Qoornoq settlement in the Nuuk Fjord

Abandoned in the 1960s as part of the Danish government’s G60 program, the small settlement of Qoornoq has found a new lease on life as a Summer getaway for the families of its former residents. Exploring this small village on a boat tour from Nuuk offers a wonderful 1/2-day trip into the Nuuk Fjord from Greenland’s capital.

The weather was not looking brilliant as we rounded the 3 sides of Nuuk to start our journey up the Nuuk Fjord to Qoornoq.

Looking out the windscreen of our boat towards Sermitsiaq mountain with its top lost in cloud - Nuuk - West Greenland
The top of Sermitsiaq is still just visible

And although some of my travelling companions decided to brave the cold for a brief period, we spent most of the journey inside the warm cabin of our Nuuk Water Taxi, chatting and watching the spectacular scenery slide by through the large windows.

Passengers sitting outside the warm cabin (top) and inside with the captain (bottom) - Nuuk Fjord - West Greenland
We didn’t last long out on the front deck of the boat (top). It was lovely and warm inside the cabin though (bottom)

Fortunately the clouds were high enough that we could still see the peaks of most of the mountains, and the overcast day created a more subdued feeling than the bright sunshine I enjoyed on my first trip up the Nuuk Fjord. Perfect really for exploring an abandoned settlement.

Move cursor over image to see the full panorama

It took us about an hour to make our way up the fjord, and it turns out Sermitsiaq is not the only mountain with a frozen waterfall!

Frozen waterfall in the Nuuk Fjord - West Greenland
This one was much smaller than the frozen waterfall behind Sermitsiaq, but still…

Arriving at Qoornoq

Our first view of Qoornoq was a string of brightly coloured houses spread out over a peninsula.

Colourful houses of Qoornoq line the fjord - Nuuk Fjord - West Greenland
The colourful houses of Qoornoq lining the fjord

and our landing point was around the back at a set of wooden stairs.

Our boat approaching the wooden stairs leading up to Qoornoq - Nuuk Fjord - West Greenland
There was no dock as such. Thue just nosed the boat into these wooden stairs and held it there while we jumped off

Our captain, Thue, dropped us off and said to be back in an hour … then headed off to go fishing for his dinner.

Nuuk water taxi in Nuuk Fjord near Qoornoq - West Greenland
Thue leaving us temporarily so he could catch some dinner while he waited for us

This early in the season (mid-March), there is nobody at Qoornoq. In fact, I was asked later in the week by a person who owns a home there about how much ice there was and where we had made our landing.

Exploring Qoornoq

It was absolutely silent as we headed our separate ways to explore this hibernating village, footsteps muffled by the sometimes quite deep snow that covered the ground.

Colourful houses of Qoornoq and a path leading through the settlement - West Greenland
A path leading through the settlement

The bright, colourful houses really stood out against the white landscape

Some of the bright, colourful houses of Qoornoq - Nuuk Fjord - West Greenland
I love the colourful houses of Greenland

but all were locked up for the winter.

Padlock and decoration on the exterior of one of the houses of Qoornoq - West Greenland

The cemetery was a poignant reminder that there used to be a permanent community here. People who hunted and fished and lived out their lives in this remote place.

The cemetery at Qoornoq and one of its houses set against the mountainous backdrop - Nuuk Fjord - West Greenland
A white landscape

It was very easy to imagine that they left only yesterday.

Unlike in Assaqutaq near Sisimiut, almost every house in Qoornoq is very well maintained and there are no derelict buildings. I could see solar panels adorning most of the houses

Solar panels on a green house in Qoornoq - Nuuk Fjord - West Greenland
Most houses had solar panels

and other evidence that this small village comes alive during the summer months.

Kids soccer field in need of repair, but waiting for the Summer months - Qoornoq - West Greenland
I’m sure the nets will be repaired come Summer

It was a strange feeling to be wandering around a well maintained settlement with not another soul in sight. Almost like I’d only just missed the zombie apocalypse!

Houses of Qoornoq settlement with the fjord and mountains in the background - Nuuk Fjord - West Greenland
It was like a recently abandoned ghost town

Unfortunately, an hour is nowhere near long enough to fully explore Qoornoq and I didn’t manage to get down to the fish processing plant, nor discover the remnants of the abandoned railways that used to transport fish wagons. Clearly I’m going to have to return for another visit, and also spend some time searching for the Norse and ancient Inuit archaeological ruins that are meant to be in the area.

Move cursor over image to see the full panorama

A fishing interlude on the way back to Nuuk

When we returned to our boat, we were all very impressed by Thue’s fishing haul. So we stopped off for 15 minutes on the way back to Nuuk to try our own luck.

Catching cod on a Nuuk Fjord trip - West Greenland
Success! Many times over

Cod fishing in Nuuk Fjord is so ridiculously easy! You simply drop an unbaited line overboard, and within minutes (sometimes seconds) you have a sizable fish! This was my second experience of cod fishing (when I went around Sermitsiaq a few weeks ago we also dropped lines in) and it is crazy how quickly you can catch your dinner!

On the return journey to Nuuk, Thue took us quite close to mountains that towered above us and dropped more than 1000m straight into the Fjord.

Detail in the mountains in Nuuk Fjord - West Greenland
I love Greenlandic rock

It is an immense and rugged wilderness surrounding Greenland’s capital city and I can’t wait for my next chance to explore it further.

Explore the Nuuk Fjord by boat

If you are heading to Nuuk as part of your trip to Greenland, make sure that to head out on one of the many fjord tours available. There are actually several small settlements in the Nuuk Fjord (not just Qoornoq), so take your pick of whichever one interests you the most and go exploring.

Temporary dock for Qoornoq with the colourful houses waiting above - Nuuk Fjord - West Greenland
Final view of Qoornoq

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:

This post contains some affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Your support is appreciated!

Nuuk Fjord boat tour – around Sermitsiaq

A Nuuk Fjord boat tour is a must-do for every visitor to Greenland’s capital city. Even a relatively short trip of a few hours takes you past incredible mountain scenery and may even provide you with dinner!

