Greenland, the world's largest island, is formed from some of the oldest rock in the world, much of it covered by an icecap several kilometres thick. The east coast is steep and rugged, with mountains divided by deep fjords and glaciers calving straight into the sea. East Greenland's coast is only accessible during the brief months of the summer, due to pack ice drifting south in the Polar Stream which hugs the coastline. There is a sense of excitement and anticipation as the first supply boat of the season arrives, usually in late June or early July, bringing fresh fruit, vegetables and a whole bounty of goods from Denmark.
Colourful villages provide an insight into a way of life far removed from cities, with the Inuit maintaining the old traditions of hunting and fishing. There are few paths in Greenland, indeed there are very few roads. Villages are linked by boat in summer, by dogsled in winter, or by helicopter.
Much of our trips cover ground very close to the Inland Ice, and therefore benefit from the high pressure which tends to exist over the icecap, bringing good clear and stable weather. The occasional storm is, however, possible, so although we expect clear sunny days we must be prepared for all seasons, even in summer.
Iceland remains one of the world's most enigmatic countries. There are volcanoes, lava fields, ice caps, geothermal activity and great waterfalls but there is also a familiar landscape of coastal mountains, farms, pasture, and, in summer, a proliferation of birds and flowers. The interior of Iceland however, with its lava and sand deserts, glaciers, ice-caps, and old volcanoes could be part of another planet.
Iceland does almost nudge the Arctic Circle and temperatures can range from 4-24°C. Shorts when it is sunny, but thermal wear and good all-weather gear are necessary too. Our trips are varied and active. If you have good mountain gear, strong boots, a sense of adventure and a wish to get away from the crowds, then you will thrive on the richness of our itineraries. We walk 5-7 hours most days.