If BBC2’s Volcano Live programme (Monday 9 July, 8.00 pm), broadcast live from Kilauea on Hawaii, the world’s most active volcano, has whetted your appetite for all things volcanic, try some volcanic experiences a little closer to home.
The Aeolian island of Vulcano is just about as volcanic as an island can be. Although the island’s volcano is currently dormant, it’s a great place to experience the bubbling mudbaths, steaming fumaroles and hot springs that are characteristic of volcanic islands.
You can climb to the crater at Fossa di Vulcano for spectacular sea-views or take a boat trip to nearby Stromboli which has small explosive eruptions every 20-30 minutes, making it one of the world's most active volcanoes.
Stay at the very stylish Therasia Resort, with its two large infinity pools and a wonderfully luxurious spa centre, for the ultimate escape.
Bay of Naples, Italy
The region around Naples is also rich in volcanic interest and history. Visit Pompeii and Herculaneum, both buried by Vesuvius, then explore the impressive volcanic cliffs of the Phlegrean Fields and the Averno volcanic lake.
Stay at the Hotel Decumani de Charme, the former residence of the last Archbishop of Naples in the heart of the city’s old centre.
Although there’s been no eruption on Ischia since 1301, you can visit several steaming geysers and natural hot springs, such as at the Maronti beach. We love Ischia for its ‘greenness’ but its thermal springs and great choice of spas all add to the island’s appeal.
Stay at the Garden Villas Resort, a 2-minute walk from the Negombo Thermal Gardens or, for a more indulgent trip, at the Mezzatorre Resort & Spa, where you can enjoy leisure poolside massages, treatments in the health spa and beauty centre and dips in the indoor thermal pool.
Europe’s largest volcano and one of Sicily’s greatest natural attractions, Mount Etna is fascinating on all levels. Breathtaking summer hikes across lunar landscapes, early evening sunset tours, scenic drives through mountain villages and jeep safaris with short hikes can all be arranged. A wine tour of the area, stopping off at a selection of wineries on the volcano’s lower slopes, is also highly recommended.
Villa Carlotta and Villa Angela are just two of our hotel options in nearby Taormina.
Stromboli and Salina
Explore more volcanic activity on the second largest Aeolian island, Salina, where you can hike up to the volcanic cone of Monte Fossa delle Felci and Monte dei Porri, the two highest peaks in the Aeolian archipelago. Gaze out over the smoking island of Stromboli, Europe’s only permanently active volcano, then hop on a ferry and climb to the volcano’s summit for an awesome show.
The Hotel Principe di Salina is a hideaway boutique hotel with picture postcard views of Stromboli.