More and more people are looking for a different type of holiday - going on an adventure with us is one! You don't have to be a volcano fanatic to join one of our tours and you don't need much previous travel or photography experience.
We offer a range of different volcano-inspired tours with more or less emphasis on active volcanoes and varying physical requirements. Culture, local traditions and history, local food always play their deserved roles as well.
Traveling with us means experiencing a destination as much off the beaten tracks as possible and in small international groups which always include a volcanologist familiar with the local geology.
On this page we gladly share the enthusiastic feedback from our customers so you can have a browse through what previous travelers say about joining in on one of our volcano adventures...
My second trip of 2018 was again a return visit to a place I had been before. This time it was to the Kamchatka peninsula in the far east of Russia.
September is normally a good time to visit Kamchatka....the weather is generally more stable with less rain and less mosquitoes. However, unfortunately this year like everywhere else in the world, the region was experiencing unusual weather patterns. The tail ends of the cyclones bombarding Japan were at times outreaching the peninsula. So on some days, particularly in central Kamchatka, mainly cloud and fog but sometimes rain obscured the views and prevented a proper exploration of the area.
However, there were times when the clouds/fog did clear and we did manage to see the volcanoes. This area is one of the most volcanically active region of the world but when eruptions occur they don't make national news headlines as they don't cause the devastation as in other areas due to the fact they are in remote uninhabited areas. Unfortunately the volcanoes at the times of our visit were relatively quiet apart from some degassing (Klyuchevskaya, Bezymianny, Shiveluch and Karymsky volcanoes) and some small ash eruptions from Karymsky volcano.
However, overall, I had a great time. In the end we did see all the volcanoes on the plan. We had good weather at Karymsky volcano and we were able to do some hikes in the surrounding area.
We visited the geothermal areas on Mutnovsky volcano (crater), Valley of the Geysers and the Uzon caldera which were absolutely fascinating. In particular, the geothermal area in the Uzon caldera against the backdrop of the autumn colours was just spectacular (one of the best I've seen in the world, on par or even better than those in New Zealand and Iceland....can't compare with Yellowstone as I haven't been there as yet).
We also saw 3 brown bears in the wild, one relatively close which was more interested in gorging on autumn berries than in us even though being aware of our presence.
We had a really good group on the trip and the food was excellent. I'm not normally a fan of salmon, but wild caught red salmon was in abundance in the region (caviar, smoked or cooked in different ways) and delicious. Another highlight of the trip was that we had a very interesting lecture from Prof. Ozerov at the institute of Volcanology and Seismology in Petropavlovsk on some of the research being conducted on how eruptions occur.
So the obvious question is 'would I go there a third time?'. The answer of course has to be 'yes'. Although Kamchatka is more developed and has better infrastructure now than in 2000, the area, in particular the central part with a large concentration of active volcanoes, still appears to be very remote and access still difficult (no proper roads .....requiring large wheeled 'army'type trucks or helicopters to get there) providing a real sense of adventure which is a great lure for me.
In addition, I would still like to see at least one of the volcanoes in this rather remote setting in full eruption. I can definitely see myself going there again, probably not in the immediate future but perhaps in a few years time.....but not 18 years later (lol!).
(Jay R., UK, about the Sep 2018 Kamchatka volcano expedition)
See: Jay's videos from the trip on Flickr!
Overall it was an incredible trip and a very memorable time. Aside from the trip, your guidance this entire time was above and beyond - so impressed with your service Ingrid! I'm definitely happy to book travel with your company in the future and have shared VolcanoTours with some friends who have inquired about my photos.
The fissure site was interesting and exciting. The last visit to the caldera at night was the highlight for me since we saw the lava then! ... After staying the night in Dallol, we spent the morning exploring the different sites in the geothermal area. Very interesting and exciting to see! It was a great morning.
I cannot speak more highly of Enku! He was a wonderful guide: very knowledgeable, great listener, professional and tactful, and willing to be flexible with schedule. He was there for our every need as much as possible. I found base camp to be comfortable and the food prepared by the cooks to be very good.
