Alaska - Abbey Travel, Ireland


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Welcome to Alaska


More than twice the size of Texas, Alaska is the largest state in the USA: a land of vast natural splendour, abundant wildlife and few people. It offers unique experiences such as walking in unspoilt wilderness, spectacular cruising through the fjords of the Inside Passage, and frontier towns rich in gold rush history.

Alaska's sense of undiscovered wilderness and promise of adventure is still as strong today as it was in the past, and having attracted thousands of pioneers in search of gold, fur, fishing, logging and oil, this 'Last Frontier' today lures travellers in search of an unspoilt beauty and close encounters with nature. In fact, Alaska's three largest cities, Fairbanks, Juneau, and Anchorage, have fewer than 300,000 people between them.

The southeast epitomises classic Alaskan scenery, with its fjords, mountains, forests and glaciers. Alaska is one of the top cruise destinations in the world and the main draw-card for visitors to this region is the lack of roads between towns and scenic wonders that make the waters of the Inside Passage a major marine highway ideal for ship travel.

The number one attraction in the interior heartland is Denali National Park, an area of untamed magnificence that also encompasses North America's highest mountain, the snow-covered Mount McKinley. Arctic Alaska in the frozen north is less well-travelled, and few venture as far as Barrow and Nome.

Because of its location in the far north, Alaska is the land of the 'midnight sun', and visitors can experience the odd phenomenon of having over 21 hours of sunlight each day in the summer.

Despite a reputation for high prices and inhospitable winters, millions of people have discovered a piece of America that is worth every dollar. Nowhere else can that frontier feeling be truly experienced, a place where wilderness surrounds every part of the Alaskan way of life.

Information & Facts


Although the assumption is that Alaska is a land of snow and sub-zero temperatures, the Alaskan climate is actually extremely varied, caused by the state's six different topographic regions. The far north is extremely dry and very cold, with Arctic conditions and temperatures average about -20°F (-29°C), and the ground at Point Barrow remains permanently frozen to a depth of 1,330 ft (405 m). Summer temperatures in the lowlands are surprisingly high, averaging in the 60s Fahrenheit (about 16°C), and they have been known to reach 90°F (32°C) and up. The southeast tends to be fairly moderate, with damp, rainy and sometimes mild conditions, with temperatures in July averaging 56°F (13°C) and temperatures in January averaging 30°F (-1°C) and the south and central areas tend to be similar, with slightly colder winter temperatures. Western Alaska tends to be rainy, while the Aleutian Islands in winter are damp and rainy, with fog. Heavy snows are common in the north and central regions of the state.

English is the most common language but Spanish is often spoken in south-western states.

The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.

GMT -9 (GMT -8 from March to November).
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