandwich fillings each day. Dinners at the camp each evening will involve local meats such as musk ox, caribou or snow hare with rice, pasta or polenta and dried vegetables. During the trek, your guide will assist you in foraging for wild herbs or mushrooms to add to each dinner, and there will be chances to cook meat on a flat stone. In Greenland, the most sustainable food you can eat is local meat and fish.

Vegetarians and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request on your passenger info form. Unfortunately, the lack of vegan options available in Greenland makes this a difficult trip to offer to those sticking to a pure vegan diet.

What is the accommodation like?

Arctic Wild Camping

You will sleep in 2-person expedition tents, sharing with an adventurer of the same sex (unless you're a couple of friends who wish to share a tent). Sleeping mats are provided.

Kangerlussuaq

On the final night of the adventure you will stay at Polar Lodge, set on an old American airbase right by the airport. You'll stay in twin rooms with shared bathroom facilities. If Polar Lodge is unavailable you may stay in a similar accommodation nearby.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private tent for the expedition, and a solo room in the lodge at the end of the trip, can be booked for an extra charge. A single tent is half the weight of a 2-person tent too, so you won't be disadvantaged in terms of your load to carry. See Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (subject to availability).

Day 1

Welcome to Greenland

Hiking

2-3hrs · 5.5km · 30m up · 30m down

Meet in the morning at Kangerlussuaq Airport, where your guide will distribute the tents, gear and food between the group. Enjoy lunch together in Kangerlussuaq and chat about the adventure ahead before driving to Lake Tasersuatsiaq where the expedition begins. You'll then follow the lakeshore to your first camp spot of the trip on the eastern shore of the lake.

Day 2

Into the wild

Hiking

5-6hrs · 11km · 450m up · 70m down

Wake up after your first night of camping in the wilds of Greenland, grab breakfast and pack down camp before shouldering your backpack for the first full day hike. Head up towards the seldom-visited lakes lying southeast of Tasersuatsiaq, moving further and further away from civilisation. Keep your eyes open for musk oxen, and if you're very lucky, an Arctic Fox.

Day 3

Pass through old Inuit hunting grounds

Hiking

6-7hrs · 14km · 70m up · 500m down

Starting in the vast hilly terrain of the Ammalortup Nunaa highlands, you’ll descend toward Lake Ammalortoq with incredible views of the ice sheet. You'll pass three burial grounds which, as Inuit tradition dictates, are carefully placed with vistas over the lake and surrounding landscape. You'll also pass a summer settlement used until the 1920s by a family from Kangaamiut who would make the long journey by kayak and umiaq every year to hunt. A umiaq is a traditional skin boat used by Inuit people in coastal areas across Greenland, Siberia and Alaska.

Day 4

Lake Iluliartooq

Hiking

6-7hrs · 15km · 370m up · 20m down

Today starts by crossing a small river. The water level can be waist-high, so there is a packraft to ferry backpacks and anyone who doesn't wish to cross the river on foot. On the other side, you'll follow lowland plains before hiking up the valley to the isolated iceberg lake of Iluliartooq, where you’ll be rewarded with amazing views over the lake, glacier and ice sheet.

Day 5

Reaching the Ice Cap

Hiking

5-6hrs · 15km · 400m up · 400m down

No need to pack down this morning as you'll be camping in the same spot again tonight. Tuck into breakfast and leave the tents for a hike over to the ice sheet. The route is hilly and there will be many breathtaking views on your way to the edge of the ice sheet. If your guide thinks the conditions are safe enough, you can step onto the ice sheet itself for a short walk before heading back to camp for a night beneath the stars.

Day 6

Riverside camping

Hiking

6-7hrs · 15km · 20m up · 370m down

Pack down your basecamp and hike down the valley between Kiinnarissut Avannarliit and Kiinnarissut Kujalliit (which translates as Northern and Southern Peregrine Falcons) passing the most characteristic, yet unnamed, mountain in the area, easily recognisable from miles away. After crossing the river at Ammalortoq you'll set up camp at an idyllic spot by the water ready for another dinner beneath the 24-hour sun.

Day 7

Follow the river

Hiking

4-5hrs · 12.5km · 440m up · 40m down

Follow the plains along the melt water river, before heading up a south facing slope to your camp spot tonight with yet more cracking views of the mountains, rivers and valleys that you've been calling home for nearly a week already. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife today, the region is host to one of the largest populations of musk oxen.

Day 8

The final push

Hiking

7-8hrs · 17km · 200m up · 590m down

Today is the biggest day of the expedition with over 17km to cover. You’ll cross the barren plateau of Ammalortup Nunaa, climbing steadily to reach the highest point of the trek at 670m above sea level, with an incredible panorama over the vast wilderness below. Most days it is possible to see all the way to the high alpine mountains and more than 100km to the west. Tackle the final stretch of your epic hike as you descend toward a dirt road and hop in a van back to Kangerlussuaq, where a bed and hot shower awaits.

