Teide Volcano, Tenerife Mount Teide, on the island of Tenerife, has lain dormant for a long time now, but it’s not technically extinct. It’s biggest of the Canary Islands volcanoes, and the highest mountain in Spain, and you can either walk up it under your own steam, or take the cable car. Nothing will prepare you for watching the sunrise from its peak, or for its incredible night sky.
A smoking Mount Etna above the city of Catania, Italy The extremely active Mount Etna is on the island of Sicily, in Italy. As with many volcanoes in the world, it‘s buried layers upon layers of myth and legend, and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s one of Sicily’s main tourist attractions, with people accessing the Sapienza Refuge ski area. From there, a cableway takes you up to 2500 m, from where you can reach the crater area, up at 2920 m.
Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote Timanfaya National Park is a landscape the likes of which you’ll have never seen before. Walking here is like being on the moon. It’s on the volcanic island of Lanzarote, which will blow your mind every time you turn a corner.
Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica Moving west across the Atlantic Ocean from the Canary Islands to Costa Rica, volcano lovers will adore the Arenal Volcano. Unlike most of the volcanoes in the world mentioned so far, this one is surrounded by lush, green jungle. It sits in Arenal Volcano National Park, and there are hikes to be discovered, and hot springs to soak in Paradise.
The ruins of Pompeii, below Mount Vesuvius, Italy Mount Vesuvius, not far from the Italian city of Naples, is the only active volcano in mainland Europe. Like its cousin Etna, on the island of Sicily, it’s the stuff of myths and legends, particularly thanks to the eruption that entirely buried the city of Pompeii in 79 AD. It hasn’t erupted since 1944, and history-loving tourists flock to the ruins of Pompeii.
Kilimanjaro, Kenya Have you ever dreamed of scaling the heights of the legendary Kilimanjaro? Hiking to the summit, at 5895 m, is a huge personal challenge that thousands of people take on every year. They usually combine summiting this dormant volcano with exploring the stunning surrounding area with its incredible wildlife.
The Northern Lights over Kirkjufell Mountain, Iceland Iceland is one of the most volcanic places on earth, and Kirkjufell mountain, standing at just 463 m high, is a dwarf compared to many of the volcanoes in the world on this list. It’s small but perfectly formed, symmetrical and free-standing, and a magnet for photographers and adventurers.
Mount Fuji, Japan Everyone can instinctively recognise the profile of Mount Fuji when they see it. It’s Japan’s highest mountain, only about 100 km from Tokyo. It’s one of three sacred mountains in Japan, and it’s relatively easy to hike to the summit. See Mount Fuji with your own eyes on a day trip from Tokyo.
Popocatépetl, Mexico This snow-capped, active volcano is only 70 km from Mexico City, and has been erupting fairly regularly since it broke a long-dormant phase in 1994. Its name means ‘Smoking Mountain’ in the Nahuatl language. Before it started erupting, it was a popular, but tough hike, but it’s been off-limits, for good reason, since 1994. If it opens up again, it’s well worth making the trip.
Taranaki volcano, New Zealand The 2158-m-high Taranaki volcano was first scaled in 1839, and last erupted in 1854. The name means ‘shining peak’ in Maori, a reference to the snow that covers the upper slopes during the winter months. One of New Zealand’s ski fields can be found here. The 17 km to climb the volcano is one of the toughest day hikes on the North Island, but it’s worth it.