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Tag: Volcanoes

Volcanoes

Gently erupting volcanoes with gushing lava flows & fountains are a volcano geek’s wildest dream come true. When they are quiet, they also offer stunning hiking routes in otherworldly landscapes.

Standing next to a line of 8 erupting craters is a whole new level of the mind being blown. This was completely Off The Scale.

I stood utterly mesmerized looking upon the creation process of Earth itself.

And then there’s this beautiful yet ‘unpronounceable’ volcano, silently looming in the background. Until it erupted into world fame…

Fagradalsfjall – The spectacular Iceland volcano

Fagradalsfjall – The spectacular Iceland volcano

The greatest show on Earth started in Iceland in March 2021. Reykjanes kicked into action and coughed up a new volcano in Geldingadalur, a secluded valley below Fagradalsfjall. What followed is a series of breathtaking events so incredible it has blown the minds of people around the world. Multiple craters appeared, erupting simultaneously, until one of them took over and turned into a giant lava geyser. Fagradalsfjall is one of the most versatile eruptions the world has ever witnessed. Read all about this extraordinary volcano (and how to get there) in this extensive article.

Reykjanes – Hidden treasures beyond the barren landscape

Reykjanes – Hidden treasures beyond the barren landscape

Reykjanes Peninsula is smoking hot. It may look desolate on first sight, but there are a lot of hidden treasures in its rugged interior. Including active (and sometimes erupting!) volcanoes. You will also find a myriad of steaming vents, bubbling mudpools, colourful rocks & mountains, tranquil lakes, faulty fissures and lava flows covered in thick fluffy moss. It’s a volcanic playground well worth exploring.

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.

Mount Etna – Vigorously steaming from all its craters

Mount Etna – Vigorously steaming from all its craters

Mount Etna is Europe’s most active volcano, and it’s in a constant state of excitement. There’s always something going on around the slopes of Etna. Often it’s just quietly steaming away, and you can do many beautiful hikes in the summit area. But when it erupts it can cough up large rivers of lava, fissure fountains, strombolian fireworks, fuming ash clouds and everything inbetween from its various craters.

Tongariro – The track across Middle Earth

Tongariro – The track across Middle Earth

Ngauruhoe featured as the terrifying Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings movies. It’s one of the many cones of the vast Tongariro complex. You can explore Ngauruhoe and its surrounding area on the Tongariro Crossing, a beautiful walking track along 20 kilometres of steaming and colourful volcanic terrain from Mangatepopo to Ketetahi in New Zealand.

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.

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.

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.

Thórsmörk – The fabled valley

Thórsmörk – The fabled valley

The fabled valley of Thórsmörk is the stuff of fairytales and epic sagas. It’s so beautiful that it almost seems unreal. Thórsmörk is full of folded valleys and convoluted gorges, glaciers with volcanoes underneath and bizarrely shaped mountains. You have to see it for yourself to believe it’s real. These spectacular hikes are a great way to do so.

Kerlingarfjöll – Steaming valleys and surreal landscapes

Kerlingarfjöll – Steaming valleys and surreal landscapes

The hot spring valley of Hveradalir in the Kerlingarfjöll mountains is something out of this world. Breathtaking views unfold into a steaming geothermal valley padded with snowfields clinging to the slopes, and shapes and colours so magnificient that you wonder if it’s even real. It’s like you’ve stepped into a surrealistic painting. Find out how to get to this otherworldly landscape and hike around the steaming valleys in the Icelandic highlands.