Sisimiut and Kangerlussuaq are the two southernmost towns on the west coast with the possibility of dog sledding. The area offers a variety of tours from a few hours, to day trips and longer sled trips, including the 180 km journey between Sisimiut and Kangerlussuaq, sleeping in hunting cabins. The sled and dog and characterise the modern cityscape as much as a scooter, car and boat, and the local sled drivers are happy to take tourists on trips. The best months for dog sledding are February, March and April.
If you are ready for a hiking challenge on a slightly larger scale, so there is the trail between Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut is worth a try. 180 km with accommodation in tents and hunting cabins. This trail is one of the classics, but Destination Arctic Circle offers many other possibilities. Good hiking boots, a hiking map, warm clothing and food are a must - your thirst can be quenched with spring water en route.
In Destination Arctic Circle, you're never far from the ice cap's steep wall. From Kangerlussuaq, it is only about 35 km on Greenland's only road that leads directly up to the glacier. From Kangerlussuaq, you can reach the ice sheet by car, hiking or mountain bike. You can choose to stay in special adventure camps on the ice. If you are ready for the big adventure, it is also from here that many choose to cross the cold ice blanket.
Destination Arctic Circle's dramatic landscapes around Maniitsoq and Kangaamiut, offer heliskiing from mountain top to the surface of the sea. Many of the mountain peaks and slopes directly overlook the sea. The area is pristine, with lots of descents, probably where no other has put their skis. It's steep and deep, 2000 metres straight down and it has been hailed as one of the world's best by international heliskiing enthusiasts.
Destination Arctic has some of the country's best trout fishing. This is mainly due to the locals having become specialised in the field, and among other things, they have established camps and are ready to sail off to a good remote stretches of river. Camps at Sisimiut, Kangerlussuaq and Maniitsoq are located directly on the river estuaries and consist of tents and a shared cabin with a kitchen and meeting place. Here you are guaranteed to catch fish, whether you try with a fly or spinner.
Sisimiut has its own kayak club, and occasionally you can see members paddle and practice rolls. Conditions for kayak enthusiasts are excellent, among others things, an exciting trip along the Kangerlussuaq fjord coastline is on offer. The Maniitsoq archipelago area is absolutely perfect, with good landing places and inlets sheltered from the wind. Anyone can try to sail. However, places where nature is particularly harsh, requires good knowledge and experience of kayaking.
What is that – culture? And where is it? Is it in the heart and soul of the people who walked onto this icy island 4,500 years ago? Is it in the ruins and trails that tell the story of our ancestors?
Or does culture magically live within the sounds of dogsled runners as they glide over fresh snow?
Wherever you go, the cultural history of Destination Arctic Circle shines through, and everyday life in modern towns like Sisimiut is the door to a living culture that embraces our nomadic hunting past and mixes it with the present Arctic world.
It can be hard to imagine how the Inuit have lived and survived for generations in the Arctic? Find some of the answers in the local museums. Regardless of how small the town is, you will find a town museum and associated with it, the special turf houses that housed Greenlanders right up to the mid-50s. In Sisimiut Museum, the focus is maritime history. The small Aircraft Museum in Kangerlussuaq is also very interesting, which tells of the time of the airbase before, during and after World War II.
Sisimiut is an arctic cocktail of the traditional and modern. Visit the town's beautiful church, and learn about whaling, colonialism and modern Greenlandic town life in Greenland's second largest town. In Kangerlussuaq - the gateway to Greenland - a guided tour of the ice sheet is a must, or what about a tour of one of Greenland's very hilly towns with visits to the town's Museum of Art, to Apussuit Ski Centre, to Eternity Fjord or something completely different.
Greenland's hospitality is well known, and if you wish to visit a Greenlandic home, you can come to "kaffemik" in towns and settlements in Destination Arctic Circle. You can also enjoy close contact on a boat trip. Tourist boats are not very big, and the skipper is often willing to talk and answer questions, if there is no guide on board. Several towns also offer private accommodation, and it provides a good opportunity to see what a Greenlandic home looks like.
Whales are possibly some of the world's oldest and largest animals, and to discover them in their natural element is a unique experience. 20 species of whale live in Greenland. Hop aboard a small passenger ship and discover playful humpback whales and the smaller minke whales along the coast of Destination Arctic Circle. Whale watching is a typical summer activity. In winter, they seek out other marine areas. The boats often have an echo sounder on board to locate the whales and capture their song.
Destination Arctic Circle has abundant wildlife, and here you can see musk oxen, reindeer, peregrine falcons and whales. The musk ox is especially characteristic of the area. There was a small population of approx. 30 in 1960 and it has steadily increased since. Today, there are approx. 10,000 animals in the area. Greenland's isolated location has made migration of land mammals difficult and there are actually only eight different land mammals. Approximately 50 species of birds breed in Greenland, 160 species are just on a summer visit.
In the airport town of Kangerlussuaq, the cruise passengers get on and off. It is popular to sail along the coasts of Greenland. Ships on regular lines and cruises make it a regular service and so do a growing number of international cruise ships. The explanation is simple. The seaway is a great way to experience a large part of Greenland. You find your spirit during the voyage, discover whales, icebergs and the gangway to small towns and settlements, and you have the time and space to comprehend the many impressions.
Passenger ships from Arctic Umiaq Line call at, among other places, Maniitsooq and Sisimiut. There is a scheduled service between Ilulissat in the north and Qaqortoq in the south. Along the way it is almost guaranteed to see whales and icebergs. Also life on board is something special. People meet, and it is not difficult to get into conversation with other passengers. Some are on their way to visit family, others to visit friends, on holiday or something completely different.
