In the footsteps of Erik the Red - GRL70

Find 12 days to spare to hike the spectacular landscape of Greenland, for this is a trip that you will not soon forget. You will journey to the roots of the world’s second largest glacier to witness its magnificence and pass by majestic icebergs on boat excursions. Visit the Norseman landmarks and ruins from medieval times and soak in the history of the ancient Nordic settlers. Guided through the rugged and breathtaking wilderness of Greenland, fall in love with the deep blue icebergs and calving glaciers as you listen to stories of the mysterious lands and the ancestors that once thrived here. Erik the Red, the Norwegian Viking, settled here and gave the land its appealing name, wanting to lure more settlers to join him. Has your curiosity not also been piqued, to see what the land of green holds for you?

Photo:  Josepha Katarina Thomsen
Photo:  Josepha Katarina Thomsen
Photo:  Andrea Burgerr
Photo:  Andrea Burgerr
Photo:  Andrea Burgerr
Photo:  Cathy Harlow
Photo:  Cathy Harlow
Photo:  Josepha Katarina Thomsen
Photo:  Ólafur Rafnar Ólafsson
Photo:  Ólafur Rafnar Ólafsson
Photo:  Ólafur Rafnar Ólafsson
Photo:  Ólafur Rafnar Ólafsson
Photo:  Ólafur Rafnar Ólafsson
Photo:  Ólafur Rafnar Ólafsson

Tour type: Trekking tour from accommodation to accommodation

Difficulty:

EASY

HARD

Price from:  

Adult: Conctact us

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What's included: Guide, food for 12 days, transportation of people and luggage according to itinerary, accommodation.

Departures: Group request only

Duration: 12 days

Accommodation: Hostel and farms

Meeting point: Starts and ends at Narsarsuaq

Group size: 6 to 15 participants

Language: English

Walking per day: 2-8 hours

  • Tour Description

    Highlights of the Tour

    • Deep blue Icebergs and Calving Glacier
    • Norse History and Charming Villages
    • World Heritage Site, Hvalsey Church

    12 Day boat Supported Trek in South Greenland

    Southern Greenland is a fantastic hiking area offering a great variety in landscape. On this trek you'll find everything from spectacular views on the rugged glacier, to the magical soft beach pebbles and everything in between. This tour takes us on a journey at the foot of the worlds largest glacier, the Greenland Icecap. On this journey we will travel over hills and heaths, on old sheep paths, and discover beach trails, all while pondering the glacier and its surroundings. We witness magnificent outlet glaciers calve into the ocean as majestic icebergs float off into the blue. Wandering through the modern landscape, we reflect on the fate of the Nordic settlers that mysteriously disappeared at the beginning of the 15th century. This is a classic hike in breathtaking surroundings.

    Total distance: 50 kilometers (30 miles)
    Altitude: 0- 400 meters (0-1310 feet)
    Maximum ascent: 400 meters (1310 feet)

    Included:  Guide for 12 days, food for 12 days (from lunch day 1 to lunch day 12), all transportation of people and luggage according to itinerary, accommodation according to itinerary. During this trip all luggage will be transported except for our daypacks.

    Not included: Flights to/from Narsarsuaq (can be added on the first and the last day of the tour), personal equipment, drinks and personal expenses and insurance.

    Please note: The tour starts and ends at the Keflavik International Airport. The itinerary can change due to accommodation availability in Greenland.

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  • Tour Itinerary

    Note: The itinerary can change due to accommodation availability in Greenland

    D1: Arrival to Narsarsuaq - the Gateway to South Greenland

    Arrival in Narsarsuaq in the late afternoon/early evening. Narsarsuaq is located 100 km inside a fjord, just 6 km from the Greenland Ice Sheet. We check in at the hostel and have a nice dinner with the group. The rest of the evening is free to spend as you like, maybe go for a small walk in the village or just enjoy the nice and quiet pace of Narsarsuaq at the hostel. Accommodation at a hostel.

    D2: Qassiarsuk aka Brattahlíð - a sheep farming settlement

    We start the day by shopping our food for the next days in the local shop of Narsarsuaq before we leave with the boat for Qassiarsuk. It is short, but nice boat trip crossing the fjord. Qassiarsuk is the place where Erik the Red settled down. He back then named the place Brattahlíð, which means "the steep slope". We will have a look at Eiríksstaðir, Eriks homestead, the church of Thjodhildur, a reconstructed church dating back to the early settlement and the statue of Leif Eriksson. After having explored the most important of all the Norsemen landmarks in South Greenland, we start our hike towards a charming sheep farm in Tasiusaq - along small lakes where we can look for some jumping fish and numerous sheep of various colors are grazing the hills. Once we come over the hill a fantastic view to the Breiðafjörður fjord is waiting. The route takes us along ancient sheep trails where we can get a glimpse of the road constructions of the first settlers. We arrive at the sheep farm where we will stay for two nights.

