Hiking and Kayaking in Greenland

Destination: South Greenland

| Activities: Hiking, Kayaking, History

Greenland is the least populated, wildest country in the world. Most of it is covered by a huge ice cap and the population of 56,000 clings to the green fringe along the coast. It is spectacularly beautiful: soaring mountains tower over fjords choked with blue-tinged icebergs, sheep graze in deep green meadows, and Viking ruins remind us of the population that survived here for 400 years, and Inuit farms and tiny towns are testaments to the people who have carved out a living here for over 4500 years. We'll spend time camped across from a huge glacier, listening to its creaks and groans and exploring a small part on crampons. We'll hike to the top of a mountain from where we can look across to Inlandis, the ice cap. We'll kayak in a bay off of Sermilik Fjord among icebergs that come off the huge Egaloruutsit glacier. We'll learn about Viking and Inuit history and shelter. This trip offers a rare combination of experiencing Greenland's wilderness and still having shelter if the weather turns. Maximum group size: 11


  • Being immersed in Greenland's wild remote beauty on foot and by boat
  • Navigating among icebergs in kayak and RIB boat
  • Learning about Viking history and current Inuit culture
  • Walking on a glacier and learning how glaciers are formed and seeing how they retreat
  • Experiencing almost constant daylight as we are close to the Arctic Circle at midsummer

Departures and Prices

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  • An English-speaking guide and an AGC guide (If there are fewer than 8 on the trip, there will not be an AGC guide)
  • 9 nights accommodation as described
  • Round trip airfare between Iceland and Greenland
  • All meals from dinner on the Day 1 through breakfast on Day 10 with the exception of one lunch and dinner as noted in the itinerary.
  • Transfer by RIB boats and warm insulated jackets for the transfers
  • Kayaks and group camping equipment

Not included: airfare to Iceland, transfer to the Reykjavik hotel, alcoholic beverages, sleeping bag and pad (can be rented), 1 lunch and 1 dinner, guide gratuities, mandatory travel insurance, unexpected expenses as a result of weather conditions (including difficulties or cancellations due to ice or weather conditions) or flight or boat delays

Trip Info

This trip is suitable for women with prior outdoor experience, endurance, enjoyment of very rustic conditions, the ability to stay active for 3 to 5 hours a day, and a very flexible approach to travel. A rating of 3 requires aerobic conditioning, such as walking vigorously up hills, jogging, cross country skiing or stair stepping for 30 - 45 minutes at least 4 times a week. Rating: 1 2 [3] 4 5.

Our primary activities on this trip are hiking, kayaking, and simply experiencing the raw power of Greenland's wildness and beauty. Some hiking is on dirt roads that are shared with all terrain vehicles, and some is off trail. The kayaking is leisurely and not a good choice for someone whose interest is in kayak expeditions.

In Reykjavik we'll stay in a 3-star hotel, double occupancy, with ensuite bathrooms. A limited number of single supplements are available for this portion of the trip. In Greenland our accommodations are very basic. We'll spend the first three nights at Qaleraliq Glacier Camp with large geodesic domes - there are 4 people in two bunkbeds in each dome and there is also a larger one for cooking and meals. We'll sleep in roomy domed tents for the kayak portion; and in between we'll stay in hostels where we'll stay in rooms for 2 to 8 women, all of which share one bathroom with several shower stalls, basins, and toilet stalls.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

Arrive Reykjavik anytime today. Flights from North America typically arrive early in the morning and transportation into the city on dedicated buses is simple (we'll provide instructions in the Pre-departure document). We'll meet as a group in the lobby of our hotel at 10 am and start getting to know each other. Your AGC guide will orient you to this beautiful compact and walkable city. The Visitor's Center is just next door to your hotel and your reception staff is also very helpful with suggestions of fun things to do. There will be some free time in the afternoon for you to either make any final preparations for heading to Greenland or wander as you choose before we meet back as a group and go out for a Welcome Dinner together.

