Can't wait for Frozen II to arrive? 5 icy destinations to head to now14th Feb 19 | Lifestyle
If you want to build a snowman, you definitely can in these surprisingly easy-to-visit locations.
Dust off your Olaf plushies and put your ‘Let It Go’ puns on standby – the first teaser trailer for Frozen II has just dropped, and it’s as visually stunning and filled with fan favourites as you’d expect.
The good news: Elsa and Anna are back and they’re looking fiercer than ever before. The bad news: You’ll have to wait a full nine months before release. So, from snowy Scandinavian getaways to vast, polar pleasure cruises, here are a few travel spots to help you bridge the gap.
1. The Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica
The ultimate destination for winter exploration, Antarctica probably has enough ice to make a mojito for every single person on earth. The classic polar pilgrimage starts in the Argentinian city of Ushuaia, and slowly meanders southwards.
Stop at any number of rocky islets along the way – Half Moon Island, the South Shetland Islands and more – most of them teaming with penguins, elephant seals and other hardy fauna.
After a few days at the mercy of the notoriously temperamental Drake’s Passage (nicknamed the ‘Drake Shake’ or ‘Drake Lake’ depending on its mood), you’ll set foot on the Antarctic land mass for the first time.
You can’t beat the classics, and these days even big, bad Antarctica isn’t as inaccessible as you might believe.
2. Vatnajökull Ice Cave, Iceland
‘Ice cave’ is one of those phrases that needs no explanation (the image you’ve got in your head is spot on) and as its name might suggest, Iceland is full of them. Many are remote and potentially dangerous, so we recommend Vatnajökull well-guided cave bathed in a kaleidoscopic jumble of shimmering blues. Always make sure your tour company provides the appropriate safety equipment, including a helmet, crampons and axes, and stick to routes selected by the guide.
If you want the full Iceland experience then check the season before you book – we’d hate to think of you bounding from the plane in full ski gear, only to be greeted by acres of green Scandinavian shrubland.
3. Ice Hotel, Sweden
Often imitated but never bettered, this polar retreat was the first of its kind when it first opened its doors in the Arctic town of Jukkasjärvi in 1989. A man-made ice palace of which Elsa would be proud, ice staircases lead to ice corridors with ice bedrooms lit by ice chandeliers, backed by an ice bar serving extremely well-chilled champagne.
The reception isn’t nearly so frosty, and guests can peruse a wide array of ice-themed art installations, go dog sledding, or enjoy some classic Swedish cuisine. Mercifully, the bedsheets are ice-free.
4. Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina
A characterful glacier from the rugged plains of Patagonia, Perito Moreno ends in a 70m high cliff face of cerulean blue. Watch from the comfort of nearby viewing platforms, don crampons and hike the ice yourself, or even kayak up close by sea. Attentive visitors might see huge chunks of ice fall away as if in slow motion, hitting the sea with a satisfying thud.
One of many in Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, glacier fans will find it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
5. Sapporo Snow Festival, Japan
Ever wanted to see a giant reconstruction of Finland’s Helsinki Cathedral crafted entirely from snow? No, it’s not something that had occurred to us either, but that was the majestic sight to greet visitors to the 69th annual snow festival in Sapporo, northern Japan.
Every year the world’s greatest ice artists descend upon the city to construct hundreds of ice sculptures, drawing millions of curious visitors. Unfortunately, they do so in January, so you’ve got plenty of time to plan your trip…
Previous headline acts have included a Tyrannosaurus rex, Hawaii’s Royal Palace, and a giant snowy rendering of Star Wars’ C-3P0.
© Press Association 2019