Qaqortoq has so many surprising stone sculptures, little nooks and aesthetic touches – it really is one of the most charming towns in Greenland to walk around in.
There are several recommendable walking tour loops, but a definite must-do is to the top of the hill to get the eagle-eye view over the whole town, the lake and out to the open ocean. Consider this one a heart-healthy workout; it is a good 15-20 minutes up, and from personal experience, you won’t want to be overdressed. But just take a look at what awaits you up there! This view never, ever gets old.
Photo by: Mads Pihl / Visit Greenland
Here’s a visual guide for how to get up to the top of the hill using shortcuts instead of following the road with several switchbacks. Note: I don’t use street names because, to be honest, locals never use street names – only landmarks 🙂
There are two main accommodations in town, Hotel Qaqortoq and Siniffik Inn (plus a handful of private AirBnB properties), so I’ll give you a head start from both. They’re very close to each other anyway.
From Siniffik Inn, you will walk down the hill of your road and come to the main intersection with the red municipality building, white church and blue grocery store (Brugseni) directly ahead of you. Turn left. (Then, you will soon pass the hotel on your right.)
From Hotel Qaqortoq, you will go out the front door and turn right at the red Tele Post post office building. Now everyone is on the same track anyway.
After passing the Tele Post post office on the right, continue toward the intersection. The big red complex (RockHouse bar) will be on the right. Cross the road veering right, and then turn left. The green Police Station and the blue Pisiffik Elia grocery store will soon come up on the left, and after that, the Ajarsivasik retirement home on the left.
The Ajarsivasik retirement home will be the final commercial landmark on this route. From here on up, it’s completely residential.
The first shortcut you will take will come on the left, at just about the middle of the curve. Look for this yellow house, and turn left up the hill.
When you reach the road, veer right to find the beautiful stone stairway that continues upward. There is a bus stop sign at its foot.
At the top of the stone stairway, cross a small little side street and then immediately after that cross the main road, turning into a little cluster of houses. If you feel like you’re encroaching on someone’s property, don’t worry; this is the normal route all the locals take! Not to mention, there is no private land property in Greenland. People own the houses themselves, but not the ground they stand on.
After entering the cluster of houses, again, veer right and find a wooden stairway to the left. Up, up, up. Don’t forget to stop and look behind you to check how the view improves along the way!
At the top of the wooden stairway, walk up the small driveway toward the main road and find the final wooden stairway (green) of this endless hike to heaven!
At the top of the stairs, you will see a white house with a mural of a polar bear. Here, turn left if you want to reach the very end of the road in Qaqortoq, or weave between the houses a bit to climb the last little portion on terrain to get to the very tip top of the hill.
The view is worth the workout, trust me.
And if you go a bit before sunset, you just might capture something like this. Enjoy!