Ice Cap

The Ice Cap is thousands of years old, and its power is overwhelming and spellbinding. Look forward to your encounter with the northern hemisphere’s biggest ice sheet.

Flightseeing near Iluliartoq in Kangerlussuaq in Greenland

Flightseeing near Iluliartoq in Kangerlussuaq in Greenland. Photo: Mads Pihl, Visit Greenland

Ice, Ice And Ice

The Ice Sheet has attracted adventurers and researchers for centuries – and today it also attracts tourists.

Nature-lovers have headed for Greenland for years in order to get close to the gigantic ice cap which covers 81 % of the country’s landmass. Here there are fantastic forces locked into an ice-cold grip of incredible dimensions and shapes. When standing there, you realise that white isn’t just white. The sun ensures that the ice glistens in different shades of turquoise and green. A first encounter with the Ice Sheet is moving, extraordinary and unforgettable.

So remote – and yet so close

It’s inevitable that your thoughts fly as far away as the mass of ice. How far does it stretch from east to west, north to south?

In a helicopter you get a feeling of the distances which you can scarcely dream about. By boat and with a good pair of hiking boots it’s possible to get close to the edge of the ice at several places. In   Kangerlussuaq the Ice Sheet is 25 km away and you can reach it by mountain bike, on foot or in an off-roader. Be transported in an off-roader from Kangerlussuaq to the Russell Glacier with its 60-metre sheer face. If you visit the area in the summer, you may be lucky enough to see the ice calving. Perhaps you’d like a trip in which you walk for 2 days on the ice and stay overnight in a tent. We guarantee a peaceful night’s sleep and a new insight into how insignificant you are in the great scheme of things.

In Ilulissat it’s also possible to get very close to the natural wonder. Set out on a two-day hike from Glacier Lodge Eqi with specially trained guides. We follow in the footsteps of the French Arctic explorer Paul-Emile Victor and walk up onto the Ice Sheet and see the turquoise meltwater eat its way through the ice.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • The Ice Cap forms glaciers which, due to the pull of gravity, migrate out towards the coast. There the ice breaks off and forms icebergs.
  • At the edge of the Ice Cap the ice is much more uneven. There are clefts and crevices, meltwater lakes and small rivers.
  • The age of the ice varies from around 500 years to 100,000 years at the edge of the ice. The bottom layer has been found to be 250,000 years old.
  • If all the ice melts, the world’s oceans will rise by six to seven metres – that’s worth thinking about!
  • Ice in one form or another makes up part of just about every excursion. WOGAC in Ilulissat and Kangerlussuaq organises trips of various lengths to and onto the Ice Sheet.