Helicopter Scenic Flight to Sermitsiaq Summit – Nuuk Fjord

Taking a helicopter scenic flight over the Nuuk Fjord is one of the highlights of a visit to Greenland’s capital.  But did you know you can make your flightseeing experience even more awesome by landing near the summit of one of the highest mountains in the area?

I LOVE helicopter scenic flights! With air travel so common these days, there is something exotic about being in a helicopter.  So you can imagine that I jumped at the chance to take a flight over Nuuk and the Nuuk Fjord system when the opportunity arose.  The added bonus – we would actually land near the summit of one of the tall peaks near the capital!

Preparing for take-off

There were 5 of us on this adventure to the high wilderness around Nuuk. Our pilot, Jonas, met us at Nuuk airport and led us out to our waiting aircraft. There he pointed out all the safety features of the aircraft as well as the things not to step on or touch … good to know!

Preparing for take-off on the Nuuk Fjord summit flight to Sermitsiaq Mountain - Greenland
Preparing to take off. Very important to know what you can and cannot touch!

The 5 of us bundled into the small AS 350 Eurocopter without disturbing anything we shouldn’t. It was a bit of a tight squeeze in the back with 4 of us rugged up in heavy duty puffy jackets and ski pants, but we jigsawed ourselves until we were all clipped in and sat back to enjoy the ride.

Pilot and passenger in the front of the helicopter preparing for takeoff on the Nuuk Fjord Summit scenic flight - Greenland
Starting up

Scenic flight to the summit of Sermitsiaq

On the Helicopter Summit Flight the pilot has a choice of two mountains – Kingittorsuaq (one of the “deer antlers”), or Sermitsiaq – Nuuk’s iconic neighbour.  The destination for the day depends on weather conditions, but I have to admit I was really excited to learn that we would be heading for Sermitsiaq.

Sermitsiaq – straight ahead of us

It is a very short flight that had all of us sweeping our heads back and forth trying to take in the spectacular views in every direction.  One of the many great things about a helicopter flightseeing tour is that the windows tend to be larger than in a plane, allowing you to see much more – even if you are in the middle seat like I was.

Views from inside the helicopter as we flew towards Sermitsiaq mountain on our summit scenic flight near Nuuk, Greenland
Views out the different windows of the helicopter as we made our way towards the mountain

After passing by the western edge of the mountain, Jonas started searching for an appropriate place to set the helicopter down.  He decided upon a small, relatively flat area below the summit and used the helicopter itself to ensure our landing spot was secure.

Flying towards the western edge of Sermitsiaq mountain with the blue Nuuk Fjord far below - Greenland
The deep blue of the Nuuk Fjord curving around the base of Sermitsiaq

As we came in the first time, the rotors blew some of the snow out of the way.  He then “landed” using the helicopter skids to compact the snow, and then lifted off and backed up to see exactly what his chosen landing place looked like.  He repeated this three times before he was satisfied and we made the final landing. I have to admit the adrenaline was pumping while all this was going on!

Landing near the summit of Sermitsiaq

What an incredible place!

Helicopter landed near the summit of Sermitsiaq mountain near Nuuk, Greenland
Wilderness helicopter landing with the summit of Sermitsiaq in the background

We only had a short time on the mountain, so Jonas helped us make the most of it by leading the way to the best viewpoints.

Walking towards the edge of the mountain with the helicopter in the foreground - Sermitsiaq Flightseeing near Nuuk, Greenland
Exploring the upper slopes of Sermitsiaq

It was a little challenging making our way through the knee-deep snow

Deep bootprints in the snow on Sermitsiaq mountain on a scenic flight - summit landing near Nuuk, Greenland
We often sank to our knees in the deep snow

but the rewards far outweighed the effort, with panoramic views over the Nuuk Fjord

Panorama of the Nuuk Fjord leading down towards Nuuk on the helicopter summit flight, Greenland

Move image over cursor to see the full panorama

and grand views back towards the helicopter and summit of Sermitsiaq, which reminded us just how small we are in this world.

Red helicopter is dwarfed by the summit of Sermitsiaq mountain near Nuuk, Greenland
An amazing landing spot

It is amazing how quickly 25 minutes passes when you are in such a location, and all too soon it was time to head back to the helicopter for our return to Nuuk.

Returning to the helicopter with Sermitsiaq summit in the background on a flightseeing tour near Nuuk, Greenland
Time to head back

Flying over Nuuk

Rather than heading straight back to the airport, the scenic flight takes you on a full circle around the city so that you can see it from all angles.  It was so interesting to see how spread out Greenland’s capital is, and I loved how the houses added a dash of colour to the blue-grey and white landscape.

Nuuk, the capital city of Greenland, as seen from the air approaching from the west
The entire city of Nuuk

No matter the angle, there is no denying that Nuuk is located in a truly spectacular place.

Nuuk from all angles as we fly past on the summit scenic flight to Sermitsiaq Mountain, Greenland
Different angles of Nuuk city – with Store Malene and
Kingittorsuaq (top) and Sermitsiaq (bottom) in the background

Then, an hour after we took off, Jonas had us lined up along the runway for our approach into Nuuk airport.  He set the helicopter down onto its small wooden towing platform with barely a bump – such is the skill of Air Greenland pilots.

Coming in to land at Nuuk airport from a helicopter scenic flight, summit landing on Sermitsiaq mountain, Greenland
Approaching Nuuk airport

A helicopter scenic flight for the adventurous

This was by far the best scenic flight I’ve ever done anywhere in the world!  

The opportunity to do a wilderness landing high up on a mountainside is a unique experience, and the views from near the top of Sermitsiaq are truly stunning.  There are several flightseeing tours available from Nuuk and in other places in Greenland, but if you are looking for something more than just your typical scenic flight – I highly recommend the Helicopter Summit Flight from Nuuk.  

And just because I love it – here is a 270 degree panorama from the our wilderness landing on Sermitsiaq.

270 degree panorama from the our landing spot on the Nuuk Fjord helicopter summit flight - Greenland

Move image over cursor to see the full panorama

Million thanks to Air Greenland for this incredible flightseeing experience!

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