Don’t get us wrong; we hate ice as much as the next driver. Not only is it dangerous to drive on, it causes commuting misery for millions every year — so of course most motorists hate the stuff. But, if it’s in the right place at the right time, ice can be pretty great — think ice rinks, snowmen and frozen hotels.
Not convinced? To prove just how great ice can be we’ve created a shortlist of 7 amazing icy places you have to visit at least once.
Sweden’s ICEHOTEL is where the ice structure craze started. Founded in 1989, this incredible art exhibition-come-hotel is built entirely from ice from the ground up — including all the beds, toilets and corridors. The hotel is built from scratch at the start of winter each year, before melting away when spring comes around.
Snow Village, Canada
Like most things on the North American continent, Canada’s Snow Village is big — very big, in fact. Across the entire sprawling site there’s a hotel, restaurant and bar, as well as an ice chapel where couples can wed in sub-zero surroundings. There’s even a mile-long toboggan run made entirely from ice — perfect for little kids and big ones too.
Harbin Ice Festival, China
If you’re ever in China during the winter, you must pay a visit to the Harbin Ice Festival. As the biggest ice festival in the world, Harbin is home to an impressive array of ice structures, and visitors can even try their hand at carving ice as part of the event’s art expo. If that sounds too much like hard work, why not enjoy a safari-style dog sled tour before spending the night in one of Harbin’s many ice hotels.
Lincoln Ice Castle, New Hampshire
Looking like something straight out of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe; the Lincoln Ice Castle is truly a unique sight to behold. Unlike other ice structures on this list, this frozen castle is made using powerful water sprinklers, which gradually freeze to create the walls of the structure. The result is pretty spectacular, and is sure to change your mind about ice.
ABSOLUT ICEBAR, London
If you’re looking for something closer to home, London’s ABSOLUT ICEBAR is the UK’s only permanent ice bar, and is kept at a cool 5°C 365 days a year. Inside, everything is made out of ice from the barstools to the tables, and the bar staff serve a selection of vodka-based cocktails in chunky tumblers made from an inch-thick of pure ice. If you’re worried about getting cold in your going-out gear, don’t worry — puffer jackets are provided on arrival to keep all the guests toasty.
SnowCastle of Kemi, Finland
Thanks to Finland’s reliably cold weather, the country plays host to a gigantic ice castle each winter. At 20 metres high and a kilometre long, SnowCastle of Kemi is the biggest snow fort in the world, and features a restaurant, hotel and chapel all made out of ice. How ¬cool is that?
Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Ice Palace, New York
Upstate New York suffers some pretty extreme winters, making it the perfect place to host a winter snow and ice festival. The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Ice Palace is just one of the ice structures built here during the winter, and is a brilliant place to visit. The walls of this colossal frozen structure are over 50 feet high, and made entirely from huge blocks of ice carved to shape by local craftsman.
While we can’t stop the roads from freezing, we can make sure ice doesn’t stand in your way. Our car care products are developed to work in all extremes, so you can stay on the road when the temperatures drop. To find out more, visit the Prestone website.