Take three: Active volcano tours around the world

volcano tours, hawaii island volcanoes, big island volcanoes, hawaii volcano holidaysMagma stream into ocean (Big Island, Hawaii). HTA/Tor Johnson

Ever fancied getting up close and personal with a volcano? Now's your chance!

There are around 1,500 active (ie,erupting or likely to erupt) volcanoes on earth, and many of the world's finest examples are just waiting for adventurous types to explore them. Yes, Volcano tours areall the rage these days.

A series of new volcano trails has just been created on the island of Tenerife, offering an abundance of opportunities for hikers to enjoy the breathtaking volcanic landscapes. The self-guided walks cover the island's five major volcanic areas.

volcano tours tenerife, tenerife volcanoes, cueva del vientoCueva del Viento. Tenerife Tourism Corporation

With its unique beauty, over 100 craters, Mount Teide on Tenerife is spectacular. As Spain's highest point, it has a wealth of outdoor adventures for enthusiasts. Hike along the trails as you learn about the lava flows, fly in a hang glider to take in the views of the volcanoes from above and head underground at the Cueva del Viento (adults: 15.30; children: €5.10), one of the world's largest volcanic tubes, which stretches 17 miles.

Hawaii is one of the best places to explore active volcanoes. Head straight for the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to see one of the world's most active volcanoes, Kilauea. You'll find 150 miles of hiking trails through volcanic craters in the massive park, a walk-in lava tube and mysterious petroglyphs. It's the place to be wowed and Kilauea, often referred to as the world's only drive-in volcano, produces 25,000 to 650,000 cubic yards of lava per day - imagine the photo opps!

active volcano tours, volcano holidays, excursions to volcanoes, hawaii volcanoes, haleakalaHaleakala, Maui. Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) Ron Garnett

If you're looking to make your excursions to Hawaii's volcanoes a once in a lifetime experience, opt for one of the volcano helicopter tours where you can see the fiery volcanic explosions of Kilauea from the sky. They're not cheap but if you're looking to splurge on one thing during your trip to Hawaii, a helicopter ride is the way to do it!

Paradise Helicopters (from $205.20) offers various volcano tours where you can see volcanoes and waterfalls, feel the heat with the doors off and even land in the valley.

Or you could watch the spewing lava touching the sea on a Big island volcano boat tour. Lava Ocean Adventures offers you a front-row seat to view the red hot lava ($175 per adult), plus see the red rivers of lava, volcanic steam explosions and erupting lava bombs.

volcano tours tenerife, volcano in tenerife, what to do in tenerife, canary islands volcanoesNew volcano trails in Tenerife. Tenerife Tourism Corporation

In Iceland, a visit to the source of the 2010 air travel chaos, Eyjafjallajokull, is a must. The famous ice cap covers the caldera of a volcano and is 1,666 metres in height. The volcano has erupted frequently since the Ice Age and it is one of 35 active volcanoes in Iceland.

There are specialised tours arranged on the glacier for skiing, hiking and super-jeep trips but you should never venture onto the glacier without a guide. Arctic Adventures offers 4x4 volcano tours (226.90 per person) combined with glacier hiking to the top of Eyjafjallajokull.

active volcano tours, Eyjafjallajokull, volcanic explosions, icelandic holidays, the eruption of eyjafjallajokullEyjafjallajokull, Iceland. Getty

Alternatively, intrepid travellers can go deep into the dormant Thrihnukagigur volcano, located between Reykjavik and the Golden Circle area. The Inside the Volcano tour (£180 per person), available during the summer months, is a unique activity which consists of a 50-minute hike to reach the crater and a 120-metre decent to the bottom of the crater in an open cable lift.

If you can't get enough of Iceland's fascinating volcanoes and want to relive the wonder of Eyjafjallajokull, you should visit Iceland Erupts (adults: £4; children: free), a family-run exhibition which gives you a personal look at what it's like to have a volcano at your back door!

iceland volcano tours, volcano tours, visit a volcano, guided tour icelandInside the Volcano, Iceland. K.Maack

The visitor centre opened on 14 April 2011 - exactly one year after the start of the Eyjafjallajokull eruption - and features the dramatic history of volcanism in Iceland, dramatic posters and a short film about the natural event.

