Uummannaq is Greenland’s answer to the holiday’s one-stop-shopping. If you are going to Uummannaq, you will find a place with an abundance of the ingredients and experiences that many would like to find in Greenland. In Uummannaq you have glaciers and icebergs, towering mountains and whales, sled dogs, sailing and much more. If you should choose one destination in Greenland and get the most out of your stay, Uummannaq is a good bet.
By Steffen Fog
On a late summer or autumn trip to Uummannaq, it is possible to have an eventful and evocative holiday that, among other things, includes the following:
Start with a walk out in the mountains and find peace. Get away from civilization and find your own little place to wander, or sit down quietly, for example, at Spragle Bay close to town. The route there is easy and short, yet you will soon be hit by silence, the massive absence of noises and disturbances will embalm you, while the late summer and autumn mountain herbs will embrace you with their spicy scent. The Arctic sun will warm you and you can inhale the dry and fresh arctic air purified by sea and ice. With this peace of mind in your luggage are you ready for the rest of the holiday experiences.
If you are not lucky enough to meet a whale, there are so many other natural adventures to be found in Uummannaq, where the sea, mountains and ice are your nearest neighbours.
Uummannaq is located on an island in the middle of the breathtaking Uummannaq fjord. The island itself stands out with its huge heart-shaped mountain, towering 1,172 metres above the sea, but the sea around is an even bigger attraction. On organized boat trips you can experience many of the area’s attractions, such as the hotel’s day trip that takes you to the inhabited and abandoned settlements, historic locations and bird cliffs. At sea you may also be lucky enough in the season to experience the giants of the ocean, whales that are in their element. A day of sun on the water and spouting from the whales is a perfect and eventful day!
The Inland Ice Cap, glaciers and icebergs characterize the life and landscape in Greenland, and therefore Uummannaq and the region. Chalky white icebergs are everywhere in Uummannaq Fjord, which light up and remind us that the Inland Ice Cap is not far away. The icebergs can be enjoyed from both the mountain and the hotel terrace, but you get even closer to them by sailing on a boat. Here you can experience both the icebergs spread beautifully in the fjord and the many glaciers that characterize the area. For example, take the popular trip all the way to the Great Qarajaq, one of the larger glaciers in the area. On this trip you will get close to nature’s greatest elements: sea, ice, air and mountains.
The light and the view
Uummannaq is an extraordinarily beautiful place, where the Inland Ice Cap, steep mountains and the sea all contribute to breathtaking views and there is a special light everywhere in and around Uummannaq from the hotel terrace, the town’s steep streets and the mountains and the sea in the area. The light characterizes everything, both the Northern Lights in winter and the Midnight Sun in summer. And the view is dominated by the Uummannaq fjord scattered with icebergs that the area’s many glaciers produce and the distinctive mountains on Nuussuaq peninsula and the islands in the area. The contrasts moved into the Uummannaq area millions of years ago and are still captivating to any eye.
In Uummannaq, many more than further south, have maintained a lot of the original lifestyle with hunting and fishing as a major source of income. Many have huskies and use them in the winter for sledding. Some still also have kayaks, and many of the coloured homes that are spread around on the rocks are adorned with hunting trophies from narwhals and polar bears. However, first and foremost, everyone has preserved the original tradition of being hospitable, smiling and welcoming to visitors. Discover Greenland’s people and hunter culture in Uummannaq!
An introduction to the local history is available at Uummannaq Museum, which tells many amazing stories about the area, such as the extensive polar research that has taken place here and generally about life here several hundred kilometres north of the Arctic Circle.
One of the excursions, to give you something to understand Uummannaq and Greenland’s history, is the trip to the site of the famous Qilakitsoq mummies. The actual mummies are at the National Museum in Nuuk, but to see the place where these prehistoric Greenlanders lived puts many things into perspective.
All in all, Uummannaq is a place where you will experience a great deal of Greenland!
There and back
Air Greenland fly to Uummannaq via Qaarsut airport on Nuussuaq peninsula. The last part of the journey is made by helicopter. In summer, Disko Line also runs a service from Ilulissat to Uummannaq.
Uummannaq Tourist Service can help with the vast majority of information.
From our friends at Greenland Tourism newsletter