My Top Five Fabulous Volcanoes

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In my book, volcanos are Mother Nature’s most awe-inspiring and deadly spectacle, when a rupture in the earth’s crust allows molten magma, gases and ash to blast out into the atmosphere, often several miles high before cascading to ground, causing untold devastation.

Now clearly I wouldn’t recommend going anywhere near one of the things if there was even the slightest chance of an eruption, but there are many dormant or only mildly active volcanos around which are easily accessed. Climbing to the summit and peering into the crater is an incredible experience, as though you’re looking into the earth’s core.

And it’s not just for the thrills either. Holidaying among volcanos offers other benefits, for example to your health. It’s often said that the mud around the Volcano Solfatara in Pozzuoli, Italy, contains minerals and salts that can help with all kinds of skin and breathing conditions. It stinks around there, true, because of all the sulphur, but a lot of people visit anyway every year, holding their noses as they bathe in warm natural mud baths.

History-buffs also can get a lot out of it. No visit to the devastated town of Pompeii is complete without a walk up the side of Vesuvius, the volcano that destroyed it in 79AD, to understand the fear and confusion it must have caused the poor local people.

If you like the sound of getting close to a volcano on your holidays, here are some suggestions for where you’ll find the most interesting ones.

Vesuvius, Italy

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