There is something really special about being out on the water. I’m not sure what it is, but I am always keen to jump on a boat and set sail – no matter where we may be heading. Which is how I found myself at “Tidevandstrappen” (the Tidewater stairs at Nuuk’s industrial harbour) at 8:45am for a 4 hour Nuuk Fjord boat tour.

Our boat for this Nuuk Fjord Safari waiting at the Tidewater Stairs - Nuuk, West Greenland
Our vessel for this excursion

I would be sharing this trip with a solo traveller from the US and a group of 8 people from Nunavut – Canada’s newest territory. This was a fantastic group and we had a lot fun together on our fjord adventure.

We were welcomed on board by our captain, Katarina, and given a briefing on where we would be sailing by our guide, Sebastian, as we headed out into the fjord past the colourful houses of Nuuk. Some of the hardy folk from Nunavut elected to sit out on the front deck to enjoy the bracing temperature and wind-chill of Greenland, but I stayed in the warm comfort of the cabin for this first part of the trip!

Preparing for the journey with a run through the map and heading out past Nuuk, West Greenland
A rundown of our route for the excursion (top) and on our way past Nuuk (bottom)

The Nuuk Fjord close to the Capital

On this trip, we would be exploring the part of the fjord that is closest to Nuuk. In particular, we would be circumnavigating Sermitsiaq mountain, the icon of Nuuk, which forms its own island very close to the capital.

Sermitsiaq mountain as seen from near Nuuk, West Greenland
Sermitsiaq is an icon of Nuuk

Before we did that, however, Katarina set course for Maaluto island, where Nuuk Fjord’s 5 whales are sometimes seen. Unfortunately, there were no whales on this occasion, but my imagination ran wild with the thought of owning one of the summer houses in this beautiful area. How amazing would that be?!

Summer home in a snowy landscape in the Nuuk Fjord, West Greenland
I would love a place like this!

We also found a small iceberg, and I was fascinated by how excited the folk from Nunavut were to see one. Apparently they have a lot of sea ice there in the winter, but not so much old ice like this that has come from a glacier.

Images of a small iceberg we found as part of the excursion - near Nuuk, West Greenland
Iceberg views never get old

Sermitsiaq Waterfall

The next major stop on our tour of the Nuuk Fjord was the waterfall that cascades over the back of Sermitsiaq. At this time of year (the start of March), it is frozen solid, and forms the most beautiful and colourful “stalactites”.

Sermitsiaq's frozen waterfall near Nuuk, West Greenland
Frozen waterfalls are just as beautiful as flowing ones

We watched in amazement as Katarina nosed the boat into the rocks at the base of the waterfall and Sebastian jumped out (in tennis shoes!) to gather ice from the waterfall for us. Given how much trouble I have just walking around Nuuk on the ice, it was an impressive display of mountain-goating!

Images of Sebastian collecting ice from the base of Sermitsiaq's frozen waterfall - Nuuk, West Greenland
Sebastian doing his best mountain-goat-on-ice impression. It was seriously impressive to watch!

Our reward – ice that doesn’t get much purer than this.

pure ice in a sealskin glove
Pure ice in a sealskin glove

The views around the back side of Sermitsiaq are just as impressive as the view of Sermitsiaq itself

Views of mountains behind Sermitsiaq, near Nuuk, West Greenland
The mountains around Nuuk are spectacular – and not just Sermitsiaq!

and what better way to take some time out and enjoy the scenery than to do a spot of fishing!

Fishing in the Nuuk Fjord

Sebastian and Katarina set us up with a couple of hand-lines, each of which contained 3 large hooks.

Images of fishing and the fishing apparatus used - Nuuk fjord safari - West Greenland
No bait. Just 3 hooks on a line.

And within 30 seconds of dropping these unbaited hooks over the side, we had our first fish!

Person catching a fish on the Nuuk Fjord Safari - West Greenland

It was incredible how these cod would bite at anything. And so quickly! Such a contrast to going fishing with my Dad in Australia, where we usually sit in a boat for hours to catch absolutely nothing at all. Don’t worry Dad, it is about spending quality time, not really about the fishing for me. But you should definitely come to Greenland to go fishing… 🤣

We pulled up lines about 15 minutes and 7 fish later, and moved a little further along to sit under Oriartorfik – a very impressive 1030m sheer cliff that falls straight into the Nuuk fjord. The fish-finder was going crazy

Fish finder showing lots of fish, on the Nuuk Fjord Safari, West Greenland
Plenty of fish down there!

and again (and unlike in Australia) the fish were biting at nothing. Several of us even managed to pull up 2 fish at a time!


This was my first experience of using a hand-line. And although it is very easy to spool out the line, it really is a 2-person job to bring it all back in – one to pull on the line itself, and the other to wind the line back onto the rack so it doesn’t end up in a tangled mess on the floor.

Image of two people fishing - Nuuk Fjord Safari, West Greenland
One person to pull the line in. One person to wrap it back around the spool.

We’d caught about 20 fish and were very proud of our seafood haul before we decided to call it quits and head back towards Nuuk. After so much bracing fresh air and excitement, we spent most of this return journey inside the warm cabin, drinking tea and coffee and admiring the views through the large windows.

It was nice and warm inside and we still had great views. The bonus was tea and coffee!

Views of Colourful Nuuk

The entrance to Nuuk harbour is on the opposite side of the city to the main fjord, which means we had a wonderful opportunity to see the Old Colonial Harbour and the colourful houses that contribute to the moniker – “Colourful Nuuk” from the water.

Views of the colourful houses of Nuuk and the Colonial Harbour, Nuuk Fjord Safari -  West Greenland
The colourful houses (top) and the Old Colonial Harbour (bottom) of Nuuk

It was an amazing trip into just a small portion of the world’s second-largest fjord system and the perfect way to spend a Saturday morning 😄

Explore the Nuuk Fjord by boat

If Nuuk is part of your itinerary for Greenland, you have to head out on one of the many fjord tours available. Even a short one such as this is an amazing experience and offers really beautiful views from the water.

Nuuk, the wash of the boat and Sermitsiaq in the background, West Greenland
Until next time Sermitsiaq!

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:


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!

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:

This post contains some affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Your support is appreciated!

