The Ilulissat Icefjord: World Heritage in Greenland

A small passenger boat near huge icebergs in the Ilulissat ice fjord in Northern Greenland
Photo: Mads Pihl

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) assigns the title of “World Heritage Site” to places that are deemed to have special cultural or physical significance.


As an organisation, UNESCO seeks to:


“encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.”

UNESCO: Mission Statement

This mission is embodied in an international treaty called the Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage , adopted by UNESCO in 1972. It is a global classification system with over 1,052 World Heritage Sites located in 165 States Party. Of these, 814 are cultural, 203 are natural and 35 are mixed.

Three tents overlooking the Ilulissat icefjord under a moonlit sky
Photo: Mads Pihl

The mountains and ice caps just make it such a photogenic place. It is a life changing experience.


Where is it? Here!

"It's so beautiful that it's impossible to come back not happy :-)"


 The Ilulissat Icefjord: Fun Facts

  • It is 66,000 football fields
  • it is 6km wide and 55km long, growing every year
  • It holds 10% of all the icebergs in Greenland.
  • One of the northernmost World Heritage Sites
  • Calves from the Sermaq Kujallaq glacier, on of the fastest moving glaciers in the world, with a daily movement of 40m, 14,600 meters per year.

Icefjord as Climate Change “Ground Zero”

The Icefjord is remarkable for what it is but also for what it lays bare: the glacier is retreating at an incredible rate, and this is because the planet is getting warmer. This puts the focus on climate change, and nowhere is this more visible than in the glaciated regions of the world. Wanna see it? We thought so: here it is!

How can you experience and explore the Icefjord?

From the sea, from the ground and from the air. There, we said it. Which would we choose? We would say that they are all amazing, but for different reasons: from the sea, you can get up close and personal with the ice; from the air, you can take in it’s sheer size form either a helicopter or a plane, and from the ground the emphasis is on context: the hiking trail around the Icefjord lets you escape the sounds of the engines in exchange for the simple crunch of rock beneath your feet. Experience all three (though the flight is optional) on the UNESCO Classic tour of the Ilulissat Icefjord. For those who like to travel at their own pace, we have the self-guided Kingdom of Icebergs tour. We take care of the logistics every step of the way for 8 days, and leave the exploring to you!

Hikers Enjoying The View Over The Eqi Glacier Front In The Disko Bay In North Greenland
Photo: Maria Grødem


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An Aerial View Of Iceberg Clusters In The Ilulissat Ice Fjord In Greenland
Photo: Mads Pihl

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