If you’re interested in learning about Antarctica, you’re in the right place. Let’s cut to the chase quickly. The temperatures in this continent may be the lowest in the entire world. This makes the continent practically uninhabitable. Don’t get us wrong; people ARE living in Antarctica. But you could probably count them with your fingers. So, you might be wondering, are there any Cities in Antarctica?
Well, since it is located in the southernmost part of the world, the cold of Antarctica only suits the seals, polar bears, and penguins. So, if you’re planning to take a break from the world without actually leaving it, you could consider Antarctica.
Jokes aside, Antarctica has no real cities at all. Read on to get a broader insight.
Short Insight on Antarctica
Some describe the place as “an untouched piece of heaven.” The statement is understandable. Travel enthusiasts will love Antarctica if they are interested in adventures and wildlife photography. The whole continent is almost double the size of Australia. Antarctica can also be classified as a polar desert, which is great for polar explorers.
If you’re planning a visit to this polar desert, your number one concern should be accessibility. That’s because the place is thousands of kilometers away from any other place in the world. You can get there in two hours if you take a plane from South America. You can also set sail from New Zealand too.
Cities in Antarctica
Although there aren’t any cities in Antarctica since the continent has no permanent human settlement, there are places where human activities occur. But people only access the places for commercial fishing or research purposes. There are some stations and outposts for people to stay. The biggest outpost has a population of around 1200. But most of them leave in the winter.
A single winter in Antarctica might affect you badly. So, you have to choose the summertime if you’re planning on visiting. Here are some of the places and islands in Antarctica where you can visit:
1. Antarctic Peninsula
You might have heard about this one in many places. The place is quite famous for its amazing wildlife population. The Antarctic Peninsula is located in the northernmost part of the continent. This Peninsula has waterways filled with icebergs, and you’ll have to get through narrow passages.
The sceneries that this place will offer are breathtaking, to say the least. The large glaciers which are quite simply building-sized are amazing to look at. Thousands of penguins stroll around the Peninsula, which is a treat to the eyes.
If you’re lucky, you might even spot a killer whale or two. Other unique whale species like humpback and Minke are also said to be spotted.
2. South Shetland Islands
If you move about 160 kilometers to the north of the Peninsula, you’ll be greeted with the beautiful Shetland Islands. This is another famous tourist destination on the continent. The glaciers and fjords are the most notable eye-pleasers.
Some parts of the islands even have rocky coastlines. You can spot hundreds of penguins and elephant seals here. This island has 8 research stations or outposts from eight countries. Of the Islands, King George Island has the most outposts.
If you take a look at statistics, you’ll see that the South Shetland Islands is one of the most visited places in Antarctica.
3. Falkland Islands
Another group of islands in Antarctica is this one. These islands are located near the Peninsula and have a few structures, which will surely turn a few heads. These islands are visited by hundreds of people every year, specifically for architectural designs.
The place has a touch of the British creations, and you can get a hint of numerous species living here. The islands have structures like the Historic Dockyard Museum, the Cemeteries, Stanley, Monuments, and much more.
People usually come over for the touch of architectural brilliance in the islands. Besides, you can also experience the penguins here walking around with their cute little feet.
4. South Georgia | Alps
If you’re lucky, you might get to see a touch of greenery here in South Georgia Island. It’s situated in the southern part of the Atlantic Ocean, and the island is overall quite narrow. You’ll notice that the people living there will often call this the Alps.
The mountains are the most notable sights here in the Alps. The fjords and glaciers are mesmerizing to look at. There are also several beaches in this part of Antarctica. You probably won’t be able to chill in a swimsuit here, though. That right is reserved for the penguins and elephant seals.
The whaling stations of the Alps are also quite extraordinarily pretty. You might have heard about Fortuna bay. This is also a part of the Alps, and you can easily move there to spend a little time.
5. Port Lockroy
The entire continent is packed with natural harbors. But the most amusing one is Port Lockroy. People wrap themselves up in multiple layers of clothing just to take a glimpse at the port.
Cruise ships can easily move to the harbor due to the comparatively wider passages. The passengers can choose to observe from the deck or jump out and take a stroll. The research station at the port is also one of the more eyecatching ones.
Port Lockroy also has a historical museum and a post office (used during the Second World War). But your movement will be restricted as the place has more penguins than other sites.
6. Tierra Del Fuego
If you’re planning a quick expedition, you’ll probably have to start from here. The place is beautiful, with walking trails and amazing scenery. You can rest at this place for a few hours after making it to the end of the earth.
The historical place has national park forests and rivers. There are some lagoons for you to take a little ride on your canoes. The sight of the massive ice-coated mountains might seem intimidating at first, but you’ll gradually fall in love with the place.
7. Ice Shelf | Ross Sea
Antarctica is a land full of hardened ice shelves, and this one is the largest in comparison. The ice beneath is hundreds of meters in thickness. The natural beauty of the place outweighs the extreme cold quite easily, provided that you have multiple layers of winter clothes on.
This is by far the largest floating ice-body in the waterways of the world. Another surprising sight would be Mt. Erebus, a dazzling volcano located right in the heart of this island. Penguins and seals are quite common here too.
Spending even a couple of hours in this place might seem impossible, but to people who have been there, it was worth it. This is truly one of the world’s most attractive places.
8. Deception Island
Next in the list is Deception Island which, was originally a Whaling Station. Now, the island caters to tourists from all over the world. On your visit, you’ll get to witness hundreds of other tourists who are here for their photos.
Many scientists also travel here for their research. You won’t be allowed to leave your ship for most of the places in Antarctica, but the story is different with this one. You can get out of the ship to take a stroll on the island. The penguins will truly make you want to stay here a little longer.
9. Subantarctic Islands
Unlike most of the islands of the continent, this group of Islands is closer to New Zealand than Argentina. So you might start your expedition here, depending on which country you started from.
The bases of a few countries are common on these islands. But the largest one is the Australian outpost. The most unique breed of penguins, the rockhoppers are quite easy to spot on these islands. You can see them strolling around freely here.
The islands include Macquarie Island, Snares Island, Campbell Island, and a few more. You can stay on the bases and witness the magic of nature.
10. South Orkney Islands
Ending the list with one of the most beautiful groups of islands in Antarctica – the South Orkney Islands are home to numerous research stations and outposts. The more common folks here are the scientists who move away during winter.
These islands are in the North East of the Peninsula. The freezing cold winds make the islands almost uninhabitable. The famous Adele penguins call this place their home.
As for the question, “are there any cities in Antarctica?”, we would have to say that, as a land of many scattered islands, there isn’t any typical city in Antarctica. Permanent settlements are nearly impossible to set up here. Even the researchers and scientists have to move away during the extreme cold of the winters.
So, you can imagine how cold things can truly get. But the places mentioned above are the most common settlements in the whole of Antarctica. You’ll find a few bases and outposts here too.