If you are looking for a unique and breathtaking vacation this year you might want to consider a visiting a location that features glaciers. Traveling to an exotic locale and witnessing one of nature’s wonders first-hand can be an experience of a lifetime. If this kind of vacation appeals to you but you aren’t sure where you should head, here’s a list of the top glaciers to visit.
1. Biafo Glacier, Pakistan
This stunning 63 km long glacier is located in the Karakoram Mountains of the Northern Areas, Pakistan. This glacier is not for the faint of heart or out of shape vacationer. To truly enjoy its magnificent views you will have to hike for a few days, and also engage in some boulder hopping. There are a few campsites just off the glacier, speckled throughout the mountain side.
2. Hubbard Glacier, Alaska
Located in Alaska and the Yukon Territory of Canada, this tidewater glacial is the largest calving glacier on the North American Continent. It’s stunning in its depth and beauty but because of its location it can only be seen by cruise ship. Thankfully there are plenty of Alaskan cruises that have visiting Hubbard Glacier on their itinerary.
3. Athabasca Glacier, Canada
Athabasca Glacier is the most visited Glacier in North American, thanks to its convenient location between Banff and Jasper, Alberta. You can reach this glacier by walking, although you don’t want to go wandering around by yourself or without the proper equipment thanks to hidden crevasses. There are tour buses equipped to take visitors partway up the glacier and the Icefield Interpretive Centre is located across from the glacier. Opened mid-April to mid-October it also has lodging for guests.
4. Furtwängler Glacier, Tanzania
This is one of the top glaciers that are, unfortunately, disappearing due to global warming. It’s all that remains of the gigantic icecap that once covered the whole summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. But despite the fact that it has lost about 75% of its mass sine 1912, it’s still a magnificent sight to see.
5. Glacier Bay, Alaska
If glaciers are your thing, then you will definitely want to visit Glacier Bay in the Southeast of Alaska. This national park is all about the glaciers. Instead of seeing just one glacier, you’ll be able to see the multiple glaciers that are dotted all through the park. This park also has a diverse selection of wildlife and accommodations throughout.
6. Titlis Glacier, Switzerland
Titlis Glacier in Switzerland is as much fun park as it is natural wonder. You can visit the top of the glacier by cable car or you can take a stroll in the glacial caves located in the glacier. Titlis Glacier Park also offers outdoor adventure like snowboarding. And the mountain village of Engelberg, located at the base of the glacier, is the perfect place to stay.
7. Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
One of the things that makes this Southern Alps glacier so unique is that it descends to less than 300 metres about sea level where there temperature and scenery is similar to that of a rainforest. It’s also one of the largest tourist attraction on the West Coast of New Zealand. While you could try to walk up the full length of the glaciers, most people opt to walk partway and then book a helicopter to take them to the peak.
As you can see, glacier vacations are as varied as those taking part in them. If you are into hands on you can opt to climb and even camp out on a glacier. But if you simply want to take in the beauty and snap a few pictures, then there are plenty of glaciers to visit that can be incorporated into a larger vacation that centers around a cruise or even a train ride.