First day in Nuuk

My travel schedule for 2019 is very much centred on Greenland. Those of you who have chatted to me in the past 18 months know how obsessed I am with the place, so I was very excited to be able to collaborate with Guide to Greenland for this trip.

I actually started blogging for them after my first trip here in 2017 and you should definitely check out that blog for more stories from Greenland from yours truly!

My apartment is up on a hill in the suburb of Nuussuaq- out near the University and the airport.

Looking up at my apartment from the bottom of the snowy hill - Nuuk - Greenland
Looking up at my apartment block from the bottom of the snowy hill

While this might sound like a million miles away from the city centre, given how small Nuuk is (it only has a population of 18,000 people), it means I have about a 3km walk to get to town.

On my first morning, I headed out from home at 7:30am … well before the Sun had risen. Rather than walk down the road (which initially heads in the wrong direction), I followed some locals straight down the steep snowy slope that passes behind the Recycling Centre and ends near a part of Nuuk Harbour.

View down the snowy hill near my apartment block - locals leading the way to the harbour - Nuuk - Greenland
Locals leading the way down to the road that runs along Nuuk Harbour in the pre-dawn light

Fortunately it wasn’t too slippery, and I managed to make it down without falling! Still testing out my snow legs!

I asked Maps.Me to show me the best way to walk into town, and set off following its trail of blue dashes.

Maps.Me screenshot showing the walking route from my apartment into Nuuk
This is apparently the best walking route from my apartment into Nuuk

This led me along a convoluted route between apartment buildings that were absolutely silent in a world muted by snow. I’d never really experienced something like this before, and I was surprised at how much a thick layer of snow changes the soundscape.

Dark images of walking between apartment buildings on my way to work in Nuuk - Greenland
It’s quite dark when I walk in to town at the minute and my trail leads me through blocks of apartment buildings

The centre of Nuuk is relatively flat, and when I visited here 2 years ago I didn’t really venture too far beyond that. However, walking in from the suburbs quickly had me reassessing my view of Nuuk – it is quite a hilly place and there are staircases everywhere!

My route into town led me up and down several staircases, with this 240-stair monster providing an incredible view over the harbour.

View of Nuuk Harbour from the top of one of the many staircases in the city

Move cursor over image to see full panorama

Looking carefully at the end of the straight road heading through the above panorama, you can see the next staircase I was heading towards leading up the snowy bank to a passing bus. This is the last staircase on my walk into town (which is just behind the hill), and there is another amazing view back down over the harbour from the top.

View of ships in Nuuk harbour
View of ships in Nuuk Harbour from the top of the staircase

The offices of Guide to Greenland are very close to the center of town and really lovely inside.

Exterior and interior of the offices at Guide to Greenland - Nuuk
The road leading to the offices of Guide to Greenland (the light blue building to the left) and the Nuuk Center (the tall grey building on the right) of the panorama. The middle and bottom images show the great setup of the offices

My station is the one over in the corner with a vinyl copy of Nanook’s latest album right beside me on the windowsill 👍👍 No, I didn’t put it there. It was there when I arrived 😂

Image of where I'm working from at the Guide to Greenland offices
Eeeeek! A Mac! And I swore I’d never use one again… I do very much like what is keeping me company on the windowsill though!

I had a great day getting my bearings and chatting with everyone, and am really looking forward to my time collaborating with this awesome bunch of people!

Then, about 4pm, it was time for the walk home. Yes, the days are quite short at the minute, and that 240-stair staircase gives you quite a workout when you are heading up it!

Looking up at the 240 stairs on the way home - Nuuk - Greenland
Oh boy! The start of the 240 stairs leading up. It was much easier coming down!

It was quite dark by the time I’d reached the bottom of the snowy slope below my apartment, but I’d forgotten (didn’t think to bring) my headlamp. So time for the phone to guide the way!

Image of phone with flashlight on and my apartment in the background - Nuuk - Greenland
Walking in snow in the dark is challenging. You can’t quite make out the lay of the land … hence flashlight!

It’s always nice to arrive home, as Greenlandic houses are very well heated. You strip off in a “mud room” just inside the door before venturing further into the house.

I love where I’m staying – here’s a nice little tour of the inside.

Living room and kitchen of the apartment
Living, kitchen, walk through the hallway “mudroom” into the bedroom. I also have a small bathroom with washing machine

Yes, it is small – and the kitchen is challenging for someone who loves to cook (even though I have almost everything I need).

But it is perfect for my stay here this time and I love it!


From Sydney Australia to Nuuk Greenland

Ask any Australian and they’ll soon tell you …

It’s a bloody long way from Australia to pretty much anywhere!

This was once again brought home to me as I awoke 4 hours after taking off from Sydney to find myself still over the continent of Australia. *sigh*

I was flying to Copenhagen on my birthday to start my 2019 adventures. This year they are primarily focused around one country. You might be able to guess which one if you’ve been keeping up with the blog posts and my obsessions, otherwise the home-made board game and birthday gift “Sah’s 40-something Travel Quiz – 2019 Edition” might give you a clue.

2019 version of the Travel Quiz made by my brother and his wife - featuring Greenland
These home-made board games are some of my favourite gifts ever! The last one (for when I left Australia 3 years ago) had a map of Latin America on it … where I would spend most of my time during that year

Toni, Bill – you guys are awesome! I love my board games! Though I think my questions were a little on the hard side this time 🤔 I really loved playing the night before I left, and I have to admit the pizza was bloody good😉

Playing my home made board game with my brother sister in law and niece  while eating home made pizza
Playing the latest edition of my awesome board game! One of the many brilliant things about this game is that the questions are specifically written for each person. Which means a 4 year old has as much chance of winning as a trivia buff!

Copenhagen is one of the two stepping stone options you have to get to Greenland. Previously, I’d always flown from Reykjavik in Iceland, but I’d never been to Denmark and it was a good opportunity to visit the Visit Greenland offices (I collaborated with them and wrote most of their Go To Guide to the Arctic Circle Trail last year), and catch up with a friend I’d not seen in 18 years!

Images from our visit to the Visit Greenland offices include the amazing building, a polar bear, dog sled and other traditional Greenlandic items
The Visit Greenland offices are in an awesome building that also hosts representatives from Iceland and Faroe Islands. There is a very cool Greenland store and museum there as well.

