Self-Powered 100km Adventure in Greenland
Kayak amongst icebergs and along winding fjords, then hike across an ice cap on this Arctic expedition.
Keflavik International Airport
Intrepid travellers looking for a true Arctic adventure that lets you experience Greenland from water and land. Previous kayaking experience isn't essential but recommended to make the trip more enjoyable.
Experience the Arctic’s never-ending summer days as you travel for 100km through an unspoilt wilderness by water and on foot. You’ll explore dramatic fjords and icebergs by kayak, paddle up to towering glaciers, hike on an ancient ice cap and camp in some of the most remote and beautiful places on earth.
Featured as one of the 'Top Life-Changing Adventures for 2019' by The Telegraph.
- Return flights from Reykjavik – Narsarsuaq
- Airport transfers (in Greenland)
- Flight tax
- Experienced, English speaking expedition guides
- 5 nights camping
- 2 nights hostel accommodation
- All meals, except for night seven in Narsaq
- RIB boat trip Narsarsuaq – Narsaq – Narsarsuaq
- All kayak equipment
- All camping equipment
Day 1: Arrive in Greenland
Make your own way to either Reykjavik or Copenhagen and then fly to Narsarsuaq, deep inside the Arctic Circle.
After meeting your guide at the airport in Narsarsuaq, travel by RIB boat for the short ride to the city of Narsaq and head to the supply store where you’ll be kitted out with clothing and navigation equipment for the adventure ahead.
Settle into your host's kayak hostel, meet your fellow travellers and enjoy your first night of 24-hour daylight as you acclimatise to the Arctic summer.
Day 2: Kayaking Fjords and Seal Spotting
After breakfast, travel by zodiac to Qingaarsup island, where your kayaking expedition will start.
Jump into your stable, double kayak and follow the coast, before navigating along a fjord dotted with icebergs from the nearby Eqalorutsit glacier. The high density of ice will slow down your kayak and may make certain locations inaccessible.
In the friendly company of ringed seals, cross the water to the Nuulussuaq peninsula, taking in your first views of Inlandis, the polar ice cap.
Arrive at your campsite for the night, originally one of the first Viking settlements in South Greenland and then forage for mushrooms and cranberries, or fish for Arctic salmon.
After a hot meal in camp made from your ingredients, settle down for a good night’s sleep.
Day 3: Islands and Tundra
Break camp and set off in your kayak past a group of islands dotted with waterfalls and covered in leafy tundra.
Paddle up Maniitsup Tunua fjord, surrounded by the peninsulas of Maniitsop, Niaqornap Nunaa and Nuulussuaq.
Set up camp in front of the ice cap and enjoy the views of the Naajaat Sermiat Glacier, one of the oldest masses of ice on the planet, right from your tent.
Day 4: Glaciers and Sandy Beaches
After breakfast, kayak around Akuliaruseq, also known as Caribou Island.
Experience some of the most epic, glacial scenery in Southern Greenland as you travel along Qaleralig fjord, including three glacier tongues that stretch nearly 10km wide.
Set up camp on a sandy beach for the night and if weather conditions allow, hike to the view point at Tasersuatsiaq Lake to spot caribou feeding on salts from the fjord. At night, enjoy the thundering sound of the seracs breaking away in the Arctic's magical silence.
Day 5: Glacier Hiking
After breakfast in camp, paddle for around 4km to the end of the fjord, where your hike begins.
Trek over the glacier, avoiding deep crevasses, listening to the sounds of the ice creaking all around you.
Return to your kayak and continue along the face of the glacier with vertical walls of ice towering above you, then set up camp for the night on Caribou Island where you’ll enjoy a hot meal before settling down in your cosy tent for the night.
Day 6: Kayak Ikerssuaq Fjord
Break camp, climb into your kayak and paddle around Maniitsoq Island as you head towards the vast Ikerssuaq Fjord, a great place to spot for whales and seals bobbing in the water or resting on the icebergs that float past.
Arrive at your campsite for the night and enjoy another night in the Arctic wilderness.
Day 7: Visit an Ancient Inuit Settlement
Paddle along the Ikersuaq fjord and across lovely Stephensen Bay to visit the ruins of the ancient Inuit settlement at Manitsuarsuk.