Overnight: Reykjavik, Center Hotel Plaza or similar (D)
Depending on the flight schedule, we may have free time to continue exploring Reykjavik (lunch is on your own) before departing for the airport. The landing strip is at Narsarsuaq, an old WWII US Army base. If the weather is clear, we'll see the mountains that will soon be surrounding us and the fjords we will be traveling by boat. We'll meet our local guide at the airport and transfer to the harbor where we get into the RIB (rigid inflatable boat) that we'll become familiar with over the next week. Navigating along the Tunulliarfik fjord among numerous icebergs, we set off for our home for the next three nights: Qaleraliq Glacier Camp, which is likely as remote and as quiet as you've ever experienced. Set up on a bluff overlooking the fjord and across to huge glaciers, it is an enchanting place.

Overnight: Qaleraliq Glacier Camp (B, D)
Today we'll hike up along the stream that rushes down from Tasersuatsiaq Lake and supplies both our drinking and washing water. Our hike goes up through a glacial valley, scoured out centuries ago, and then up a lateral moraine to a vast dry plain. This was once part of the lake that we will shortly be hiking along, but the shrinking of the glaciers has resulted in a shrinking lake. Our path then becomes considerably rougher as we follow an uneven track up 1200 feet to the top of a small mountain with a commanding view of the Inlandis, the ice cap that covers almost all of Greenland, the lake below, and the fjord up which we traveled. We'll eat lunch here before returning by the same way. Caribou can often be seen here. We'll have free time when we return, to relax, walk along the beach, or perhaps wash off in the stream.

Hiking: about 7 miles. Elevation gain: 1,200-feet. Overnight: Qaleraliq Glacier Camp (B, L, D)
We've been watching and listening to the glacier across the bay and today we finally get to see it up close. The RIB boat will pick us up and transport us across the bay, looking at the different glacier fronts that were once all part of the same edge and admiring their vertical blue walls. As the glacier has receded, the fronts have become dramatically distinct. We'll land in a flat area and after a short walk we'll reach a barrel where helmets and crampons are stored. After we have put these on for our glacier walk, our guide will give us instruction in how to use them to walk up and down safely on the glacier, part of one of the oldest masses of ice on earth. We'll head up the glacier, seeing its crevasses, drains, caves, seracs, and other ice formations. Our expert mountain guide will explain how the glaciers are formed and the special characteristics of Greenland glaciers. It is truly a unique and magical experience. This will be our final night here and even the prospect of hot showers will not make us want to leave.

Hiking: about 2 hours (in crampons), Overnight: Qaleraliq Glacier Camp (B, L, D)
Leaving Glacier Camp behind, we're off to our next adventure. Our RIB takes us back down Tunulliarfik Fjord to Itilleq, more a name than an actual town. From here we walk over a high point on a dirt road called "The Path of the Kings" to the beautiful little village of Igaliku, a small Inuit settlement of not more than 40 people situated on another fjord. Regarded by some as the most beautiful settlement in Greenland, it is home to the remains of Gardar, the religious capital of Viking Greenland. We'll visit some of the ruins and a reconstructed church before retracing our steps, and then transported by RIB to the small town of Qassiarsuk. We'll spend tonight at the Qassiarsuk Hostel.

Hiking: about 5 miles. Elevation gain: 900 feet. Overnight: Qassiarsuk Hostel (B, L, D)
This morning will start with a beautiful hike across to Tasiusaq, site of a one-family sheep farm and the launch point for our kayak expedition on Sermilik Fjord. After getting suited up, we'll start with some basic kayak instruction and packing up and stowing our gear in our kayaks. We'll be kayaking in a bay of Nordre Sermilik Fjord among icebergs that vary wildly in shape, size, and color. Both the bay itself and the main fjord are always filled with icebergs as they calve directly from Eqaloruutsit Glacier. This is an area in which the kayak is the only possible means of navigation at this time of the year, so we won't see any other boats. Or people. Our kayak is leisurely, allowing us time to take pictures, soak in the scenery, or sit and gaze in awe.

