Wild Photography Holidays - Photographic Adventure Travel: West Greenland Autumn – Icebergs, Glaciers and Inuit Settlements

Sunset over Disko Bay

West Greenland Autumn – Icebergs, Glaciers and Inuit Settlements

Highlights include…

  • Flights to and from Ilulissat
  • Sunset by boat in the Icefiord
  • Disko Island
  • Possibility of aurora borealis
  • Traditional village settlements
  • Colourful wooden houses
  • Qeqertarsuaq ice beach
  • Stunning autumn colours
  • Striking basalt landscapes
  • Two nights in Reykjavík, Iceland or Copenhagen, Denmark, 10-19 Sep
  • Boat trips
  • Aerial photography (optional)
  • Hotel overlooking the Icefiord
  • Greenlandic local life

Win a Trip to West Greenland in the Guardian’s 2018 Travel Photography Competition!

Wild Photography Holidays is the sponsor of this year’s travel photography competition in the Guardian. The first prize is a fantastic nine-night holiday for one to West Greenland. For full details see the Guardian’s website…


Wild Photography Holidays are excited to offer a brand new trip to Greenland. The dates have been chosen to make the most of the stunning late autumn tundra colours when the big arctic skies are dark enough for the possibility of aurora. We start and finish the trip in Reykjavík giving participants the possibility to add a few days in Iceland before or after the main trip except on the 10-19 September 2018 departure, see note below.

Our main Greenland base is Ilulissat which overlooks an incredible ice fjord. It is the only UNESCO World Heritage Site on the world’s largest island. The whole fiord gives an ever-changing vista as huge icebergs float past in dramatic light en route to open sea. A first sighting of this unique arctic wonderland is guaranteed to make your photographic heart beat faster. A huge country, there are no roads to anywhere except in and around the settlements and the only way to travel is by boat, air, dog sledge and foot. Travelling by boat, we navigate the ice filled waters at sunset. We sail to small settlements still alive with ancient traditions with a culture still very much tied to the ocean and prevailing weather conditions. We walk through the tundra to some spectacular viewpoints. Brightly coloured wooden houses sit on rocky bluffs; small fishing boats bring in halibut, crab and seal. This is a truly an inspiring adventure exploring locations that are only now becoming more accessible to photographers.

Changes for 10-19 September 2018

On this departure we will start and finish the trip in Copenhagen, Denmark, instead of Reykjavík, Iceland. You will need to book your international flight to arrive in Copenhagen in time for the first night’s meeting and your homeward flight to depart from Copenhagen on Day 10.

We include the flights Copenhagen – Ilulissat – Copenhagen as well as the airport transfers in Copenhagen on Day 2 and in Greenland.
These changes affect Day 1, 9 and 10 and the itinerary below has been amended accordingly. The itinerary while in Greenland remains unchanged.

Brief Itinerary

For full details please download the PDF trip description

Day 1: Arrive Reykjavík or Copenhagen

Transfer from the international airport to our hotel in the heart of town. We meet in the evening for introductions, a trip briefing and dinner together in town.
Hotel Reykjavík/Copenhagen

Day 2: To Ilulissat Greenland

This morning we take a flight north over the Atlancic and Greenland’s vast Ice Cap. Our destination Ilulissat is on the west coast of Greenland. On arrival we transfer to our hotel perfectly situated and directly overlooking the Icefiord. We spend the afternoon exploring by foot the photographic potential of the area. In the evening we board a private boat to glide serenely through icebergs allowing photography at close quarters in the dramatic evening light.
Icefiord Hotel

Day 3–4: To Qeqertarsuaq – Disko Island

After an early breakfast we leave by boat through an iceberg choked sea for a journey to Qeqertarsuaq (Godhavn) a town on the Disko Island. The settlement comprises colourful wooden houses spread randomly over rocky bluffs. Small fishing boats come and go from the tiny harbour, the locals bring in Halibut, Crab and Seal, this is not a trip for the faint hearted! At this time of year autumn colours on the mountain and around the settlement are very striking. Icebergs of all shapes and sizes float randomly in the sea and can often be found in huge quantities on the local black sand beach just ten minutes walk from our accommodation. We will take a small boat to Kuánit where we land to photograph some remarkable basalt architecture including sea arches.
Hotel Qeqertarsuaq

