The beauty of ice has fascinated humans throughout the centuries. The fusion of blues, whites and grays of the glaciers mesmerizes the most experienced traveler. It is difficult not to succumb to the extraordinary beauty that these gigantic masses of ice make up in different corners of the planet. Here you have our selection of the 10 most beautiful glaciers in the world.

Glaciers, source of life

Beyond their beauty, glaciers are a source of life. The role they play in the ecosystem is crucial. It is estimated that they accumulate over 75% of the Earth’s fresh water, so they are large deposits that act as water reserves. In addition, they contribute to the balance of the climate. The high mountain areas and the polar regions are the places where these ice colossi are formed. Of course, they require low temperatures all year round and precipitation in the form of snow. And its formation requires thousands of years.

Not so its thaw. In recent decades, global warming is melting them with consequences that, unfortunately, we are already beginning to see. For example, the rise in sea level, extreme weather events or the extinction of species. Scholars believe that it could still be stopped, hopefully we will achieve it together. Rutas 10 is committed to the decalogue of the responsible traveler approved by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to do its bit.

The most spectacular glaciers

And it is that the visual and emotional impact produced by these ice giants is unparalleled. Enjoying a glacial landscape, even if only once in your life, is an experience that changes your life for some. The beauty given off by these huge masses of crystallized snow leaves an unscathed mark.

If you want to live the extraordinary adventure of getting to know a glacier up close, take a look at our selection. The traveling passion that guides us leads us to propose you the 10 most beautiful glaciers in the world, according to our experience. Any of them is spectacular and they are in different parts of the planet, so we hope that one of them matches your travel preferences. After the list, be sure to consult our recommendations on equipment, it will be good for you to know them to organize your game and they will surely get you out of more than one trouble.

The most beautiful glaciers in the world

They are a unique spectacle and at the same time a total immersion in nature in its purest form. In the form of a circus, with tongues of ice, vertical walls, floating icebergs, frozen lakes… they will not fail to impress you. The list is organized in alphabetical order, we do not intend to determine which is the most beautiful glacier so that you let yourself be carried away by your own perceptions.

1.- Baltoro Glacier – Pakistan

The Karakorum mountains, in the Himalayas, are home to this glacier, which is one of the largest outside the Arctic Circle. Baltoro means horn of plenty. Over time, in its more than 750 square kilometers, depressions have formed that have given rise to incredible glacial lakes. It is a remote corner of the world that will make you feel as if you were the first human being to set foot on it.

2.- Franz Josef Glacier – New Zealand

It is one of the 10 most beautiful glaciers in the world. Located in the Westland National Park, on the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand, it is next to the Fox Glacier, the most famous in the country. It is easy to access the view of its front by taking a hiking route of about 20 minutes. If touching a glacier calls your attention, it is also possible to take a guided walk through the ice.

The speed at which the glacier moves creates ice caves, tunnels and crevasses, which are constantly changing, even from one day to the next. Take a look at many other options in the country, regardless of having this wonder among the 10 most beautiful glaciers in the world.

3.- Gray Glacier – Chile

It is the largest glacier in South America and an icon of Chile. It is located in the Torres del Paine National Park and is part of the continental ice called Campos de Hielo Sur. Its 270 square kilometers have been reduced due to the environmental conditions of the region, but its walls up to 30 meters high maintain an unparalleled beauty due to their whimsical forms.

4.- Jakobshavn Glacier – Greenland

On the largest island on the planet, ice covers most of it with a layer about two kilometers thick. The Jakobshavn Glacier is located on the west coast and is also known as Ilulissat Glacier due to its proximity to this Greenlandic city. It is estimated that 35,000 million tons of icebergs come out of the fjord every year. Study of it has helped develop a modern understanding of climate change.

5.- Josteldasbreen Glacier – Norway

It is the largest glacier in continental Europe and is in the National Park of the same name. It covers an area of ​​487 square kilometers, which is maintained by winter snowfall rather than cold. On the main glacier and on three of its arms, you can climb and walk: Bergsetbreem, Ausdalsbreeen and Nigardsbreen.

