Hiking Greenland – Icefjords and Remote Villages – Sermilik Way

It was another grey morning as we schlepped all our gear out of the hut and back down to the boat from Arctic Dream that was waiting to transfer us from Tiniteqilaaq to the start of the “Sermilik Way”.

Carting all our stuff back to the boat from the hut at Tiniteqilaaq - East Greenland
Carting all our stuff down to the boat from the hut at Tiniteqilaaq

While my sensible travel companions enjoyed the comfort inside Lars’ new boat

Inside the Arctic Dream passenger boat - East Greenland
Plenty of room in here!

I chose to sit out the back with all of our gear

Me sitting out the back of our boat transfer up the Sermilik Fjord - East Greenland
Yes, I’m crazy

so I could enjoy the cold 😊  No, actually, so I could take pictures of the very large icebergs we were passing on our way down the Sermilik Fjord.

Boating past huge icebergs in the Sermilik Fjord - East Greenland
Huge icebergs!

Our drop-off point was on the opposite side of Ammassalik Island to our final destination for the day – Tasiilaq.  Lars would continue with our gear and drop it at our accommodation in East Greenland’s largest town (2000 people), while we hiked all the way across the southern part of the Island.

The first challenge – getting off the boat!  We nosed into some rocks and Eric and Allan clamboured ashore to hold the rocking boat as firmly as possible while the rest of us negotiated the slippery seaweed and the steep but short climb to the start of the hike.

From boat transfer to land at the start of the Sermilik Way - Ammassalik Island - East Greenland
Allan and Eric stabilizing the boat (left) and scaling the very steep cliff (right) at the start of the Sermilik Way

We passed by a red hut that is occasionally used by school groups

Typical Greenlandic hut at the start of the Sermilik Way - East Greenland

and followed the river up towards the pass.

Hiking along a river at the start of the Sermilik Way - East Greenland

There were many beautiful waterfalls along the way

Hiking beside a beautiful waterfall at the start of the Sermilik Way - East Greenland
I love this photo!

spectacular views back down over the fjord

View back down over the fjord from the Sermilik Way - East Greenland
The view back down over the hut and fjord at the start of the Sermilik Way on Ammassalik Island

and, of course, snow 😊  Lots of snow!

Plenty of snow still on the Sermilik Way - East Greenland
Still plenty of snow at the start of July on the Sermilik Way. Unusual for this time of year

It was absolutely stunning!  One of my favourite day-hikes in East Greenland to date.  Made even more beautiful (I suspect) by the surprisingly large amount of snow still on the ground for this time of year.

It took us quite a while to make our way around a large, still-mostly-frozen lake

Hiking around a large semi-frozen lake along the Sermilik Way - Ammassalik Island - East Greenland
Hiking around a large semi-frozen lake

and climb the snow-covered 400m pass

Heading for the pass - Sermilik Way - East Greenland
We are still hiking beside a frozen lake and headed for the pass you can see ahead of us

for an amazing view down to the extremely long Lake 168.  Yes, really.  That is what the lake is called!

Views of Lake 168 from the top of the Sermilik Way pass - Ammassalik Island- East Greenland
Views of Lake 168 from the top of the Sermilik Way pass

We stopped here for “1st-lunch” and I decided to join Rhonda (a keen flora photographer) in taking photos of the lichen and plant life in the area.  Greenland has a surprisingly large number of wildflowers, and the variety of lichens is amazing.

Wildflowers and lichen at the top of the Sermilik Way pass - Ammassalik Island - East Greenland
Wildflowers and lichen

The other side of the pass turned out to be largely free of snow and very steep. 

Tasiilaq side of the pass on the Sermilik Way - East Greenland
The Tasiilaq side of the Sermilik Way pass

However, we all made it safely to the frozen shore of Lake 168 and went a bit berko taking photos of this incredible scene.

Lake 168 on the Sermilik Way - Ammassalik Island - East Greenland
Beautiful views and reflections in Lake 168

Andrea had warned us that “Lake 168 is the lake that seems to never end”, and while the unbelievably picturesque views kept us in awe for the first hour

Admiring the semi-frozen Lake 168 on the Sermilik Way - Ammassalik Island East Greenland
The semi-frozen Lake 168 was stunningly beautiful

we were all starting to wonder whether we’d ever reach the end of it during the second hour of hiking, as we negotiated sand, bogs, streams and, of course, snow.  “2nd-lunch” kept us walking, however, and we did eventually pass beyond it.

Hiking along Lake 168 - Ammassalik Island - East Greenland
Hiking along the never-ending Lake 168 took us through all sorts of terrain

The landscape became less frozen as we made our way closer to Tasiilaq, though there was still plenty of ice in the string of lakes (Lake 101, Lake 100 – no, seriously!)  that bordered the route we were following.

Hiking alongside lakes on the Sermilik Way - Ammassalik Island- East Greenland
More imaginatively-named lakes (Lake 100, Lake 101) along the Sermilik Way

Eventually we found ourselves at the end of a dirt road (a surprise in East Greenland) which we followed for the final few kilometres into town

Hiking into Tasiilaq - East Greenland
Hiking into Tasiilaq

and our very nice accommodation at one of the houses owned by Lars’ company Arctic Dream.  My first shower in 9 days … heaven!

Arctic Dream accommodation - Tasiilaq - East Greenland
Our luxury accommodation in Tasiilaq – one of the houses owned by Arctic Dream

Read more about the Icefjords and Remote Villages Tour

If this post has piqued your curiosity about hiking and trekking in East Greenland, read about the rest of my adventure on the 10-day Icefjords and Remote Villages tour with Greenland Adventures:

If it has sparked an interest in Greenland more generally, learn more about this amazing country at Visit Greenland, and check out the wide range of tours of all kinds (not just hiking and trekking) at Guide to Greenland.

Hiking Information

Distance = 19.5 km

Time taken = 8 hours 30 minutes

Strava Linkhttps://www.strava.com/activities/1704299055

Map

Basic Map of hike to Tasiilaq along the Sermilik Way on Day 8 of Icefjords and Remote Villages Trek - from Strava

Altitude Profile

Basic Map of hike to Tasiilaq along the Sermilik Way on Day 8 of Icefjords and Remote Villages Trek - from Strava
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