A volcano is an opening or rupture in the Earth’s crust. It is through this opening that lava, volcanic ash, and gases will escape. A volcanic eruption is a splendid sight when viewed from a distance. Many volcanoes have been declared inactive but there are ones that will still erupt from time to time.
For geologists and would-be geologists to make their travel plans, we shall examine a few of the world’s most famous volcanoes.
Mt. Etna (Sicily, Italy)
Standing at 3,350m tall, Mt. Etna is the easiest of the active volcanoes to visit for UK residents, who do not have any active volcanoes to explore of their own. It can be found on the eastern coast of Sicily and accessed via the Catania airport.
It makes a fascinating day trip to tag onto a holiday to Taomina. This is a coastal town that boasts plenty of activity. Not that there is any to beat the sight of a volcanic reaction as the magma rises to the top and this glowing molten lava is pushed out.
To give a few details of what your day trip to the volcano will be like, you should prepare for something of an excursion involving local buses that will take you to Etna’s Refugio Sapienza, a height of 200m above sea level. Then, from this point, you can either hike for the remaining distance or take the cable car and jeep. Most people will opt for the latter.
It would seem that Italy is the place to discover volcanoes because we now have Vesuvius to check out. This volcano is 1,281m in height and is considered to be an iconic landmark of Naples in southern Italy.
Vesuvius is, of course, famous for its story of Pompeii. Entire Roman cities were engulfed by its lava and buried in AD 79. Because of its historical interest, Vesuvius has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Italy’s main attractions for tourists to visit.
It is one of the eeriest experiences to witness, looking down into the crater’s rim, that is still releasing gases.
So, is it easy to get to? It is indeed. As easy as a 30 to 40-minute walk from where you are dropped off by either bus or taxi.
Moving to an entirely different location now, we have Kilauea, which stands at 1,247m and can be found in the Hawaiian Islands.
A highly active shield volcano, sitting on the southern shores of the island, Kilauea is continually erupting and spewing out its lava. This makes it one to explore to see this kind of sight. There are options to see the lava via boat, on foot, or from a helicopter. Whichever way you feel comfortable with. It is nice to have all these different choices to experience a volcanic eruption. Imagine the kinds of photographs that you could capture?
Muna Loa (Hawaii)
If you are looking for our planet’s largest volcano, then it is Muna Loa in Hawaii. It is 4,169m above sea level and 5,000m below it, making it higher than Everest. Since 1843, it has erupted no less than 33 times. So, that now makes two volcanoes in Italy and two in Hawaii worth a visit.
So, a selection of the world’s best volcanoes for you to consider visiting. There is nothing like getting up close and personal with a volcano. When we think of their destructive capabilities we cannot fail to be in awe of them. The word volcano comes from the word “Vulcan”, who was the Roman God of fire. Active volcanoes can certainly offer plenty of that. You would not want to get too close, as with any fire, because the lava can reach temperatures of 1,250 degrees Celsius. Volcanoes make for a spectacular sight to view from a distance, though.
Not all volcanoes can currently be explored. That is until future technology is capable of taking mankind there. We are, of course, talking about the volcano on the planet Mars. This is called Olympus Mons. But then, why would we need to visit it? There are around 1,500 active volcanoes around the world to see. These are primarily found in countries that have Pacific Ocean coastlines, as a travel guide to finding them.