Ten volcanoes you can visit with Discover the World Education

Thursday, 10th August 2023

Destination Specialist


Earth’s volcanoes come in lots of different shapes and sizes, from imposing stratovolcanoes (a volcano built up of alternate layers of lava and ash) which loom menacingly over cities, like Mount Vesuvius next to Naples. Or the more humble but very active subglacial volcanoes (or glaciovolcanoes), like Iceland’s Bardarbunga, which smoulder happily away over millennia.

Terrifying when they erupt with a bang, and sometimes annoying when they cause flights and transport to close down (looking at you Eyjafjallajokull), these incredibly powerful forces of nature are mesmerising to watch and demand to be monitored closely.

Our list of ten volcanoes across the globe are places you can visit with Discover the World Education, from the jungles of Costa Rica to the bubbling mud pools of the Aeolian Islands.

azores capelinhos volcano

Capelinhos in the Azores is a dormant monogenetic volcano, which rises just 501 metres, making it one of the lowest in our list. The iconic lighthouse on the right of the image is constructed from volcanic basalt, and was abandoned in 1957 when the volcano last erupted.

costa rica arenal volcano and rainforest

The mighty Arenal in Costa Rica is an active Andesitic stratovolcano. Its summit is 1633 metres above sea-level and it last erupted in 2010, but was in constant flow for 43 years previous to that. In the massive 1968 eruption, the western side of the mountain was destroyed entirely.

iceland bardarbunga volcano

Iceland’s Bardarbunga is an active subglacial stratovolcano, which somewhat usually sits on a constructive plate boundary, underneath Vatnajokull. This amazing picture was taken in 2014, when Bardarbunga last erupted, with the added bonus of the Aurora Borealis glowing above.

new zealand taranaki christopher

Mount Taranaki in New Zealand is an active but quiescent stratovolcano whose peak at 2518 metres is one of the most symmetrical volcano cones in the world. Mount Taranaki hasn’t erupted since 1854, but research shows it has had a major eruption every 500 years.

italy sicily mt etna lava eruption istock

According to Greek mythology, the active stratovolcano Mount Etna, is the burial place for the monster Typhon, killed by the god Zeus, and it is his wrath which causes the fiery eruptions. At 3329 metres, Mt Etna has the highest peak in our list, and last erupted in March 2017.

azores sete cidades volcano

Sat underneath a lake, the dormant polygenetic (stratovolcano, pyroclastic and caldera) volcano called the Sete Cidades Massif on the island of Sao Miguel in the Azores, is a very beautiful place. It hasn’t erupted since 1500, and the two lakes are different colours (blue and green) caused by variations in volcanic minerals.

iceland eyjafjallajokull volcano

Eyjafjallajokull is an active subglacial stratovolcano which sits on a constructive plate boundary. When it last erupted in 2010, caused massive problems for airlines in the northern hemisphere. It however, marked the point at which Iceland’s tourism boom commenced – a fiery kick start.

italy naples vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius, which sits adjacent to Italy’s third largest city Naples, is a dormant somma-stratovolcano. Made famous for its devastation of Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79AD, Vesuvius has three million people living on its flanks – strangely not deterred by the hulking monster on their doorstep.

new zealand tongariro volcano

Mount Tongariro in New Zealand is an active compound stratovolcano which consists of at least 12 cones, at its highest point it is 1978 metres. Its last major eruption was in 2012, which sent blocks one metre wide streaming into the air and an ash cloud 6.1 kilometres into the atmosphere.

iceland hekla volcano

Hekla, one of Iceland’s many active stratovolcanoes last erupted in 2000, but in the middle ages it was called ‘The Gateway to Hell’ due to the number of times it blasted forth fire and brimstone. This legend lasted well into the 19th century, when witches were said to gather at its summit during Easter.

There are many volcanoes around the world, but how many of these volcanoes have you seen on this list? Please send us your images from Iceland, Italy, the Azores and beyond.

If you would like to find out more about taking a volcanic trip with discover the world education, then please get in touch.

Popular blog posts

airport students italy naples 2
10 Air Travel Tips For Effortless School Trips

We asked former teachers and current group tour leaders for their advice on how to make your journey as smooth as possible, from Departures to Arrivals.

Thursday, 10th August 2023

Read more
edu hraunfossar logo still video
Experience Iceland – Classroom Ideas

How to use our new GIS video map - GIS Iceland

Thursday, 10th August 2023

Read more
Kirkjufell summer
Why You Should Visit West Iceland

A day or two in the West fits in nicely to a 5 day itinerary including the Golden Circle highlights so you don’t have to choose between them.

Thursday, 10th August 2023

Read more