Day 5: To Ilulissat

This morning we make the return journey to Ilulissat and our Icefiord Hotel. We will be back in time for dinner and sunset photography over the Icefiord. It is possible to photograph the Icefiord from many places around the town; indeed some photographs in the accompanying trip gallery were taken from the hotel veranda!
Icefiord Hotel

Day 6: Around Ilulissat Icefiord

Following a sunrise shoot and breakfast we set off to walk through the tundra to some fabulous view points over the ice fjord. We will take it slowly as it seems that there is something worth photographing at each corner. The tundra at this time of year is magnificent, reds, yellows and greens interspersed with attractive bog cotton spread over the attractive rocky bluffs. If the day is fine we may take a packed lunch. The energetic may want to extend this walk by exploring the ancient settlement of Sermermiut. For 4000 years, different Inuit cultures lived in the settlement and today, you can still see the relics which indicate their presence.
Icefiord Hotel

Day 7: Sail to Oqaatsut

After lunch we board a small private boat sailing to the tiny settlement of Oqaatsut where we spend the afternoon and evening exploring. The tiny settlement has its own small gourmet restaurant, H8, where we enjoy Greenlandic cuisine for dinner. There is not a single road here, just colourful wooden houses on stark rounded rocks. Each little house is uniquely built and painted in a different colour. Ice from the fiord makes it’s way here and is often lit up with a spectacular light. To the north of the settlement sloping down into the ocean are rocky slabs covered with attractive low vegetation and small pools. To the south is a small harbour where a multitude of small fishing boats are moored. The splendid autumn colours here provide great foreground for the Icebergs floating in the sea.
Settlement Hotel

Day 8: To Ilulissat

After a sunrise shoot and breakfast we will explore the settlement further. There is so much of interest to photograph here, all very accessible by foot. After lunch we board our boat for the return journey to Ilulissat and the Icefiord. Arriving back mid afternoon we are in plenty of time for an evening photography session, dinner and a presentation of images taken during our fabulous arctic adventure.
Icefiord Hotel

Day 9: To Reykjavík or Copenhagen

Hopefully this morning there is a final opportunity to photograph around the Icefiord at sunrise before breakfast followed by our midday flight to Reykjavík/Copenhagen. In the evening we will meet for a final celebratory dinner.
Hotel Reykjavík/Copenhagen

Day 10: Homeward flights

After breakfast, or before if your flight is very early, you will transfer to the international airport for homeward flights. You may be thinking of extending your stay in Iceland (or Copenhagen) for a few days. If this is the case just get in touch and we may have some ideas to help you plan this!

What’s Included

  • Flights Reykjavík – Ilulissat – Reykjavík or Copenhagen – Ilulissat – Copenhagen
  • Domestic airport transfers in Iceland/Denmark, Greenland
  • All meals
  • All accommodation
  • Boat tours in as per itinerary

What’s not Included

  • International flights to and from Iceland or Denmark
  • International airport transfers in Iceland/Denmark
  • Beverages or additional items ordered during meals
  • Anything not mentioned in the above included list

Extra Activities

During our stay in Ilulissat we can organize optional activities such as a whale watching trip or some aerial photography. We have not included these outings in the price of the trip as often in the past the weather has proved inclement and participants have been disappointed.


Accommodation is included in the price of the holiday and mostly has en suite facilities. The only exception to this is the settlement hotel in Oqaatsut. There will be two to a room with shared bathroom facilities. There are hot showers. It has to be noted that this is a rather remote settlement. The standard of rooms and furnishings are very warm and comfortable.
Our main base in Ilulissat is the Hotel Icefiord. Check out their website for images and videos.

Complete Itinerary and Full Details

This page is only a brief summary. A complete itinerary and more details can be found in our PDF trip description
It is important that you read this full day-to-day description and further information for this holiday before making your booking.