One of Disko Bay's oldest and smallest settlements south of Ilulissat
With only 59 permanent inhabitants, Ilimanaq is one of Disko Bay’s oldest and smallest settlements. It is located approx. 15 km south of Ilulissat, where daily life is in harmony with nature. The inhabitants still maintain the old traditions, and mainly live by fishing and hunting. In Ilimanaq you’ll find Ilimanaq Lodge, a collection of 15 luxury cabins located on the cliffs right next to the water. In the beautiful village you will also find some of the oldest buildings from the colonial era.
Icebergs and Whales
The journey to Ilimanaq is a nature adventure in itself. Travelling by boat from Ilulissat you’ll pass the mouth of the famous Ilulissat Icefjord, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During this unforgettable trip you’ll cruise past huge, grounded icebergs. The ice-filled Disko Bay is one of the best places in Greenland to see whales, particularly humpbacks, so don’t be surprised if you see a blow of water as a passing whale exhales.
A Village Rich in History
Ilimanaq means “the place of expectation”. The name probably refers to the fact that Ilimanq used to be a summer settlement where there were high expectations of a big catch. The settlement was founded in 1741 as a mission station and later a whaling station under the name Claushavn. Later, the Danish-Norwegian missionary Hans Egede came to the village to preach. Ilimanaq houses some of Greenland’s oldest colonial buildings. In 1751, the Egede family thus built a combined mission house and commercial manager’s residence, and in 1778, the grocery store saw the light of day.
The Ilimanaq Project - Cultural Heritage and Sustainability
In 2014 a Danish foundation named Real Dania initiated the restoration of two listed buildings from the Colonial era. Today they house reception facilities and a restaurant, but also shopping opportunities for the locals, a museum and conference facilities. At the same time, World of Greenland was responsible for building Ilimanaq Lodge and the municipality has improved the infrastructure.
The cooperation between the three parties mentioned above, aimed to create a sustainable basis for growth and prosperity for the village, by preserving and reusing the cultural heritage and creating a starting point for increased tourism. All with a focus on nature, cultural heritage and sustainability.
Today, Ilimanaq is especially known for the beautiful cabins that make up Ilimanaq Lodge. The lodge’s unique location is completely unsurpassed, with all cabins perched along the small bay, right next to the waters of Ilulissat Icefjord.
Ilimanaq Lodge consists of 15 architect-designed luxury cabins from 2016. The comfortable cabins are each a little over 40 square meters, and contain a shower, toilet and modern furniture in a rustic, Nordic look. They are designed to blend as naturally into the landscape as possible. From all rooms you have a formidable view of Disko Bay. Whether you’re on the terrace, sitting on the couch in the living room – or lying in your bed – just look out of the large panoramic windows to see playful whales out in Disko Bay and the majestic icebergs drifting by.
A Complete Arctic Nature Adventure
A trip to Ilimanaq is first and foremost a nature adventure. Ilimanaq’s fantastic hinterland is also an unforgettable place for hikers. Here are vast expanses and unimaginable vantage points where you can look out over valleys and fjords, and spot icebergs, whales and seals in the ocean. In the mountains you may be lucky to see foxes, snow hares, musk oxen and other Arctic animals. Like most other places in Greenland, there are no marked hiking trails here, but the terrain is relatively easy to hike.
In addition to hiking in the surrounding mountains, the area offers rich opportunities for other activities. From Ilimanaq it is also possible to join trips to the Inland Ice, sailing trips and ATV trips.