- Rebecca W (from US) about her participation on our 8 days Volcanoes of the Danakil Desert in June 2018.
"Hello dear Ingrid and Tom,
Return in Manado and feedback: the trip was wonderful and all was perfect. Andi is a fantastic guide.
(Siegfried N., Germany, about the Volcanoes and Spices tour in July 2018)
thanks for putting together this excellent 8-day itinerary! It is a perfect length of time to get a first feel for an amazing part of Ethiopia, a fascinating country well worth visiting for geology/tourism.
It was (very) hot, in the low to mid 40s C (100-110 deg. F), on most of the days but timing happened to coincide with full moon which was an advantage for the walk to/from base camp to Erta Ale and for the memorable short walk from the crater rim camp to the viewing cliff edge of the volcano at night. The varicoloured, amazing rock formations associated with salt and other halites influenced by hydrothermal activity near Dalol made a lasting impression and were an excellent photo opportunity even for amateur photographers.
Our guide Enku was great fun to be with and I appreciated hisbroad geological knowledge and enthusiasm for volcanoes. He has some key skills and experience of importance for negotiating with the Afar people to find a tailored solution within the constraints of the arduous conditions. His team was very capable and worked very hard to make our holiday a success. This included highly competent driving, at times over rough off-road terrain, in 2 well equipped vehicles, preparation of delicious food of very good quality for the hot conditions and in quantity that would suit the most healthy of appetites.
The information provided by Volcano Adventures was detailed and comprehensive. It is well worth reading through it all in advance to be prepared for a true expedition with hardships contrasted with delightful colourful experiences. Few holidays will be more memorable than a week like this in Ethiopia, in and around Erta Ale volcano. We went in the heat of the summer at the end of June - this time of year is recommended for the fit of strong constitution. The cooler time of year from November to March would appeal more to many but June, being the 'low season'had its own beauty.
All the best”
- Simeon B (from UK) about his participation on our 8 days Volcanoes of the Danakil Desert in June 2018.
Again, thank you for all your efforts, but I have decided to withdraw from the entire trip and accept the full refund. You have been exceptionally helpful and diligent with your communications. I hope to make a journey with VolcanoAdventures in the future."
- Barbara O. (USA) regarding the cancellation of her Nyiragongo lava lake and mountain gorillas'expedition from 24 June to 1 July 2018 due to closure of Virunga NP.
I have not written you before because I came back home last Sunday.
IT WAS A WONDERFUL EXPRECIENCE. Yashmin is am absolute incredible person, so helpful and patient and overall full of knowledge.
THANK YOU AGAIN FOR THE OPPORTUNITY YOU HAVE GIVEN US."
(Guillermo R., from Mexico about the Stromboli to Etna tour)
Just a quick note to say how much Gwyneth and I enjoyed our first tour with you: I don't think it will be our last! A very impressive 'product'.
Yashmin was very solicitous of my mobility problems and I managed to achieve more than I thought. Everything was organised very smoothly and it was great to have a guide who was so knowledgeable and competent.
- Dave E. (UK) about their From Stromboli to Etna in May 2018
De retour en suisse, j'aimerai vous remercier pour la parfaite organisation de ce magnifique et extraordinaire voyage qui s'est parfaitement déroulé et dont nous garderons des souvenir inoubliables.
Encore un grand merci
Bien à vous"
- François T. (CH) about his private customised Nyiragongo lava lake and mountain gorillas expedition in May 2018)
"Dear Dr. Tom Pfeiffer,
there was an excellent privately guided 3 days geology tour on Santorini Island (8-10 February 2018) of which tour guide was the geologist Dr. Ingrid Smet. It was a great experience for me and my wife. Thank you for proposing that Ingrid should join us in this geological tour, she has conducted the expedition correctly and efficiently. The gallery of pictures posted on the VolcanoDiscovery.com website, taken by Ingrid during this tour, contains professional photos that will complete our collection of Santorini photos.