Well, actually, it turns out we had caught up once in that time, but neither of us had remembered it until I mentioned that I’d been to Geneva once for about 8 hours. It suddenly dawned on me that the only reason I would have done that was to catch up with him! We had both forgotten! Ah … failing memories 😧

I didn’t have a lot of time in Copenhagen, and Enzo and I spent the vast majority of it chatting. But we did manage to make it to the Lego shop (very cool), to watch Russ’ last IMAX Movie “The Story of Earth” at the Tycho Brahe Planetarium, and teach me that Tivoli is much more than just a venue that my favourite band, Nanook, play most years.

image of me at the lego shop and tivoli gardens in copenhagen
Me at the Lego Shop (L) and walking past Tivoli (R). Who knew it was an amusement park and not just a music venue? BTW the snow is fake

48 hours after arriving, I was back at CPH (Copenhagen airport) and boarding Norsaq – Air Greenland’s only jet – for the 5 hour journey to Kangerlussuaq – Greenland’s primary international airport.

First time on Norsaq
Flying towards adventure 
Nanook in my ears.

5 hours to Greenland
The land that captured my heart
And inspires me.

3 months I have there
Living rather than touring
I can hardly wait.

The above is a haiku I wrote during the flight over. I had a window seat and a wonderful view of blue skies and clouds 😀

Views out my window as I fly over Denmark, Norway and Iceland on the way to Greenland
Flying over Denmark, Norway and Iceland.

Which had turned to grey skies and snowy landscapes as we came in to land at Kangerlussuaq. This looked VERY different to when I was here last August to hike the Arctic Circle Trail!

Images of approaching Kangerlussuaq out of the window of the plane
The edge of the Greenland Icesheet (L) and turning into our approach to Kangerlussuaq (R). This latter runs up the (frozen) fjord and the airstrip is on the left-hand-side past where it narrows (you can just see it)

It was -16 degrees C when we landed and the walk from the plane to the terminal was my first taste of walking in icy/slippery conditions. Fortunately I didn’t face plant!

Passengers from Norsaq heading into the Kangerlussaq airport terminal - west Greenland
This is the biggest airport in Greenland. No, there are no aerobridges.

One of the many interesting things about Kangerlussuaq airport is that although it is the primary international airport for Greenland (due to having the best weather and the longest runway), nobody actually stays there. When Norsaq lands, there is a fleet of at least 4 Dash-8 planes waiting to transfer passengers to where they actually want to go in Greenland – in this case Ilulissat, Sisimiut, Narsarsuaq and Nuuk, my final destination for this trip.

Looking out the window of Kangerlussuaq airport. Note the several Dash-8 planes waiting (one had already taken off). Yes, the announcement is in Greenlandic, but there was an English version that followed.

Less than 2 hours later, Norsaq took off again in the direction of Copenhagen, I’d taken a picture of Kangerlussuaq’s famous sign, and I had boarded my own Dash 8 to head to Nuuk.

Kangerlussuaq Airports famous sign with distances to destinations - West Greenland
I’m pretty sure that most signs like this in the world don’t have the distance to the North Pole so close

Despite having mostly lost my voice, I spent the entire flight chatting with the person beside me. This was my second trip to Nuuk, and when it came into view 40 minutes later, I was reminded about how stunning the surrounding landscape is!

View of Nuuk as the plane flys over ready to circle back and land - Greenland
Nuuk from the air. It is surrounded by a fjord and stunning mountains

I am actually collaborating with Guide to Greenland on this trip, so Mads and Lasse met me at the airport and transported me to the small apartment that I would use while in Nuuk. It is plenty big enough for one person, has a great view, and is nice and warm. Perfect for me 😀

Panorama from the balcony of my small apartment in Nuuk - West Greenland

Move cursor over the image to see the full panorama

I’m soooooooo excited about my time here!


Walk with a Viking – Reykjavik city walking tour

After a 2-day delay in leaving East Greenland due to a broken helicopter, I managed to arrive into Reykjavik in time to team up with Your Friend in Reykjavik for another of their city walking tours.

Last year, I had a great time on both the Reykjavik Food Lovers Tour and the Icelandic Mythical Walk, so I was keen to join in again – this time taking a Walk with a Viking.

Foodie Tour (top) and Mythical Walking Tour (bottom) from Your Friend in Reykjavik
I enjoyed the Food Lovers Tour (top) and Icelandic Mythical Walk (bottom) with Your Friend in Reykjavik last year

It turned out that Stefan (from the Mythical walk last year) was our Viking, and I was happily reunited with him at Ingolfstorg Square to began our exploration of the history of Reykjavik and Iceland in general.

Walking with a Viking in Ingolfstorg Square, Reykjavik
Stefan telling us the origin of the name “Reykjavik” at Ingolfstorg Square

Stefan has a great way of diving into historical stories, with loads of interesting information and anecdotes. For example, did you know that Iceland has the oldest running parliament in the world? Can you guess which year the first Alþingi (Icelandic parliament) was established (no, not the date on the current parliament building)?

Outside the Alþingi - Icelandic Parliament - on the Walk with a Viking Tour with Your Friend in Reykjavik
The Alþingi – site for the “Pots and Pans” revolution in Iceland

Do you know what the people were upset about during the “Pots and Pans” Revolution” of 2009? The protests in front of the Alþingi were the largest ever held in Iceland.

Do you know who invaded Iceland during WWII? It’s probably not who you think!

Our viking - Stefan - in storytelling mode - Reykjavik, Iceland
Stefan in storytelling mode

Who is this dude? Why does he have a statue? And what is so special about the tree in the background?

statue of Skúli Magnússon in Reykjavik, Iceland

I’m not going to tell you 😀 But I really encourage you to do the tour while you are in Reykjavik to find out!

Stefan also talked quite a bit about the architecture of Iceland, from the prolific use of the basalt column motif in iconic buildings such as the Harpa Concert Hall and Hallgrímskirkja

Basaltic columnar jointing motif at Harpa concert centre and Hallgrímskirkja - Reykjavik, Iceland
Basaltic columnar jointing is a common geological feature in Iceland and its motif is very prevalent in the design of the Harpa Concert Hall and also Hallgrímskirkja (at the far end of the street, bottom right)

to why the exterior walls of many buildings are covered in corrugated iron.

