Sun-soaked beaches and frothy surf are absolute havens for warm-weather lovers, but for the other end of the thermometer, sometimes you have to go a slightly more extreme route. From feet of snow to buildings of ice, these freezing experiences will satisfy even the most hardcore of cold lovers.
To get the ultimate chilly experience, you have to travel to a continent where winter isn’t just a season — it’s life. Kensington Antarctica’s camp allows you to indulge in that lifestyle. After a five-hour flight from Cape Town to the interior of Antarctica, you’ll say hello to Kensington’s camp of insulated canvas chalets. Explore the great white with the help of polar guides, catch a glimpse of the local wildlife and enjoy meals from a gourmet South African chef during this unique trip. And, if your Antarctic getaway is slightly crunched for time, there’s even a two-day trip option.
The base of the Dents-du-Midi in the Chablais Alps plays host to this chilling experience. Consisting of 15 individual eco-pods, this cluster of wintery escapism is suited for those looking to get a true feel of European wilderness while enjoying the relief of minimal-yet-cozy comfort. Guests can marvel at the stunning views of Lake Geneva and the surrounding sights. And if your budding Iditarod career is aching for a jumpstart, learning how to guide sled dogs rounds out the snowy package nicely.
While nature’s frigid arsenal creates some vicious (and beautiful) frozen landscapes across the globe, this man-made abode constructed out of ice and nothing else gives even the most crystalline scenery a run for its money. Light diffuses through the blocks of ice, giving ICEHOTEL a glowing shine that blends well with the more ritzy elements of the destination, such as cocktails served in ice glasses at the ice bar. When guests are finished indulging in ice drinks, they can retreat back to their rooms where reindeer skins blanket the beds and cups of hot lingonberry juice await them in the morning.
Cascade Mountains in Washington
At first glance, this getaway might not scream “extreme.” But one look at the area’s weather report will quickly change any unconvinced mind. Simply put, it snows in the Cascade Mountains. A lot. The peak earned a world record snowfall during the 1998-1999 season when a staggering 1,140 inches of the fluffy white stuff amassed. And last December, the mountain saw 80 inches fall in just seven days. Just a short trip away, the Inn at Mt. Baker, with its down-to-earth atmosphere and gorgeous views of the mountain, is a cozy portal to all the snow you could ever want.
Photos Courtesy of Kensington Antarctica, ICEHOTEL and White Pods