Aningaaq Rosing Carlsen - Visit Greenland


Ammassalik Island on the east coast of Greenland.

Ammassalik Island is on the east coast of Greenland - and the main town is Tasiilaq with it's colourful and red buildings, bakery in the middle of the harbour, a school and hospital. It is a spread out town and you can walk around the town with ease.

With 2,017 inhabitants (2013), it is the most populous community on the eastern coast, and the seventh-largest town in Greenland.

The island is separated from the mainland of Greenland by the wide Sermilik Fjord in the west, and by the Ikaasartivaq Strait in the northeast. In the east and southeast the southern, progressively wider half of the Ammassalik Fjord separates the island from an archipelago of islands, including the largest Apusiaajik Island, and Kulusuk Island across the Torsuut Tunoq sound. The southern coast of the island is washed by the waters of the open North Atlantic. The highest point of the island is a glaciated peak in the northern part, at 1,352 m.

What to do in Tasiilaq:

Everything seems a little bigger in Tasiilaq. The mountains, the distances, the adventures, the challenges loom and beckon both summer and winter.

The hiking, climbing expeditions, kayak adventures, whale watching, visiting settlements, boat tours to the icefjord called Sermilik in summer, as well as the cultural events in the town itself, all mix with a layer of local culture, that gets its energy from the numbers of people from the settlements, who come into town throughout the summer. They visit family and friends, participate in the very popular coastal soccer championship and fill the streets with life and activity.

In winter, experiences range from urban introductions to dog sledding to snowmobiling trips to the nearby settlement called Tiniteqilaaq. Also within the realm of possibility is downhill skiing with snowmobile support, multi-day trips by dog sled, the opportunity to get one’s own dog sled license, week-long heliskiing adventures in remote mountain areas, and the ultimate challenge of crossing the Ice Cap from the settlement of Isortoq in East Greenland to Kangerlussuaq in West Greenland.

Interesting things about Tasiliaq:

  • Tasiilaq means “the place with a lake” (because of the shape of the fjord).
  • It is the largest town on the east coast with a population of about 2,017 (2013) and is one of the fastest-growing towns in Greenland.
  • Tasiilaq, or the island where Tasiilaq is located, was formerly known as Ammassalik or Angmagssalik, Greenlandic for “the place with capelin”.
  • Tasiilaq is located approximately 106 km (65.9 mi) south of the Arctic Circle.
  • One day's hike from the town is the Sermilik Station (a glacier research base).
  • Palo´s Wedding, the first Greenlandic movie, was shot in Tasiilaq. So was the music video ‘Infinitely You’ by Simon Lynge.
  • There are two or three supply ships to Tasiilaq per year. The first one comes in the beginning of July, the last departs mid-October.
  • People go out to sea on their own boats to scout for the supply ship and when spotted, three cannon shots are fired to welcome the ship with the new supply of food. Some of the locals go down to the harbor to greet the ship. First things out of the ship are fruits and veggies, then the candies!