On the same day that Fagradalsfjall in Iceland subsided, the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma cracked open a new crater and roared into life on 19 September 2021. But this is no friendly flowing volcano like the gentle Fagradalsfjall. Cumbre Vieja Natural Park offers stunning hiking routes amongst volcanic cones and giant craters. Now that this fierce volcano has settled down again, the Cumbre Vieja Ruta de los Volcanes (Volcano Route) is one of the finest walks you can do on La Palma.
This title may look a bit bewildering… It’s Icelandic for ‘Where the heart beats’, the anthemic song of Vestmannaeyjar. I was drawn to the Vestmannaeyjar islands at first sight, when I saw their mysterious shapes shimmering on the horizon. It was as if there’s an unexplained energy emanating out of it. I just had to go there. Heimaey is a spectacular island of volcanic peaks and jumbled rocks and the landscape is out of this world. Vestmannaeyjar is also home of the Þjóðhátíð festival in August. ‘Þar sem hjartað slær’ is the ultimate Þjóðhátíð song that captures the atmosphere of the Iceland National Festival like no other.
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 at night and drive up its endless hairpin roads to the summit, in order to gawk over the ethereal beauty of its caldera when the sun 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.
De Westman Eilanden trokken me aan vanaf het eerste gezicht, toen ik hun mysterieuze silhouetten zag glinsteren aan de horizon. Het was alsof er een onverklaarbare energie uit opborrelde. Ik moest er gewoon heen. Heimaey is een spectaculair eiland met steil uit zee oprijzende knoesten, woeste landschappen en vulkanen. Vestmannaeyjar heeft ook het jaarlijkse Þjóðhátíð festival in augustus – in één woord: geWELDIG! ‘Þar sem hjartað slær’ is het ultieme Þjóðhátíð lied dat de sfeer van het Nationale Festival in IJsland als geen ander beschrijft.
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 – contains the youngest volcanic island and (until recently) 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.