Featured image by bjaglin.
I have never connected so deeply to a song lyric as “I get cold when the temperatures dips below 70,” from Franks Ocean’s song “Biking:”
It’s an understatement to say I get cold easy. I like the idea of sweater-weather and snow-blanketed landscapes like quiet woods and majestic mountains. But the cold just hurts. It physically hurts even when I’m bundled up in double the layers as everyone else.
All that said– there are a few so-cold-I-don’t-think-I’ll-ever-warm-up-in-a-million-years destinations that I would travel to because they’re (figuratively) just that cool.
I never thought I would pay to sleep on a bed of ice, but after ogling over the artistry that goes into Icehotel, I would gladly don as many thermals as I could and sleep in a room of ice.
Icehotel is in the Swedish village Jukkasjarvi, 124 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The ice hotel stays at a toasty -5 F, which is warm compared to wintertime outdoor temperatures that are as low as -40 F.
Icehotel’s rooms are created by artists and the ice itself is drawn from the nearby Tome river, a river characterized as wild and pristine.
Carefully placed lights compliment the artwork. The final effect is otherworldly.
Argentina is one of the best places in the world to whale watch. Southern right whales are the star of the show from June to December but, since Argentina is in the southern hemisphere, June through August are winter months and September through November are spring months.
Argentina isn’t the coldest place on this list but the overall climate is cold and dry year-round and average highs in the winter and spring are in the low to mid 40s F, and night time temperatures are easily below freezing.
The best whale watching is in the waters surrounding the Patagonia region of Argentina, a region known for wild, natural beauty. It’s a tough area to travel to but one of the best places in the world to see whales in the wild.
The northern lights are one of nature’s gifts. Beautiful and mysterious, the northern lights are usually only seen far north on cold, clear nights.
Nellim is a small village in the Finnish Lapland visited for its wilderness and northern lights. Nellim is just about as far north as you can get it Finland. It’s well above the arctic circle and has long nights during the winter, maximizing the potential to see the northern lights.
Anyone hoping to see lights dance in the sky must brave incredibly cold weather. Temperatures in Nellim don’t go above freezing from November through March and record lows are between -40 F and -60 F.
Solovetsky Transfiguration Monastery
Solovetsky Islands, Russia
In the White Sea off the coast of Russia are the Solovetsky islands. The Solovetsky Monastery complex was founded in the 1400s and before long, the island became a stronghold and prison. Strongholds were erected on the complex by Ivan the Terrible and the island was used in the Livonian War (16th century), Time of Troubles (17th century), the Crimean War (19th Century) and the Russian Civil War (20th century).
The islands are rich with history, architecture and a mix of northern European cultures. They’re also in a cold climate that only reaches low 60s F in the warmest months. Basically, the weather is somewhere between cold and colder.
The world’s roof is home to canyons, lakes, glaciers, Buddhist temples and monasteries and ancient architecture. To say there’s a lot to see is an understatement. The area is so large it is sometimes called “the third pole.”
Summer temperatures are warm, peaking in the 60s and 70s F depending on altitude. However, summer isn’t a great time to visit because of monsoon season. In the higher reaches of the Tibetan Plateau it’s common for winter temperatures to stay below freezing all winter.