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Visiting Ilulissat

Ilulissat (called Jakobshavn in Danish) has become one of Greenland's biggest tourist destinations, with its awe-inspiring scenery and a dramatic soundtrack of glaciers breaking off into the sea.

It's 350km (217 miles) north of the Arctic Circle, at the edge of the Arctic's most productive glacier. Visitors to this beautiful town and its surrounding wilderness will be dazzled by the frozen ice fjord oasis known as Disko Bay.

Icelandair has direct flights from Iceland to Greenland. A 3 hour and 20 minute flight from Keflavík Airport (KEF) takes you to Ilulissat (JAV) – a truly unique reality in West Greenland. 

Icelandair flights between Iceland and Ilulissat will now use Keflavík International Airport (KEF) - there will no longer be flights between Ilulissat and Reykjavík Airport (RKV).

Endless icebergs

The Ilulissat Iceford runs west from the Greenland ice-sheet to Disko Bay just south of Ilulissat town. It's filled with enormous icebergs that calve from one of the fastest and most productive glaciers in the world, the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier.

Scenic boat and kayaking trips can take you out among the icebergs to help you appreciate this natural wonder from different perspectives. The summer months are popular for whale watching, and seals also frequent the waters.

You'll easily come to understand the Icefjord's inclusion on UNESCO's World Heritage List.

Sled Dog Town

Around 5,000 people live in Ilulissat today, and the town is well set up for travelers who are drawn here to be wowed by the ice. There are quality hotels with superb views, plus some great places to sample Greenlandic cuisine.

Alongside the locals, there are at least 3,500 sled dogs - for this reason, Ilulissat is also known as the 'Sled Dog Town'. Dogsled trips are highly popular among visitors, who get to experience another element of local life. Dogsledding is still used by the locals as a mode of transportation as well as recreation.

Unique experiences

Excursions help you explore the history and nature of the area from different vantage points. From Ilulissat several tourist agencies organize tours to local glaciers, to wilderness camps, and to outlying villages. 

Consider a visit to Eqip Sermia glacier, where you can spend a couple of days in a comfortable hut and get up close to a calving glacier.

You might choose to get immersed in authentic Greenlandic life with a visit to the small settlement of Oqaatsut (Rodebay), or one of the oldest settlements in Greenland, Ilimanaq.