During your stay in Tasiilaq there will be free time as well as guided activities. There are small and large hikes with different levels of difficulty.
The Icecamp is located in a fairly sheltered bay. From here there are basically three hikes – following the valley and creek to a lake, further into the bay to some lookout hills and towards the fjord to a sandy beach and over some spectacular viewpoints.
In Tasiilaq – Village, Museum, Valley of Flowers, Souvenirs, Drum Dance, Local Mountain, 3 Lakes
City hike with a visit to the museum. Of course, a small town in the rough Arctic has many special features. You can see some of them if you take a walk through the streets. Here fish are hanging to dry, there is a snowmobile in the „garden“, at the harbor there are some boats and engines that will definitely never be on the water again, children play football, on the parking lot in front of the shop a hunter sells seabirds and seal meat.
The shop itself is also an experience. Here you can buy everything from birthday cards to large-calibre hunting rifles.
A visit to the small museum is worthwhile, but not a full day. A detour to the Flower Valley can round off the day. Depending on the weather and season, it is actually quite colorful here. You follow a small stream to some lakes and waterfalls. Picturesque.
In the village there is a tourist information with souvenirs, a workshop in which tupilaqs and other works of art are carved is mostly open to visitors, a smaller shop near the harbor is open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
A performance of drum dancing can be organized on site – the last cost was DKK 1,000.
A hike to the three lakes leads over gravel roads and is generally not demanding, but perhaps unsuitable for one or the other in terms of time and distance. You cross the village and then come to the first of three lakes that are connected by streams. Power plants are located here that supply the town with electricity.
Young sled dogs sometimes decide to accompany hikers to stop for a treat. However, they are unobtrusive and harmless and explore the area largely independently on the way. Suitable as a half-day or full-day tour.
The local mountain „Seamans Mountain“ is easy to climb. However, the alpine topography naturally results in an increased level of difficulty. Experienced hikers will not need much more than an hour to reach the summit. You can hike the ridge and have a view of the coast in front of the bay with icebergs and the occasional pack ice.
Day Tour to Knud Rasmussen Glacier, Karale and Ikatek Airbase
Usually around 9 a.m. the day trip starts by boat. The fast cabin boats are relatively comfortable, but do not have a toilet and you should bring warm clothes. Passing by the island of Kulusuk in the Ammassalik Fjord. Depending on the tide, the visit to the former WWII American base can be made on the way there or back. The boat docks at the former harbor wall. There is still an old loading crane here and there are many details to explore.
You cross the runway and find yourself between various wrecked cars. The ruins of the former buildings are still clearly visible, especially the hangar building. Aside from the fact that these traces of human activity are generally very bizarre in such a place, the old „Donald Duck“ car wrecks and machines from the 1940s also represent a bit of an open-air museum.
It is very difficult to imagine that up to 10,000 planes a month landed here to refuel on their way from America to Europe and that there was even a cinema here.
A little further on, the boat reaches its actual destination, the Knud Rasmussen glacier. The boat can usually get quite close to the glacier front. The edge is bluish and there is drifting broken ice and smaller icebergs. Local boats are often off the edge of the glacier fishing for Greenland Halibut.
At a spot a little away from the glacier, the boat docks and there is a picnic lunch. With a bit of luck you can experience the calving of the glacier. A hike to the lateral moraine of the glacier is also possible.
The Karale glacier lies in a tributary of the fjord and is also worth seeing. Due to time constraints, only one of the two glaciers will probably be visited.
Whale watching, the abandoned settlement of Ikkatteq, routes to the Iceamp
Tour 4: Whale watching, the abandoned settlement of Ikkatteq, routes to the Iceamp
The way from Kulusuk or Tasiilaq to the camp is an eventful tour. There is always plenty of ice and icebergs to see. Whales are also always sighted.
The most common species include humpback and fin whales. Minke whales are often shy because of hunting activities. There are also two types of dolphins, pilot whales, sperm whales, orcas and of course narwhals and bowhead whales, which are shy and very rare.
It is not uncommon for you to get very close to the humpback whales. You can watch them from the boat, or from the camp, sightings are sometimes very common in the summer months – the humpback whales sometimes even have fixed times and sometimes swim into the small bay at the camp.
On the boat trip, a certain focus can be placed on whale watching and some time can be planned accordingly.
It is also possible to stop and visit the abandoned settlement of Ikkatteq on the way. People lived here until the 1980s and some of the houses are still maintained as summer houses. The settlement is located on an island at the entrance to Sermilik Fjord. There is a real labyrinth between the islands, which should only be navigated by boaters with good local knowledge.
The camp and also Tasiilaq are on an island, so there are two possible routes to the Icecamp – north along the coast into the Ammassalik Fjord and then through a long but very sheltered side fjord and past the settlement of Tiilerilaaq into the Sermilik Fjord to the camp , or south also initially along the coast, past Ikkatteq into the Sermilik Fjord.
It is therefore a good idea to do an island tour as part of the trip, where arrival and departure do not take the same route. However, the ice situation, weather and logistics can also play a role here and it may not always be possible to implement this
Hikes and activities at and around the camp
Tours from the Icecamp
All hikes have a certain level of difficulty as the ground is uneven and there is a lot of loose debris.
In terms of the distances, all tours can be mastered in a few hours for normally experienced hikers. Photo stops are of course planned.