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Take three: Active volcano tours around the world

Bolivia is the highest, most isolated and most rugged nation of South America - so it's a brilliant choice for thrill-seekers. Take a 14-night tour that begins in the bustling capital, La Paz, then embarks on a four-night four-wheel drive tour of the world’s largest salt flat, the Salar de Uyuni, which is 10582 square kilometres (4086square miles) before visiting the world’s highest city, Potosi, sitting at an altitude of 4090 metres above sea level. You'll then head to the beautiful colonial town of Sucre and end the tour with five days in the jungle and rainforest. Visit encounterstravel.com

Never mind Alton Towers, you'll find the fastest roller coaster in the world, the Formula Rossa, at the Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. The world’s largest indoor theme park, it was created around the classic double-curve body shell design of a Ferrari car. As well as the  Formula Rossa, which powers to 240 kmh in less than five seconds, the park also features over 20 thrilling rides and attractions. Visit ferrariworldabudhabi.com

Take a sailing trip on Lake Titicaca, the highest in the world, where you can also visit the native Uros people, who live on reed islands floating on the water. As well as boat trips, you can give kayaking, and mountain biking a go, and, while you're in Peru, it would be scandalous to miss out on the most spectacular ancient ruins in the world, Machu Picchu, ancient home of the famous Incas. Visit adventuretemples.com

Got a head for heights? You'll need one for the world's highest bungee jump at Macau Tower, which takes you on a free fall at a speed of up to 200kmph from a height of 233 metres. You'll experience a four to five second freefall before stretching the 50 metre bungee cord nearly four times its unloaded length and rebounding at approximately 30 metres above the ground. Thanks to a  guide cable system, you'll safely experience a few rebounds before slowly landing onto a specially designed airbag below. We can feel our nerves jangling already… Visit macautower.com

At the heart of Mongolia's Altai Tavan Bogd (Five Holy Peaks), Mount Khuiten is one of the least accessible mountains on earth. This massif lies on the border with both Russia and China, 2000 kilometres (1250 miles) west of the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. After sightseeing in Ulaanbaatar and enjoying a day's preparatory trekking in the nearby Bogdkhan National Park, take a journey to the remote Kazakh province of Bayan Olgii. Starting out with the straightforward trek to the summit of Malchin (4037m / 13,245ft), you'll get dramatic views of the Potaniin Glacier and of your subsequent climbing objectives; the steep and challenging Mount Khuiten (4374m / 14,350ft) and the easier, non-technical snow dome of Nairandal (4082m / 13,392ft). Visit keadventure.com

Saas-Fee in Switzerland is set in a spectacular location surrounded by the highest mountains in the Swiss Alps and is one of the world's most beautiful ski resorts. But its claim to fame is that it's home to the world’s highest revolving restaurant on the mountain at Mittelallalin. Set at a spectacular 3,500m, you can experience a different magnificent view with starters, main and dessert as the restaurant revolves 360 degrees. You can choose anything from the classic steaming cheese fondues to the fabulous ‘Roesti’ potato dishes served with local meats, washed down with excellent white, rose and red local wines. Visit inghams.co.uk

Seeking the ultimate thrill but don't want to do it on your own? Try the world's highest tandem skydive in Orlando - and share the terror! Orlando Skydiving or Skydive Space Centre offers the jump, which drops you a stomach-churning 18,000 feet (5,486 metres), and offers views over the Atlantic Ocean and the Kennedy Space Centre. See visitorlando.com

This unusual adventure holiday involves cycling over the Indian Himalayas to the Ladakhi capital of Leh, visiting Buddhist monasteries as you go, as well as whitewater rafting on the River Indus. Then, after a necessary acclimatisation process, take on the challenging ascent to (and speedy descent from) the Khardung La, which is the world's highest road pass, at 5380 metres. Leaving Leh, this giant rollercoaster ride to Manali follows what is unquestionably one of the greatest mountain roads on the planet. The Leh to Manali highway crosses the main Himalaya Range by a series of very high passes, including the Taglang La (5280m), the second highest road pass in the world. Visit keadventure.com

Take a trip on the highest cable car in the world, located in Kashmir. The lift provides the easiest way to reach one of the highest points on Earth without a rope! The Gulmarg Gondola is Asia's highest and longest cable car project. The two-stage ropeway ferries about 600 people per hour to and from Kongdoori Mountain, a shoulder of nearby Afarwat Peak (4,200m (13,780ft)). The ropeway project is a joint venture of the Jammu and Kashmir government and French firm Pomagalski. The first stage transfers from the Gulmarg resort at 2,600m (8,530ft) to Kongdoori Station in the bowl-shaped Kongdori valley. The second stage of the ropeway, which has 36 cabins and 18 towers, takes skiers to a height of 3,747m (12,293ft) on Kongdoori Mountain, a shoulder of nearby Afarwat Peak (4,200m (13,780ft)). Visit wildfrontiers.co.uk

At a height of 918ft, a length of 1.2 miles, and a speed of up to 100mph, the Unreal Zip 200 experience at South Africa's Sun City resort is the fastest, longest and highest zip line in the world. The extreme adventure is said to be more like a "flying" feeling than a "falling" one. Sun City is a tourist mecca, and can be three hours from Johannesburg, near the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. Visit 2by2holidays.co.uk


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