Kegeltour
© Pete Gamlen

On the edge

  • TEXT KAROLA KOSTEDE
  • ILLUSTRATION PETE GAMLEN

Volcanoes are a popular tourist attraction, and you can even get quite close to many of them. A tour of five volcanoes in cool, warm and hot climates – extinct, dormant and active ones included!

 

Kegeltour
© Pete Gamlen
Kegeltour
© Pete Gamlen

A FAMILY AFFAIR


Location: Iceland
Volcano: Thríhnúkagígur
Difficulty: easy

Thríhnúkagígur, literally “three peaks crater,” is a ­dormant volcano about 45 minutes’ drive from Reykjavík. From May to October, adults and children aged 12 and up can descend into a magma chamber 120 meters below ground
to admire its red and purple, golden and amber walls in chilly, damp temperatures of only 6° C. Just as well that Thríhnúkagígur was last active 4000 years ago.
insidethevolcano.com


 

Kegeltour
© Pete Gamlen

ITALIAN TRIUMVIRATE


Location: Italy
Volcanoes: Vesuvius, Vulcano and Etna
Difficulty: for good hikers

The smell of the sulfurous fumes rising from Vulcano, where Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, was said to have his forge, is over-whelming. But you can climb Vulcano, as you can the 1281-meter crater of Mount Vesuvius. Walking tours led by trained mountain guides will take you there and also up Mount Etna, which is over 3000 meters high.
wikinger-reisen.de


 

Kegeltour
© Pete Gamlen

SPECTACULAR SKIING


Location: Russia
Volcanoes: approx. 160
Difficulty: advanced

Follow in the tracks of 007 and weave down the slopes toward your next drink: On Kamchatka Peninsula, about eight hours by plane from Moscow, you can ski on a huge volcanic field 3000 meters above sea level. Ice, snow and stunning views are guaranteed. Advisable only for skiers able to handle a very steep, 2000-meter descent.
alpintravel.ch

Kegeltour
© Pete Gamlen

UNDERWATER EXPLORATION


Location: Spain
Volcanoes: San Juan and Teneguía
Difficulty: only for divers

In 1949, San Juan erupted, sending fiery-red lava flowing into the sea off La Palma. Teneguía followed suit in 1971. The lava hardened in the roughly 20° C water, forming arches, steep walls of basalt and other bizarre formations. You can explore the grottoes on a guided dive  – with the occasional emerald wrasse as your companion.
lapalma-diving.com


 

Kegeltour
© Pete Gamlen

SULFUR AND SALT


Location: Ethiopia
Volcanoes: Dallol and Erta Alé
Difficulty: challenging

Lurid green and sulfur-yellow acid ponds bubble in the Dallol hydrothermal field. Guided tours of what’s been called the hottest place on earth ensure that everyone does actually come back from this “place of no return.” From the 613-meter-tall ridge of the Erta Alé crater nearby, you look down into a lava lake where orange gas bubbles burst.
nature-discovery-tours.com