School in Reykjavik
The school Stefan attended is sheeted in corrugated iron – very common in Iceland

He also touched on the mythology of Iceland as we re-visited the Elf Rock I was introduced to last year (though obviously you’d want to do the Icelandic Mythical Walk if this was your particular interest)

An Elf Rock

and strolled past several other points of significance in the downtown Reykjavik area – with Stefan keeping the stories and anecdotes coming all the while.

Various sites along the Walk with a Viking Tour with Your Friend in Reykjavik, Iceland


The Walk with a Viking tour from Your Friend in Reykjavik is a great way to kick off your trip to Iceland and learn a little about the history of this fascinating island and its capital city. It is also a great way to pick up tips on where to eat and hang out, and ask questions of a local about anything at all to do with Iceland and Icelandic culture.

Cost: 5,000ISK (~USD$40)

Time: ~2 hours

Hiking Greenland – Sisimiut’s UFO Hut

My plan upon arriving in Sisimiut after trekking the 160km Arctic Circle Trail from Kangerlussuaq, was to spend several more days in town doing day-hikes around the area. I found .gpx trails for several hikes at Destination Arctic Circle (thanks guys!) and was super-keen to do the “UFO Hike” in particular. After all, what exactly would I find at the end of a “UFO Hike”??

As with the hike to the summit of Nasaasaaq mountain, the first 3.5km of this trail follows a dirt road out of town. Fortunately it is a different dirt road to the one that leads to Nasaasaaq and the Arctic Circle Trail (which I’d already seen 3 times by now), and there is a period of interest when it leads you right through the middle of “Dog Town”. This is the area on the outskirts of Sisimiut where the majority of town’s Greenlandic Sled Dogs are chained awaiting the winter months. I grumbled to Tyson about hiking along roads (it’s definitely not my favourite thing) as we made our way to its end and the start of the trail.

Hiking along the road at the start of the Sisimiut UFO hike - West Greenland
Not the most interesting part of the hike

The narrow track we followed through the wilderness led us slowly upward, and my complaining stopped completely when we crested the first ridge and had a clear view of the valley we’d be hiking through. The landscape in front of us was absolutely stunning!

Panorama of the valley leading to the UFO -  Sisimiut UFO hike - West Greenland

[move cursor over image to see the full panorama]

We stayed on the high track (we could see another below us) for several kilometers before it seemed to just disappear. The track below us was also no longer visible. Checking the trail notes we had picked up in the foyer of the Hotel Sisimiut, we had clearly come to the part described by the following:

…it may be difficult to find the trail at this point, but when in doubt follow the running water that flows between the mountains at the bottom of the valley…

Hotel Sisimiut


“Oh well” we figured as we headed down towards the boggy ground around the river – something we’d been trying to avoid by staying high 🙁

Hiker approaching the boggy ground at the bottom of the valley -  Sisimiut UFO hike - West Greenland

Our hope was to find a physical trail at the bottom of the valley that would coincide with the .gpx trail I had downloaded (the ridge trail was off by about 500m). But alas, there was no trail to be found.


Time to start bush-bashing!

Hiker mid-way through bush-bashing along the bottom of the valley leading to the  Sisimiut UFO - West Greenland
Tyson searching for a trail through the vegetation

This is not the easiest thing to do when your boots have sunk so far into the spongy moss that they have all but disappeared (I actually ended up face-first a couple of times after stepping in hidden holes). Nor is it easy when, having made it through the moss, you are then confronted with a hip-high wall of Arctic Willow!

Disappearing boots (top) and almost disappearing bodies (bottom) -  Sisimiut UFO hike - West Greenland
Moss (top) and Arctic Willow (bottom) were the main obstacles along the UFO hike

2km later and wringing wet (the dew-laden Arctic Willow saturated me within 5 steps) it was a relief to finally recover the trail and exit this “uncharted” section of the hike.

Trail leading off into the distance -  Sisimiut UFO hike - West Greenland
This was a welcome relief from our bush-bashing

The trail became more obvious (and much dryer!) as we started to climb. Then – a sudden surprise! A beautiful lake with almost perfect reflections!

Mountains reflected in a still lake -  Sisimiut UFO hike - West Greenland

Given that this relatively large body of water didn’t appear on Maps.Me (the offline map app of choice for both Tyson and myself), we decided to name it “Hidden Lake” as we hiked around its edge.

Hiking around the end of a still lake -  Sisimiut UFO hike - West Greenland

A second lake appeared after the first, and both the views in the direction we were heading and back down over the lakes became more and more stunning as we crested several false passes.

Views from the trail -  Sisimiut UFO hike - West Greenland
Views towards the pass (top) and back down over the lakes (bottom) became more and more beautiful as we climbed

Eventually, we arrived at the actual pass and could see our final destination – still about 3km distant.

First sight of the UFO from the top of the pass -  Sisimiut UFO hike - West Greenland
Can you see the UFO on the right-hand part of the hill in the mid-ground?

Crossing this final stretch towards Sisimiut’s UFO was a bit of a surreal experience. How cool is it to have a back-country hut in the shape of a UFO?!

Hiking towards the UFO -  Sisimiut UFO hike - West Greenland

We climbed the ladder into the heart of the ship to check out the inside. There was no lock, just a circular disk of plywood covering the access hatch, and nothing inside either.

Climbing into the UFO -  Sisimiut UFO hike - West Greenland

It was a great place to escape the cool breeze that had sprung up and have lunch, but I imagine it would be extremely noisy, and the structure would move quite a bit if you had more than about 4 people in there! It is an actual Hut that you can stay at, and our friend Aqqalooraq, who works reception at the Hotel Sisimiut, told us he’d been there several years ago on a school excursion.

Inside Sisimiut's UFO Hut -  Sisimiut UFO hike - West Greenland

[move cursor over image to see the full panorama]

One thing about Sisimiut’s aliens – they picked an amazingly beautiful spot to land!

