Ilulissat Icefjord

The Icefjord near Ilulissat is on UNESCO’s world heritage list. If you’ve ever been there, you’ll fully understand why.

Two travelers reading on a bench overlooking icebergs in the Ilulissat ice fjord in Greenland

Two travelers reading on a bench overlooking icebergs in the Ilulissat ice fjord in Greenland. Photo: Mads Pihl, Visit Greenland

One of the wonders of the world

The ice fjord and glacier near Ilulissat are attractions of world-class calibre. For this reason the Icefjord was admitted onto UNESCO’s world heritage list in 2004. We understand that it’s a valuable area that we have to look after. And if you’ve ever visited the fjord and the ice kingdom, you only have one wish: to see it again.

Sermeq Kujalleq is the biggest glacier outside the Antarctic, and you should treat yourself to a flight by helicopter over the area. From the window you can see out to sea, to the small icebergs drifting south, and suddenly you may spot the huge flippers of a humpback whale splashing the surface of the water. Your flight starts over land, over fells, lakes and rivers. We then fly over the Icefjord and see the large beached icebergs at the mouth of the fjord. It’s a trip that takes your breath away and leaves an indelible mark on your consciousness.

Through WOG in Ilulissat you can also go on hiking trips and sailing trips where you’ll experience the thrill of this natural wonder first-hand.

A unique settlement

If you think of the Icefjord, then you’ll inevitably think of Sermermiut. Sit down on the remains of the former settlement a kilometre outside Ilulissat. The settlement was inhabited until the middle of the 19th century. With peat house ruins and kitchen middens in the foreground and icebergs in the background, it’s a scene which will remain etched in your memory.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Sermeq Kujalleq covers 3,000 km2 and calves around 40 cubic kilometres of ice every year. 
  • The Sermermiut settlement contains relics from three immigrant cultures. 
  • Kangia means ice fjord, and Sermeq Kulalleq means Ilulissat glacier.
  • Enormous icebergs break off every day and drift through the narrow fjord out towards Disko Bay at a speed that makes it one of the world’s fastest glaciers.
  • Sermeq Kujalleq is responsible for one tenth of the entire production of icebergs from the Ice Sheet.
  • The Icefjord is rich in nutrients, so there’s lots of food for the animals of the sea.
  • The Icefjord at Ilulissat is the most famous, but many other towns also boasts local icefjords, including Narsarsuaq, Narsaq, Tasiilaq and Nuuk.