Alaska is the 49th of the 50 American states. It is also the largest state in terms of surface area. Located on the northwestern edge of the continent, it has a harsh climate all year round. Those who travel to Alaska are often in search of nature and a change in scenery.
Due to its remote location, the environment has always been preserved and industrialisation took a long time to pick up in the region. Nevertheless, Alaska has undergone significant development, in particular thanks to its mineral resources, but it remains an unspoiled area for the most part, where there are many animals capable of living in harsh conditions. A trip to Alaska is a unique experience that is not to be missed.
Surface area : 1717854.0 km2
Population : 710300 inhabitants
Time difference : The UK is nine hours ahead of Alaska.
All artisanal crafts in Alaska come from the know-how of the Eskimos and Native Americans. You will find a number of souvenirs to take back home here, such as tribal masks, ivory carvings and totem poles. These objects are carved out of wood and walrus tusk ivory that has been collected on the beaches. You will also find qiviut, a hand-knitted fabric made from musk ox wool, which is known for being one of the best wools in the world. This becomes apparent when you look at the price tag: 100 grams of wool costs approximately £2,000!
In the souvenir shops you visit in Alaska, be aware that many of the items are "made in Taiwan". Remember! 100% locally-made items have a label featuring a silver hand that indicates it is a "Native handicraft". In any case, you will be able to determine if an item is authentic or not based on its price!
Finally, the business hous are quite relaxed here. Many supermarkets are open every day from 9:00am to 10:00pm. Banks and post offices have more traditional business hours.
Fishing is one of the main activities in Alaska. The local cuisine is therefore heavily influenced by seafood. Salmon and halibut are commonly found in dishes, and crab and shrimp are piled on seafood platters.There are also several game dishes. A special mention must be given to the reindeer sausages that are sometimes eaten as hotdogs. Apart from these particularities, the local cuisine is not very different to that found throughout the rest of the United States. It won't take long to find some big and tasty American-style hamburgers in Alaska.
Due to the harsh climate, we recommend visiting Alaska between May and September. Temperatures are milder during these months, even though it may still rain or snow. Throughout the rest of the year, you will be faced with temperatures as low as -30°C.
Visiting Alaska is a chance to gain access to a well-preserved region where nature reigns supreme. Although it is not at the end of the world, always make sure you have absolutely everything you need, as supermarkets are few and far between!
As an added precaution for all trips: take photocopies of your passport and ID photos with you. These will be very useful in the event that you lose any valuable documents.