View of the UFO Hut overlooking the Kangerlusarsuk Fjord -  Sisimiut UFO hike - West Greenland
An amazing view!

Well … actually, they didn’t initially.

The UFO was originally located just outside of Sisimiut and was transported to its current location overlooking the Kangerlusarsuk Fjord (at the opposite end to the Kangerlusarsuk Tulleq Nord hut) by helicopter in the 1980s. Why it was built in the first place … I don’t have the full story yet, but will update this post once I do 🙂

The hike back to Sisimiut was along the same route as we took to get out to the UFO. It really is a very, very beautiful hike, and I entertained myself with a game of “could this be evidence of alien life?” as we made the return trip.

Views hiking back towards the pass -  Sisimiut UFO hike - West Greenland
Looking up towards the pass from the bottom of the area leading to the UFO (top) and evidence for alien life??!! (bottom)

When we got back to the “uncharted” part of the hike, we did another search for a trail (the last thing we wanted to do was bush-bash through again), but there was nothing visible from this direction either. We suspect the trail has simply been overgrown. Let me know if you find it!

Just before we reached the end of the trail where it rejoins the road, we started to come across lots of locals picking crowberries. It was a Sunday afternoon and whole families were out with buckets collecting these slightly tart berries to turn into desserts for the week.

Locals collecting crowberries -  Sisimiut UFO hike - West Greenland

I was only introduced to the joys of wild foraging earlier this year, and certainly picked my fill of blueberries as I hiked along the Arctic Circle Trail. I love that gathering crowberries, blueberries and mushrooms seems to be a common past-time for the residents of Sisimiut – at least from what I saw during my week and a half there at the end of August 🙂


The hike out to the UFO Hut from Sisimiut is not technically challenging (unless you count the bush-bashing part) but it is long.

The reward is hiking through an incredibly beautiful valley, and the surreal experience of being able to climb into a UFO at the end of it! I loved this hike!

Trekking Information

Distance = 23.2km

Time taken = 6hr 39mins

GPX File = Hiking-Greenland-Sisimiut-UFO.gpx

Strava Link =https://www.strava.com/activities/1813014060


Basic Map of Sisimiut UFO Hike- from Strava

Altitude Profile

Basic Altitude Profile of Sisimiut UFO Hike - West Greenland

Discover more about Greenland

I have a large number of blog posts about Greenland, so feel free to read more about my experiences and hiking adventures here on my blog.

Or, if this post has piqued your curiosity about Greenland in general, learn more about this amazing country by:

This post contains some affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Your support is appreciated!

Hiking Greenland – Nasaasaaq Mountain – Sisimiut

The most popular day-hike from Sisimiut is the climb up Palasip Qaqqaa – the 544m mountain that overlooks the airport. However, Tyson and I aren’t really ones to follow the crowds, and so on the first clear day after arriving in Sisimiut, we decided to tackle the pyramid-shaped Nasaasaaq Mountain (784m) instead.

Nasaasaaq mountain rises steeply behind the colourful houses of Sisimiut - West Greenland
The summit of Nasaasaaq is the triangular peak to the left of the image, and a key landmark above Sismiut. It is actually much higher than the bluff on the right, which we also climbed

We picked up the trail notes for the “Hard Route” (of course!) from the foyer of the Hotel Sisimiut and headed along the extremely boring 2km of road past the lakes that provide the town with drinking water. We had already hiked this section of road a few days earlier when we arrived in Sisimiut after 8 days on the Arctic Circle Trail. It wasn’t interesting then, and was even less so now! But as soon as we left the road and started trying to follow the trail notes, things became very interesting indeed!

We headed across boggy ground towards the rocky knoll as per the instructions

Start of the "Hard Route" up Nasaasaaq mountain - Sisimiut, West Greenland
The start of the “Hard Route” up Nasaasaaq mountain

and figured that the steep gully to our left looked about right.

Steep gully at the start of the "Hard Route" up Nasaasaaq mountain - Sisimiut, West Greenland

The added bonus was a fairly well defined track that we followed for most of the way up, and the occasional small stone cairn with blue paint on it.

Hiking up the trail along the gully at the start of the Nasaasaaq mountain hike - Sisimiut, West Greenland
We had a fairly early start to our hike

At the top of the pass we had a beautiful view over the valley we’d hiked along on the last day of the Arctic Circle Trail

View from the small pass at the top of the gully along the Hard Route up Nasaasaaq mountain - Sisimiut, West Greenland
The valley through which the Arctic Circle Trail approaches Sisimiut

before turning right along a very faint trail leading off to what looked to be a cairn in the distance. Hmmm… Is this right? It was what the trail notes said to do, but it didn’t inspire confidence that our “superhighway” trail suddenly became barely visible.

Heading along an uncertain trail - Nasaasaaq mountain - Sisimiut, West Greenland
Tyson is thinking “Are you sure??”

We persevered, however, and eventually arrived at the structure I had seen from the pass. It was indeed a cairn, and it even had blue paint on it!

Hiker approaching a cairn on the flank of Nasaasaaq mountain - Sisimiut, West Greenland
Thank goodness this thing that I’d seen in the distance turned out to be a cairn!

This was a relief, as we were clearly not following the .gpx trail I’d downloaded. That trail was about 100m straight up the cliff towering above us, with no way for us to reach it from our current location. We really had little choice but to follow the edge of the cliff or backtrack and try to find a different route. We decided to press on…

View of Sisimiut from above, hiking the flank of Nasaasaaq mountain - Sisimiut, West Greenland
Sisimiut, with its two lakes that act as drinking water reservoirs, spread out below the route we took to the summit of Nasaasaaq mountain

Fortunately, we encountered several other cairns, which ultimately led us along the upper flank of the mountain. Meanwhile, Tyson did his best to ignore the very steep drop-off to our right (fortunately dodgy heights don’t worry me too much)!

View over hiker and distant valley as we flank the side of Nasaasaaq mountain - Sisimiut, West Greenland
Cliff on one side, steep drop on the other. There was only one way forward.

Eventually, the trail turned upwards and we played “spot the blue spot” as we ascended through the rocks to the saddle point mentioned in the trail notes. It did exist! Despite us long having given up hope of ever finding it.

