When it comes to change of seasons and fluctuating temperatures, animals and human beings are really not that different. Much like bears, birds, and other mammals that follow various patterns to adapt to the winter, we follow mother nature’s orders very rigidly with regards to weather! May that be the tendency to sleep longer in our comfy beds like hibernating bears, or travelling to warmer countries for vacations, like migratory birds flying south for the winter.
However, there are certain beautiful destinations around the world that truly come alive with its beauty only in the winter months. We’re talking about lakes across the world that are a serene, tranquil blue when the sun shines bright around the year, but freezes over when the mercury dips dangerously low. Frozen lakes are masterpieces that are right out of every winter wonderland, and we suggest, instead of heading south for the winter, how about you chase the cold and catch a glimpse of these gorgeous frozen landscapes instead?
Where is it: Canada
Why you should visit: For the bizarre natural phenomenon that occurs under the ice when the chilly blast of winter makes its way to Abraham Lake! Beneath the pallid surface of the frozen lake, you can witness stunning ice bubbles that look like crystallised baubles but are actually frozen pockets of methane, a highly flammable gas. The hike around the lake, as well as photography workshops and tours that are also held, that has made the location immensely popular.
Where to stay: Blue Mountain Lodge Bed & Breakfast for Rs 4,418 per night
Where is it: Japan
Why you should visit: Located on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, the Blue Pond was artificially created when a dam was erected to protect the region from mudslides and lava from the active volcano Mount Tokachi, situated just a few miles away. The shimmering blue hue of the lake – which changes into a lovely hue of green in the light – has received a lot of publicity around the world.
Where to stay: Hotel Royal Stay Sapporo for Rs 2,414 per night
Where is it: Siberia, Russia
Why you should visit: Making its way to the world heritage sites on UNESCO’s list, Lake Baikal holds 20 percent of all of the world’s freshwater, and is the deepest lake on earth, measuring at 1,642 meters in depth. The ice in certain parts of the lake appear completely transparent and can give you the illusion of being weak and thin, but in fact, has held the weight of trucks going over it! Cracks developing on the surface can measure up to 30 km in length, 3 meters in width, and supply the water with oxygen, allowing fish to breathe under the ice. Now, this is one among the winter lakes that you definitely can’t afford to miss!
Where to stay: Zagorodny Hotel Baykal for Rs 1,393 per night
Where is it: Chile
Why you should visit: Guaranteed to give you postcard-perfect images should you visit the place, the Grey Lake is located in the Torres del Paine National Park, and is a declared International Biosphere Reserve. Witness huge floating icebergs on the waters covered by ice sediments, and take a trip to the surrounding Southern Ice Fields that is guaranteed to give you memories to last a lifetime.
Where to stay: Hospedaje Mate Amargo for Rs 3,069 per night
Where is it: California, USA
Why you should visit: While being among the lesser known lakes in the region, so much so that it doesn’t have an official trail around its shores, Ellery Lake is situated in the Eastern Sierras by Tioga Pass, near Yosemite National Park. There are up to 12 campsites that you can visit and set up your tents in, but ensure that you go during tourist season as the sites have timings and are open to tourists during particular seasons. A hidden gem, in the list of frozen lakes in the world, this one can be a little tough to get to, but is worth the wait and the journey to behold mother nature at her chilled best!
Where to stay: Whispering Pines for Rs 5,704 per night
Where is it: Tibet
Why you should visit: Termed as ‘Heavenly Lake’ in the Tibetan language, Namtso Lake is located at 4,740 meters above sea level, and will require you to get acclimated to the altitude before you can think of making a trip there. A pilgrimage site for Tibetans, which takes between 20 to 30 days to circle the lake back to the start, and the gorgeous mountains one can view from the spot is what coined the term ‘heavenly’, and lives up to the hype of its title indeed! There are also several spots where you can test your photography skills, the ideal time being half hour before and after sunrise/sunset in the region.
Where to stay: Tashi Choeta Hotel for Rs 1,329 per night