The best frosty adventure tour destinations around globe
The Best Frosty Adventure Tour
Destinations Around Globe
10. Kungur Ice Cave, Russia
Kungur Ice Cave in western Russia is remarkably insulated from the outside world,
keeping it frozen throughout the year, even when it's 95 F outside. The steady
temperatures allow an array of ice formations to develop throughout the cave
system's 50 chambers, which were originally mapped by order of Peter the Great.
9. Chamonix, France
This snowy French hamlet played host to the first Winter Olympics in 1924, and is
hailed as the snowiest place in Europe, with drifts reaching more than 30 feet in
some places. The city has gotten busier since the '20s, with skiers and
snowboarders coming to enjoy not only the fresh snow but spectacular views of Mt.
Blanc, the tallest mountain in the Alps. The deep snow is good for more than just
recreation, with special units from the RAF conducting alpine rescue training
missions in the area.
8. Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina
Los Glaciares is part of the third-
largest ice cap on Earth and is one of
the few places in the world where
glaciers are actually increasing in
size. The park boasts stunning glacial
lakes, imposing horn-like mountain
formations, and diverse wildlife,
including condors and eagles. In one
portion of the park, three glaciers
converge to provide incredible
examples of calving, where massive
sheets of ice crack and crumble into
7. Icehotel, Sweden
The first and the largest hotel of its kind, Sweden's Icehotel is redesigned and
constructed anew each year, just outside the city of Kiruna. The hotel requires
more than 30,000 tons of ice and snow to form the walls, floors, chairs, beds and
pretty much everything else a guest might need. In this case "room temperature"
means about 23 F, so guests are encouraged to dress appropriately in order to avoid
becoming part of the decor.
6. Greenland Ice Sheet
Whether you view it from land, air. or sea, this massive sheet of glacial ice is all
about scale. Far from the pancake-flat plane its name might suggest, the Greenland
Ice Sheet's massive boulders, waterfalls and craggy, vertical cliffs make it one of the
most dramatically beautiful places on the globe. It's also brutally cold, holding the
top spot for the coldest place in the Western Hemisphere with a record low of -87 F
recorded at a British research station.
5. Harbin International Ice & Snow Festival, China
What started with peasants using ice lanterns to hunt and fish at night has
expanded into one of the largest ice festivals in the world, drawing in hundreds of
thousands of visitors every year. The festival in Harbin kicks off in northeastern
China every Jan. 5, when the temperature averages -36 F. More than 15,000 artists
work to craft the incredible ice sculptures, which are lit up every night to create a
garishly beautiful icescape featuring tributes to the Forbidden City and Great Wall
among other landmarks.
4. Yamagata, Japan
Aside from Sapporo beer and tasty crabs, Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido
is known for its harsh winters. The frigid weather's saving grace is that it keeps the
prodigious snowfall nice and dry, providing some of the best snow in the world for
skiing and snowboarding. As it piles up on the slopes in Yamagata, the snow clings
to trees to form what the locals call "juhyo" or "ice monsters.
3. McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica
NASA chose this windswept Antarctic
expanse as a stand-in for Martian plains
due to its low humidity and frigid
temperatures. Unlike most of the
continent, the ground in the dry valleys is
laid bare thanks to steep mountains that
block encroaching sea ice and powerful
gusts of wind that can reach hurricane
speeds, evaporating any moisture in the
area. Unsurprisingly, there's very little
life in the area, save for scattered patches
of moss and tiny invertebrates.
2. Barrow, Alaska
Located 320 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Barrow is America's northernmost
city and has been inhabited since at least 500 A.D. That's pretty impressive,
considering the inhospitable climate. The average temperature is just over 9 F and
the city is below freezing about 90 percent of the year. There are also no roads to
the city, meaning visitors and residents have to get in and out by plane. On the
plus side, Barrow is a great place to get a good look at polar bears.
1. Oymyakon, Siberia, Russia
Oymyakon is the coldest permanently
inhabited place on earth, with temperatures
often plunging below -50 F. The region is
too cold to support crops, so the 500 or so
residents subsist primarily on fish and meat.
Their only connection to the outside world
comes in the form of the M56 Kolyma
Highway, also called the "Road of Bones" for
the prisoners who died during its creation,
only to be buried beneath it.
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