Ditch the regular vacation destinations and head for the hills to explore a stay near one of nature’s most exhilarating displays of power: the volcano.
Whether you want to get up close and personal with a live eruption or simply prefer an invigorating hike up the dormant slope of a sleeping giant, Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with over one million incredible places to stay, has scaled the mountain tops and consulted its Passion Search tool to create a list of six exciting stays that are sure to inspire your inner volcanologist…
Featuring not one or two, but 18 hot spring pools, The Springs Resort & Spa at Arenal offers spectacular views of the impressive Arenal volcano—Costa Rica’s most active until 2010. Although its eruptions have calmed over recent years and it’s no longer spewing forth lava and ash on a regular basis, you can still enjoy a rejuvenating body wrap in therapeutic volcanic clay at the resort’s spa or explore the fertile rain forest that extends throughout the surrounding valley.
Perched on the edge of the caldera itself, Celestia Grand offers breath-taking panoramic views over Santorini’s famous volcanic islands and the surrounding crystalline waters of the Aegean Sea. Although now dormant—the last eruption was in 1950—the picturesque islands around Santorini, with their iconic villages scaling the steep volcanic cliffs, are all that remain from a massive eruption in the 17th century BC that may have given rise to the legend of Atlantis. You can soak it all in from your private terrace or simply join one of the daily excursions to explore these historic volcanic formations first-hand.
Situated around 15 km from the picture-perfect, snow-capped peak of Villarrica, Lake Lodge is the perfect spot to relax by the pool after a once-in-a-lifetime helicopter flight over the volcano. Although the latest eruption took place in March 2015, the lakeside city of Pucón is incredibly popular for adventure sports, including white water rafting, skydiving and of course, guided ascents of the volcano itself.
Nestled in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro and just minutes from the entrance to the national park, Kaliwa Lodge offers incomparable views of the Africa’s highest peak, as well as the surrounding Weru Weru Rift and Forest from its stunning canopy deck. If you’re thinking of making the 5-day climb to the summit, one of these Bauhaus-inspired bungalows will make the perfect basecamp.
On the small volcanic island of Stromboli, located just off the northern coast of Sicily, the luxurious apartments at Il Gabbiano Relais overlook the Tyrrhenian Sea and offer imposing views of Mt. Stromboli. Known as the “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean”, Stromboli has been erupting continuously for the past 2,000 years and has been known to shoot bursts of lava up to a few hundred metres in the air. If you don’t manage to catch one of these memorable night-time displays, you can still explore the striking volcanic landscape of the island by day on foot—no cars are allowed—or just treat yourself to a refreshing dip in the cool green waters of Il Gabbiano’s pool.
Set within a tropical rainforest in the town of Volcano on the Big Island of Hawai’i, the rustic retreat of Alii Kane Cottage is just a short drive away from the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, where you can say aloha to not one, but two active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa, the largest on the planet. Make sure to check the current conditions on the park’s website, but thanks to its many excellent trails, you can easily explore the island’s unique flora and fauna, as well as take in some spectacular live eruptions from one or both of these Polynesian giants.
Cover photo: Sudiono Muji