Hiker making his way up steep rocky slope - Nasaasaaq mountain - Sisimiut, West Greenland
Fortunately it wasn’t too hard to spot the next “blue spot” amongst all the rocks

Now that we’d managed to make it onto the ridge, we decided to first of all head over to our right to explore the rocky bluff in that direction.

Rocky bluff that forms the end of Nasaasaaq mountain - Sisimiut, West Greenland
Rocky bluff at the end of the Nasaasaaq mountain range

We had a great view back over to our goal for the hike – the summit of Narsaasaaq,

View of Nasaasaaq peak from the rocky bluff - Nasaasaaq mountain - Sisimiut, West Greenland
The triangular Nasaasaaq peak from the rocky bluff at the end of the mountain

as well as Sisimiut

View of Sisimiut from rocky bluff of Nasaasaaq mountain - Sisimiut, West Greenland
Greenland’s second largest city – Sisimiut – seen from the rocky bluff. Palasip Qaqqaa, the most popular day-hike, is the mountain at top-right

and the alpine peaks along the Arctic Circle to the South of the city.

Peaks to the south of Sisimiut from Nasaasaaq mountain - West Greenland
Looking South to the Arctic Circle

After taking in the views for a while, it was time to turn around and head for the main event.

Hiker heading towards the triangular peak of Nasaasaaq mountain - Sisimiut, West Greenland

The closer we got to the final ascent, the more daunting it looked.

Side-view of the steep ascent to the summit of Nasaasaaq mountain - Sisimiut, West Greenland
Note the two hikers at the base of the slope!

And indeed. This is not one for the faint-hearted or vertiginous! For the most part, it is a very, very steep rock scramble/climb, though there is a trail to help guide you along the only accessible route

Scrambling up boulders on the way to the summit of Nasaasaaq mountain - Sisimiut, West Greenland
It was an impressive rock scramble/climb to the summit

which has ropes to help you up/down otherwise impassable obstacles.

rope assists on the way to the summit of Nasaasaaq mountain - Sisimiut, West Greenland
Thank goodness for the ropes!

In the end, the 360-degree panoramic reward was totally worth the effort and nerves – especially on a day like this with clear views and no wind.

Panorama of ridge view at summit of  Nasaasaaq mountain - Sisimiut, West Greenland

[move cursor over the image to see the full panorama]

Panorama of valley with Arctic Circle Trail from the summit of Nasaasaaq mountain - Sisimiut, West Greenland

[move cursor over the image to see the full panorama]

Views from the summit of Nasaasaaq mountain - Sisimiut, West Greenland
Views from the summit of Nasaasaaq – the Amerloq Fjord (top) and Sisimiut (bottom)

Unfortunately, the light was not the best for photography 🙁 If I ever get another opportunity, I will camp at the saddle and climb the peak twice – once in the evening for the views over the Amerloq fjord and the abandoned settlement of Assaqutaq, and again in the morning for views over the valley through which the Arctic Circle Trail runs.

Amerloq Fjord from the summit of Nasaasaaq mountain - Sisimiut, West Greenland
The Amerloq Fjord as seen from the summit of Nasaasaaq mountain. Can you spot the abandoned settlement of Assaqutaq on the island at bottom-right?

After about an hour at the top, we very carefully made our way back to the saddle and decided to follow the “Medium-hard Route” back to Sisimiut.

Medium-Hard route down Nasaasaaq mountain - Sisimiut, West Greenland
The Medium-hard route was very obvious

This trail led us down towards the valley with the Arctic Circle Trail, and there we discovered where we’d gone wrong on the way up.

At the top of the first gully, we should have walked about 100m further and started to descend before turning right. There is a VERY obvious trail heading up towards the saddle if you do that, and all of the “Hard Route” trail notes suddenly make perfect sense. I guess we followed the “Super-hard-core Route” up the mountain! But it did have more spectacular views 😉

The “Medium-hard Route” is another obvious track that turns off from the Arctic Circle Trail rather than ascending up the gully. If you are hiking the Arctic Circle Trail, have time, and the weather is reasonable, I’d recommend taking this trail at the end of the hike and spending an extra night camping at the saddle of Nasaasaaq. This would allow you to climb the mountain on the way into town, rather than doing it as a day hike afterwards. Look for the cairn with both red (indicating the Arctic Circle Trail) and blue (indicating the Nasaasaaq trail) paint on it, and a trail leading off to your left as you approach Sisimiut.

Trail coming up from the Arctic Circle Trail - Nasaasaaq mountain - Sisimiut, West Greenland
The track for the “Medium-hard Route” heading down towards the Arctic Circle Trail


The hike to the summit of Nasaasaaq mountain is truly spectacular and a little challenging – even if you don’t take the “Super-hard-core Route”.

Both the “Hard Route” and “Medium-hard Route” have steep sections and parts where you need to scramble over rocks, but the real issue is the final ascent to the summit. If you are not good with heights or are uncertain about your abilities, do not attempt this part!! You still have amazing views over Sisimiut, the mountains along the Arctic Circle to the South, and up the Amerloq Fjord from the rocky bluff at the end of the Nasaasaaq range, so stick with that and don’t force a search and rescue operation (it is more common than you imagine!)

Trekking Information

Distance = 14.7km

Time taken = 6hr 35mins

GPX File = Hiking-Greenland-Nasaasaaq-Mountain.gpx

Strava Link =https://www.strava.com/activities/1813015128


Basic Map of the route we took up Nasaasaaq Mountain near Sisimiut, West Greenland - from Strava

Altitude Profile

Altitude Profile of the route we took up Nasaasaaq Mountain near Sisimiut, West Greenland - from Strava

Discover more about Greenland

I have a large number of blog posts about Greenland, so feel free to read more about my experiences and hiking adventures here on my blog.

Or, if this post has piqued your curiosity about Greenland in general, learn more about this amazing country by:

This post contains some affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Your support is appreciated!

Greenland – Sisimiut souvenir workshop

Working my way through the folder of activities at the Hotel Sisimiut, I came across a single A4 page offering the opportunity to “create your own memories” by making your own Greenlandic souvenir. 

Awesome idea! 