In early evening we'll set up our tents on the shores of the fjord, really out in the middle of nowhere. Once camp is settled, we'll go for a hike through the tundra, up to a viewpoint from where we can see the main part of the Fjord and the impressive Eqaloruutsit glacier.

Hiking: about 5 miles. Elevation gain: 900 feet. Overnight: Camping on the shores of the fjord (B, L, D)
Today is much like yesterday, a leisurely kayak back down the bay, weaving our way around icebergs of all different sizes. Depending on ice, we may be able to get close to the area of Kangerdlua, which is blocked by ice year-round. We'll return to Tasiusaq in the afternoon where we’ll exchange our kayaks for our hiking boots to hike the 5 miles back to the hostel at Qassiarsuk. Today is National Greenland Day and also Summer Solstice, and the day is long indeed.

Hiking: about 5 miles. Overnight: Qassiarsuk hostel (B, L, D )
We'll get an early start today because it’s our last full day in Greenland and we still have a lot to pack in! This morning we cross to Narsarsuaq on our RIB boat for a hike through Flower Valley, which was formed during an old glacial retreat; the consequent glacial sedimentation has made it the perfect place for flowers to grow and thus its name. We will walk until we can see Kiattut glacier and the landscape around it, with a superb panoramic view of the ice sheet and its Nunataks. This is probably one of the most beautiful hikes in Greenland and a full day it is! Tonight, our dinner will offer Greenlandic specialties: seal, whale, musk ox, and fish.

Hiking: 8- 10 miles. Elevation gain: 1,200 feet. Overnight: Qassiarsuk Hostel (B, L, D)
This morning we'll learn more about Viking history and culture as we walk through Qassiarsuk, the village of about 50 inhabitants where the hostel is located. Eric the Red settled here in 985 and founded the village of Brattahlid, which was the capital of Viking Greenland. They were mostly sheep farmers then and though the breed has changed, the Inuit people who live here still are (this area, including Narsaq, has more sheep farms than any other part of Greenland). During our walk we'll visit some Brattahlid reconstructions, including a replica of the original chapel and longhouse, as well as the original ruins from Erik the Red. Depending on flight schedules, we will visit the Qooroq Ice Fjord in late morning. Qooroq is one of the most active glaciers in southern Greenland and our boat will nose its way up this ice-choked fjord as far we can go. Surrounded by green leafy tundra and rocky-mountains, we are completely surrounded by this Polar landscape. As many icebergs as we've seen, this may still be the most amazing yet. We'll then return to Narsarsuaq by RIB boat. There will be some time to walk around the area and perhaps visit the local museum and cafe (dinner is not included tonight). Our flight to Keflavik will take us back over some of the area we've traveled through in the last week. And it is amazing just how much more civilized Iceland looks after a week in Greenland. Due to our later arrival from Greenland to our hotel adjacent to the Reykjavik airport, dinner is on your own. The hotel has a variety of full meals and/or snacks.

Overnight: Aurora Star Airport Hotel or similar (B, L)
DAY 10
You are free to leave anytime today. Our hotel is near the airport; but if you don't have a flight until later in the afternoon, you might consider taking the bus back into Reykjavik or perhaps relaxing at the nearby Blue Lagoon. (B)


(39 reviews)
3.8 Food
4.3 Lodging
4.8 Safety

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "What made this trip special for you?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

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Most Recent

Rebecca H.
2 years ago

Loved it all

Janet G.
2 years ago

The beauty of Greenland. The sense of adventure we all shared.

Karen A.
2 years ago

whales, seals, people

Betty R.
2 years ago

Women in our group. Amazing country. Able to do all I loved: hiking daily, kayaking, seeing new things, meeting new people in our group.

Elizabeth L.
2 years ago

The trip was stellar. Being in Greenland was special just in itself. Being outside in various settings doing different things with great people made the trip feel full, in a good way. The great guides gave us access to experiences not accessible on our own—walking on a glacier, kayaking among icebergs, zipping around in RIB boats, hiking on dunes, dipping in a glacial lake. The variety of experiences and the emphasis on outdoor activity were what I had hoped for.