Restaurant Nasaasaaq in Sismiut offers specialties of lamb, reindeer, musk ox, fish, shellfish and birds, and perhaps potatoes and turnips grown in southern Greenland. At Hotel Maniitsoq the country's ingredients are also in focus. In Kangerlussuaq, where the Northern Lights are brightest, it is a special treat to finish the meal off with a Greenlandic coffee. It is prepared with burning Grand Marnier, which in miniature reflects the flaming scenery just outside the window.
The towns and settlements in Destination Arctic Circle have a wide range of small, bustling shops and crafts workshops. Drop by and learn about the traditions. Almost all of nature's materials are part of the Greenlandic handicraft tradition. Greenlandic souvenirs are not mass produced. They are handmade arts and crafts that are shaped and designed by artists - marked by traditions and customs, but each manages to make their own impression.
The helicopter is made for the Greenlandic landscape, and to go aboard, climb into the sky and experience the ice, glaciers, animals and deep valleys from the air is an outstanding experience. You are aware of everything on dry land, also the pilot working the buttons and cyclic. From Kangerlussuaq, the tour goes over herds of musk oxen, into the ice, which in bird's eye view is overwhelming. Embark on a scheduled flight, an organised tour or charter your own helicopter.
In a country where no towns are linked by roads, sailing has a unique role to play. It is just a natural part of everyday life, as cars are for others. Virtually from all towns and settlements in Destination Arctic Circle, you can go on boat trips to places you otherwise would never come. Close to the bird colonies, whales and icebergs and around the archipelago. Enjoy lunch on board or a picnic in the mountains, while the skipper tells about the area, wildlife and cultural memories.
The Northern Light's green tinted colour splendour is one of nature's wonderful whims. In fact, the Northern Lights occur at any time of year, but the absolute best time to see them is during the winter months. To stand under Greenland's towering sky, and enjoy the lights of the sky dancing is an experience of a lifetime. Due to the stable climate, Kangerlussuaq is one of the best places in autumn and winter to see the Northern Lights flickering across the dark night sky.
In the majority of Destination Arctic Circle there is midnight sun. In Sisimiut and Kangerlussuaq from 27.5 to 18.7 the sun is in the sky 24 hours a day. Maniitsoq lies just below the limit of the midnight sun, but in return has polar nights, just like the other two towns. The polar nights mean that the sun does not come over the horizon in winter. This does not mean that it is completely dark. You just can't see the sun.
Destination Arctic Circle specializes in arctic diving. Along the west coast in the Sisimiut region, there are good opportunities for a fantastic dive to a look at the colourful seabed and spectacular arctic sea creatures. Do not be surprised if you encounter catfish, lumpfish, forests of kelp and bizarre sea cucumbers. Diving is one of Greenland's more recent and rare opportunities for activities that require a high degree of professional equipment and a high level of safety.
Rappelling, rock climbing and ice climbing are obvious climbing challenges in Destination Arctic Circle. There are offers of organised tours and a challenging landscape for climbers on their own. Most climbing adventures in Greenland are "alpine" - relatively long stretches with a mixture of ice, snow and rocks. Therefore, you must think in terms of where you climb carefully and where your equipment is as versatile as possible. Ice axes and glacier equipment is very often necessary.
Destination Arctic Circle can offer perhaps the world's best musk ox safaris. Not only do you experience these magnificent animals, but you also discover a unique natural area formed by the massive ice sheet over millions of years. Up to 10,000 musk oxen live alongside reindeer and arctic foxes and arctic hares between the ice sheet and Sisimiut in Kangerlussuaq and the region of Maniitsoq. A typical safari takes place in a four wheel drive truck through the tundra and along river valleys.
Destination Arctic Circle is the best in the country when it comes to a variety of skiing experiences in Greenland. From February to April, Sisimiut offers cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, snowboarding, long walks among the mountains or across Greenland's icecap and the international three-day cross-country event, the Arctic Circle Race. Farther south in Maniitsoq, the season can be extended and last until June-July at Apussiut Glacier, which is ideal for ski touring in the summer.
Snowmobiling has its powerhouse in Destination Arctic Circle. The area has the largest and most accessible mountain areas for snowmobiling, and there is snowmobiling to suit all tastes. Turn the throttle, and you head off over frozen lakes and fjords, steep mountains, rolling hills, trails and powder snow. If you fancy a long trip, then try the winter experience on the 180 km long Arctic Circle Trail from the coastal town of Sisimiut to Kangerlussuaq - the gateway to Greenland.
Destination Arctic Circle focuses on active holidays, and the area indeed offers events for those who are particularly tough. The Arctic Circle Race, a three-day cross-country race, has been held in March-April for almost 15 years and still attracts ski enthusiasts from around the world. Later in the year there is a marathon on and near the ice sheet. Here The Polar Circle Marathon offers a very special encounter with "the wall". One option is to also consider attending local and national championships for dogsled racing and kayak.
Several local outfitters in Destination Arctic Circle have specialised in taking hunters trophy hunting. They assist and take care of everything. The trophy goes to the hunter, the meat goes to the outfitter, and this division of labour has proven to suit both parties well. Be aware of temperatures and weather conditions. They have a great impact on wildlife behaviour. Both musk ox and reindeer move toward the ice, if it gets too hot.