Learn from your guide how the original inhabitants lived off the sea and the land and faced polar bears that arrived on large icebergs from the East Coast.
Depending on the weather and sea conditions, kayak or take a short boat ride back to Narsaq and enjoy some free time to explore the city, visit its interesting museum, go shopping in the Inuit market for local handicrafts or visit the hunter’s harbour.
Check into the hostel for your final night and then head out for a final dinner with the group (meal not included).
Day 8: Return to Reykjavik or Copenhagen
After breakfast in the hostel, return by RIB boat to Narsarsuaq and take some time to walk around the area, or if you prefer, take an easy, hour-long walk to a viewpoint overlooking the fjord and the Kiattut Glacier.
Check in for your flight to Reykjavik or Copenhagen, where your Arctic expedition will end.
All our adventures take place in wild places. Things can go wrong in wild places. Your perfectly planned itinerary may change a bit (or a lot) if the weather turns, someone gets hurt, or a volcano erupts. Usually though, changes make it all the better.
On your first and last night you’ll stay in a local hostel in Narsaq in simple, but clean and comfortable accommodation, where you’ll meet your fellow explorers and get a chance to see some of this remote Arctic town.
For the rest of the expedition you’ll be camping in picturesque locations across Southern Greenland. All camping equipment is provided, except for sleeping bags and sleeping mats which can be rented locally. Each night your guide will help you set up camp and then cook you a hot meal to refuel after a day spent kayaking or hiking. The locations are all remote and will give you a real taste of the Arctic wilderness, along with plenty of time to fish or forage for mushrooms or fruits, hike to viewpoints or just take in your surroundings.
South Greenland is a land of contrasts, where jagged mountains border ancient ice fields and lush green agricultural land flourishes on the plains running down to the ocean. Dotted with glaciers and iceberg-filled fjords that are perfect for kayaking, the area also has a distinct culture, with ancient Norse settlements that are now home to fishing and hunting communities.
Considered the gateway to Southern Greenland, Narsarsuaq has only 160 residents and is located 100km inside Tunulliarfik Fjord and just 6km from the Greenland ice sheet - the second largest ice sheet in the world after Antarctica. Narsaq meanwhile, is the youngest town in Greenland, founded in 1959 and home to 1,598 residents, many of whom work in sheep farming and cattle ranching and who jokingly call themselves cowboys.
Reykjavik Airport (Iceland) - 11:15
Your host suggests arriving the day before the start of the trip to spend the night in Reykjavik. Most international flights (i.e. flights from the UK) arrive at Keflavik International Airport (KEF) (55km outside of Reykjavik), which is different to the airport you'll depart from the next day.
Your included flight departs from Reykjavik Airport (RKV) to Narsarsuaq (UAK) in Greenland at 11:15. Your host will meet you in the arrivals area for your onward travel in a RIB boat to your accommodation for the night.
Reykjavik Airport (Iceland) - 16:45
At the end of your adventure, you will be dropped back at Narsarsuaq Airport (UAK) at 11:00. From here you'll take the flight to Reykjavik Airport (RKV) departing at 12:20.
Your included flight is scheduled to land in Reykjavik at 16:45. Your host suggests spending the night in Reykjavik before continuing your onward journey home the next day.
Your host provides the following:
- Camping and cooking equipment
- First-aid kit
- Mobile phone
- Iridium phone (Global signal)
- Delorme Satellite Messenger or similar
- GPS incorporated in the Delorme
- Very stable single and double kayaks
- 2 replacement paddles
- Semi-dry raincoat
- Semi-dry trousers
- Spray skirts
- Life jacket
- Paddling mittens
- Rubber boots
- 2 dry bags (20 and 40 litre capacity)
- 1 bilge pump (per kayak)
Sea currents bring huge amounts of ice from the Arctic Ocean, which sometimes block Southern Greenland from May to mid-June. We may also come across ice that makes navigation difficult in July, but it is rare and your guide would find an alternative route. In August, the icefield poses no problems and the sea in the region is full of icebergs.
