If you’re looking to travel the world, you probably haven’t thought about visiting the Arctic Circle, but you should. Most people believe that the Arctic Circle is a barren landscape of ice and snow, which couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, the Circle is an imaginary line that separates the Arctic from other regions. The entire area north of this line is one of the most majestic places on the planet. Because of its relatively harsh conditions, the Arctic Circle has remained mostly unspoiled, allowing visitors to take in its authentic and pure beauty. It’s also an incredibly interesting region with some surprising features.

01You Can Visit it in Eight Countries

greenland iceberg ice HRAUN / Getty Images

If you ask an average person to describe what the Arctic Circle is, they’d probably describe a flat sheet of ice or something similar. In truth, there are eight separate countries in the Arctic Circle, and you can visit each one. The United State’s northernmost tip, Alaska’s Point Barrow, extends into the Arctic Ocean. A significant portion of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Canada, and Russia each sit firmly in the Arctic Circle. So does most of Greenland, which belongs to Denmark. Finally, Grimsey Island lies slightly inside the circle, meaning Iceland also has some territory in the region.