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Getting to know southern Greenland means going beyond the Arctic frontier: a world which until now has been the home of the Inuit people, and which still holds on to the flavour of their traditional lifestyle. Southern Greenland offers the traveller the impact of a sea covered in icebergs and the awe-inspiring beauty of the glaciers overflowing into the tranquillity of the fjords. A landscape, with its intense green colours and leafy tundra and its colourful settlements.
This is the perfect trip for those who wants to discover the wonders of Greenland and enjoy the best Marathon in South Greenland, the Leif Eriksson Marathon, a truly experience for runners!. You will probably not find another marathon in the world that offers more beautiful views with blossoming meadows, grazing sheep, sparkling blue sea slices of ice and UNESCO sites along the way.
The hikes are quite easy, approximately 3 or 4 hours walking, and suitable for most abilities. The excursion on ice with crampons will be guided by a mountain guide, and is also suitable for anyone physically active and with an adventurous attitude. For the kayak optional excursion, previous experience in kayaking is not required. Tha Marathon part is physically challenging.
Flight from Keflavik (Iceland) or Copenhagen to Narsarsuaq (south Greenland). Reception at the airport and zodiac boat transfer to Qassiarsuk (former Brattahlid, capital of Viking Greenland). Walk through the village of about 50 inhabitants and guided tour of the viking ruins of Brattahlid, learning the history of the arrival of Eric the Red from Iceland at this small settlement in 985. Of particular interest are the reconstructions of a Viking house (spacious but cold) and an inuit dwelling (small but warmer), transporting us back in time to the harsh conditions in which these people lived and it definitely shows us how the Inuit knew how to adapt better to the progressive cooling of the climate. This Norse and Greenlandic core farming area were in 2017 inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List under the title Kujataa GreenlandNight at the Leif Eriksson Hostel.
We will set off for Qaleraliq camp, our base beside the greenlandic ice cap, navigating along the Tunulliarfik fjord among icebergs. Halfway we will stop at Narsaq, the third most populated town in South Greenland with about 1,500 inhabitants. Free time to visit the museum, the fish market or the fur shops before boarding the boat again to navigate towards the Inlandis. We will arrive to our camp set on a sandy beach, which contrasts with a spectacular view of three glacier tongues. We will spend the night at the camp, allowing our senses to enjoy the thunderclap roar of the icefall from seracs.
Accommodation in 4 bedded basic but comfortable rooms of Domo “loft”.
In the morning we will have many opportunities to see caribou, which are plentiful in the area. After breakfast, hiking to the Tasersuatsiaq lake and climb up a mountain 400 metres high, from which we will have the view of the immense Polar Ice Cap and the “nunataks”, floating landmarks on the ice sheet. In the afternoon we will have time for fishing or pick mushrooms and blueberries (from mid august). Accommodation in 4 bedded basic but comfortable rooms of Domo “loft”.
We will navigate along the vertical glacier fronts on a zodiac boat. These glacier fronts extended in only one, but the dramatic progress of climate change divided it in three glacier fronts. From there we will start the Inlandis tongue hiking. An impressive trek using crampons where we will explore its crevasses, drains, caves, and seracs which give an labyrinthine quality to this glacier. An expert mountain guide will be in charge of the excusion to ensure the safety of the group, while he shares with us his knowledge about the characteristics of the glaciers in the southern Greenland. Accommodation in 4 bedded basic but comfortable rooms of Domo “loft”.
It begins and ends in the settlement, Qassiarsuk, down a T-shaped route where you go past Nunataaq, Inneruulalik and almost all the way out to Sillisit.
Even though the marathon stretch goes down desolate tractor tracks, you feel very safe. There is thorough information before departure, good direction signs and catering along the route.
You can choose between the 10 km, half-marathon (21km) or marathon distances (42). Walking the half-marathon route is a recently added option.
It takes about an hour and a half longer to run than an ordinary marathon on flat roads.
After finish you will have good time to greet the residents of the settlement who are usually quite inquisitive and love to follow the marathon.
Night at the Leif Eriksson Hostel.
Hiking to Tasiusaq farms, next to Sermilik fjord which is almost always blocked by the icebergs coming from Eqaloruutsit glacier. This is not the only sheep farm of the area and we can continue our walk to reach the idyllic Nunataaq. Then, after the picnic, it’s time for action: optional kayak excursion in the “Iceberg Bay”, a 2 hour kayaking trip for beginners among icebergs in one of the safest and nicest spots in southern Greenland (85€ , minimum 2 participants).
Accommodation at the Tasiusaq hostel or hike back to Qassiarsuk and accommodation at the Leif Eriksson Hostel.
In the morning we will cross the fjord towards Narsarsuaq area. Then, after a short transfer by car, we will walk through Flower Valley until we can see the Kiattut glacier and the landscape around it, with superb panoramic view of the Polar Ice Cap and its Nunataks (floating landmarks on the ice sheet). Flower Valley is one of the most renowned excursion in all Greenland. Farewell dinner will be greenlandic dinner with traditional Inuit products: fish, whale, seal, caribou, etc. Night at the Leif Eriksson Hostel.
Once in Narsarsuaq we have time to walk around in the area and visit the local museum Bluie West that reflects the history of the creation of the village of Narsarsuaq from the past and especially its role played in the Second World War, or you can ascend to the “View Point”, an easy hike of approximately one hour, starting near the Hotel, from where you will have views of the fjord, the Narsarsuaq plain and the Kiattut glacier.
Flight Narsarsuaq-Keflavik (Iceland international airport) or Copenhaguen.
2,095 € from Keflavik, Iceland (round-trip ticket included)
2,395 € from Copenhagen, Denmark (round-trip ticket included)
Departures from Copenhagen and Keflavik
From 14th to 21st of August . Marathon Special Departure
Registration date: Up to 45 days before the journey’s departure date.
Registration after that date: Depending on flight availability.
Reservation: 40% deposit of the total price, excluding airport taxes.
What it’s included: