After spending a week sailing around the fjords of Scoresbysund, it was time to set foot on stable ground again and explore a very remote settlement of east Greenland. To share my experience I decided to write down some words and thoughts and things we have been up to.
As always my adventure started at the airport, only this time the airport consists of three old containers converted into a terminal and a luggage hall. A dirt road used as the airstrip and no passport control whatsoever. Oh did I mention that we are not even close to the village where we are going to stay? You can either take a boat for about 3 hours or you can book a helicopter transfer for about 20 minutes, featured with amazing sceneries seen from above.
The only two people besides the airport staff, I counted 9 while waiting for the helicopter to get ready, were my good friend Alex from Iceland and myself.
And then suddenly things turned very rapidly, the helicopter picked us up, we flew over the fjords and mountains, landed in Ittoqqortoormiit, got picked up by a ATW and found ourselves in the only guesthouse in town. Apparently it’s also the most remote hotel, as shown on the doorstep matt, #RemoteAF.
First things first, we had to buy food, cuddle some puppies and rent a gun. On our way to the local supermarket, which is surprisingly filled with all kinds of things, we got distracted by a bunch small puppies.
The Greenland dog is a large breed of husky-type dog kept as a sled dog - very robust and sturdy, heavily-built with wolfish looks. These small puppies were incredibly strong and we played around with them in the dusty streets and between the colorful houses painted red, blue and yellow.
Ittoqqortoormiit, even after spending a week there I still don’t know how to write and actually pronounce this name.
So one more time Ittoqqortoormiit and it’s remote, in fact, so remote that it bears to the distinction of being the remotest inhabited community in the western hemisphere. With more than 800 kilometers to the nearest town, this „edge of the world“ village is home to just around 350 residents. Frozen in for almost nine months of the year, the community is confronted with harsh conditions and rely on hunting.
Summer offers many opportunities and so we decided to have a look and roam around the area.
Our first hike took us on the hill behind the village. Offering a beautiful view of the whole area, distant icebergs floating around out in the sea and the peaky mountaintops of Scoresbysund at the horizon.
While overlooking the fjord you get the first sense of the incredible remoteness of this place. We spotted a beautiful beach and the views inspired us to plan our next days and activities.
Always accompanied by our dogs, Matt and Damon we hiked out to Walrus Bay the next day. The blue sea, the endless beach, people fishing arctic char in the lake and children swimming in the river.
An American base was established here after the second world war and the ruins still remain, an interesting area rich with history.
We have been in town for a couple of days now and the locals have started to recognize us over and over again. Especially the kids, they were super fun and they would follow us through the streets.
I wish I could speak at least some danish to communicate, but even without words the happiness, curiosity and the lack of concern for anything sparkled in their eyes.
After a quite hectic time so far, we wanted to experience the Arctic beauty and quietness from the seaside. We rented a couple of kayaks and paddled alongside the shoreline.
There is very little that makes you feel more alive and connected to nature than looking over into the water and listening to sound of the swell breaking on shore. A feeling of pure serenity!
Our last big hike brought us to an old abandoned settlement at the entrance of the fjord, Kap Tobin. The remains and all kinds of creepy stuff are scattered around the old cabins.
Occasionally you would find polar bear skin hanging on the walls.
Visiting Ittoqqortoormiit is a very uncommon adventure, a land were nature rules, a place that makes you feel vulnerable, insignificant and detached from the rest of the world. Only in these present moments can we find true joy and appreciation, not worrying about the past or being anxious about the future.
It’s been an amazing and mind-opening trip to the remote Arctic land, made possible by our partner and sponsor Guide To Greenland.
I highly recommend to check them out and if you consider visiting Greenland:
Tours in Ittoqqortoormiit:
Information about Greenland:
Feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions! email@example.com