6.- Lambert Glacier – Antarctica

This glacier is located in East Antarctica, which is recognized as the largest in the world in the Guinness Book of Records. It is an ice surface of 40,000 square kilometers and 2,500 meters deep. It is not surprising that it is the most studied to see the evolution of climate change. The image shows its extraordinary beauty in the formation of a glacial waterfall.

7.- Margerie Glacier – Alaska

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska (United States) shelters this tidal water glacier. With a length of 34 km, it is one of the most active and visited. It is declared a World Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site. Unlike other tidal glaciers in the park, Margerie neither advances nor retreats.

8.- Mer de Glace Glacier – France

It is one of the great attractions of the French Alps, despite the decline it has suffered in recent decades. This authentic sea of ​​ice, as its name indicates, reaches more than seven kilometers long on the slopes of Mont Blanc. In order to explore its interior, a cave is dug every year.

9.- Perito Moreno Glacier – Argentina

Without a doubt, the most famous glacier in the world. It is part of the Los Glaciares National Park located in the province of Santa Cruz, in southern Argentina, and is located about 80 kilometers from the city of El Calafate. The Perito Moreno is of unparalleled beauty and every year it advances at a rate of one hundred meters. The noise caused by the breaking of the ice dam when it falls on the water is an event that is covered by television channels and can even be followed on the Internet.

10.- Vatnajokull Glacier – Iceland

Located in the Skaftafell National Park in the highlands of Iceland, it occupies about 10% of the island’s surface. The glacier has impressive ice tongues running through valleys, lateral and central moraines, as well as numerous lakes born from melting ice, such as Jokulsarlon, full of icebergs. In any of these languages ​​you can carry out a small march. And in winter, visit the so-called blue ice cave.

Useful tips for visiting a glacier

Before embarking on the trip, take a look at the essentials that you should put in your suitcase to enjoy the glaciers in the most comfortable way possible. The first thing to keep in mind is that on this type of trip it is not advisable to carry rigid suitcases, but rather trekking-type backpacks. And better two than one. The first is larger and a second, with a capacity of 20-30 liters to carry water, a picnic for excursions, sun cream, a camera, waterproof clothing…

Focus on clothes, always choose quick-drying ones. Cotton is not advisable since it absorbs a large part of moisture and steals a lot of heat from the body to evaporate it. Opt for more or less thick synthetic fiber clothing depending on the time you travel and apply the layer system when used. Waterproof jackets, better of the Gore Tex type. Without forgetting the rain pants.

The clothes that you should not forget

For the head
  • Fleece or wool hat
  • Tubular fleece or buff scarf
  • Sunglasses and snow goggles
For the body
  • 1 long-sleeved thermal shirt
  • 3 synthetic fiber undershirts
  • fleece jacket
  • Fine fleece jumper
  • Lightweight anorak with fiber or feather padding
  • Waterproof and breathable mountain jacket (Goretex or another similar membrane)
  • thermal tights
  • trekking pants
  • Light waterproof pants
For hands
  • Waterproof gloves
  • fleece gloves
For feet
  • thin socks
  • Thick and high synthetic fiber socks
  • Strong, waterproof and breathable trekking boots, better already used to avoid chafing
  • trekking shoes
  • Flip-flops/light crocs-type clogs or comfortable shoes (mandatory use in hostels)
Camping equipment
  • Sleeping bag (preferably fiber; recommended up to -10ºC temperature)
  • Cutlery, cup and knife for picnics
  • Canteen or light water bottle
  • Headlamp and spare battery
Progression team
  • 20-30 liter backpack for day trips
  • Trekking poles (optional)
Toiletries/others
  • Sunscreen and lip cream
  • Ear plugs
  • Sleep mask
  • quick drying towel
  • personal first aid kit

This is not a closed list, you can add, for example, comfortable clothing for the stay in hostels or personal medication. However, do not lose sight of your own comfort in transfers. You can always rent some of the material.

For the backpack

On the other hand, on the outbound trip it is advisable to bring in the cabin, in addition to the documentation, the essential clothing on or in your hand luggage: trekking boots and pants, thermal shirt and Goretex-type jacket, fleece, tights, glasses, hat, gloves and waterproof pants. In case of loss of luggage, you would have everything you need to start the trip. Remember that hand luggage must have a maximum weight of 5 kg and its dimensions must respect the airline’s conditions.

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