    Walking: 2-3 hours.

    D3: Tasiusaq

    In the area of Tasiusaq the grass fields reach down to the edge of the water, in fjords where icebergs from the Ice Cap drift by on their way towards the ocean. Today we will go for a hike along the Tasiusaq Fjord to a viewpoint that might not be a high peak but from where we get stunning views towards the glacier tongues in the distance and the icebergs just in front of us in the fjord. We enjoy the spectacular scenery before walking back along the fjord where huge icebergs roll on the tidal waters or may even simply be stranded.

    Walking: 7-8 hours.

    D4: Tasiusaq - Sillisit

    We start todays hike by passing the neighboring farm in Nunataaq after a few kilometers. It is a stunning hike along the innermost part of a fjord. Then we head back over to Eiríksfjörður fjord on the east coast of the peninsula. This is a day of easy walking, along picturesque lakes on the heath, where the arctic vegetation is simply at its best. In this area there is a good chance of seeing the white tailed eagle flying above. We arrive at the little hamlet of Sillisit where we stay two nights at a farm.

    Walking: 6-7 hours.

    D5: Sillisit - Naajat Mountain - Sillisit

    Hiking along Mt. Naajat (770m) is our prime objective for the day! Passing sheep and small lakes surrounded by cotton grass on the way. If we're lucky, we might even spot some wild rabbits. While walking along the mountain we can enjoy magnificent views of glaciers and mountains that surround us at every step and with the numerous icebergs gracefully floating in the fjords this is a sight that is worth a good hiking tour!

    Walking: 5-6 hours

    D6: Sillisit - Narsaq

    This morning we board a boat that will take us to Narsaq, which is the youngest town in Greenland, founded as late as in 1959, but it has some of the oldest Norse ruins in the area. Narsaq today has a population of 1.598 inhabitants. We will go for a walk in the town and maybe stop by the town museum for a visit. The history of the Norsemen is on display at the museum, and a local rock picker has created his own exhibit about minerals and rocks, including the rare mineral, Tugtupit which so far has only been found in very few places worldwide.
    We will also go for a hike to a nice view point behind the town to get some nice views over the mountains and fjords surrounding Narsaq.

    Walking: 3-5 hours.

    D7: Narsaq

    Today we will go explore the valley and mountains north(-east) of Narsaq. From there we will get a beautiful view over the Sermilik Fjord with all its blue ice and there will be plenty of time to enjoy the fascinating contrast between the green river valleys with the colorful arctic flowers and the raw mountains and ice-filled fjords during the day.

    The mountains in this area contains coveted minerals and attracts many rock pickers
    and others who have an interest in geology. Narsaq is also known for being a popular
    place among hikers and you will know why when you experience it for yourself. Walking: 6-8 hours.

    D8 Qaqortoq - Hvalsey - Igaliku (Garðar)

    We hop aboard a local boat, that will take us to the capital of South Greenland, Qaqortoq, that is supposedly the most beautiful town in the whole of Greenland and the home town of the Stone & Man project, designed to transform the town into an open air art gallery. We take some time to explore the quaint little town centre before we continue to Hvalsey where the most famous ruins from the medieval times are located – the church of Hvalsey or what remains of it. The Einarsfjord is narrow with high and pointy peaks on either shore. We spend ample time to explore the ruins and its surroundings. This will be an easy day with a lot of opportunity to enjoy the magnificent surroundings. We end the day in Garðar or Igaliku, a renowned settlement in the medieval times. It is nicely situated in a green and lush area in the bottom of the Einarsfjord, with the majestic peak Illerfissalik towering across the fjord.  The houses are built with red sandstone which gives the village an unique appearance. We visit the excavations of the bishop´s see. We will spend the 2 next nights in a local hostel here.

    D9: Lake 90 and Qooqqut fjord

    Today we explore the magnificent surroundings north of Igaliku. We follow the river from Lake 90 and hike up to the plateau that lies at 200 meters. The views over the Qooqqut fjord are breathtaking. The outlet glacier at the bottom of the fjord calves into the sea and feeds the fjord with an endless number of icebergs that float around. Having enjoyed this spectacular scene we head back to the hostel at Igaliku.

    Walking: 6-7 hrs.