- Stefan H. (Romania) about a privately guided 3 days geology tour on Santorini in February 2018
I just wanted to thank you for a really great week last week. The lava lake was incredible - particularly at night, and while I hadn't been that fussed about seeing the mountain gorillas, they were pretty amazing so close-up and a real highlight.
Sam was outstanding throughout - he certainly had to put up with some slightly trickier times with his guests than I think he should have - but he kept an amazing sense of humour throughout and honestly did far more than anyone could reasonably have asked of him. Without doubt he's the best guide I've ever had on any trip and I learnt a huge amount about Rwanda from him.
The organisation throughout was brilliant, in an area where its anything but straightforward.
Thanks for giving me my first opportunity (definitely not my last) to see lava (and to hear it - particularly at night, which I thought was amazing!).
Can't wait to travel with you - and hopefully meet you in person - in the future."
- Mike W. (UK) about his Nyiragongo lava lake and mountain gorillas expedition in January 2018)
I wanted to express my sincerest gratitudeto Volcano Discovery for organizing such an amazing trip.
Everything was so wonderfully arranged and to such a high standard that at times I felt genuinely sorry for those tourists travelling with other operators.
Once again Volcano Discovery has proven that they are the best at what they do.
Enku is everything one wants in a guide: he is professional, extremely knowledgeable, helpful, well organized, but also he is a wonderful human being - nice, considerate, attentive and very kind.
I would also like to thank you personally for your invaluable contribution to this trip, for always staying in touch, answering every little question and making arrangements to suit our needs. Thanks very much for this.
I hope that I will be able to travel with Volcano Discovery again in the future and who knows, maybe meet you in person someday!
- Anastasia G (from Russia) about her participation on our Desert, salt and volcanoes expedtion to Erta Ale and Dallol, Ethiopia in January 2018.
just returned from the tour. It was fantastic. Very well organised and interesting with lots of impressions!
Enko is a very good guide with detailed information and also emphatic.
I can only recommend your company and the tour!
As a feed back for the tour: just perfect!
- Uwe S (from Germany) about his participation on our Desert, salt and volcanoes expedtion to Erta Ale and Dallol, Ethiopia in January 2018.
my wife and I had a great time in Ethiopia and developed a great understanding of the people and country. Lalibela - especially at that time of year - was simply spectacular. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Enku, Tami and Lulu were fantastic and their knowledge (especially Enku) helped us gain a great understanding of Ethiopia. Even though we lost our logistics truck, Enku was able to make alternate arrangements so all was good there. Tami and Lulu were both wonderful and a pleasure to be around.
This will stay as one of the most memorable trips I have been on - all for good reason. Even with all the unexpected things that happened, we had a great time and those things are what makes the journey and memories. Enku and crew were fantastic and I think he is probably the best guide in the country.
- Mo V (from Canada) about his participation on our Desert, salt and volcanoes expedtion to Erta Ale and Dallol, Ethiopia in December 2017.
this was a very nice tour, which i enjoyed very much. Nothing to complaint or suggest - just a big thank you!!!
Preparation and info in advance by you (incl. very quick and useful answer of any question) and your team was perfect. Driving and management in Ruanda and Congo was excellent thanks to Samuel. Food was excellent too - also the one cooked at Nyirangongo.
We were lucky with the weather and got dry up and down Nyiragongo as well as to the Gorillas and back. The views from the crater edge down to the magma lake were magnificent during all 3 evenings spent up there. And watching the gorillas was also very spectacular.
- Tobias F. (Germany) about his Nyiragongo lava lake and mountain gorillas expedition in January 2018)
the local staff were fantastic. Sam - our main guide - was very reliable & handling local problems. The cook was excellent. The porters were very helpful when they saw people in trouble especially coming down Nyiragongo."
- Alan R. (UK) about his Nyiragongo lava lake and mountain gorillas expedition in January 2018)
I believe I speak for all of us when I say: Thank you so much for such a wonderful 2 weeks in Italy! It was an unforgettable experience, and it was so great to make new friends as well! We will definitely book another trip with you again, hopefully sometime next year.
