The best places to see lava

Lava: the most dangerous rock known to man. Yet it fascinates us so much we even base household lamps on it. These feeble lights are no match for the real thing though, so here are our top spots for those wanting to check out the hot stuff (as pictured by paul bica) live.

Eruption seen from summit of Stromboli

Eruption seen from the summit of Stromboli. Photo by mark i geo

Early evening eruption at Stromboli

Early evening eruption at Stromboli. Photo by mark i geo

Stromboli

Stromboli. Photo by stefan_fotos

Stromboli

Photo by kla!

Stromboli, Italy

This Aeolian island is home to one of the most active volcanoes in the world, with a name that literally means “small explosion”.

It has almost constant minor eruptions that dazzle onlookers, although full lava flows only appear every few years.

Kilauea Volcano

Kilauea Volcano. Photo by exfordy

Lava tubes at Kilauea

Lava tubes at Kilauea. Photo by lrargerich

Smokin' Kilauea Volcano

Smokin … Kilauea Volcano. Photo by Songster09

Kilauea, Hawaii

Every so often this active volcano will spew spectacular waterfalls of lava into the surrounding ocean.

Even if you don’t manage to see lava during your visit, the island’s gorgeous landscape will mesmerise you either way.

Soufriere and the Pitons

Soufriere and the Pitons. Photo by Numinosity (by Gary J Wood)

Drive-in volcano - Soufriere, Saint Lucia

Drive-in volcano – Soufriere, Saint Lucia. Photo by madmack66

Drive-in volcano - Soufrière

Photo by ScubaBear68

Soufriere — In the crater

Soufriere — In the crater. Photo by D G Brown

Soufriere, Saint Lucia

Technically this shouldn’t be on our list because lava has not truly been sighted here – but bear with us because it is the world’s only drive-in volcano.

There is apparently nowhere else on Earth that offers such amusing comforts while viewing the bubbles of sulphur springs and the hiss of steam.

You can also enjoy a mud spa when you disembark to stretch your legs.

Check out this incredible video. A team of photographers documented the eruption of four active volcanoes within 110 miles of each other on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia in late 2012:

Related: Insider’s guide to volcano skiing in Chile

Hiking the Volcán Pacaya, Guatemala

Smokin! Volcano Alley, Ecuador