Maniitsoq Travel Guide
Maniitsoq and its surrounding area is one of Greenland’s best kept secrets. Located between Nuuk and Sisimiut and with easy access via air or sea, it offers plenty of raw expereinces for Nature Beings.
Why you should visit
- The tallest mountains on the west coast with a seemingly infinite number of glaciers between them
- Some of the best whale-watching in all of Greenland, including from within town
- World-class heli skiing and ski touring opportunities that are still relatively unknown internationally
- Remote, crystal-clear rivers teeming with large Arctic Char (during the season)
While most general-interest travellers are likely to visit Maniitsoq during summer, it is still a beautiful destination from which to escape the world and enjoy the dancing Northern Lights during the colder months. And for adventure skiers – well, there’s nothing quite like it.
We encourage you to explore the full range of options below, check out the Maniitsoq section of our media database for more images, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@destinationarcticcircle) for the latest news.
How to get to Maniitsoq
|International Flights||1) Copenhagen -> Kangerlussuaq -> Maniitsoq (Air Greenland)|
2) Billund -> Kangerlussuaq -> Maniitsoq (Air Greenland summer)
3) Reykjavik/Keflavik -> Nuuk -> Maniitsoq (Air Greenland or IcelandAir + Air Greenland)
|Domestic Flights||Direct flights from/to Kangerlussuaq or Nuuk|
|Passenger Ferry||Maniitsoq is one of the ports along the route of the Sarfaq Ittuk passenger ferry that does a weekly loop from Qaqortoq to Ilulissat along the west coast of Greenland|
|Boat Transfer||From late April to mid-November, Maniitsoq Tour Boat runs fast transfers between Nuuk and Maniitsoq several times per week|
|Cruise ships||Several cruise ships call into Kangerlussuaq each season|
Once you have arrived, you can either walk, call a taxi (+299 52 08 44), or catch the city bus around town. Note: the bus does not go to the airport.
Read more about transportation options in Destination Arctic Circle.
The below are mean temperatures for Maniitsoq in degrees Celsius. Keep in mind that maximum temperatures can be much hotter, and minimum temperatures much colder – especially when wind chill is factored in.
|Av Max (C)||-5.1||-5.6||4.4||-0.2||4.5||8.6||11.5||10.8||7.1||3.1||-1.0||-3.6|
|Av Min (C)||-9.3||-10.7||-10.0||-5.5||-0.6||3.0||5.6||5.7||3.1||-1.0||-5.0||-7.5|
Visitors to Maniitsoq can expect very cold winters (down to -30C) and relatively mild summers. However, over the past few years we have experienced increasingly abnormal and unstable weather conditions so it is not unusual for temperatures to rise as high as 20C during the summer and for it to rain more often.
We recommend watching the following videos to understand what you should pack for your trip to Greenland. And remember to bring sunscreen and sunglasses, even if you are planning a winter visit.
Where to stay
- Hotel Maniitsoq – private double rooms with private bathroom, most with view over the water and the mountains. WiFi included and spa/sauna available.
- Hotel Heilmann Lyberth – private rooms with private bathroom. Centrally located
- Hotel Toppen – single rooms with private bathroom. Centrally located and WiFi included
There are also accommodations in Maniitsoq on Airbnb
Where to eat
As with accommodation, there are a handful of dining options ranging from basic fast food through to a-la-carte experiences.
- Hotel Maniitsoq Restaurant – Maniitsoq’s high-quality restaurant with traditional lunch dishes and an a la carte menu in the evening. All with spectacular views of the Davis straight and mountains
- Cafe Puisi – Asian-style dishes as well as fast food items like burgers
- Café Pølsemik – fast food, including burgers, hot dogs, and chicken & chips
- Pisiffik supermarket: has a large lunch / fast food area
What to do in Maniitsoq
All year round
While Maniitsoq region really comes alive with adventure activities during spring and summer, there are several places around town that you shouldn’t miss, no matter what time of year you are visiting.
On gorgeous days (whether it be +10 or -20C), make sure you take in the views from Maniitsoq’s whale watching platforms or from the top of one of its many staircases. It’s only 470 stairs to the top of the “Eiffel Tower” – a great opportunity for getting the blood pumping, and with one of Maniitsoq’s best views as the reward.
On not-so-gorgeous days, or if you are taking a rest day, you should spend an hour or two at the Maniitsoq Museum. It is housed in four, historically significant buildings, and doubles as a gallery that features works by some of the finest artists from Maniitsoq and Kangaamiut.
Then head up to the artisan’s workshop (the yellow building across from the entrance to the Hotel Maniitsoq) to explore the creations of the town’s current artists. This is one of the best places to buy unique souvenirs or gifts, with the added bonus that you can have a chat with the people who made them.
Spring (Mar – Apr)
The jagged, remote mountains near Maniitsoq are a paradise for adventure skiers chasing high-quality snow.
Ski tourers will almost certainly encounter no one else as they explore this spectacular landscape of mountains, glaciers and fjords. Ascents of ~1000m are rewarded with free-flowing runs which may feature deep powder or easy spring snow. These trips are supported by boats (often comfortable, live-on boats), allowing you to explore several different parts of the region on skis.
Heliskiers/heli borders are equally blessed. With 2000m falls from summit to fjord, you enjoy long, uninterrupted runs in pristine snow with some of the best scenery on the planet. There’s even the possibility of spotting a whale blow as you descend to sea level, and plenty of daylight to get in one more run!
It is also still possible to catch the magical Northern Lights if you stay up late enough.
Summer / Autumn (Jun – Oct)
Maniitsoq is located on an island which means one of its main “highways” is the ocean. During summer, there are regular boat tours to one of Greenland’s most beautiful fjords – the Eternity Fjord – or arrange your own trip to visit one of the many other fjords or glaciers in the area. There are several little-known hiking routes on the mainland (experienced back-country hikers or guided hikers only), or go kayaking along Inussuit Tasersuat – the Lake of the Giants. This 5 km long lake takes its name from the 2 steep mountain ranges (the “giants”) that form its shoreline and is a highlight of the Maniitsoq region.
You can also go hiking on the island itself, with the 2 marked Flower Valley routes the most popular options. Or simply climb to the top of any of Maniitsoq’s many staircases for unbeatable views over the town and surrounding area.
The pristine and wild rivers around Maniitsoq are renowned as some of the best fishing in all of Greenland. From July to September, Arctic Char is the prime, hard-fought catch. Fly-fishers in particular will enjoy the challenge of pulling in fish of up to 5kg, especially given how well they fight. And having these remote rivers to yourself means you will have plenty of opportunities to test your skill.
A less challenging option is to experience the majestic beauty of the ocean’s largest mammals. Maniitsoq is the whale capital of Greenland, and while it is possible to spot them from the various viewpoints around town or randomly from a boat tour, the best experience is to join a dedicated whale watching tour. Your captain knows exactly where they were last spotted (thanks to information from other locals that are out and about), and will take you as close as safely possible to these incredible animals that are such an important part of Greenland’s Inuit history.
Maniitsoq Tour Operators
Maniitsoq has several tour operators that offer excursions ranging from day trips up through high-end experiences. Explore all their offerings below.