Maniitsoq is a paradise for nature-lovers who also like skiing. The town is situated on an island and sprawls over several small islands that are linked by bridges.
- Greenland’s sixth largest town
- Formerly also known as Sukkertoppen
- Approx. 2600 inhabitants
- Founded in 1755
- Have three settlements
- On a rocky island in West Greenland’s archipelago
The town’s name means place of rugged terrain. This is an accurate description of the very hilly town which sprawls over several small islands linked by bridges. If at dusk you look out at the dinghies and boats gently bobbing in the canals, then Venice springs to mind. A sailing trip here is thus both challenging and necessary.
Maniitsoq is blessed with rich wildlife. There are lots of fish and game, and every now and then a herd of humpback whales establishes a temporary home close to the town. If you visit the area between April and November, then spotting a whale is pretty much guaranteed. Get close to a fantastic experience by boat. The tourist office has details of all departure times.
A defining characteristic of Maniitsoq is absolutely world-class heli-skiing. Strap on your ski boots, jump into one of Air Greenland’s small helicopters, fly up to the summit and descend the area’s steep, virgin slopes that provide breathtaking views of the sea and brilliant blue fjords.
If you prefer cross-country skiing from spring to mid-summer, then the Apussuit glacier is ideal. You can take advantage of an offer to be pulled by snowmobile up to the top of the 1,133-metre high glacier. Choose your own routes down again. If you don’t manage to see everything in a day, then we recommend an overnight stay at one of the area’s two guesthouses. Apussuit Ski Center is situated around 25 km east of Maniitsoq.
GOOD STORIES IN THREE BUILDINGS
The museum of art has an extensive exhibition of painting and sculptures produced by local artists and by Aage Gitz-Johansen, who depicts Greenlandic culture, legends and sagas in his works. The two other museum buildings contain a fishing museum and a museum of cultural history featuring plenty to whet the appetite of anyone interested in archaeology.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Sukkertoppen (sugarloaf) is a translation of the Dutch word Zuikerbrood, which the area was christened by Dutch whalers many years ago.
- Paradise for anglers. You don’t have to be an experienced angler to land a trout weighing 1-3 kg. From June until September a successful catch is more or less guaranteed.
- World of Greenland Arctic Circle (WOGAC) organises trips that you can’t find elsewhere in Greenland. Ice Sheet, musk oxen, whales, abandoned settlements, dogsleds and hikes back in time.
- Artist Aka Høegh, along with animal skin seamstress Martha Biilman from Maniitsoq, has decorated the church, which is from 1981.
- Paradise for kayakers. The area is perfect for kayaking. Good landing places and fjords – and, most important of all, sheltered waters.
Experiences in Maniitsoq
Little Venice dressed in white. A myriad of islands are linked by bridges, and a boat trip or two will add to the fascination – especially when you suddenly spot a whale. Visit Apussuit Skicenter, where you can indulge in summer ski touring, or try heli-skiing and the fantastic views of the sea.
Transportation to Maniitsoq
How do I get there?
Serviced by DASH8
Air Greenland flies to Maniitsoq 4-5 times a week from the international airport at Kangerlussuaq. The flying time is 35 minutes. Maniitsoq is also connected to Nuuk by DASH8.
In the summer, there are up to six departures from Denmark/Europe to Kangerlussuaq and in winter there are four weekly departures.
How do I get around?
Maniitsoq can easily be explored on foot, although the hilly terrain is a bit of a challenge. Otherwise, take a taxi. In the summer, you can get around in the archipelago by boat and in winter also with skis and snowmobiles.
You can also travel with Arctic Umiaq Line, which runs passenger traffic between towns and settlements from Ilulissat in the north to Qaqortoq in the south. The ship docks once a week from late May to late August.