Tasiilaq is one of only two cities along 3,000 km long east coast of Greenland.
Tasiilaq is one of the most beautifully situated, which has helped make it one of Greenland's most visited tourist attractions. Every year many thousands of tourists from Iceland on single and multi-day trips through the airfield Kulusuk.
Tasiilag is the capital of East Greenland but There are several places to stay in Kulusuk (nearest airport), so spend a day in the settlement before going on to Tasiilaq, which is just a 10 minute helicopter ride away. For snow enthusiasts, spring is an exciting time with plenty of opportunities for different kinds of
dog sled trips of varying lengths. Or how about getting a dog sled driver's licence together with an experienced Greenlandic whaler, a thrilling experience under safe conditions.
By Easter the sun is already high in the sky and can become baking hot even when the snow is still a metre thick on the ground.
In Tasiilaq you should visit the little museum, which is built inside the town's old church. This will give you an insight into the fascinating East Greenlandic culture and you can see examples of the fine figures made out of teeth and bones that East Greenland is known for. Take a peek inside the beautiful church, which is decorated by Greenlandic artist
Aka Høegh. If you continue up the hill you will come to Filatelia, from where Greenlandic stamps are sent to collectors all over the world, and which also offers daily tours. Directly opposite is the tourist office and Skæven, a shop selling beautiful pieces of fur and carvings all made by local artists.
Follow the hill up to the municipal office and turn left out towards the Valley of the Flowers, follow the river past the churchyard and discover how the valley got its name; lighting up the mountain sides are vast carpets of different coloured flowers. The trip will take you out to a big lake at the end of the valley. It takes approx. 1 hour in easy terrain, and if you feel like carrying on in this stunning scenery, walk up over the mountain ridge to the right of the lake. You then come to a gravel path that takes you back to the town.
Back in the town it is worth stopping for a rest in 'Verdensuniversitetet Neriusaaq' - the town's book café and meeting place for tourists and local residents, where teas, coffees and delicious ice cream waffles are served on the little sun terrace. There is of course also a fine selection of books and newspapers available to browse.
A stay in Tasiilaq should be combined with a visit to one of the district's many settlements to discover what life is really like for Greenlandic whalers. You could go to Tiniteqilaaq, for example, which is beautifully situated by the Sermilik fjord and where stunning photogenic icebergs are plentiful. In the spring season this is easily reached by
dog sled or
snowmobile across the Ammassalik island. For the rest of the season you have to fly or travel by helicopter. There are several exciting settlements situated a little further from Tasiilaq, which you can reach by boat or one of the weekly helicopter flights.
Isolated and yet easily accessible from Iceland
East Greenland is the kingdom of the polar bears, but the risk or chance of meeting one is however only small. But there is a good chance of spotting
seals on the trips arranged from the town.
Dogsleds in the far north-east is different from the south at by being longer
because they can pass through cracks and fissures in the ice. The slide is also
only bound and not nailed together, thereby giving it a flexibility that enables
it to climb uneven terrain. A true off-road.
10-12 hp (dogs forces) is the most common "engine size", enough to
shoot a considerable speed on the fast surface.
North Greenland has been the starting point for countless historic sledding
trips - from Knud Rasmussen to the Danish Crown Prince. And no visitor to the
north of Greenland snow should miss out on the experience of following in the
sled track of celebrities at full speed across the ice by a team of baying dogs.
Tasiilaq belongs to one of the most isolated settlements in the world. Towards the west the inland ice rises up to 2,500 metres, and towards the east in the Denmark straits lies the big ice from the North Pole preventing any sailing for approx. 7 months of the year.
Aurora Borealis northern lightsIn Sermersooq East (Ammassalik), northern lights are more frequent in late autumn to early spring. October – beginning of April are the best months to see northern lights. NL are most frequent and intense from 10 p.m. to midnight, magnetic time. Brilliant auroras often occur at 27-day intervals as active areas on the sun's surface face earth during its 27-day rotation cycle. Northern lights activity corresponds closely to sunspot activity, which follows an 11-year cycle, but there seems to be a one-year delay between sunspot maximum and maximum auroral occurrence. Northern lights activity is 20-30% less during solar minimum than at solar maximum.
Video Yet it has never been easier to plan a visit to this adventure-rich area. Your ultimate Greenlandic experience starts at www.eastgreenland.com, the local tourist office's website, where you will find all the information you need about travel options, excursions accommodation, history, culture etc.