Image of the A4 flyer advertising the workshop - Hotel Sisimiut - West Greenland
I’m in!

I was super excited, because I love to make things for myself (e.g. jewelry in Nicaragua and El Salvador, a bookmark in Guatemala) but it can be quite challenging to find small workshops like this.    

The information sheet said to contact the wait-staff in the Nasaasaaq Restaurant and Brasserie, which is how I found myself following the restaurant manager through to the Conference Centre wing of the hotel a few days later.  There, he unlocked the cupboard of goodies

Image of the full cupboard of materials you can choose to work with in the Hotel Sisimiut create your own memories workshop - West Greenland
Cupboard of goodies

and explained that each of the materials was labeled with a price.  I simply had to note down how many of what materials I used on the form and then pay at the restaurant after I was finished. 

And with that, he left me to my imagination and creativity 😊

Images of some of the materials available to use in the Hotel Sisimiut Greenlandic Souvenir workshop - West Greenland
The labels are all in Danish but that doesn’t really matter. They also include the prices.

I’m not very good starting with a blank slate, so I studied the samples on the ideas board for inspiration.

Inspiration board for the Hotel Sisimiut create your own memories workshop - West Greenland

I knew I wanted to make a piece of jewelry.  I knew that I wanted to use reindeer antler and seal skin (the most Greenlandic of the items available).  What I didn’t know was how to tie knots or any other spacing/fastening techniques to allow me to create my masterpiece.  Hmmm… 

Images of the materials I chose to work with in the Sisimiut Hotel Greenlandic Souvenir workshop - West Greenland
The materials I decided to go with – reindeer antler, seal skin and beads

I put on Ataasiusutut Misigissuseq (the latest album from my favourite band, Nanook, who are also from Greenland) for further inspiration, and after deliberating and pondering and studying one of the pieces from the ideas board to see how knots had been used – I had my plan.  It also helped that I found a glue gun!

Image of the workspace with my materials on the table at the Hotel Sisimiut - West Greenland
The workspace is really beautiful! You can see the keyring I used to teach myself about knots over near the jars

It took another hour to actually create my Greenlandic souvenir, during which time several of the kitchen staff popped by to have a chat and check out what I was doing.  And in the end, I was ridiculously happy with the result 😊

Image of the necklace I created in the Hotel Sisimiut Greenlandic Souvenir workshop - West Greenland
My masterpiece

So much so, in fact, that I went around the hotel showing it off to all the staff I’d gotten to know so well over the previous week.  I also showed it to several guests I’d been chatting with who asked “where did you make that?”   It pays to read the folder of activities at the hotel thoroughly!


If you like to make things, this cool workshop offered by the Hotel Sisimiut is an awesome way to spend a few hours.  The materials available are an interesting mix that challenges your creativity, and the workspace is really beautiful.

Cost:  You pay for the materials you use so it all depends on what you create 😊  No individual item is very expensive and you can use as much or as little as you wish.  To give you an idea, my masterpiece cost a grand total of 13DKK or USD$2.

Time: As long as you want.  For me, they just unlocked the cupboard and left me with it. 


Greenland – Sisimiut rock and mineral collection at KTI

I talk a lot about the beauty of Greenlandic rocks in my blog posts.  I also keep bemoaning the fact that I didn’t end up studying geology at university (it was either that or astronomy – I chose astronomy) and that I’m not wandering around Greenland with a geologist by my side.  So it should come as no surprise that I had to go check out the rock and mineral collection while in Sisimiut!

Housed in the foyer of the local technical college, KTI (Kalaallit Nunaanni Teknikkimik Ilinniarfik – Greenlandic is an amazing language), this is the largest collection of minerals in Greenland. 

Rock and mineral collection is location in the foyer of the technical college - Sisimiut - West Greenland
Yes, it really is located in the foyer – you just wander in! There were a bunch of students sitting at the other tables while I was visiting

It was established by Bjarne Ljungdahl (a former employee of the college) to display samples he’d collected from all over Greenland during his geological work from 1972-1981

One of the display cabinets featuring rocks and minerals in Sisimiut, West Greenland

and has expanded significantly since its inception.  The 21 display cases now include minerals from all over the world, and there are also 12 low pillars showcasing large rock samples. 

Image of the many display cases at the rock and mineral collection in Sisimiut, West Greenland
You can see the large rock samples on the blue pillars between the display cases

There is one display case specifically dedicated to fossils

Display case of fossils at the rock and mineral collection in Sisimiut, West Greenland

and another to meteorite fragments.  Please tell me Australia didn’t name a meteorite after a chocolate maker!!

Meteorite from Australia on display at the rock and mineral collection in Sisimiut, West Greenland
Cadbury chocolate is the most popular brand in Australia

There is also a special display case set into the wall that shows the fluorescence of several minerals.

Fluorescent minerals at the rock and mineral collection in Sisimiut, West Greenland
Minerals fluorescing under UV light

Given my lack of success in finding Tugtupit while clambouring all over Kvanefjeld in South Greenland last year, I was particularly fascinated by the large sample of this rare mineral on display here.  And equally amazed at the sheer number and diversity of minerals that can be found in Greenland.  No wonder the mining companies are trying to get in!

Greenlandic minerals, including Tugtupit, on display in Sisimiut, West Greenland
So this is what Tugtupit looks like!

The collection is very, very well done with everything labelled (in Danish) and carefully arranged in well-lit display cabinets.  If you are rock/mineral enthusiast, I have no doubt you could spend a couple of hours here.  And even if you only have a passing interest, you’ll still find a short visit worthwhile.


I might be biased, but I really enjoyed this collection.  To find it – enter the main door of KTI (yes, it will feel weird walking into a school but go with it) and veer around to your right.  You can’t miss it.  

Keep in mind that because it is part of a school, it is only open during school hours 🙂  And you’ll have students looking at you wondering why you are so interested in rocks!

Time: 5 mins to 5 hours depending on your interest

Cost:  Free

Discover more about Greenland

I have a large number of blog posts about Greenland, so feel free to read more about my experiences and adventures here on my blog.  

Or, if this post has piqued your curiosity about Greenland in general, learn more about this amazing country by:

This post contains some affiliate links.  If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Your support is appreciated!