Karen N.
2 years ago

Greenland was a bucket list item. And I’m so thankful I was able to make the trip. What an awesome place to explore!

Nancy Z.
2 years ago

The scenery ~ culture ~ personal physical endurance were the highlights for me!

Megan S.
2 years ago

I've been waiting to take this trip for 2.5 years and it did not disappoint! I wanted to see and experience Greenland before it melts, and we got a full Greenland experience from sunny days to freezing rain and cold. The people on the trip all had good attitudes and the dynamic was good. Greenland guides were excellent, and Lainie was a great advocate for us (e.g., finding alternatives to camping, requesting fewer stops). The scenery and hikes were great, and the kayaking, while cold, was fun.

Betsy Y.
4 years ago

Guides were fabulous, the scenery was beyond amazing. Icebergs, wild flowers, complete remoteness, boat rides...

Stacey H.
5 years ago

The trip was wonderful. I really had no expectation as Greenland is a unique adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed the scenery, the guides and the company on the trip. Par for all AGC trips.

Aggie A.
5 years ago

1. The location 2. The guides - both Eva and Anne Brewer were outstanding 3. Glacier camping 4. Combination of hiking, kayaking, and culture

Joy Y.
5 years ago

Ellen W.
5 years ago

So, I didn't know what to expect and unlike other trips just went not knowing what I would find. I was so taken by the stark, rugged beauty and unbelievable remoteness. Glacier camp, kayaking next to mammoth icebergs, listening to the ice rumble at night and incredible guides were all highlights.

Leslie F.
5 years ago

Everything!!! . . . The land, the people, the guides, the history - truly an incredible experience

Sandy M.
5 years ago

Hike to glacier and the kayaking among waterfalla

Kristine K.
5 years ago

As a last minute participant on this trip, I had very little expectation. I was extremely amazed by the beauty of Greenland. Although for me the physical activity was rather mild the cultural information and the shear awe of the landscape far exceeded any possible expectation. I also truly enjoyed the dynamics of an all women’s group.

Lisa B.
5 years ago

Mary M.
6 years ago

The guides made this trip....the enthusiasm and professionalism of Eva combined with the gentle knowledge and pride of our Greenalandic guide Berta were invaluable to the great experience

Marie C.
6 years ago

Loved the glacier walk. I thought it would be scary, but once you get used to the crampons, it was delightful (sunny day helped). Also really enjoyed the slow RIB ride out to see icebergs, where we were able to take some close up photos of the beautiful icebergs. It was great to be the first group of the season to travel to Greenland, because we had Glacier Camp and the hostels to ourselves,

Sherri W.
6 years ago

Would have liked more hiking.

Cynthia C.
6 years ago

Greenland scenery, interesting experiences, fantastic local guide - Eva

Lauren P.
6 years ago

Loved the kayaking and glacier walks. Really liked the hikes, I wish there had been more/ longer!

Martha N.
6 years ago

Camping in such a remote area; seeing glaciers and icebergs daily and up close; clean, clean air and drinking water from the streams; good times with a bunch of great women

Frances G.
7 years ago

The remoteness and quietness. As we discussed on the trip---there are no "words" to describe the beauty of this place and the feeling it brings to you.

Peggy C.
7 years ago

The glacier walk; Eva the guide; the organization; the variety of places/geography/sleeping arrangements; the amount of territory we covered in the week; Anne was great and a terrific representative of the company; good mix of people -- the group really provided "good company"

Jan F.
7 years ago

It was a great group of travelers - really fun and ready to have a good trip. Both the hiking and the kayaking were fabulous. There were a few snafus along the way but Anne and Francesco managed everything really well.

7 years ago

Hiking and kayaking were amazing, the first day of kayaking was a bit austere with the wind and all but so much better the second day. It would have been nice if somehow we could have had the kayak instruction part the day prior (even if it meant missing something) because by the time we hiked to the bay, got all suited up, loaded the kayaks and got the instruction (which was very helpful and important) it was almost 5pm. And it would be nice if they could have some smaller kayaks as being a small (short-legged) woman, it was very difficult to steer the kayak with the food pedals with the wind and all. Luckily I got Anne B the second day who did the steering (and most everything else) and she was terrific!

