Lava and black beaches. 5 destinations for a volcanic holiday
Guides | 13.03.2019
Where, if not on volcanic land, can you get any closer to the elements? If you are tired of the same old beaches, why not go for a walk on black sands and admire the out of this world landscapes. We're going to tell you the best places where you can do this.
Tenerife, Canary Islands
The Canary Islands are one of the few places where almost everything is made for travellers – you can come here at any time of the year. Tenerife is the largest of the islands. Named after the volcano Teide. Its height is 3,718 m above sea level and is the highest point in Spain. Thanks to Teide, the island has a diverse nature: beaches and forests side by side with Martian volcanic views and black sand beaches. In Tenerife, you can go to the mountains, go whale watching, go surfing, climb up the volcano and many more interesting things.
Hiking up a volcano. Although it is always summer in Tenerife, it can be problematic to climb Teide in winter due to the wind or the cable car not working. Going up the Teide is hardly an ascent. You can get to the cable car station by car, and then pay 27 euros and peacefully go climb up the mountain in the cabin. If you are scared of heights, it is worth considering in advance whether or not you'll be able to stand it. For those who like to walk a lot or prefer to slowly get used to the height, you can climb the mountain on your own two feet. The path will take roughly a day.

To climb to the crater, you need a special permit and passport. If you want to reserve your opportunity to climb the volcano, you can do so online at reservasparquesnacionales.es. There we've collected all the places where you need a pass. Select the Teide volcano, date and register.
Beaches.There are a lot of them in Tenerife. In the north-east of the island, two of the most popular are Playa de Benijo and Playa del Roque de las Bodegas. Even on the island there is a whole complex of beaches such as Playa Jardín, which consists of three volcanic coasts: Playa Jardín, Playa Chica Beach, Punta Brava Beach.
New Zealand
Even if you have never watched the Lord of the Rings saga, you have probably heard stories about the nature of New Zealand. Such landscapes just could not do without volcanic views. Fans of extreme recreation come here. In this sense, you've got pretty much almost everything: bungee jumping, buggies, skydiving and much more. Climbing up the volcano, too, can be easily attributed to extreme activities. The black beaches here are so beautiful that they are used as locations for filming. Just watch the "Lord of the Rings" before the trip and you'll get the idea.
Hiking up a volcano. Mount Ngauruhoe is the famous volcano tourists love to climb. In the films based on Tolkien's books, this volcano was the centre of Mordor, the so-called 'Mount Doom', where the Hobbits brought the ring. If you're able to climb to the summit of a volcano on Tenerife, here you'll need to really prepare yourself. Take care of your equipment and be ready for a challenging adventure. The Tongariro Crossing track, at a length of 19km, is not an easy trail for everyone to follow, especially as not type of transport operates here. The journey itself takes about four hours, and then the same on the way back.
Beaches. Karekare beach became popular when it appeared in the film "The Piano" in 1993. The large coastline with black volcanic sand plus cloudy weather made the arrival scene of The Piano very melancholic indeed. But it is really nice here, especially in good weather. All around there are stunning views with rocks, cliffs and green rolling hills. Not far from the beach there is a waterfall, Karekare Falls, which is also worth walking to.
Hawaiian Islands, United States
The islands are constantly developing due to volcanic activity. Hawaii is the name of the largest island of the archipelago, its area is 2 times bigger than the others. The largest island became famous for the recent eruption of the planet's most active volcano, Kīlauea. However, there are still many dormant volcanoes on the island. Visitors can climb them and admire the unique landscapes. Of course, there are also a lot of black sand beaches here.
Hiking up a volcano. Mauna Kea is the highest (4,205 m) volcano in Hawaii. Tourists climb up here not only for the great feeling that you've just climbed a volcano, but also to look through telescopes. At the top of the volcano is the Cook Observatory with huge telescopes reaching a huge eight-stories high. Because of the convenient location here, you'll see clear skies almost all year round, allowing you to freely observe space. You can even come here with your telescope during the day to look at the stars.
Beaches. In Hawaii there are both small hidden beaches, and rather large, the largest – Punaluu. You won't be able to swim here due to the cold water. But the beach itself is very beautiful thanks to the black coast, which contrasts with green palm trees. Also here you can see the endangered Hawksbill sea turtles. Touching them is prohibited, as well as any other protected animals.
Iceland
The famous landscapes of Iceland look so unusual in many ways due to the volcanic activity of the island. There are several black beaches; not only can you climb the volcanoes, but also descend into the vent!
Hiking up a volcano. Hvannadalshnúkur is the highest point of Iceland. It's considered to be a rather difficult climb. It's not impossible, of course, but it's definitely not a walk in the park. If you have experience climbing, we advise you to climb to the top to admire the gorges and Skaftafell park from up high. It is better to go in a group with a guide.
Thrihnukagigur Magma Chamber is of one the craziest places in the country.
You can walk around the volcano and then descend into the crater in an open elevator 120 meters down to the bottom of the magma chamber. Sounds like a lifetime experience isn't it? Hike to the volcano is pretty easy too. No knowledge of hiking is required.
Beaches. There are several black beaches in Iceland, and all of them differ greatly from each other in their landscapes. We advise you to visit them all.
Stokness Beach. A volcanic beach with a great view of the epic cliffs of Vestrahorn and small grassy islands standing out on the black sand. A popular place among photographers who come to Iceland from around the world.
Reynisfjara beach. The most famous beach in Iceland is located near the village of Vík í Mýrdal. We advise you to walk by the water, and then to go up the cliffs. The observation deck near to Dyrhólaey lighthouse overlooks the coastline of the beach, which stretches out beyond the horizon.
Jökulsárlón beach icebergs. The glacial lagoon and Jökulsárlón beach, often appear on the list of places to be visited. Getting here is easy, the lagoon is located on Iceland's ring road.
Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia
Kamchatka is often called the 'Russian Iceland'. The peninsula itself is one of the most volcanically active places on the planet. There are about 300 extinct volcanoes and 28 active ones. Visitors go to Kamchatka to climb volcanoes, look at animals and eat fresh seafood. Some people call Kamchatka the land of bears – and you'll more than likely often come across them. While there are very few people on the peninsular, tourists come here to be alone with pristine nature.
Hiking up a volcano. A lot come to climb the volvanoes of Kamchatka. Several of them are located next to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the so-called "Home" volcanoes. The Home group of volcanoes includes Kozelsky, Avachinsky, Koryaksky, Arik and Aag.
People mainly climb Kozelsky, Koryaksky and Avachinsky. In the summer tourists climb on foot, and in the spring they organise a helicopter transfer to the summit, in order to later descend from one of the volcanoes on a snowboard or skis. Tours depart from the city and take only a day. Therefore, if you do not know which volcanoes to climb, start with the so-called 'Home' volcanoes.
Beaches. There are several volcanic beaches in Kamchatka, but the most famous is Khalaktyrsky. It is often compared to Icelandic Reynisfjar. The coastline stretches for 30 kilometres and is limited to the Khalaktrika and Nalycheva rivers. The Pacific Ocean is cold here, so swimming is not going to be an option. But you can try surfing in a thick diving suit. There are two surfing schools on Halaktyrsky beach.
Few tourists know, but on Mayachny Cape there is also a small beach with black sand. It is very different from Halaktyrsky. Small and surrounded by green rocks with very little chance of bumping into anyone at all. Especially if you arrive at dawn.
Plan your trip to the volcanoes in advance. Many places are in protected areas and a pass is needed there. Therefore information about these places should be collected long before the trip in order to know exactly what to expect. But relaxing in places of volcanic activity can be a great idea for a unique adventure.
Read more
More articles