In Tasiusaq, the feeling of ultimate freedom is no further away than the bay where the large chunks of floating ice gather.
Here, you can lodge with sheep farmers Aviaja and Klaus with one of Greenland’s best views across lush, flowering meadows.
Or you can bring your own tent on the approximately two hour long hike along the tractor track towards the west from the settlement of Qassiarsuk.
Besides the option to hire kayaks and to get really close to the floating ice in the bay, there is also a good opportunity to fish for trout.
At night-time, the chance of seeing the northern lights and shooting stars is great here, where there are many kilometers to anything that resembles artificial light.
You will experience a sense of standing with one leg in civilization and the other leg in the wilderness in Ipiutaq, which is the most remote sheep farm on the Narsaq peninsula. If you have heavy equipment with you, the farm is about a two-day hike from Qassiarsuk in a north-easterly direction and Narsaq in a south-westerly direction.
This is where you will get up close and personal with the host family; people who battle every day to cultivate the nutrient-poor soil and who live under considerably different conditions than you are used to from home.
Most of the installations in Ipiutaq are built with self-sufficiency in mind – for example, the small windmill and the well, the water level of which is carefully monitored in the summer’s dry periods.
It is an impressive performance when the hostess, Agathe Devisme, dishes up her French-Greenlandic gastronomy, especially seen in the light of Ipiutaq’s scarce resources. The portions are small, but delicate and there is great probability that the dinner will consist of locally caught or locally picked ingredients, such as trout, angelica or harebells. The probability that you will see jumping whales in Eriks Fjord while you enjoy your dinner is somewhat smaller.
Nonetheless, it was precisely this magical moment that occurred during this writer’s unforgettable stay at Ipiutaq Guest Farm.
The Ipiutaq farm has been put up for sale, so the summer season in 2017 will be the last chance to visit the place with Agathe and Kalista as hosts.
If you would like to experience life on a South Greenland sheep farm, this is still also possible with, for example, Ellen and Carl Frederiksen, who own Illunnguujuk Hostel in Qassiarsuk, Elna Jensen and Henrik Knudsen in Sillisit, or the young couple Naasu and Piitaq Lund, who operate Inneruulalik Guest Farm from where they also offer riding holidays.
You will experience the sense of standing with one leg in civilisation and the other leg in the wilderness.
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In the summer season, Blue Ice Explorer shuttles between the connection points in Eriks Fjord, just as you can also order a stop in Sillisit and Ipiutaq, for example.
The Hiking Map for South Greenland Narsaq gives you more than five indicated suggestions for routes you can follow on your trip between the sheep farms on the Narsaq peninsula. The routes also offer everything from a light hike on tractor tracks to challenging hikes in remote and mountainous terrain.
Guided horseback rides are arranged from Inneruulalik, along the tractor road. Ride day trips or from farm to farm.
The Leif Eriksson Marathon is held every year in August. It begins and ends in the settlement of Qassiarsuk and the T-shaped route takes you past Nunataaq, Ineruulalik and almost all the way out to Sillisit. The route is tough and hilly. On the other hand, you will probably not find any other marathon in the world that offers more beautiful views and better support from the volunteers.
In addition to gaining insight into life as an Arctic farmer, you will take something different home with you from your holiday on a sheep farm, all depending on which farm you choose to visit:
● Ellen Frederiksen, who owns Illunnguujuk Hostel in Qassiarsuk, is especially known for her “kaffemikker” (open house where coffee is served) and her story-telling.
● Ineruulalik Guest Farm has Icelandic horses and offers riding holidays, among other things.
● In the lush Tasiusaq you have the opportunity to get really close to the ice that gathers in the nearby bay. Here you can hire kayaks and, at your own pace, row around between the large floating chunks of ice.
● Even though Ipiutaq Guest Farm is the most remote sheep farm on the Narsaq peninsula, it is famous for its luxury. Here you have a warm duvet, a clean bath and gourmet food from entrepreneur Agathe Devisme’s own kitchen.
● If you want to hike from farm to farm, then spend the nights at the beautifully-situated farms of Sillisit and Nunataaq. Along with Qassiarsuk, Tasiusaq and Inneruulalik, these farms allow for longer hikes. You can also book luggage transport between the farms.
● Besides the Narsaq peninsula there is also an opportunity to experience the life of the South Greenland sheep farmers in the beautiful village of Igaliku. You can stay in Igaliku Country Hotel; they offer meals and rooms with shared bathroom and accommodation in cabins.
● South of Qaqortoq, you can, among other things, visit the sheep farm Tasiluk. Stay and buy fresh vegetables from the host couple Otto and Paornanguaq Nielsen. At another sheep farm, Kangerluarsorujuk, meet Makkak and Lars Nielsen, who offer homemade food based on Greenlandic ingredients and cabin accommodation. In the area, you’ll also find the family-run Qanisartuut Farm, a peaceful lakeside paradise.