Nadira R.
7 years ago

Maria P.
7 years ago

Location, hiking and kayaking in such a gorgeous place.

Monica H.
7 years ago

Oh my goodness, it is impossible to pick out just a few highlights! I loved every single second of this trip! One of the best experiences in my life! Loved the glacier climbing, the mountain hiking, and the iceberg kayaking. Loved the camaraderie of the group! Also loved the cultural aspects.

Shelley S.
7 years ago

Claire W.
7 years ago

Mostly with how packed the schedule was...I thought Greenland would be a dead country, but our partner company, TaserMiut, showed us AGC ladies just how alive a vacation in Greenland could be. Some of my favorite parts were using cramp-ons for the first time when hiking a bonafide glacier, camping out in a remote space in the mountains after kayaking from our hostel (that place was my favorite places of all the ones we visited, it was so beautiful), having the chance to eat traditional Greenlandic food (which was delicious, by the way, even the dried seall), and the overall goodness of everyone we interacted there, including the Spanish partner company and the locals. They were all very jolly people.

Maryjane L.
7 years ago

The jaw dropping beauty of the country along with the experience of the tasermuit guide and the leadership of the AGC guide made for a great trip. The only negative was the 3 hour boat ride to glacier camp on the first night. It would have been better if we could have waited until the next morning so we could have enjoyed the ride.

Frances G.
7 years ago

Camping at glacier camp, setting up tents on a beach overlooking icebergs with free roaming sheep and horses, kayaking with icebergs, hiking through magical trails with breathtaking views, fabulous guides( both Anne and Francesco), and last but not least a wonderful group of women!

Coralynn D.
7 years ago

Greenland as a natural space was STUPENDOUS, and the itinerary allowed us to experience different natural delights on every day. Eva, the local guide, was competent, enthusiastic, safety-oriented, and friendly.

Pamela W.
7 years ago

Greenland is a gorgeus, unique and untrammeled place. My favorite park was the varied hiking, the incredible views (of icebergs, glaciers etc),the isolation, the access to Viking history, to climate change, to the north. On our last night the other Tasermuit group (out at the same time with a dif guide) joined us at the hostel and this, most of all, made me appreciate experiencing Greenland with AGC (rather than European men who smoke and wander around the hostel in their undies)

Dana R.
7 years ago

Our Greenland guide, Eva, was AMAZING! Her commitment to her profession and knowledge about Greenland were an added value.

Katie M.
7 years ago

Highlights: Greenland, glacier hiking, kayaking among the icebergs, glacier camp, hearing the glaciers thunder in the night, zodiac rides, finding out I like musk ox sliders, figuring out how to kayak on the fly, being someplace without a lot of other tourists; drinking a coke poured over a chunk of iceberg on a zodiac in an iceberg-choked fjord under a brilliant blue sky with a glacier in the background

Pam C.
7 years ago

i liked how remote, wild, and pristine the area was. also liked the unique experience that Greenland offers. Great trip AGC!!

  1. Where do we eat?

    There are no restaurants in Greenland (at least not in the area you'll be traveling). Meals will be prepared by the guides at Glacier camp and the hostel staff at the hostel.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    The variety of foods, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables, are very limited in Greenland; while vegetarian and lactose diets can be accommodated, your options will be limited. We cannot guarantee a completely gluten-free diet and we cannot provide a kitchen guaranteed to be free of cross-contamination. If you are vegetarian or vegan, we ask that you bring some additional protein bars or sources; and if you are gluten-sensitive, please bring some gluten-free snacks. If you have severe allergies, Celiac disease and/or other significant dietary restrictions, please call the office before you register.
  3. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    Nope! The sleeping arrangements on this trip are varied and singles aren't available. On our other trips you only need to pay a single supplement if you want to guarantee that you have a room to yourself.