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Mountain hiking is one of Nuuk's many viable outdoor activities in the summer months. A great way to explore the surrounding area is to hike to Sermitsiaq, a local landmark, or to Lille Malene. Both of these hikes can be done is just a couple of hours. Another option is to follow in the Norsemen's footsteps and sail to the Kapisillit settlement near Nuuk and from there hike to Sandnæs. The hikes is about 25km long and takes you past 5 historical Norse ruins.
You do not need to be an experienced climber to climb around Nuuk. A simple training lesson will teach you how to maneuver on the cliffs. The best place to go is Qernertunnguanut in Nuuk. Guides are encouraged for this type of activity.
Nuuk provides good cross-country ski runs several kilometres long. Most of the runs are in the south-eastern part of the town towards the airport. This is also where the town's popular alpine ski lift (1,100m) is located. For more adventurous skiers, heliskiing is available just North of Nuuk in the West coast's large glacier areas. High season for heliskiing runs from mid-March through the beginning of June.
The Nuuk Marathon is held in August every year, which means it is still summer in Nuuk. The course is particularly challenging due to its route with lots of demanding inclines. It is 21,098m long and has to be run twice. Be prepared for wind, rain and temperatures down in the single digits.
Kayaking is quite exciting in Nuuk due to the impressive inlet system. The city has an active kayaking club where young people try to uphold the old traditions by building their own kayaks. At the old colonial port, there are kayakers demonstrating skills such as rolling among other displays. Modern touring and sea kayak tours are available.
The area around Nuuk is a great place for anglers of all ages. Fishing trips take place from boats which either drift or are anchored. You can fish for the popular redfish or cod. The best places to fish for cod are between islands or at locations with fast-moving currents and at the mouths of the fjords. There is also a good chance that you will catch cod near glaciers.
It is possible to hunt for larger game like reindeer or smaller game around Nuuk. Small game includes different types of birds, foxes and hares.
Nuuk is know for its large and impressive fjord system, which is the 2nd largest in the world. It turns out to be a great place for whale safaris. There are 3 main species of whales in the fjords around Nuuk: humpback, minke and fin whales. The best time to see these species in Nuuk is from May to November. You might also see blue whales or killer whales but these are rare sights. The whale safaris usually include a guide as well as refreshments.
There are many cruises and coastal sailing adventures available from Nuuk, each with its own unique sight-seeing offer. Many explore the coast lines of the fjord system and provide spectacular views of the whales and glaciers.
The best sailing trip to do is to sail up to the settlement of Kapisillit. This lies near an inland ice cap. There are spectacular views of active glaciers and the possibility of hiking a short distance to Norse ruins.
Nuuk is a great location to view the Northern Lights. Its best if you move away from the city lights a little to get the best view in the winter sky.