- 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Uummannaq ('Heart-Shaped') is famous even in Greenland for its staggering scenery. This small town of around one thousand two hundred people clings to a rocky bluff at the foot of a vast striped mountain, whose twin peaks resemble a heart. The waters surrounding the town are jewelled with vast icebergs, and the vertical cliffs jutting out to the fjord are simply breathtaking. Like all towns in Greenland, Uummannaq is only accessible by helicopter or by sea, though in the winter when the sea is frozen, locals will often take a dog sled or even a four wheel drive taxi across the ice to the airport in the nearby village of Qaarsut. Despite its remoteness and size, Uummannaq is a town which is happy to welcome visitors; local women will often sell unique handicrafts in the town square near the only stone church in Greenland, and the bustling meat market sells everything from sea urchins to seals. The local museum offers excellent exhibitions in several languages, including on the mining history of the area, and the story of the world-famous Qilakitsoq Mummies, found just across the fjord, and now housed in the National Museum in Nuuk.
Fjords were carved by glaciers and Uummannaq Fjord must have been carved by an enormous one in the past. This fjord is about 160 km (100 miles) long and 24–48 km (15–30 miles) wide as it extends eastward to the Greenland ice cap. The main fjord divides into several smaller fjords also fed by glaciers. Store Glacier, or Great Qarajaq, is one of the world’s fastest moving at 5.7 km (3.5 miles) a year. It sheds icebergs that float, melt, develop strange shapes and pose for photographers. Sheltered conditions at Uummannaq Fjord suited people. First the Saqqaq culture inhabited the area between 2500 BCE and 800 BCE and then the Inuit. A famous mummy of a 6-month-old boy is now displayed at Nuuk museum. Found at Qilakitsoq within the fjord, the boy has been preserved in remarkable condition by cold dry air for 500 years. Today Inuit live in eight colourful settlements in the fjord, with Ummannanaq having the most people and facilities. Hunting, fishing and many other cultural traditions continue to be important for the communities.