Passing the small house lake and the waterfall, you follow the back to a depression in which there is a clear meltwater lake. You can hike around the lake or continue the tour in the valley. On longer tours one would also reach a glacier to the southeast here.
Another hike leads from the camp over hilltops, with views over the fjord and across to the mighty ice cap, towards the main fjord. You can get as far as the sandy beach of Ukîverajik, where, depending on the wind direction, stranded ice can often be seen.
Northwest of the camp, some hills and mountains invite you on a tour. There are fantastic vantage points that can be reached quickly and invite you to linger.
A short boat ride of a few minutes is a good starting point for the “Iceberg Alley” hike. From the beach it goes in a valley sideways up a mountain slope. The hike begins unspectacularly and suddenly opens up a bird’s-eye view of hundreds of icebergs. The outlines of the ice glow turquoise blue under water.
On the ridge, following a bay, you will reach a possible landing site, where you can be picked up by boat.
Note: The risk of polar bears is low in summer. We provide the guide with a firearm and offer appropriate training at the camp.
Everyday life in the camp – great nature and little infrastructure
Everyday life at the Icecamp is characterized on the one hand by the incredible natural beauty, the ice in constant movement and change and the light, which always draws new colors and contours.
At the same time, we have to come to terms with a limited infrastructure. If you are used to camping and hiking for several days, you will find the running drinking water, the warm shower, the heated rooms and the well-equipped kitchen to be pure luxury.
If you are more geared towards cruise standard with a large buffet and daily room service, you will find some of the special features here challenging.
In general, many visitors are impressed by their own infrastructure, such as the water system.
We are happy to provide guests with information about the history of the project and why we created things the way they are now.
All cabins have heating, electricity, private toilet and of course fantastic views of the fjord and icebergs.
Eating and staying will take place in the main building (note: we plan to install a projector and screen here in 2023 to enable professional presentations).
Showers are located in a service building, which also houses storage and sleeping places for the camp team.
Guest cabins are provided with bed linen and linen and a set of towels is provided for each guest.
You can move around the camp at your own risk without a firearm. The polar bear risk is extremely low. Guests can borrow bear spray or firearms.
A nearby observation hill (Mount Telecom) can be reached in a few minutes and not only offers a fantastic view of the ice fjord and the ice sheet, but (unfortunately) also quite good telephone reception.
In the summer months we try to provide ourselves with fish at the camp. It doesn’t always work out, but there are often freshly caught seafood delicacies from the grill, or freshly smoked char or salmon.
The food in general is designed for the normal taste. Local raw materials are processed. Special Inuit dishes, such as Maktaaq – the Greenlandic national dish, raw diced whale head (better than you might think, by the way) – are offered on request and request.
Some leftovers from fish processing still find grateful buyers: since the camp was set up, an arctic fox family has settled in the area. Since East Greenland does not have many breeding bird colonies and no small rodents at all, the foxes here also depend on human activities for survival. Leftovers left behind by hunters and fishermen are just as welcome as a little dog food, or even the waste from the settlements.
The supply situation of „our“ arctic foxes in summer is extremely good – so good that certain delicacies are no longer transported away. Otherwise, the foxes also keep food in storage and hide food for later when they are already full.
It is therefore possible for guests to observe arctic foxes up close. Usually in the evening hours, an animal comes to see what donations have been left behind. Chicken bones and salmon bones are particularly popular – cod and fruit less so.
There is no alcohol sale at the Icecamp. However, beer and wine can be ordered in advance. We buy for you and sell at cost price. During the trip to Tinit you can also buy small things. Allergies and special dietary requirements must be reported in advance (at the latest two weeks before arrival).
- Pupik, Ukîverajik, Ikkatteq & Tiilerilaaq (Tinit)
Within walking distance from the camp there is the abandoned earthen hut of Pupik. People lived here until the middle of the twentieth century – very difficult to imagine today. But East Greenland has also experienced a real journey through time and many of the people who live here and for whom smartphones and the internet are part of everyday life today were born in just such a hut without electricity, water and heating.
The beach of Ukîverajik can also be reached by hiking, but is also a destination for boat trips. The sandy beach is particularly beautiful at low tide. Stranded ice can often be seen up close here and the natural sculptures also offer fantastic photo opportunities.
The settlement of Ikkatteq was inhabited until the 1980’s and the houses are still partly maintained as summer houses. The settlement is located on an island at the entrance to Sermilik Fjord. There is a real labyrinth between the islands, which should only be navigated by boaters with good local knowledge.
Tiilerilaaq (Tinit) is the only inhabited settlement in the region today. About 70 people live here, mostly from hunting and fishing. The location could not be more picturesque. From the headland you can see impressive mountains, the mighty inland ice cap and the Sermilik Fjord with huge icebergs. There is a small, well stocked shop and the people are very friendly to out-of-towners. Nevertheless, it is of course important to respect privacy and only take photos of people after asking them beforehand. At school and the associated playground, the camera should remain in the bag. Just as one certainly does not want tourists to take photos of their own children and post them on social media, this is also not pleasant for the residents of Tinit. Respectful behavior helps maintain friendliness and openness for the future.
From Tiilerilaaq, guests can also accompany local hunters on their tours if they wish and with a little advance planning. It usually involves seal hunting.