1. Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina
With the third largest frosted network of ice, Los Glaciares National Park is a spot certified by the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The caves form long white icicles protruding from floor and ceiling. If you look for adventure wherever you go, then this is the place.
2. Eisriesenwelt, Austria
Translated as the ‘world of ice giants’, Eisriesenwelt, situated in Austrian Alps is considered to be a laudably big cave that is almost 42kms long. It is considered to be the largest ice caves in the world. The puzzle of ice caverns and chamber is easily accessible, albeit it is open from May to October only.
3. Dobšinská Ice Cave, Slovakia
This cave that has stood the test of time over millions of crass and cool years. Crowned as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dobšinská Ice Cave is believed to have survived both glacial and tropical climates. Open from May to September, it has a ginormously thick load of ice.
4. Kamchatka Ice Cave, Russia
Located on the Kamchatka Peninsula, this cave is also considered to be a wonder of fire and ice. The ice chamber was formed by a hot water spring flowing beneath the glacial ice fields on the flanks of the Mutnovsky volcano. The sobbing roof of the cave illuminates into a beautiful golden shade with sly peeping of the sun.
5. Mer de Glace, Chamonix, France
An ice frozen on the Mont Blanc massif forms a glacial hollow that leads you into an icy wonder of sculptures iridescent like crystals. A cog train ride takes you here and a further climb down 400 steps will bring you to this ‘sea of ice’. This is a man-made wonder and has to be rebuilt every year due to glacier shifting.
6. Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau, Alaska
A glacial wonder of almost 19kms shifts its place every year, changing its beautiful shape. This happens as the glacier comes closer to meet the Mendenhall Lake. The water underneath it melts and erupts into springs bring a whole new flavour to the ice caves. You may take guided tours and hikes to this place. This place is more or less accessible all year round.
7. Mýrdalsjökull Glacier Ice Cave, Iceland
Mýrdalsjökull glacier fortifies one of the largest and most active volcanoes in whole of Iceland. The beauty lies in this subtle play of fire and ice. With such an impressive Arctic beauty, it is very popularly toured by adventure lovers.
8. Big Four Ice Caves, Washington
Protected by the shadow of mountainous ranges surrounding it, the Big Four Mountains remain cold throughout the year, at an altitude of 2,450 ft. The underbelly of the mountain is melted by water streams, thus forming a cave. These caves are nothing but avalanches and snow debris. As a result, these caves become extremely dangerous and life-threatening.
9. Vatnajokull National Park, Skaftafell, Iceland
A national park as frozen and eternal as time, contains one of the largest glaciers of the world. Underneath the gawky, lumbering icy mass, several caves, each more beautiful than the other are camouflaged. One such ice cave is the iridescent Skaftafell Ice Cave. Best visited during the winters, it is advisable to travel in small groups with safety equipment and guide.
10. Booming Ice Chasm, Canadian Rockies, Canada
‘Boom’, the sound that echoes on crashing of a rock 140 metres down onto the cave floor; this onomatopoeic sound gave the cave its name. While this sounds very poetic, it is equally dangerous to climb the glacial wall. One inch here-and-there might cost you your life. Crystal clear and blue egregiously thick sheets of ice have formed slides, lining the chasm. One has to be extremely careful while sliding down these slippery sheets as one wrong move can get you crashing into the abyss.
11. Ice Pavillion, Mittelallalin, Switzerland
A riveting experience with an illuminated icy gateway leads you into a unique ice gallery filled with perfectly chiselled sculptures. It is believed that the grotto conceals ice that is millions of years old, which means that the ice hasn’t wept for years. The cherry on the cake is the Mittelallalin ice resort with the world’s highest ‘revolving restaurant’ that has broad, encompassing views of the frosty surroundings.
These ice caves are a reality and are just an air ticket away!
Author: Winnie Karnik