Glaciers are a natural wonder of the world, attracting ordinary mortals from all over to attest to their size and grandeur. These gigantic masses of ice are ever-changing in nature, with unimaginable sizes, awe-inspiring shapes and stunning colors that no man-made structure could ever resemble.
While these shape-changing sub-zero towers and islands are constantly on the move, there are a number of places around the world to see magical glaciers – which are made of snow that has been compressed into massive, thick ice giants at the base. over the millennia. Naturally, the Arctic is of course an obvious candidate to begin his search for the most amazing glaciers on the planet.
However, to marvel at the majesty of these breathtakingly beautiful nature shows, it is not always necessary to venture to the poles; some are closer to home than you might think.
ten Alaska and Montana, United States
Alaska is famous for having some of the largest glaciers on the planet, and one of the best places to witness their glory is Prince William Sound – home to over a hundred documented and named glaciers as well as glaciers from active tides that frequently spawn colossal icebergs.
Among the most visited, the Colombia Glacier is one of the most famous and often visited by cruise ships, while Exit Glacier Alaska is one of the most accessible in Alaska, located in the Kenai Fjords National Park, at short drive to Seward. However, it’s not just about ice and snow – visitors regularly report seeing a multitude of incredible creatures on their trips in search of glaciers, including bears, whales, sea otters, and more.
The cold state of Montana is also worthy of mention with its astonishing Glacier National Park full of ice, lakes, forests and massive mountains that attracts multitudes of visitors every year in search of some of the most breathtaking icy vistas. from North America.
9 Vatnajokull Glacier, Iceland
The Land of Fire and Ice is a glacial paradise, with 11% of the country’s terrain covered in ice caps – one of which is Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajokull, a glorious UNESCO World Heritage site. in itself representing 8% of Iceland. In the midst of this breathtaking glacier is a network of stunning ice caves, while beneath its surface lie epic volcanoes bubbling to icy depths.
Huge and powerful as it is, it is not immune to climate change; The Vatnajokull Glacier recedes by about three football fields each year in some areas. Glacier fanatics and those wishing to learn more will enjoy Perlan’s visit to Reykjavik, where the Glaciers and Ice Cave exhibit – the very first of its kind on earth – is packed with exhibits, information and educational content on these magnificent spectacles of nature. .
8 Franz Josef and Fox, New Zealand
The twin glaciers of Franz Josef and Fox on the South Island are arguably the most famous in all of New Zealand and shouldn’t be ignored by those looking for the most breathtaking ice giants in the country. But those who take the time to explore other regions for the glaciers will not be disappointed by visiting the magnificent Alps in the south of the island.
Grab a camera and venture to Mount Cook – New Zealand’s highest peak – for spectacular views and photography-worthy shots that wouldn’t out of place in a fantasy film. Additionally, visitors can also enjoy an iceberg cruise or sightseeing flight through the region in search of stunning scenery and unique photo opportunities.
seven Jostedalsbreen, Norway
Norway’s world famous fjords are the product of glaciers, having been sculpted over an impressive number of years to become the incredible landscapes they are today. Home to continental Europe’s largest glacier, Jostedalsbreen spans around 188 square miles and is simply spectacular from anywhere. Interestingly, scientists mapped the thickness of the ice to help predict how climate change might affect it for many years to come – and their conclusion? They think it might split into several smaller glaciers in the future.
6 Jakobshavn Glacier, Greenland
Greenland is made up of around 80% ice and as such is a winter wonderland of snow and ice that any glacier-loving traveler must visit. West Greenland is where the mighty 40-mile long and one-mile-thick Jakobshavn Glacier is located, which spawns a large number of icebergs, including the one that sank the ill-fated Titanic in 1912. Without a doubt one of the best ways to explore this historically significant glacier is heading to the Ilulissat Ice Fjord, which is also the world’s most northerly UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful frozen regions on the planet.
5 Angel and Athabasca Glaciers, Canada
Canada has stunning Glacier National Parks, and the rugged wilderness near the Canadian Rocky Mountains between Jasper and Alberta’s Lake Louise in the Icefields Parkway is home to many. Over 100 icefield glaciers call out this 230-kilometer-long route, where jaw-dropping waterfalls, crystal-clear lakes and snow-capped mountains provide a magical backdrop.
Stopping at the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park to observe the Athabasca Glacier – one of the most visited glaciers in North America – is also an absolute must in this region, and best seen the most. sooner rather than later as it is estimated that it will disappear within the next 100 years. The uniquely shaped Angel Glacier, aptly named for its ‘wings’, isn’t far from Athabasca either and is definitely worth adding to the route if one gets to this choppy part. the breath of Canada in search of sparkling glaciers.
4 Mer de Glace, France
France’s largest glacier – Mer de Glace, meaning “sea of ice” – is one of the country’s nature theaters that truly deserves attention. Previously, in the 1980s, visitors could access it by cable car near Mont Blanc, but today they have to venture over 580 to reach an ice cave that is dug every year. However, experts believe this French glacier is in trouble as diggers started hitting rock instead of ice when digging the annual ice cave.
3 Pasterze Glacier, Austria
Though shrinking rapidly, Austria’s largest glacier continues to be a top attraction in this land of jagged mountains and winter wonderland. The Pasterze Glacier is believed to have lost about half of its ice over the past century, but its visit remains phenomenal, especially with a certified guide to provide expert insight and the best experience for tourists. And if the glacier weren’t attractive enough, year-round snow-covered activities like skiing, cable car rides, and snowboarding mean there’s no excuse not to add this icy region to the list. buckets.
2 Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland
It is one of the largest alpine glaciers with 11 billion tons of unimaginable ice. This famous region of Switzerland itself is a hotspot for cyclists, skiers, paragliders, snowboarders and other adrenaline junkies, but the added attraction of one of the most colossal glaciers the world has ever known. makes this place truly unbeatable. However, those who want to bear witness to this gigantic ice beast should go now; experts expect the Aletsch Glacier to shrink by around 50% over the course of the century.
1 Patagonia, Chile and Argentina
Patagonia is located at the southern end of Chile and Argentina. The rugged region is another exceptional place to marvel at icy fjords and scenic lakes, and these Chilean fjords, in particular, provide a unique opportunity to witness the birth of icebergs in secluded bays – which are also home to elephant seals, whales, and Magellanic penguins. A great way to explore this vast and wild region of ice is by taking a guided tour through its beautiful lake regions, visiting Torres del Paine in Chile – home to the famous Gray Glacier – and the Perito Moreno Glacier in neighboring Argentina.
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