I’m going to start my Reunion Island travel articles with the place I’ve enjoyed the most :
Le Piton de la Fournaise
The “Peak of the Furnace” is the active volcano of the island, 2 632 meters high. It’s one of the most active volcanos on the planet. There’s a great Facebook page Fournaise Info that gives you all recent information about it! On March 1st, the eventuality of an eruption was confirmed by the volcanology observatory. So if you’ve always dreamed of witnessing an eruption, it’s about time to visit Reunion Island 😀
A few advices for your trip to Le Piton de la Fournaise
- Wake up (very) early ! We started all our expeditions from the village Etang-Salé, and it takes about 1,5 hours driving to the volcano (without delays such as traffic, sightseeing stops, reduced speed due to the winding roads). And, if you arrive early, you will avoid the crowd and you will enjoy the coolness of dawn.
- Dress warmly ! You will arrive early, and the volcano is high : before the sun is completely risen, it’s going to be cold. So, wear trousers, a warm sweater, maybe a scarf. I promise you won’t regret it!
- Wear comfortable walking shoes ! Even if you don’t plan to hike to the volcano summit, you will have to walk, and on uneven ground. So leave your flip flops in your car, and switch for your walking shoes. And keep an eye on where you step foot 🙂
- Wear plenty of sun screen ! That is VERY important as you’re going to be closer to the sun. And it’s going to be strong !
- I guess it goes without saying, but pack plenty of water ! There’s a small restaurant at the top, but as you’ll get there early, there’s a chance it won’t be open. And as the sun will rise pretty fast, you’re going to be thirsty. You need to stay hydrated !
The road to the volcano
Expect a very winding road, so be prepared if you’re subject to car sickness 🙂 But if you’re not driving, chances are you will fall asleep on the way. Remember, you woke up early. Just be sure to ask the driver to wake you up on the way, as the views get amazing 🙂
Once there, we had to wait for the clouds to wear off to see the volcano… it took a bit of time, we were cold, but it finally showed up. One of the most wonderful experiences of my life : see a volcano come out of the clouds, for the first time ever… it’s indescribable. I had the chills !
The hike down
I’m not very sporty, so I stayed at the top with the group manager (Hi JP !) and our guides Manu and Lati. But the others of the group hiked down the volcano plain. Be prepare to walk a lot, go down pleeeenty of steps (and climb them up on the way back). But mostly, to see the most amazing landscapes… see :
I really urge you to travel to the Piton de la Fournaise if you’re on Reunion Island. It’s the most amazing feeling, and the tranquility up there is wonderful !