Greenland and Arctic Circle Trail day planning (Greenland)

I have locked in my trip to Greenland and the Arctic Circle Trail for June 2019. No way back. Now comes the time of planning my trip and non-hiking days.

Some key choices I made for my Greenland and Arctic Circle Trail visit

While planning I made some choices:

  • Rather than flying to Kangerlussuaq, start hiking there and then catching a flight back from Sisimiut, I decided to travel to Sisimiut first and then start hiking to Kangerlussuaq as the end point. It will reduce my number of travel days and the chance there are problems with getting back in time (as I won’t be dependent on the weather in Sisimiut being perfect at the end of the trail).
  • I had been in doubt whether to spend some time in Nuuk or Ilullisat to see the fjords and glaciers there. I could have taken a multi-city flight from Copenhagen to Sisimiut via Kangerlussuaq and Nuuk (with a 24h stopover in Nuuk), but that was more than 350 euros more expensive than my current flights. So, I settled on Ilullisat as the best option to spend some extra time. Here, as well, I have allowed for 24 buffer time between leaving Ilullisat and leaving from Kangerlussuaq. In case of bad weather, I have some wiggle room to catch my flight back to Copenhagen.
  • I decided to fly from Copenhagen (the most feasible option, coming from Europe) and spend some time there before/after the Greenland trip to mentally prepare for the hike.
  • Finally, also because of the cost of hotels and accommodation in Greenland, I decided to stay in my tent, even in Kangerlussuaq and Ilullisat.

Rough Day Planning

So, here’s the rough day planning:

Day 1 (June 17th) – stay in Copenhagen

Nyhavn in Copenhagen, Denmark at night; Shutterstock
Nyhavn in Copenhagen, Denmark at night; Shutterstock
  • 10h35-13h55 Travel from Brussels to Copenhagen (stopover in Amsterdam). Apart from being a KLM fan (note: KLM has been a client for years), my Flying Blue Platinum status allows me for an economy comfort upgrade and plenty of check-in bags.
  • Visit Copenhagen town
  • Visit team of Visit Greenland in Copenhagen
  • Last double, triple, quadruple check of my gear before heading off to Greenland. Gear I won’t need (as well as some casual clothing to visit Copenhagen), I can leave in the hotel as I will be checking in at the same hotel after my Greenland trip.
  • Sleep at the Crown Plaza Copenhagen Towers (part of IHG).

Day 2 (June 18th) – sleep on the trail

  • 11h00-13h10 Travel from Copenhagen to Sisimiut (Greenland) via Kangerlussuaq (Greenland).
  • Spend time in Sisimiut:
    • Get my last groceries (only some fresh fruits, the rest I have packed already) and a gas canister in Sisimiut.
    • Get my last decent, warm meal before heading out on the trail.
    • I’ll probably climb Nasaasaaq hill near Sisimiut before heading out for the trail. I’ll skip Teleøen which has some really great ruins and the seal and whale safari (Thanks Jesper Schroder for the tips) as I will be doing that in Ilullisat.
  • Hiking Day 1 (17km? – key objective would be at the amazing Lake House by the end of hiking day 2, a total of 50km)

Day 3 (June 19th) – sleep on the trail

Lake House on the Arctic Circle Trail. Photo by Phoebe Smith
Lake House on the Arctic Circle Trail. Photo by Phoebe Smith
  • Hiking Day 2 (33km till lake house?)

Day 4 (June 20th) – sleep on the trail

  • Hiking Day 3 (32 + partly towards Canoe center towards white beach (?))

Day 5 (June 21st) – sleep on the trail

  • Hiking Day 4 (42 km + rest of Canoe center)

Day 6 (June 22nd) – sleep on the trail, near the Russell glacier

  • Hiking Day 5 (12 km? + towards Russell Glacier).
  • Thanks to Jesper Schroder: “It is free to around Russell, just don’t put your tent up too close to Russell, it is a glacier and therefore there is ice that falls down. As long as you don’t keep your hut on the rocks but on the grass then you should be fine”

Day 7 (June 23rd) – sleep in Ilullisat

  • Morning: Walk from the glacier back to Kangerlussuaq. This is pretty much one of my few fixed variables, as I will need to catch my flight to Ilullisat.
  • 12h05-12h50 Fly from Kangerlussuaq to Ilullisat
  • Spend time in Ilullisat

Day 8 (June 24th) – sleep in Ilullisat

Day 9 (June 25th) – stay in Kangerlussuaq

  • Spend time in Ilullisat.
  • 11h50-12h40 Fly from Ilullisat to Kangerlussuaq.
  • Spend time in Kangerlussuaq.

Day 10 (June 26th) – stay in Copenhagen

  • Spend time in Kangerlussuaq.
  • 11h40-20h00 Travel from Kangerlussuaq to Copenhagen.
  • Sleep at the Crown Plaza Copenhagen Towers (part of IHG).

Day 11 (June 27th) – stay in Copenhagen

  • Spend time in Copenhagen.
  • Sleep at the Crown Plaza Copenhagen Towers (part of IHG).

Day 12 (June 28th) – back home

  • 06h00-09h50 Travel from Copenhagen to Brussels via Amsterdam.

Got some tips, ideas? Let me know.

Sources I used

Some sources I used while finalising my day planning:


Photo by Globingaround

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