9 Oct, 2021 @ 17:00
1 min read

Lava chasers: Volcano tours prove popular in the Canary Islands as La Palma eruption continues

Spain La Palma Volcanic Eruption
(210929) -- MADRID, Sept. 29, 2021 (Xinhua) -- People take pictures of volcanic eruption scene of Cumbre Vieja volcano in La Palma, Spain, on Sept. 23, 2021. (Photo by Oriol Alamany/Xinhua) - Oriol Alamany -//CHINENOUVELLE_1.1149/2109292019/Credit:CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/2109292020 *** Local Caption *** 01040818

A TOUR company on Tenerife offering day trips to see the volcanic eruption on neighbouring Canary Island La Palma has pledged to donate profits to those who have lost their homes.

The eruption which started on Sunday September 19 has led to a surge in volcano tourism from people keen to watch the spectacular sight of lava being spewed high into the air.

But with airport closed on the island of La Palma itself, the only option is to travel by boat from one of the neighbouring islands.

GetHoliday started offering trips this week on the Fred Olsen ferry leaving the Tenerife port of Los Cristianos at 10am and returning the same day.

The tours, which take place each Tuesday and Thursday for as long as the eruption continues, includes a hike around the Caldera de Taburiente, a national park on La Palma that is outside of the danger zone and that offers incredible views of the eruption area.

“It is a display of nature’s brute force that I wanted to see once in my life, even from afar,” said one recent tourist who travelled from Alicante to Tenerife just to take the tour. “I know it is a disaster for the island, but as a phenomenon of nature it is spectacular,” she said.

Tour guide and head of the GetHoliday company Basso Lanzone said all the profits from the tours – which cost €99 per person – would be donated to help victims of the volcano.

A partire da domani 7 ottobre. Escursione al VULCANO di La Palma. Partenza tutti i ?martedì e ?giovedì alle 10:00…

Posted by Get Holiday Tenerife on Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Lava from the volcano has so far covered close to 500 hectares of the island, devastating banana, grape and avocado crops and destroying more than 1,000 houses.

In the days following the start of the eruption authorities had warned against coming to the island just to see the volcano. They argued that hordes of onlookers and visitors clogged up the roads and made it difficult for those evacuating and for emergency services to access where they needed to.

Lava chasers – the term for those who come specifically for the thrill of seeing an eruption – were also criticised by residents who were uncomfortable that people were gawping at an event that had caused them to lose everything.


Fiona Govan

Fiona Govan joined The Olive Press in March 2021. She moved to Spain in 2006 to be The Daily Telegraph’s Madrid correspondent and then worked for six years as Editor of The Local Spain. She lives in Madrid’s Malasaña district with her dog Rufus.

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