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Tag: Islands

Islands

White, sandy, coconut-strewn beaches, translucent lagoons in shimmering blue. And chains of mountainous islands with craggy peaks, rising straight from the sea. There are many fascinating islands around the world.

Pico del Teide – A volcanic playground

Pico del Teide – A volcanic playground

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.

Stromboli – The ancient lighthouse of the Mediterranean

Stromboli – The ancient lighthouse of the Mediterranean

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.

Faroe Islands – Atlantic weather systems moving overhead

Faroe Islands – Atlantic weather systems moving overhead

The Faroe Islands are an enticing stopover in the north Atlantic Ocean between Denmark, Norway and Iceland. There are impressive mountains everywhere, stupendously rising up from the sea. The capital of Tórshavn is a charming little town with colourful and grassy houses. And the weather on the Faroe Islands archipelago is surprisingly mild.

El Hierro – A volcanic hotspot underneath the sea

El Hierro – A volcanic hotspot underneath the sea

El Hierro, the most remote and authentic of the Canary Islands, with volcanic activity still bubbling underneath the sea. Once considered as the edge of the known world, El Hierro consists mostly of huge cliffs rising straight up from the sea to over 1000 metres high, and an enormous crescent shaped valley. It’s absolutely spectacular.

Hinchinbrook Island – Unspoiled tropical wilderness

Hinchinbrook Island – Unspoiled tropical wilderness

Hinchinbrook Island in Australia is pure bliss. Rugged mountains covered in lush jungle vegetation, broad sweeping beaches and meandering estuaries. Unspoiled wilderness that can only be explored on foot. The Thorsborne Trail follows a 32 kilometre route along the east coast of Hinchinbrook Island. It’s one of the most beautiful hikes in the world.

Vestmannaeyjar – A force of nature that can’t be denied

Vestmannaeyjar – A force of nature that can’t be denied

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.

Vestmannaeyjar – Þar sem hjartað slær…!

Vestmannaeyjar – Þar sem hjartað slær…!

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.

Cook Islands – The stuff of Pacific dreams

Cook Islands – The stuff of Pacific dreams

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.

Island hopping on the Aeolian Islands

Island hopping on the Aeolian Islands

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.