It is often thought that Etna, with its almost 3400 metres of elevation and climbing, is the highest active volcano in Europe. But this is not true.
From a purely official standpoint, the highest active volcano in Europe is Teide, with 3718 metres of elevation on the island of Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, belonging administratively to Spain. Therefore, Etna would be the second highest volcano.
In truth, we could argue that the Canary Islands geographically belong to Africa, since they are located in line with southern Morocco in the Atlantic Ocean.
However, we must also consider that all the volcanic succession below the summit area does not start from sea level, but from a non-volcanic substratum located around 800 metres above sea level. The “net” altitude would therefore “only” be 2600 metres, meaning Etna is not the highest active volcano in Europe. The island of Stromboli in the Aeolian Islands, 940 metres above sea level and 2000 metres below sea level, could therefore easily be defined the highest volcano in Europe.