The Aeolian Islands in south Italy are the stuff of legends and a geological paradise. Stromboli, the ancient lighthouse of the Mediterranean, is famous for its fountain eruptions. Vulcano gave its name to the eruptive mountains we now know as volcanoes. Regular ferries from Naples or Milazzo on Sicily to Stromboli, Lipari and Vulcano make it easy to go island hopping between volcanoes on the Aeolian Islands.
An overview of the best walking tracks around Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar. With its incredible density of spectacular sights and features, this stunning island just off the south coast is a must-see if you’re visiting Iceland. There are steep and craggy mountain ridges, dramatic sea cliffs, hidden beaches, a couple of volcanoes, mossy lava flows and a magical valley. Vestmannaeyjar is also home to the biggest puffin colony in the world. Find out more in this article.
Pico del Teide on Tenerife is the biggest mountain of Spain. Surrounded by a huge caldera, its peak rises up an astonishing 3718 metres into thin air. Its flanks are a volcanic playground, with a multitude of colourful cones and bizarre cathedral-like formations, and winding roads along titled layers of rock. You can go all the way to the top of Pico del Teide by cable car and enjoy amazing views over the Canary Islands.
Haleakala is the House of the Rising Sun – literally. The sunrise on this volcano on Maui is of such an epic magnitude that it draws people to get up at ridiculous o’ clock to drive up its endless hairpin roads to the top, in order to gawk over the ethereal beauty of its caldera when the sun slowly lights up and paints it in otherworldly colours. You can hike all the way to Halemau’u on the other side of this vast caldera, and explore its countless craters and cinder cones.
There are plenty of beautiful islands in the sea to discover. In this NaturePic series I share some of my favourite remote islands. Sprinkled across the oceans and seas, these islands are all very different in character. Find your island and see how to get there.
When I saw the volcanic island shapes of Vestmannaeyjar shimmering on the horizon, I felt immediately drawn to them. It was like a force of nature that couldn’t be denied. I just had to go there. Sailing into Heimaey harbour, through a narrow opening between a jumbled chain of steep cliffs and a huge field of lava flows, is mind-blowing. Vestmannaeyjar – also known as the Westman Islands – boasts the youngest volcanic island and the newest volcano in Iceland.
The Cook Islands are the stuff of Pacific dreams. White, sandy, coconut-strewn palm beaches, translucent lagoons in all shades of shimmering blue, and a laid-back atmosphere where everything just circulates on island time. But there are also craggy peaks beckoning in the interior of Rarotonga, the main island. You can discover them on the Cross-Island Track, an adventurous hike across the jungle.
Stromboli is the stuff of legends and the ancient lighthouse of the Mediterranean. The volcano island has been erupting its mesmerizing glow for over 2000 years, in such a way it has actually become the ‘type locality’ for it. When I saw its triangular shape looming on the horizon, it was pulling me like a force from the centre of the earth, excited to finally see the strombolian action from up close.