About the Author
Aviaja Ørum Kristiansen was born and raised in the town of Tasiilaq, has strong bonds and family connections to the Ammassalik region, such as Tiilerilaaq and Ikateq, the old American Airbase. With a rich background in tourism, she is now an integral part of Visit Greenland, the national tourism board, living in Nuuk, but enjoying every single time she gets to visit her home on the east coast. For her, nothing compares to the emotional resonance of flying home by helicopter from Kulusuk, with the majestic mountains of her homeland coming into view. Back in the town, the warm greetings from the community make her heart swell. The welcoming smiles and hearty ‘hellos’ embody the heartening human contrast to the austere, yet stunning, natural landscapes. Nothing better than to disconnect and embrace serenity in the surroundings of Tasiilaq.
During summer, sailing with family or hiking up the gorgeous mountains surrounding Tasiilaq offers the ideal respite. In winter, Aviaja relishes snowmobile trips with friends and family, complemented by skiing and snowboarding on the slopes. These trips often include barbequing on the mountains, always keeping a watchful eye for polar bears, adding an element of thrill and admiration for the region’s diverse wildlife. One of Aviaja’s cherished memories involves a dog sled ride with her father, enveloped in the tranquil silence broken only by the soft padding of the dogs. Aviaja describes a feeling of being wonderfully insignificant amidst the grandeur of nature once away from the town, highlighting the close-knit relationship Tasiilaq shares with the surrounding environment. To her, the profound silence, the comforting embrace of nature, and the contrasting vibrancy of the town life make Tasiilaq an idyllic sanctuary for restoration and contemplation.
The Essence of East Greenland in Three Days
The idyllic town of Tasiilaq promises a journey filled with breathtaking vistas, diverse wildlife, and thrilling excursions. Here, we unfold a three-day immersive summer itinerary curated by Aviaja Ørum Kristiansen, which captures the enchanting spirit of Tasiilaq and its surrounding area.
Day 1: Trek to the Flower Valley and the Backcountry Waterfall
Begin your Tasiilaq adventure with a heartening walk through the town towards the renowned flower valley. This verdant wonderland, teeming with colorful Arctic flora, offers the perfect introduction to Tasiilaq’s natural allure. Journey through the valley towards a backcountry waterfall, the sound of its cascading waters creating an enchanting soundtrack for your hike. Carry along a packed lunch to relish amid the splendor of the waterfall. With a meal, the refreshing ambience, and the gentle murmur of water flowing over rocks, this locale is an idyllic setting for an alfresco dining experience. End your day by retiring to the cozy confines of Angmagssalik Hotel, where dinner will be served while enjoying a view towards Polhem mountain.
Day 2: Sailing to Knud Rasmussen Glacier and Ikateq Base
On the second day, wake up to another breakfast with a breathtaking fjord view. Afterward, take a full-day boat tour around the Ammassalik Island, including a visit to Tiilerilaaq. This traditional settlement showcases the area’s evolution, from earth houses (Ukiiverajik) to modern housing. Marvel at how swiftly changes have come about in just a generation. The tour also includes a cruise around the Sermilik Fjord, from where you’ll get a spectacular view of the ice cap. A lunch package will be served on the boat. To ensure a tailored experience, we consult with our guests before the trip to gauge their preferences and adapt the itinerary based on weather conditions. For instance, a short 15-45 minute stop at the abandoned settlement of Ikateq can be included based on your preference. Upon return, relish a dinner at The Red House, featuring local fare with a European/continental twist.
Day 3: Sailing around Ammassalik Island with a Stop in Tiilerilaaq
The final day of your itinerary involves an exploratory voyage around Ammassalik Island. Begin your day by sailing through the expansive Ammassalik Fjord, navigating towards the elongated Ikâsagtivaq Fjord. The majestic mountains rising from the sea, reaching up to 1000 meters high, provide a dramatic panorama along your journey. Following a brief stop, continue sailing towards Tiilerilaaq, a charming settlement boasting breathtaking views of the Sermilik Fjord. Enjoy your lunch while taking in the vista of floating icebergs, glaciers, and the expansive Greenland ice sheet. After lunch, sail further into Sermilik Fjord towards the Johan Petersen Fjord, with direct view of the Greenland ice cap, if ice conditions permit. Finish your journey by sailing back to Tasiilaq, keeping an eye out for the diverse marine life, including whales and seals, that frequent the fjord. Numerous birds also enliven the fjord, adding an auditory delight to your visual spectacle.
This three-day summer itinerary in Tasiilaq offers a distinctive blend of invigorating hikes, captivating sea voyages, and immersive historical explorations. Enriched with indigenous wildlife and unrivaled natural splendor, this sojourn is the epitome of an Arctic adventure.