It was great meeting you all and we hope to see you again in the future! If any of you plan to visit New York sometime, please reach out to us, we'd love to show you around.
Florian, thank you so much for making our time in Naples so enjoyable. Please let me know when you find out what the white lines mean.
Ali & Gabriela
(from New York, USA, about the Grand Tour to Italy's volcanoes in Oct 2017)
Just wanted to say thank you for an incredible trip in Iceland a few months ago, I've been working on the editing all the footage I took, so it kind of felt like I was still there. The weather was great, Chris is a great guide, and Iceland is just insane!
I put together a 45 min, day by day video of the trip, might serve as a good advert for others considering it, feel free to share :)
Many thanks, looking forward to next years trip with you guys!
(from UK, about his Colors of Iceland tour in August 2017)
I read your excellent article in today's Wall Street Journal this morning.
Last October, my wife Jenean and I did a grand tour of all of Italy's volcanoes through a group called Volcano-Adventures (www.volcanodiscovery.com). We began our two-week trip in Naples at Mt. Vesuvius, followed it up with Campi Flegrei, took a ferry to Stromboli, sailed to the other Aeolean Islands, and ended up at Mt. Etna. Our trip was guided by a volcanologist who explained all the natural phenomena to us. In between, we were treated to excellent restaurants and wine tastings. We also stayed in excellent hotels.
We spent several days in Stromboli. Our hotel was the Villaggio Stromboli, where we were able to look out over the water to Strombolicchio. Midway up the volcano is a restaurant called Osservatorio, where the only lighting is provided by candles, and each eruption of a lava fountain is punctuated by oohs and aahs from the customers just like during Fourth of July fireworks. From that point, my wife ascended the rest of the mountain to the summit crater. I walked back down to the hotel because my knees can no longer handle steep climbs and descents. She spent several hours at the top of the volcano and got some great pictures and videos of the eruptions. Jenean arrived back at the hotel several hours later, and she said that her leg muscles felt like jello.
We also spent some time at the islands of Lipari and Vulcano. Our small boat took us through places in the Tyrrhenian Sea that was bubbling with volcanic gases. The water was like seltzer, but the bubbles smelled like sulfur. The island of Vulcano is very active, with steam vents and mud baths everywhere. Lipari was enjoyable also. It goes without saying that all these places had excellent food. The Aeolian Islands are unknown to most American tourists, and we didn't see very many.
We have many pictures and videos from our trip. We would be happy to share them with you. Stromboli is but one of many volcanoes in Italy. It is relatively easy to hike to the crater of Vesuvius. Even I was able to do it. Of more significance is the city of Pozzouli, which sits atop Campi Flegrei (a.k.a Phlegraean Fields), a supervolcano above which live about two million people. Mt. Etna is the grand finale. In addition to the activity of the volcano itself, the surrounding area is filled with the marks and effects that the volcano has left upon it. You can truly appreciate the massive power of Mother Nature.
This was a bucket-list vacation for me. I have always been fascinated by volcanoes. ...
Keep up the good work." (Robert B., California, about the Grand Tour to Italy's volcanoes in Oct 2016)
Dear Emanuela (and Marco)
We all think that you where both fantastic yesterday and we are all very
great full for this exciting and educational experience you gave us
Personally I owe you both a big thank you for looking after Maria and
Rae when it went a bit downhill, Rae a lot, and Maria definitely learned
that she can enjoy things when they become a bit risky.
Marco, I think that you have helped Alex to reconfirm that Geography and
ultimately the volcano element will be a big part of his education over
the next 3 to 4 years.
Thank you so much for a great day and experience that we will all
treasure for many years.
Thanks for the pictures and thanks again for hosting us in Etna- Etna turned out to be the highlight of our Italian trip Please pass our thanks on to Marco as well
(Valle del Bove)
... it was such an exciting experience for us...
for me the best mountain-experience I have ever had!