About Uummannaq

Wake up to a view of massive icebergs and the excited calls of Greenlandic sled dogs. Spend the day exploring the pristine wilderness of the Uummannaq Fjord with a local guide. Then retire in the evening to watch the northern lights dance overhead or pull an all-nighter with the midnight sun.

Welcome to Uummannaq – where you can experience a more traditional Greenland.

Welcome to Uummannaq

Uummannaq (meaning “heart-shaped” in the Greenlandic language) is named for the iconic mountain that dominates the island. The town itself has 1428 residents (2021), many of whom still hunt and fish as their primary occupation.

We have all of the natural attractions of Greenland on our doorstep, with glaciers, massive icebergs, and impressive mountains dominating the waterways of the Uummannaq Fjord. Whales visit us during the summer, and many of us still travel by dogsled once the sea freezes over in the winter. Fishing (from a boat or through a hole in the ice) is a year-round preoccupation, as is visiting our friends and relatives in their colourful houses in the 7 small surrounding settlements.

Uummannaq is still a developing tourism destination in Greenland, so you won’t find crowds of tourists here. Instead, you will experience a more traditional Greenland with those who actually live it, and the silence and stillness of nature in one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

How to get to Uummannaq

Getting to Uummannaq is part of the adventure, involving at least 3 flights and either a helicopter or (during summer) a boat transfer.

Flights to Uummannaq start in Ilulissat, so you must get yourself there first. If you are coming from Copenhagen, Air Greenland will fly you to Kangerlussuaq and then onto Ilulissat. If you are coming from Iceland, Air Greenland and Icelandair have some direct flights to Ilulissat during the summer. At other times of the year, they will fly you to Nuuk from Keflavik/Reykjavik, where you will board another Air Greenland flight to Ilulissat.

From Ilulissat, it is another ~1-hour flight to the small settlement of Qaarsut. Then a spectacular 15-minute helicopter transfer or a ~1-hour boat transfer (summer only) across to the island of Uummannaq.

Temperature and weather in Uummannaq

Uummannaq has two main seasons for tourism. The summer season runs from July – September and the winter season from late January to early May, though starting dates for tours depend on the thickness and stability of the sea ice.

During summer, you can expect temperatures of 3-10 degrees Celsius. Although this may not seem very warm, if the sun is shining and there is no wind – trust us – you will be stripped down to your t-shirt! The air is very dry and the sun very strong, despite the relatively low temperatures.

During winter, temperatures average around -15 degrees Celsius. But don’t let that put you off! Again, the dry air makes it feel much warmer. And so long as you bring the right clothing and gear, you will still feel comfortable at even much lower temperatures.

Make sure you read our Uummannaq summer gear guide or Uummannaq winter gear guide for what you should pack for your trip.

As with the rest of the Arctic, it is impossible to predict what the weather will be like during your stay. From bright sunny days to storms with howling gales – anything is possible, and it can change quite quickly. In Greenland, our whole lives are determined by the weather and your trip will be too. But don’t worry, we follow the weather forecast very closely and will alter itineraries to keep you safe but also maximise your adventure with us.

What to do in Uummannaq

For a small town, Uummannaq has plenty to keep you occupied for a week or more, all set against the backdrop of the famous heart-shaped mountain.

On the island itself, you can visit the museum and associated buildings, visit Greenland’s only stone church, write a letter to Santa Claus and visit his summer residence, or explore the old buildings of the port area. You can find more information about these excursions on our self-guided tours page.

Further afield, your experiences in the Uummannaq Fjord depend on which season you are visiting.

During summer, relax on a sailing trip around the massive icebergs to glaciers, small settlements, and key features of the Fjord such as the yellow desert, Qilakitsoq (where the Greenland mummies were found), and vertical cliffs where thousands of birds nest. Head out on a whale-watching adventure to specifically seek out and observe these massive creatures at play. Or join a trip where you fish and forage for your dinner and then enjoy a typical “Kuisaq” meal out of what you collect.

Winter is the time for dog sledding, ice fishing, and northern lights. You can choose to have just a taste of a hunter’s life on a 6-hour excursion that also includes a meal made from your catch. Or embark on a more intense adventure of 5 days or 7 days where you visit other parts of the Uummannaq Fjord on dogsled, have the best views of the northern lights, and enjoy the hospitality of locals in the settlements.

We look forward to welcoming you and showing you around our stunningly beautiful area.