It is never a great idea to watch a disaster film before planning your next trip in the foothill to the mouth of a volcano for obvious reasons. But if given the chance, never pass up the opportunity, as volcanic travels offer an amazing view, a unique experience, and a lovely beauty of Earth's natural tour-de-force on so many levels. Here are some of them.
It might be quite a ways off, but Japan's Mount Aso in Kyushu is as soothing as it is terrifying. Five summits surround this Japanese volcanic offering to travelers -- and it is still active. The local government is consistently monitoring the flow of lava from the mountain. While close-up climbs into the summit are not allowed due to the lava flow, travelers can see the volcano activity from the roads destined for Mount Aso.
According to National Geographic, Hawaii's Kilauea is the smallest volcano in the world, and has consistently been active since the 80s. Travelers have the option of traveling through exorbitant helicopter tours or go on a dangerous challenge by hiking 155 miles in Hawaii's Volcanoes National Park.
Italy's Etna is in the Sicilian island of Catania, a small city that appears was made for postcard photos. Being a volcano of no geographic form as it is made from dried lava and ash, Mount Etna is tall but day trippers could hike the highest point in a day. Other available options are around-the-base train rides, which make for scenic views of the volcano seen from the bottom.
The Telegraph UK recommends the Icelandic volcano of Thrihnukagigur in the outskirts of the country itself. Inactive for more than 4,000 years, the volcano offers views of the insides of a volcano, including the scars left by lava and magma spewing from the mantle of the Earth. Specialist trips could be costly, but seeing the orange, yellow, red, blue and purple left behind by burning magma makes it all worth it.
In New Zealand is the Whakaari, an active volcano that has a boiling crater floor of water. Upon closer observation, the volcano's dangerous character comes in the form of steam, sulfur in the air, and bubbling mud. Truly a sight to behold -- but only viewable with licensed tour operators for the volcanic trip.