Disko island - Qeqertarsuaq
Geologically the Disko Island is far younger than the mainland and is very different from the mainland. The island mostly consists of high and steep basalt mountains that were created by volcanic activity 25-65 million years ago. The name Qeqertarsuaq means “the great island”, however the Danish name refers to the shape of the island. The distance from the mainland to the Disko Island is approx. 100 km, but in clear weather the visibility is very good from every town in the Disko Bay. The town of Qeqertarsuaq is beautifully situated in the Disko Bay and is set against a backdrop of magnificent basalt mountains. In the mountains above Qeqertarsuaq is “the Lyngmark glacier” and it is the only place that offers dog sledding in summer. The Disko Island is the largest island of Greenland. Qeqertarsuaq (also known as Godhavn) is the only town on the entire island besides the small village of Kangerluk(Diskofjord). The rest of the island is unspoilt nature, which according to arctic conditions, shows a varied species of flora.
Qeqertarsuaq is beautifully located with a fantastic view of the glaciers on top of the Basalt Mountains, and the waterfalls splashing down the mountains. The sea, just in front of Qeqertarsuaq, is a favourite foraging spot for the humpback whales in the summer and we may spot the whales, from the boat as well as from the land during our stay on the island. We recommend a stroll around town. The colourful Greenlandic houses contrast the huge basalt mountains outside town perfectly. A short hike leads you to the coast, and here you will se the huge ice bergs grounded at the Disko Bay or slowly drifting by in the Bay. The town museum is definitely worth a visit. The museum displays a magnificent collection of paintings by the artist Jakob Danielsen as well as portraying the interesting history of the town.
Dog Sledding on Lyngmarks Bræ
The area around Qeqertarsuaq offers plenty of opportunities for different activities. In the summer it is possible to go dog sledding on Lyngmarksbræen – one of the only places in Greenland that offers dog sledding in the summer.Please note that dogsleding at Lyngmark Glacier, will only be offered mid june to mid august. It is possible to trek to the top and back on the same day or you can choose an overnight stay in a charming hut on “Lyngmarksbræen”. From the top of the glacier at 1200 m. the view over Disko Bay and the waters we have just sailet, is outstanding.
Hiking and Nature on Disko Island
The area around Qeqertarsuaq is ideal for trekking, and you will find smaller hikes as well as longer hikes. The trek to Kuannit is a “must”. Kuannit is the Greenlandic word for quantum “kuan”. Besides being known for its lush and green nature, Kuannit is also known for its characteristic basal mountains and “hot” springs.
A short trek to “Udkiggen” is always possible to fit into your programme. “Udkiggen” is a spot south of town out by the coast. From here you have an incredible view of the Disko Bay and the spot has been a lookout for whales and seals since time immemorial.
A trek to “Blæsedalen” is another obvious option. On the way to “Blæsedalen” you pass by the Arctic Research Station, owned and ran by University of Copenhagen. The Arctic Research Station buzzes with life during the summer and scientists and students from all over the world flock to the place to perform their arctic field studies. From here you cross the bridge over the river “Røde elv”, after which the path leads into the valley of “Blæsedalen”. Arctic conditions considered, the valley shows a lush and varied species of flora.
This far north of the polar circle life is lived very different from Denmark, and a stroll around the town will leave you with many memorable impressions.
The dog sledding season begins in September and normally ends in May. During the 4 months in between, the dogs usually are inactive. New litters are raised and the puppies ravage and bite in everything within their reach.
Free Adventures in the Area
Qeqertarsuaq is a peaceful Greenlandic town beautifully situated south on the Disko Island. A lot is to be seen walking around the town and the surroundings. You will find many fine trout rivers and the island has proud traditions of heather-smoked trout in summer. You will not regret buying one of these if given the opportunities. The town houses a fine museum giving a good introduction to the area and its fascinating history. Finally, the hiking possibilities in the surrounding area are among the best in Northern Greenland. Depending on the level of your hiking experience you can do the hikes by your self or alternatively buy a guided tour.
- Dog sledding in the summer, limited period
- Trek to the waterfall in ”Blæsedalen”
- Trek to Kuannit – the place of the “kvan” plant and basalt formations
- Trek to Qaqqaliaq – “Hvaludkiggen”
- Enjoy the view to huge icebergs in Disko Bay
- Trek to "Lyngmarksbræen" - challenging
- City walk