The weather in Greenland is very changeable. It is usually pleasant, but it is essential that you bring appropriate clothes for cold and rainy weather. Temperatures often reach over 15ºC in July and drop to between 5ºC and 10ºC in August, when the nights can be cold. In September, temperatures are usually between 5ºC to 8ºC during the day and may reach minus 5ºC at night.
If you're travelling from mid-August through to the end of September there's a good chance you'll see the Northern Lights around midnight. Southern Greeland is famous for offering some of the best places to view this spectacular natural display. The Aurora Borealis occur all year round, but cannot be seen during the months of May, June and July in Greenland due to the midnight sun.
For breakfast there will be plenty of hot drinks, along with bread, jam, biscuits, muesli and cereals. Lunch is usually a packed lunch at a picturesque stop and will include bread, cheese, ham, chocolate, nuts, biscuits and hot soup and drinks. For dinner your guide will prepare a hot meal in the camp which the group will help out with, usually consisting of rice, pasta, potatoes and sausages or stew.
Yes on day eight you can choose to visit the Qoorooq ice fjord. You'll ride on a RIB boat to this spectacular fjord, usually fully covered in ice and icebergs, as you travel through the ice until you can go no further. The trip takes two hours and is €85 per person - please ask your host for further details if you'd like to book this trip.
The navigation Narsarsuaq – Narsaq – Narsarsuaq will be done in a RIB-boat (a Rigid Inflatable Boat), also known as a Zodiac. It is an open boat and is fast, flexible and very safe. A special coat is provided for the boat rides to protect you from the elements.
This trip has been planned so that anyone in reasonably good physical condition can participate - you'll be kayaking for up to 3 - 5 hours/15 - 20 km per day so it's a good idea to do some cardio and upper body exercise in the run up to the trip. The trip is not recommended for anyone with serious back problems as you'll need to carry the kayaks into and out of the water.
It's not necessary to have any previous kayaking experience, however it's a good idea to try it out before you book to make sure you'll enjoy it. The kayaks themselves are stable double kayaks and are easy to paddle and navigate in.
If you have extensive kayaking experience then it's possible to undertake the trip in a single kayak - please contact your host in advance of the trip.
The following are not included in the trip price:
- Flights to Reykjavik
- Supplement of €300 to start and finish in Copenhagen instead of Reykjavik (optional)
- Travel Insurance
- Tips for your guides (optional)
- Dinner on day seven in Narsaq and lunch on day one and eight
- Unexpected expenses as a result of weather conditions (including cancellations due to ice or weather conditions, flight or boat delays)
- Optional excursion to Qooroq Ice Fjord
This trip does not require a minimum number of participants. There's a maximum of 12, plus your experienced expedition guides.
Sure can! A lot of people do, and it's a great way to meet like-minded people.
Your host recommends to pack:
- Fleece or wool hat
- Waterproof hat
- Sun cream with a high SPF
- Lip balm with UV protection
- Mosquito head net (highly recommended if you are travelling before mid August)
- Peaked cap (to use with the mosquito net)
- Polar buff
- Waterproof jacket
- A pair of light waterproof trousers
- Fleece jacket
- 2 long sleeve thermal t-shirts
- 1 short sleeve thermal t-shirt
- 2 Thermal leggings
- Comfortable hiking trousers
- Neoprene gloves
- Fleece gloves
- Waterproof Gore-Tex gloves
- Waterproof Gore-Tex trekking boots
- 4 pairs of socks
- Flip-flops, Crocs or similar
- Sleeping bag (if possible, synthetic and suitable for -10ºC). Please contact your host in advance of the trip if you would like to rent one.
- Mattress pad. Please contact your host in advance of the trip if you would like to rent one.
- Torch (ideally a head torch)
- Cutlery set
- Water bottle
- Personal toiletries (please bring biodegradable products)
- Backpack, suitcase or kit bag (you will leave this in Narsaq - your host will provide you with waterproof kit bags for the expedition)
- Small day bag
- Hiking poles (optional)
- Microfibre towel
- Personal first aid kit
Unfortunately this trip is not suitable for children.
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There are no Polar Bears in this part of Greenland in the summer period when this trip takes place.
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