Glaciers are a natural wonder of the world, attracting mere mortals from far and wide to witness their sheer size and greatness. These gigantic masses of ice are ever-changing in nature, boasting unimaginable sizes, impressive shapes, and stunning colors that no human-made structure could ever resemble.

Despite these shape-shifting sub-zero towers and islands being constantly on the move, there are a number of places around the world to see magical glaciers - which are made from snow that has been compressed into massive, thick ice giants over the millennia. Naturally, the Artic is of course an obvious contender at which to start one's search for the planet's most stunning glaciers.

However, to marvel at the majesty of these mind-blowingly beautiful spectacles of nature, it's not always necessary to venture to the poles; some are closer to home than one might think.

10 Alaska And Montana, USA

Alaska is famed for having some of the largest glaciers on the planet, and one of the best places to witness their glory is Prince William Sound - home to over a hundred documented and named glaciers as well as active tidewater glaciers that frequently spawn colossal icebergs.

Amongst those commonly visited, Colombia Glacier is one of the most famous and often frequented by cruise boats, while Exit Glacier Alaska is one of Alaska's most accessible situated in Kenai Fjords National Park - which is a short drive from Seward. It's not just ice and snow though - visitors regularly report spotting a wealth of incredible creatures on their glacier-seeking travels, including bears, whales, sea otters, and more.

The chilly state of Montana is also worthy of note with its stupefying Glacier National Park full of ice, lakes, forests, and massive mountains that attract a multitude of visitors every year seeking out some of the most heart-stopping icy panoramas in North America.

Related: These Are The Best Hikes In Glacier National Park

9 Vatnajokull Glacier, Iceland

The land of fire and ice is a glacier wonderland, with 11% of the nation's terrain covered in icecaps - one of which is Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajokull, a glorious UNESCO World Heritage site in itself making up 8% of Iceland. Amidst this show-stopping glacier is a network of stunning ice caves, while below its surface are epic volcanoes bubbling away at icy depths.

Enormous and mighty it may be, it's not immune to climate change; Vatnajokull Glacier is retreating by approximately three football fields each year in some areas. Glacier fanatics and those who wish to learn more will benefit from visiting Perlan in Reykjavik, where the Glaciers and Ice Cave exhibition - the very first of its kind on earth - is overflowing with exhibits, information, and educational content about these magnificent spectacles of nature.

Related: 10 Glacier Hikes That Have Visitors Seeing Iceland In A New Way

8 Franz Josef And Fox, New Zealand

The twin glaciers of Franz Josef and Fox on South Island are undoubtedly the most famous in all of New Zealand, and must not be skipped by those seeking out the nation's most jaw-dropping ice giants. But those who take the time to explore other areas for glaciers won't be disappointed when visiting the island's beautiful Southern Alps.

Take a camera and venture to Mount Cook - the highest peak in New Zealand - for some spectacular vistas and photography-worthy shots that wouldn't look out of place in a fantasy movie. Plus, visitors can also enjoy an iceberg cruise or sight-seeing flight across the region in search of mind-blowing scenery and once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunities.

7 Jostedalsbreen, Norway

The world-famous fjords of Norway are the product of glaciers, having been carved over a staggering number of years to become the incredible landscapes they are today. Home to continental Europe's largest glacier, Jostedalsbreen spreads across around 188 square miles and is nothing short of spectacular from wherever it is seen. Interestingly, scientists have mapped the ice's thickness to help predict how climate change could affect it in the many years to come - and their conclusion? They believe it might split into several smaller glaciers in the future.

6 Jakobshavn Glacier, Greenland

Greenland is comprised of around 80% ice, and as such, it's a wintery wonderland of snow and ice that any glacier-loving traveler must visit. Western Greenland is where the mighty 40 mile-long and one-mile-thick Jakobshavn Glacier lies, which gives birth to a great number of icebergs - including that which sank the ill-fated Titanic in 1912. Inarguably one of the best ways to explore this historically significant glacier is by heading to the Ilulissat Icefjord, which is also the world's most northern UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most beautiful icy regions on the planet.

5 Angel And Athabasca Glaciers, Canada

Canada boasts stunning glacier national parks, and the rugged wilderness nearby Canada’s Rocky Mountains between Jasper and Alberta's Lake Louise in the Icefields Parkway is home to a great number of them. Over 100 icefield glaciers call this 230-kilometer length of road home, where staggering waterfalls, crystalline lakes, and snowy capped mountains provide a magical backdrop.

Stopping off at the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park to witness Athabasca Glacier - one of North America's most visited glaciers - is also an absolute must when in this area, and it's better to see it sooner than later since it's estimated to disappear in the next 100 years. The uniquely shaped Angel Glacier aptly named for its “wings” isn't far from Athabasca either and is definitely worth adding to the itinerary if one is heading to this breathtaking part of Canada on the hunt for glistening glaciers.

4 Mer de Glace, France

The largest glacier in France - Mer de Glace, meaning "sea of ice" - is one of the country's theatricals of nature that's definitely worthy of attention. Previously in the 1980s, visitors could access it by cable car near Mount Blanc, but today they have to venture down 580 to reach an ice cave that's dug every year. However, experts believe this French glacier is in trouble, as diggers have begun to hit rock instead of ice when digging the annual ice cave.

3 Pasterze Glacier, Austria

Despite shrinking rapidly, Austria’s biggest glacier continues to be a top attraction in this nation of jagged mountains and winter wonderlands. Pasterze Glacier is thought to have lost around half of its ice in the last century, but it's still phenomenal to visit - especially with a certified guide to give expert insight and the very best experience to tourists. And if the glacier wasn't enough of a draw, the year-round snowy activities like skiing, cable car rides, and snowboarding mean there's no excuse not to add this icy region to the bucket list.

2 Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland

This is one of the largest Alpine glaciers boasting an unimaginable 11 billion tons of ice. This famous region in Switzerland itself is a hotspot for bikers, skiers, paragliders, snowboarders, and other adrenaline-junkies, but the added draw of one of the most colossal glaciers the world has ever known makes this spot truly unbeatable. However, those who want to bear witness to this gigantic icy beast should go now; experts expect that Aletsch Glacier will shrink by around 50% within the century.

Related: New To Skiing? Here Are The Resorts You Should Consider Booking First

1 Patagonia, Chile, And Argentina

Patagonia is set right at the southern end of Chile and Argentina. The rugged region is another exceptional place to marvel at icy fjords and picturesque lakes, and these Chilean Fjords, in particular, offer a unique opportunity to bear witness to the birth of icebergs in secluded bays - which are also home to elephant seals, whales, and Magellanic penguins. A superb way to explore this vast and wild region of ice is to take an escorted tour through its magnificent lake districts, visiting Chile's Torres del Paine - home to the famous Grey Glacier - and Perito Moreno Glacier in nearby Argentina.

Next: Must-See Icebergs That One Cannot Miss In Newfoundland