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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
It was a little challenging making our way through the knee-deep snow
but the rewards far outweighed the effort, with panoramic views over the Nuuk Fjord
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.
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.
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.
No matter the angle, there is no denying that Nuuk is located in a truly spectacular place.
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.
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.
Move image over cursor to see the full panorama
Million thanks to Air Greenland for this incredible flightseeing experience!
Discover more about Greenland
I have a large number of blog posts about Greenland, so feel free to read more about my experiences here on my blog.
Or, if this post has piqued your curiosity about Greenland in general, learn more about this amazing country by:
- reading my Greenland-specific blog at Guide to Greenland
- checking out the information and wide range of trips available at Guide to Greenland
- exploring the Government tourism site at Visit Greenland.