    D10: Boat to Narsarsuaq via Qooroq Icefjord

    In the morning the boat will be waiting for us to take us back to Narsarsuaq. We sail north the Eiríksfjörður fjord and can reflect on our trails of the preceding days and ponder what became of the settlers of yore. A must see before we go back to Narsarsuaq is the Qooroq Icefjord. A boat trip among icebergs of all colours, sizes and shapes. When the glacier is in view, the boat engine is stopped, so you can enjoy the absolute silence and a drink chilled with glacier ice – more than 1,000 years old!

    We will arrive in Narsarsuaq in the afternoon and head to the hostel. The rest of the day is free and in the evening it is only appropriate to sample the local cuisine at the Hotel´s buffet for those of us who are adventurous or tired of the trail food.

    Day 11: Kuussuup Sermia Glacier

    Today we hike to the outlet glacier at the bottom of the valley. Here is a chance to get onto the Greenland Ice cap or as close to it as possible, standing at the foot of this biggest glacier on earth! The hike takes you first through the Flower valley before a steep 300 meters ascent up to a hill, where we will get a great view over the glacier. In just half an hour we reach the glacier itself and can put our hands on the biggest glacier in the world! We take the same path back to our little hostel where we stay another night.

    Walking: 6-7 hours

    Day 12: Narsarsuaq-Reykjavík

    We pack our bags today but before leaving Greenland we have some time to visit the local museum. The museum has an interesting collection of pictures and objects from the period when Narsarsuaq was an American air base as well as a good exhibition about the Nordic settlers who inhabited South Greenland during the Middle Age. You can also enjoy the morning on the veranda of the Hostel reflecting on the last day´s adventure and impressions. We go to the airport in the late afternoon for our flight back to Reykjavík (Keflavik International Airport) where we arrive late in the evening.

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  • Equipment List

    Trekking Tours in Greenland

    - Equipment list for Trekking Tours / Assisted Treks in Greenland

    Boots and Clothing:

    • Sturdy Hiking Boots – preferably waterproof with ankle support. 
    • Long sleeve shirt (thermal underwear) – Wool or synthetic. 
    • T-shirt (thermal underwear) – Wool or synthetic. 
    • Light wool or fleece sweater (2nd layer).
    • Trousers – Strong and light material that dries quickly e.g. soft-shell. 
    • Jacket or an Anorak with a good hood – windproof, waterproof and breathable. 
    • Rain trousers – windproof, waterproof and breathable. Please note that full raingear is mandatory on all our tours. 
    • Gloves – Wool or synthetic. 
    • Socks – Wool or synthetic. Two or three pairs. 
    • Warm hat – Wool or synthetic.

    Other gear:

    • A duffel bag for the transport of your overnight gear between huts. Please avoid bringing a suitcase! 
    • Backpack for extra clothes and food during the day. 25 – 40L (1500 – 2500 cu in)  
    • River shoes – Walking sandals or old running shoes with a good grip are a good choice, along with a pair of warm socks or neoprene socks. Open sandals or flip-flops will not do the job. 
    • Sleeping bag – A basic sleeping bag with no specific temperature rating is sufficient treks in huts/hostels – for camping tours we recommend a 3 season sleeping bag.
    • Towel – light weight and packable. 
    • Sunglasses & sun protection. 
    • Water container – thermos flask or water bottle 0,5 – 1L. 
    • Headlamp for reading and getting around the hut/tent. 
    • Change of clothes for wearing in the hut/camp.
    • Personal first aid kit – including blister care. 
    • Prescription medication and other personal health items.
    • Toiletries; Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap etc. 
    • Earplugs 
    • Protection against flies (mosquito's); such at nets, repellants, etc.

    Optional gear:

    • Walking pole(s).
    • Gaiters
    • Neoprene socks – highly recommended for river crossings. 
    • Pen knife. 
    • Sun/rain Hat or a Cap. Shorts
    • Thermal mat (for lunch breaks). 
    • Puffy jacket (e.g. Primaloft or down).
    • Camera, spare batteries and a memory card or films.
    • Dry-bags for electronics and extra clothing. 
    • Aperitif or other heart-warming spirits.

    For your own wellbeing and safety we strongly suggest following the advice of our equipment list, this includes having good quality rain-gear, tops and bottoms! Also respect that cotton clothing is not appropriate for any strenuous outdoor activity – this includes jeans and t-shirts. Modern outdoor clothing is by far more comfortable and will greatly improve your experience. 
Gear transport in Greenland happens on boats with limited capacity – both in volume and weight – pleas limit your personal equipment to 15kg and pack it in a soft duffel bag or comparable.

    Should you have any questions regarding this equipment list or the equipment on our tours feel free to contact booking@greenland.is

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  • Map

For availability and more information about this tour please contact us.

Total price for all passengers:

0ISK

Optional extra services - These items can be purchased later

    1. Just a tip - You can convert the currency here!