Day 9

Bid farewell to Greenland

The adventure comes to an end today as you walk 200m down the road from the hostel to Kangerlussuaq Airport in time for your return flight to Copenhagen.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Expedition tents
  • Sleeping mat (Mountain Equipment Helium 3.8. 760grams)
  • Group cooking equipment
  • Plates, bowls, mugs and cutlery
  • Garmin Inreach GPS and emergency communicator

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Trekking backpack (75 litres) with waterproof cover
  • Waterproof liner for your backpack
  • 2 x drybags for your sleeping bag and other items

CLOTHES

  • Down jacket
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Breathable wicking layers
  • Fleece jacket or similar
  • Thermals (merino best)
  • Warm hat
  • Gloves
  • Buff or neckscarf
  • Mosquito headnet
  • Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts
  • T-shirts
  • 2 pairs of thin or regular hiking socks
  • 2 pairs of comfortable woolen hiking socks
  • Swimwear (if you want to brave a polar plunge with a dip in the lake)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Something to sleep in
  • Hiking boots (waterproof & worn-in)
  • Sandals for around camp

SLEEPING

  • Cotton or silk sleeping bag liner (optional)
  • Sleeping bag (3-4 season with a comfort level of 0°C to -5°C)
  • Lightweight travel pillow

OTHER

  • Trekking poles (highly recommended considering the wild terrain)
  • Eyemask (24 hours of daylight in Greenland's summers)
  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellant
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Toilet kit (toilet paper, biodegradable bags to carry paper out to dispose of)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Reusable water bottle or camelbag for 2 litres of water
  • Biodegradable wet wipes
  • Energy bars and snacks - read our article on Best Hiking Snacks
  • Water purification tablets/treatment system

Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 75kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

Greenland is on the front line of the climate crisis, with the summer melting of the ice sheet becoming a growing concern for climate scientists. So it's perfectly valid to ask if a trip to Greenland is something people should do. The 4-hour flight from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq is obviously the single-most environmentally damaging part of this trip. We have wrestled with whether to offer trips to places like Greenland, but ultimately people do want to visit the Arctic and there are good ways and not so good ways of doing so. This adventure is about as low carbon and low impact as it gets in the Arctic. A lightweight, leave no trace hiking expedition, with a week of no electricity or transport of any kind. At 75kg of carbon emitted per person, this trip is one of the lowest emitting trips that we offer outside of the UK, with just 15km of driving done across the whole 9 days. We believe this is the way to see the Arctic, rather than on vast cruise ships and the myriad of negative environmental impacts they bring.

The flight to Greenland from Copenhagen is no more or less damaging to the Arctic itself than a 4-hour flight to, say, the Canary Islands. We believe that showing small groups of adventurers the fragility of the ice sheet on a low carbon trip like this has a huge positive impact, both on the adventurers themselves and on the people in the local community of Kangerlussuaq, who use this type of tourism for income rather than turning toward extractive industries for their livelihoods. The Greenland government has three main strands of income for the country: fishing, mining and tourism. More tourism income means less pressure on the government and local communities to generate income from fishing and mining.

As there are currently no viable, sustainable travel alternatives to flying available to Greenland, Much Better Adventures mitigates 2.5 times the carbon emitted by your flight to Kangerlussuaq through our partnerships with rewilding initiatives.

This trek is no easy feat – you’ll need to be in good physical shape and able to hike between 6-8 hours per day carrying your own pack. The terrain is largely wild, although you'll use game trails where available. You'll be out in the elements, far from civilisation and camping for seven consecutive nights - so bring along a head for adventure, wide-open spaces and wild, untamed nature. We recommend some training and preparation in advance, heading out for some full-day hikes with a loaded backpack.

The tents, crockery, food and common gear will be split amongst the group so that you'll each carry your share of the load. To give you a rough idea, this usually works out as approximately 6.5kg to 7kg per person in total, and then you'll have your personal clothing and effects in addition. Cooking pots and firewood, however, are stored at each campsite in advance so don't need to be carried.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice, however we suggest the below as a guideline per person:

$5-10 USD per day

Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

You'll source water from natural sources on the route, using your wilderness guide's knowledge of how to safely source fresh drinking water. There will be water treatment options available, but we suggest bringing your own. Have a read of our article on the best water filters for adventurers

The weather in Greenland is very changeable and whilst summer days between June-September are usually pleasant, it's essential that you bring appropriate clothing and equipment for both cold and rainy weather. Daytime temperatures often reach over 15ºC in July and drop to between 5ºC and 10ºC in August, when the nights can be cold, with temperatures usually hovering a few degrees above freezing (although frost can't be ruled out at any time in the season). In September, temperatures are usually between 5ºC to 8ºC during the day but may reach minus 5ºC at night. Please have a good read through the kit list section of this page before setting off for the trip.

Yes, your host lives in Kangerlussuaq so you can leave any excess luggage at their base on day 1 before heading into the wilderness.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

Similar Trips

No longer on sale