Explore volcanoes on Wikimapia Pt.1

Some people say that the World will end up in volcano explosions. Well, we on Wikimapia are not so pessimistic. Nevertheless, it is always better to be aware of a potential danger, especially, when it is such a beautiful and breathtaking natural phenomena. There are about 600 active volcanoes on Earth and nobody can even guess how many of them in total, as the biggest part is covered by the ocean. Wikimapia users when tagging volcanoes add a proper category to each of them, so it’s easy to filter them out. Today Wikimapia suggests you to explore volcanoes in Europe.
Usually we don’t associate Grand Dame Europe with a place full of sizzling hot magma floods. And that’s pretty fair. The biggest part of European volcanoes are extinct, which means that there is no written records of their activity, and look more like old closed up scars than a dangerous crust on the planet surface.

Here is a picturesque green mountain in France - Puy de Dôme, which is actually the highest and the youngest point in the Massif Central of France. In pre-Christian Europe, Puy de Dôme served as an assembly place for spiritual ceremonies. Than a Gallo-Roman temple dedicated to the God Mercury was built here. Today there is a transmitter for FM and TV on the top of the mountain.


Another quite and beautiful volcano is Santa Margarida Volcano in Catalonia, Spain. Its height of 682 meters, the volcano is part of the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park. It was named Santa Margarida as there was the hermitage of saint inside the crater of the volcano. The building was destroyed in 1428 during the Catalonia earthquake and rebuilt in 1865. Today Santa Margarida Volcano looks like a perfect place for long walks and relaxation.

Santa Margarida Volcano

But some European volcanoes are not as serenely as it may seem. There is still couple of colossal volcanoes, that remind about themselves from time to time.
No surprise that Iceland is the leader of all European countries among the amount of volcanoes. Volcanoes in Iceland are mostly covered with glaciers and this fact provides indeed an amazing view.

Eyjafjallajökull is probably the most famous volcano in our days. And the funniest thing is that it is not the real name of a volcano (which has no name at all), but the name of glacier that covers it. Its last eruption in April 2010 caused meltwater floods rushing down the nearby rivers, so 800 people were evacuated. The eruption threw volcanic ash several kilometres up in the atmosphere which led to air travel disruptions in northwest Europe for the whole 5 days.


Surprising that volcano that made tho whole world speaking about it, is a minor volcano on the island. The largest one is Öræfajökull - a dormant volcano, which is also the highest peak in Iceland 2119 m high, part of the Vatnajökull glacier. Though the word dormant seems to have a peaceful meaning, the volcano can blow up anytime, and that would be much worse than in 2010.


To be honest, we should admit that volcanos can not only destroy but even create new life. And a good example is Surtsey - a volcanic island off the southern coast of Iceland. It is also the southernmost point of Iceland. It was formed in a volcanic eruption which began 130 metres below sea level, and reached the surface on 15 November 1963. Surtsey was declared a nature reserve in 1965 while the eruption was still in active progress.

Surtsey island

Italy is also a volcanically active country. Here you can find the only active volcanoes in mainland Europe.

Vesuvius is a stratovolcano to the east of the city of Naples. It is the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years, although it is not currently erupting. The area around Vesuvius was officially declared a national park on 5 June 1995. The summit of Vesuvius is open to visitors and there is a small network of paths around the mountain that are maintained by the park authorities on weekends. Another noteworthy fact about Vesuvius is that on the slopes of the mountain it is the oldest volcanology institute in the world founded in 1841.

Mount Vesuvius

Mount Etna is another Italian active volcano on the east coast of Sicily. It is the largest active volcano in Europe, currently standing about 3,326 m high, which means that Mount Ethna is nearly three times the height of Mount Vesuvius. The size and amazing look of Ethna is so impressing, that ancient Greeks had a legend, that this was the home of Hephaestus, the god of fire, whose great forge was built here as well.

Mount Etna

You can also find volcanos in Greece.

Crater Stefanos on volcanic island Nisyros is the biggest and most important crater which monopolises the tourists' interest as it is one of the biggest and best preserved hydrothermal volcanoes in the world.

Crater Stefanos

Another remarkable volcanic place in Greece is a small, circular archipelago of volcanic islands located in the southern Aegean Sea, Santorini. It is the most active volcanic centre in the South Aegean Volcanic Arc, though what remains today is largely a water-filled caldera. The island is the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions the planet has ever seen: the Minoan eruption, which occurred some 3,500 years ago at the height of the Minoan civilization. The eruption left a large caldera surrounded by volcanic ash deposits hundreds of feet deep and may have led indirectly to the collapse of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete, 110 km to the south, through the creation of a gigantic tsunami. Another popular theory holds that Santorini eruption is the source of the legend of Atlantis.

Santorini islands

This is certainly not the whole list of volcanoes in Europe. On Wikimapia almost 2 500 objects have ‘volcano’ category. Though it is a lot of data to explore, there are still many volcanoes left untagged or without a detailed description. We appreciate every contribution of our users and look forward to see more information as well. Explore the world with Wikimapia and share your knowledge with other members of Community.
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