Ever since our earliest days of science class, volcanoes have had a special fascination. We know they explode, send liquid rock in mass quantities, and shape the world. But, they’re often overlooked as incredible hiking spots. Active or not, they can provide some incredible scenery.
One thing to note is that all the volcanoes on this list are still active. So, you’ll probably have some fascinating chances to see nature changing before your eyes, but don’t forget to exercise some caution. Check local reports to learn about safe areas and recent eruption patterns, and be sure to dress in appropriate clothing to protect yourself from sudden encounters with hot areas.
This volcano first erupted around 23,000 years ago, but the most recent eruption peaked in 2010. This 8,373-foot volcano is located within Pacaya National Park in central Guatemala, and it’s a complex volcano which means it has more than one eruption point. In other words, you can technically climb more than one volcano in one attempt. But, wear thick shoes because there are still plenty of hot spots.
Remember the volcano that disrupted European flights in 2010? That was this one. It has a little twist that most volcanoes don’t, because it’s completely covered by an ice cap. The frozen matter covering it makes the trek a little bit more difficult, but it opens up opportunities for volcano skiing if you’re in the mood.
Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park
This National Park was established in 1916 to protect two major volcanoes on the Island of Hawaiʻi (also referred to as the Big Island). There are over 150 miles of hiking trails that allow you to explore vast areas around the volcanoes. If you’re lucky, you may even get to see the reaction caused by magma falling into the sea.
Mount Etna, Sicily
The largest active volcano in Europe doesn’t have a constant summit height because it changes too often. In Greek Mythology, Zeus imprisoned the monster Typhon under this volcano, and you can even peek into the steaming top to have a look for him. Plus, there is a cable car covering part of the peak so you can try something a little bit different.
Mount Tohivea, Moorea, French Polynesia
Not all vacations to tropical islands have to be limited to relaxing with a paperback. In French Polynesia, you can attempt to climb the stunning Mount Tohivea from which you can see multiple bays and peninsulas. It will make you feel like a daring adventurer to be closing in on the steaming peak while watching people sit on the beach.