Alaska evokes wilderness exploration and unsurprisingly, it’s not so easy to get here. Count on around 24 hours of travel on a three-leg flight from Central Europe. Anchorage and Fairbanks are the two important airports, but even from California it’s still around five hours in a plane. Helicopters and light aircraft are best for getting around, although there is also a very interesting railway. Cruises are an increasingly popular option, as they enable you to explore more areas in a shorter time.
Climate & seasons
June to September is the travel window for Alaska. The weather is comfortable, with temperatures cool but not cold. Long days make for lots of opportunities and activities. These are also the prime months to spot most of the state’s wildlife. From mid-September the lodges start to close, however, a couple of destinations stay open for the Alaska ski season. Winter is unforgiving so unless you have a specific expedition in mind, we advise against this time of year.
Where to go
Even Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, is completely surrounded by wilderness and national parks. Denali is the most famous and accessible of the national parks, but there are others that are larger than some European countries. It’s all magnificent so rather than focus on a specific destination, we prefer to focus on the few places where Alaska delivers five-star lodge luxury in the wilderness.
What to do
Explore beyond your comfort zone. Climb an unclimbed mountain. Cruise past whales. Helicopter to the only building on a 50-kilometre-long glacier, 600 kilometres from the nearest main road, where they serve fresh Alaskan oysters, halibut ceviche and Taittinger on arrival. In Alaska you can do the wildest of things, from safely camping out close to polar bears to riding with huskies and watching glaciers crumble.