Kayaker on Inussuit Tasersuat lake near Maniitsoq, West Greenland

Kayaking & stand up paddleboarding (SUP)

It is widely believed that Greenland was the birthplace of the kayak (“qajaq” in the Greenlandic language). The Inuit people custom-fitted these highly maneuverable craft to their owner who then used them for hunting sea creatures and as a primary form of transportation.


While modern kayaks are quite different to the ultra-sleek, traditional driftwood and sealskin qajaq, guests have several different opportunities to get out on the water under their own power in the Arctic Circle region.

In Kangerlussuaq, you can quietly paddle the length of Lake Ferguson looking for musk oxen, reindeer (caribou), and other animals and birdlife.

In Maniitsoq, explore the magnificent Inussuit Tasersuat (a very narrow lake with tall mountains down both sides), or one of the many glacier-filled fjords.

In Sisimiut, take a gentle paddle for the best vantage points of the mountains and colourful houses of Greenland’s second-largest city. You can even do this trip in winter (depending on sea ice), for the greatest contrast between the pristine, white snow and the multi-coloured buildings.

Guided tours are suitable for anyone (no experience required) and led by qualified kayaking guides. Or, if you are an experienced kayaker, hire locally and plot your own course around the area you wish to visit.

Photo: Aningaaq R Carlsen – Visit Greenland

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP)

Another option in Sisimiut is to try kayaking’s modern distant cousin – stand-up paddleboarding. Try walking on water in the sheltered Parasuk Bay and, on calm days, you can head a little further out to see the high peaks to the south of Sisimiut near Itilleq.  Again, no experience necessary.

Kayaking & SUP Operators

The following companies offer kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding trips in the region:

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