Dotted across Europe are a significant number of active volcanoes that have significantly impacted the continent’s landscape. Some of the most active are spread across Iceland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Norway.
Residents of Sicily are now accustomed to living under the threat of volcanic eruption. The occasional roar from this ancient volcano is a sign that the glowing lava and mass of hot rock erupting from the earth in a spectacle of sheer power presents both risk and fascination. Lava fountains can shoot up to 4 meters upwards at times destroying entire cities and villages.
Mount Etna in Sicily is one of the most scenic spots in Italy. It holds the crown as Europe's most active volcano. In a period of five weeks around March 2021, it erupted a record 16 times. The annual eruption figures are over 200.
For the longest time under record, the mountain has been erupting since the times of ancient Rome and this is reflected in its surrounding areas which resemble the surface of the moon. Evident are huge craters and black boulders scaring the surface. At 3,300 meters mount Etna is currently the tallest active volcano in Europe.
Stromboli is arguably the most active volcano in Europe, earning the nickname ‘lighthouse of the Mediterranean’. The volcano on the tiny island of Stromboli has claimed a life as recently as 2019 after two powerful explosions occurred. Its active status draws many tourists and hikers who get a thrill out of dangerous tasks. This mountain gained fame after a 1950 movie with a similar name starring Ingrid Bergman.
Italy’s Mount Vesuvius is not only an unpredictable active volcano but also regarded as the most dangerous. Three million people reside close to the mountain with 600,000 in an area regarded to be of extreme danger. The mountain left a historical mark after a 79DD eruption that destroyed Pompeii and other surrounding ancient Roman cities. Located on the gulf of Pompeii and other surrounding ancient Roman cities. Located on the gulf of Pompeii, the mountain is a stratovolcano. Located in Campania, Italy Vesuvius towers 4,203 feet and last erupted in March 1944. It is believed this active volcano sits atop an extremely deep layer of magma stretching 154 miles beneath the earth. This is an indication that it can easily erupt anytime, with some geologists believing it is long overdue for the next eruption.
The Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland is notoriously known for reckless volcanic activity. Geldingadalir is the newest of 130 volcanoes dotting Iceland. The first volcanic activity on the Reykjanes peninsula began in the 13th century. It erupted again in early 2021, maintained stability for a month before spewing lava shot into the sky at the start of May. Experts believe the eruption is a starting of a new period for the region.
Teide, Canary Islands
Mount Teide is the third highest and voluminous mountain in the world after Hawaii’s Mount Loa and Mauna Kea. It is not only the highest peak in the canary islands but the whole of Spain. Its formation began 170,000 years ago after the collapse of a volcanic edifice that was much larger than the one standing today. This was how the Las Cañadas caldera was formed.