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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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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