South Greenland - History and heritage for 5 days

Greenland Tours

South Greenland – History and heritage for 5 days

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Follow in the footsteps of Eric the Red and visit South Greenland. Impressed by the green hillsides, this is where the Norse settler made his homestead in 982 AD. Today the area offers visitors a cultural experience with the stunning landscape serving as a beautiful backdrop. During this 5 day tour you will visit sights such as the Hvalsey Church and the beautiful village of Igaliku. You will also have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and go on a boat tour in the Qooroq ice fjord. You can book this holiday package on it’s own or as an extension of one of our Iceland holidays

GT-06 – History and heritage for 5 days

Day 01: Arrival in South Greenland

Greenland Houses - Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit GreenlandToday your South Greenland UNESCO holiday begins! At Keflavík International Airport you will board a flight to Narsarsuaq, Greenland. The flight takes about 3 hours and as you approach Greenland you will be welcomed with views over the Greenland ice cap. Upon arrival in Narsarsuaq a local representative will greet you for a short information meeting. Afterwards, transfer by boat to the colorful village of Qaqortoq where you will stay for the next two nights.

Highlights of the day: Flight to Greenland, Greenland Ice cap from above, arrival in Narsarsuaq, boat transfer to Qaqortoq

Day 02: Hvalsey Church & Free time in Qaqortoq

Hvalsey - Photo by Stacy William Head - SentinelToday you will visit the Hvalsey Church, which is situated in the fjord of Hvalsey (e. Whale Island). The boat ride to Hvalsey takes about 30 minutes. The church is in the region which the Norse named Eystribyggð or The Eastern Settlement. The old ruins of this former Viking Church are located on a verdant meadow, along with the ruins of an old farm. The church, with it’s high and thick stone walls, are the best preserved structure from the Norse era in Greenland. The walls are up to 6 meters high and 1.5 meters thick. During your visit to Hvalsey Church you will have plenty of time to walk around this historic site and explore the ruins in this peaceful countryside.

Qaqortoq - Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit GreenlandAfter exploring the Hvalsey Church you will head back to Qaqortoq by boat and can enjoy some free time in this colorful town. Qaqortoq, formerly known as Julianehåb, is the largest town in South Greenland and the fourth largest town in Greenland. The area around Qaqortoq has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Beginning with the Saqqaq culture roughly 4,300 years ago, the area has had continuous human presence. Those who would like to learn more about the town and life in Greenland should visit the Qaqortoq museum.

The town is well known for it’s “Stone and Man” project, consisting of more than 30 sculptures that are carved into the granite bedrock by Greenland art, Stone and Man - Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit Greenlandvarious artists. Visitors can enjoy a stroll though town to explore this artistic project. Also in Qaqortoq you’ll find Greenland’s oldest fountain which is located in the town square next to the harbor. Here visitors can sit and watch the hunters and fishermen selling the catch of the day at the nearby fish market.  

Highlights of the day: Hvalsey Church, free time in Qaqortoq, Qaqortoq  museum, Qaqortoq  harbor area, and more

Day 03: The King’s Road to Igaliku

Igaliku - Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit GreenlandAfter checking out of your accommodations it’s time to say goodbye to Qaqortoq and continue exploring South Greenland. You’ll be transferred by boat to the village of Itilleq. From there you will enjoy an easy 4 km hike to the village of Igaliku. You will hike along a road called the King’s Road, so named after the Danish King’s Frederik 9th visit in 1952.

The village of Igaliku is best known for it’s ruins of Garðar, built by Norsemen around 1100 AD,  which was once the religious heart of 12th century Norse Greenland. Igaliku, which name translates to “The Place Like a Pot” was founded in 1782 by the Norwegian Igaliku hiking trails - Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit Greenlandmerchant Anders Olsen and his Greelandic wife Tuperna. In modern times, Igaliku is a sheep farming settlement with about 27 year round inhabitants. The village offers visitors a cultural experience around the ruins of Garðar, but it is also a wonderful place to enjoy the outdoors. With many beautiful hiking trails in the area, guests can explore at will and admire the beautiful landscape that surrounds the village. You will stay overnight in Igaliku.

Highlights of the day: Itilleq, King’s Road hike, Igaliku, Garðar ruins, and more

Day 04: Qassiarsuk

Qassiarsuk - Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit GreenlandAfter what has hopefully been a wonderful visit to Igaliku, it’s time to move on to the village of Qassiarsuk. Transport by boat to Qassiarsuk, also known as Brattahlid. This is the place where Eric the Red settled in 982. The Norse ruins in Qassiarsuk are well preserved, and during your free time in the area you can for example visit the Brattahlid open air museum (admission not included). You can also walk up to the stature of Eric the Red, which towers over the village.

Enjoy free time in Qassiarsuk, afterwards transfer by boat to Narsarsuaq in the late afternoon. After arrival you can for example enjoy a hike up to Signal hill, for beautiful views over the area. You will stay overnight in Narsarsuaq.

Highlights of the day: Qassiarsuk, Brattahlid open air museum, Narsarsuaq, and more

Day 05: Qooroq Ice Fjord & Departure

Icefjord - Photo by Mads Pihl - Visit GreenlandYour time in South Greenland is coming to an end, but first it’s time for one last adventure. In the morning you will go on a boat trip to the Qooroq ice fjord. Here you will sail among the giant icebergs, which will appear in all colors, sizes and shapes. When the glacier is in view, the boat engine will be stopped and you can enjoy the silence and a drink chilled with ice from the icebergs.

After the tour you will return to Narsarsuaq. Before your flight you can enjoy some free time in Narsarsuaq where you can for example enjoy a late lunch or visit the local museum. It’s then time to say goodbye to Greenland, hopefully with many great memories and stories to share. You’ll land at Keflavík International Airport in the evening.

Highlights of the day: Boat tour on the Qooroq ice fjord, free time in Narsarsuaq, flight to Iceland

Please note that due to availability and weather conditions the itinerary may need to be re-arranged.

 
Qaqortoq - Photo by Mads Pihl Qooroq icefjord

Detailed Information

Season: June to September

 

Accommodation:

We offer two different accommodation categories for these holidays to Greenland:

Budget:
Budget accommodation includes a small basic room with shared facilities. Breakfast included.
Prices start from 230,500 ISK per person (2 travelers, double occupancy)

Comfort
In Comfort accommodation you will have access to private facilities (shower and WC). Breakfast included.
Prices start from 256,000 ISK per person (2 travelers, double occupancy)

 

Included:

  • Return flight from Keflavík International Airport to Narsarsuaq
  • 4 nights accommodation (Budget or Comfort) with continental breakfast
  • Luggage transport
  • All boat transfers
  • Boat tour on the Qooroq icefjord 
  • Optional private information meeting in our office before the start of your tour
  • Travel documents
  • 24-hour emergency service
  • Taxes & service fee

Not included:

  • Flights to/from Iceland (from abroad)
  • Airport transfers to and from Keflavík International Airport
  • Meals & drinks at restaurants apart from what’s stated in the itinerary
  • Personal travel insurance

 

Iceland Unlimited team member Unnur Silfá on family holiday in South Greenland in 2009:
 Views from the King's Road - Photo by Unnur Silfá On the beach in Qassiarsuk - Photo by Unnur Silfá