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  Facts about Svalbard  
SvalbardTerritory of Norway
Coordinates78° 0′ 0″ N, 16° 0′ 0″ E
Location Arctic Ocean
Capital Longyearbyen
Area61,022 km2 , 23,561 sq mi
Population2,642 ( 2012 )
Official languageNorwegian
CurrencyNorwegian krone
GovernmentRegion of Norway
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
Dialing code:+47

Jan Mayen Map
The island of Jan Mayen is a Norwegian Overseas Territory situated in the North Atlantic Ocean. It is a volcanic landmass that experienced its
last volcanic activity in the 20th century. In the present, the island is a declared natural reserve with a major population of puffins, little auks, razorbills, and fulmars.

  About Jan Mayen
Located about 1,000 km away from its parent country, Norway, Jan Mayen is a small volcanic island sandwiched between the Greenland and Norwegian Seas, which are known for whales and dolphins. The island is home to a number of animal and bird species that are adapted to the cold climate. It, although, has no local human population. The only people staying in the island are scientists conducting research, officials manning the weather and radio communications stations, and ranked officers of the Norwegian Armed Forces.

According to historic records, Jan Mayen was discovered by a Dutch whaling ship in 1614. Vikings are, although, known to have a knowledge of a black island in the North Atlantic Ocean from before. It was, however, never preferred for staying, owing to the tremendous volcanic eruptions, barren landscape, and extreme cold. But, it had a large number of foxes and polar bears, which initially brought several hunters here. Excessive hunting led to over-exploitation of the species. This activity ended in the 1920s as the number of animals decreased. The first human habitation started in 1921 when Norwegians built a meteorological station in the island. They eventually annexed it in 1929.

 Geography of Jan Mayen
Shaped like a narrow spoon, Jan Mayen boasts of a black-lava covered volcanic landscape with extensive glaciers in its northern regions. The coastal areas of the island have a luxurious covering of lichens and moss.

The island of Jan Mayen (about 500 km from Greenland and about 600 km from Iceland) is located at the northern tip of the Jan Mayen Microcontinent, which lies on the western Eurasian Plates. Greenland Sea and Norwegian Sea lie on its western and eastern sides, respectively. The island is made of two landmasses joined by a 2.5 km long isthmus. The geographical features of the two landmasses are distinct; the north-east wider part – Nord-Jan – is mountainous with glacial cover for most part of the year, whereas the south-west elongated landmass, Sør-Jan, has flat land and almost no glaciers. The highest point of the island is at the northern end, better known as Beerenberg. At an altitude of 2,277 meters, it is an active stratovolcano, which last erupted in 1985.

  How to reach Jan Mayen
Being a remote island with no native population, Jan Mayen has almost no connection with the world. It although does have an unpaved airstrip, which is used by the authorities to transport officials, scientists, and journalists. One cannot reach the island by taking a flight, since no commercial flights are available. The only way for reaching Jan Mayen is by ship. One will also need a permit from the Norwegian authorities to visit the island. There are a number of travel companies that organize expeditions to this place. The ship starts from Iceland and usually anchors offshore due to the lack of any harboring facilities onshore. Inflatable boats are used to land here.

  Weather of Jan Mayen
Jan Mayen has a polar climate influenced by the Gulf Stream. It experiences a minimum of less than –6ºC in February and maximum of about 6ºC in August. The island has frequent snowfalls and dense fog during the winter months. In the summer months, the weather improves very little – heavy clouds dominate the sky reducing the amount of sunshine to the ground. Best time to visit is during the summer months.

  Points of Interest in Jan Mayen
If one wishes to travel to Jan Mayen, either one should be a nature lover or an adventure seeker. The island offers such visitors ample opportunities to watch a variety of sea birds, and hike, climb and ski in several parts of the island. Here are the top points of interest in Jan Mayen:

Beerenberg – Better known for being the highest point of Jan Mayen, Beerenberg is the most popular attraction in Jan Mayen. Considered as a tough mountaineering challenge, climbers will need to use ropes and other equipments to reach the summit. View from the top is breathtaking and worth the grueling journey.

Rudolftoppen – Rising about 769 meters above sea level, Rudolftoppen or Mount Rudolf is located in the southern part of Jan Mayen. Its crater landscape is picturesque with a panoramic surrounding view.

Eggøya – Located in the southern part of Jan Mayen, Eggøya is a 200-meter-high cliff, which was originally a separate small volcanic island that joined with Jan Mayen after a tremendous eruption during the 18th century. It offers a great view of the surrounding sea, island, sea birds, and steaming fumaroles.

  Accommodation at Jan Mayen
Jan Mayen has no accommodations available for tourists. People staying here are deployed to the island by the Norwegian Army and the Meteorology Institute. Travelers, therefore, will need to put up camps, and be prepared for all provisions to stay in this island like tents and food supplies.

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