Follow white-tailed eagles on an outdoor adventure along ancient trails, then relax and watch for whales in the community embrace of friendly locals in Paamiut.
Paamiut has two supermarkets – a Pilersuisoq and a Brugseni – as well as a few smaller kiosks. Limited, basic camping supplies may be found in the supermarkets or at Isenkram the hardware store) down by the harbour.
Try the museum for souvenirs of your visit
Home to the largest population of white-tailed eagles (Nattoralik) in Greenland, Paamiut is a well-kept secret in the Capital Region. Much like the eagles that soar uninhibited around the nearby mountains, this little-visited destination offers outdoor adventurers in the ultimate freedom. The colourful, historic houses that tell stories of whaling and fur trading quickly give way to a backcountry crisscrossed with ancient trails still waiting to be discovered by modern travellers.
Paamiut locals are incredibly welcoming and can spot a traveller the instant they arrive. They are justifiably proud of their town and keen to share its treasures with visitors. So embrace them wholeheartedly for an authentic experience in a small Greenlandic town.
You can reach Paamiut by air on certain days of the week flying directly from either Nuuk or Narsarsuaq. Alternatively, you can catch the Sarfaq Ittuk passenger ferry that calls into Paamiut twice per week – once on its northbound journey, and once as it heads south.
The best times to visit Paamiut are April – October (sailing, hiking), and January – March (skiing, snowshoeing, northern lights).
There are a limited number of beds in town since Paamiut lies well off the tourist route. Private and shared accommodation is available.
You won’t find any big tour providers recommending what activities you can do in Paamiut, but that just means you have to work a little harder to make the most of your visit. Try asking at the Paamiut museum for a local guide to show you around as the town has established several tourism routes for when cruise ships call.
While you are there, ask to see the traditional peat house for a glimpse into how the Inuit sheltered from extreme winters, and wander around the 11 historic buildings that the museum is working to preserve. One of these is Paamiut’s iconic wooden Stave Church (Friedenskirche) that was built in 1909 in the Norwegian style and is considered one of the finest in Greenland.
Just outside of town, Paamiut’s backcountry is lightly trodden and largely unexplored by visitors. The popular route to the Bellavista lookout point offers hikers an unparalleled view over the town, and at the end of the road Atuarfiup Aqquttaa, there is a small trail leading to Jættegryderne. Otherwise, the lack of people and trails makes Paamiut’s hinterlands ideal for outdoor adventurers and bird watching – especially for those looking to see Paamiut’s eagles.
Experienced randonée and cross-country skiers can chart their own, unique adventure through snow-covered mountains that may not have seen another person in years. And when the snow melts, ancient trails are revealed to modern hikers looking for routes that are unknown to the outside world. One of the best leads to the Sermilik Fjord where glaciers flow down from the Greenland Ice Cap.
Whale watching in Paamiut is also very common in the warmer months, and it is very likely that you will see several species of whales if you keep a sharp eye out. Minke whales, fin whales, orcas, and humpback whales are all common in the area and can also be seen from the shore.
There is only really one place to eat out in Paamiut offering Thai and fast (hamburgers, hotdogs, fried) food.