Ilulissat Icefjord is a fjord, or narrow waterway, lined by steep cliffs, on the west coast of Greenland. The fjord was formed from the Jakobshavn Isbrae glacier, one of the most active glaciers in the world, calving (or breaking down) the ice sheets very frequently. As the sheets of ice break off, the glaciers can reach up to a kilometer in height, lodging them in the waters of the fjord. The fjord and icebergs have been a common location for researchers to study glaciers for many years.
Visitors to Ilulissat Icefjord can admire the largest glacier outside of Antarctica (Sermeq Kujalleq), and experience the natural beauty of the region. A vast array of wildlife around Ilulissat includes whales, many species of fish, seals, and seabirds like gulls. On land, wildlife includes the Arctic fox and hare, reindeer, and polar bears, though these land mammals are much more rare than the sea life.
Even though the place is surrounded by shimmering ice, yet it doesn’t restrain the tourists from enjoying in the exotic aura of Ilulissat Icefjord. Dogsled ride tours ranging from one hour to ten days duration are arranged by the tour companies in the town. At Kaffemik (coffee gathering) you get a chance to meet some of the locals.
The Ilulissat Icefjord can be explored well by sea. Sail to the Disko Island and en route view the enormous icebergs and nearby settlements. You can also hire a water taxi.
Tourists can also go on hiking tours of the pristine area where the vestiges of the first humans in Greenland over 4,500 years ago have been found.
During summer, the Arctic Midnight Orienteering championship competitions are conducted in the midnight sun.
This is also a place where you can experience the concepts of infinity and timelessness, far from the hustle-bustle of your city life.
Ilulissat Icefjord Map
Facts about Ilulissat Icefjord
- Ilulissat Icefjord became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.
- The Icefjord sprawls over an area of 402,400 ha.
- The town inhabits 4,600 people and nearly 3,500 sled dogs.
Where is Ilulissat Icefjord?
Ilulissat Icefjord is located on Greenland’s west coast, about 250 kilometers (155 miles) north of the Arctic Circle. The town of Ilulissat (meaning icebergs) is the third largest city in Greenland, and is situated 200 km northof the Arctic Circle. One can reach Ilulissat Icefjord safely via airways and waterways. The Ilulissat Airport is situated at a distance of about three km (two miles) from the midpoint of the town. Those who wish to reach by boat can land at Ilulissat Harbor. The Arctic Umiaq Line voyages to Ilulissat from South & West Greenland when the waters are calm.
Best time to visit Ilulissat Icefjord
With its location in the far north, Greenland is a good place to visit during the summer, when there is nearly 24 hours of sunlight. Midnight trips to the Ilulissat Icefjord allows visitors to experience the midnight sun, lighting the glaciers in colorful rays. The summer is also a great time to experience the Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis.
More on Ilulissat Icefjord
Nearby attractions: Nuuk, Sermermuit, Qajaa, Eqip Sermia Glacier and Ilulissat Museum.Published On: Saturday, October 12th, 2013