It’s easy to grumble about brutally cold winter weather.
But why not embrace the upside of chilly temperatures, such as dazzling ice caves? From a man-made cave in France to ones with pristine ice crystals in Siberia, here are nine unbelievable ice caves that are worth a visit to a kingdom of cold.
1. Vatnajokull National Park, Skaftafell, Iceland
Vatnajökull contains one of the largest glaciers in the world, along with numerous ice caves. For safety reasons, small group tours, reserved in advance through independent operators, are the best way to see the ice caves in Vatnajökull, also known as Crystal Caves.
2. Eisriesenwelt, Werfen, Austria
Open May-October, prepare to spend about an hour touring one of the world’s largest ice caves, a maze of icicle-laden rooms and passages. Since the cave is accessible to a range of fitness levels, adventure seekers can spice it up by hiking and riding a cable car to reach the Alpine cave.
3. Ice Pavillion, Mittelallalin, Switzerland
4. Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina
This UNESCO World Heritage site in the Andes is a popular tourist destination, especially the Perito Moreno glacier, thanks to its accessibility and adventure tour options. Since it’s just a two-hour bus ride from El Calafate, many tour companies offer glacier treks, although you should arrange a boat tour in order to spy the sea ice caves.