Ilulissat, formerly know as Jakobshavn or Jacobshaven, an Arctic town in western Greenland.

Located approximately 200 km (120 mi) north of the Arctic Circle it is the perfect base for a Greenland Northern Lights adventure or Greenland arctic adventure holiday.

The nearby Ilulissat Icefjord is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has made Ilulissat the most popular tourist destination in Greenland.

The Basics

Location: 69°13′N 51°06′W
Population: 4,893
Area: 11.25 km
Time zone: UTC-3 (-2 summer time)

Getting There

Ilulissat has an airport 2.8km away from the town centre. There are direct flights from Iceland to Ilulissat airport or you can catch a short internal flight from one of Greenland’s other international airports.

Ferries are also present and this is the best way of travelling between towns on Greenland, as there are no roads connecting the different towns.


Ilulissat can have very low temperatures in the winter months averaging around -14°C in the winter and reaching 8°C in the summer.

Daylight hours range from zero in December and January, to over 10 in mid-summer.


Much of Greenland is covered in a large ice sheet and all major settlements, including Ilulissat, are located on its west coast.

Due to the glaciers in the area many icebergs can be found in the waters around Ilulissat and boat tours can be taken to view them up close.

Plants and Animals

There are many animals that live on Greenland. Many species of whale can be spotted from Humpback whales to Narwhales, from the coastline all year round, with some even entering the harbours.

Walruses and Seals can also be spotted on the coast. It is estimated that there are over 2 million seals in Greenland’s waters.

On land there are many reindeer herds and polar bears can also be spotted usually in regions further north, although they occasionally come closer to the settlements.

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