The dangerous and unpredictable nature of volcanoes may not put them first on everyone’s list when planning holiday activites, but their power and the impact they have on their landscape and environment should make at least one visit essential for everyone’s wish list. We take a look at some of the most impressive sites around the world.
Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy
Taormina in Sicily is both one of the best places to view Mount Etna from afar and to start a guided tour to the summit. This is Europe’s most active volcanoe with over 400 craters on the surface and what ever time of the year you visit you are likely to see lava flow from a recent eruption. In the summer nearby vineyards offer wine tasting for post-hike relaxation. In the winter, it’s possible to ski the surface of Etna.
Mount Vesuvius, Campania, Italy
The first known eruption of Vesuvius was in 79 A.D. when it buried the city of Pompeii. The volcano is considered to be active because it has erupted within the last 100 years, the last of which was in 1944. The volcanoe sits frightenly close to Naples and it is possible to make this a day trip while visiting the city. The volcanic soil is responsible for some of the most delicious foods in Italy, such as San Marzano tomatoes and grapes for local wines such as Fiano and Falanghina.
Mount Fiji, Honshu Island, Japan
Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan and is currently listed as a dormant volcano. The last eruption was in 1708 and the ash from that tragedy completely covered the city of Japan. While it is open to visitors year round, the tourist sites are only open in July and August, making those months a safer time to visit and explore this marvelous mountain. Because its only open to tourists two months of the year, make sure to book your Mt. Fuji hotel in advance.
Soufriere Hills, Montserrat
The Soufriere Hills volcano was considered dormant for many years until activity was dectedted in 1995 and it has remained in a state of eruption ever since. One of the largest recent eruptions occurred in 1997, killing almost 20 people and completely destroying the island’s airport. The city of Monseratt, where the volcano is located, is now home to only 4,000 people, although the population and tourism are continuously growning.
Everyone knows its name but few can pronounce it. When this volcano last erupted its ash cloud left travelers stranded in airports all over and made headlines around the world. The name Eyjafjallajökull actually refers to the glacier covering the volcano’s caldera, which is one of the smaller ice caps in Iceland. There are several ways to explore this infamous volcano/glacier, but make sure to always be accompanied by a guide as the crevasses can be treacherous. The best option we found is with Eskimos.is in a super jeep.