Things to do in Tasiilaq

Tasiilaq: Gateway to Adventure

Tasiilaq. Population 2,017. It’s tiny by anyone’s (except for Greenlandic) standards, but it is still the largest town in East Greenland. So it’s a small town, but it packs quite a punch!

No matter which season you visit in, there are lots of awesome things to do in Tasiilaq. Let us lead you through, season by season. 

A group hiking up a mountain on skies in Greenland - Icelandic Mountain Guides
Photo: Mads Pihl

Hike up, ski down

Fly in from Iceland: it’s not far!

There are regular flights from Reykjavik via Kulusuk, making Tasiilaq well connected, and from Reykjavik Domestic Airport is just shy of 2 hours!

Some history

There is a fascinating history of settlement here. Due to some incredible archeological discoveries and human remains, it is has been possible to identify that the first settlers of Tasiilaq were were from the Saqqaq culture, originating from Siberia  5,500 years ago. They originally arrived from west Greenland, and making the migration east. This was a distinct migration separate from the the migration from the Native Americans and indeed the Inuit in other parts of Greenland form the same region. So what are the things to do in Tasiilaq?

Things to do in Tasiilaq: Summer 

Boat Tours: Sermilik ice fjord

The Sermilik fjord is the second largest fjord in Greenland, Sermilik meaning Icefjord in Greenlandic. Take in the immense scale of the floating ice bergs that calve from the glacier, of which you will probably be 0.00001% the size of. Or something miniscule like that.

The Sermilik fjord is fed by a number of larger and smaller glaciers in the area: Helheimsgletchser, Midgårdsgletcher, 16 Septembergletcher and Skaltgletcher, to name a few. Here is a map of the area so you can get a sense of how enormous it it really is: the icebergs are so big, that it can be seen from space by satellites! If you can see them clearly by satellite, imagine how big they are in real life!

You can imagine that taking a boat tour through this amazing ice world is one of the top things to do in Tasiilaq in summer, and with good reason! The thing about the boat tours is that every time you do go out, there's always something different to see! The fjord is never the same, even a few days apart.


Slow, still, silent. Where a boat tour will have you whizzing around and covering a larger area, a kayak tour will give you an intimate view of the ice, getting you really up close and personal. You might even see a whale or two too. 


East Greenland is an incredible hiking destination for the landscape. Of course, you’re in Greenland for the landscape in the first place, but the east coast is different from the west coast: the mountains are taller and the landscape more dramatic. Just behind Tasiilaq, there are incredible mountains to hike, and of course there is the Valley of Flowers… 

Hiking to the Valley of Flowers

The joke about Greenland is that its not very green. But the flower valley erupts into all kinds of colours in summer; Arctic ThymeArctic Bluebell, Arctic Dandelion as well as the national flower of Greenland, the broad leafed willow.

Tasiilaq Museum, inside the old church

The museum in Tasiilaq will give you an insight into the history, culture and remarkable genealogy of the settlement of the area. Include it as part of a stroll around the town.

Whale watching

There is an orange glow over the horizon. It lasts for hours and hours. This isn’t the golden hour, this is the golden five hours. You hear a burst of air, you see a spray rise out of the water’s surface.  A fluke (tail) rises gentle out of the water. Another dive, another gasp of air. Watching these gentle giants must surely be an essential part of visiting Greenland. 

Photo: Alexander Raphael.

Breaching Minke whale.

Things to do in Tasiilaq: Winter

Dog sledding

The all-time Greenlandic classic. It’s a must-do, honestly. It has been an essential part of life in Greenland for thousands of years. Wind in your hair, howls in the wind. Its an exhilarating thing. It’s also part of the Big Arctic 5!

Northern Lights 

Of course, the benefit of the darkness  of winter is that it brings the Northern Lights. Marvel at this amazing spectacle, and it’s even better after a hard days dog sledding!


Skin up. Hike up. Ski down. This is the alpine ski touring game at it’s finest. Head down a peak that either nobody or very, very few people have ever skied. First runs. Virgin powder. All yours. 

Snow shoeing

It’s like hiking, but made for snow, so no sinking! It’s surpassingly old, with the first recorded instances of snow showing dating back thousands of years. It’s really good fun too!

A group putting on snow shoes and getting ready for a hike in east Greenland - Icelandic Mountain Guides
Photo: Mads Pihl



A important cultural experience and tradition of the Inuit. A Kaffemik is a social occasion where a person’s house is open to the public, people come and go as the please, and coffee and cakes are served. 

Greenlandic Food Culture
Photo: Mads Pihl

A Woman Serving Food At A Kaffemik In Oqaatsut In Greenland

Too much to do? Go for the Highlights!

We might go so far as to say that there is too much to do in one trip to Tasiilaq. The obvious solution is just come over for a long time and get it all in. For those who don’t have the time, the Greenland Highlights selects the best experiences and hits them all into on trip! For winter, there are the Winter Highlights with a focus on dog sledding. 

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