Le Piton de la Fournaise – The Peak of the Furnace

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
  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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 🙂
  4. 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 !
  5. 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 !

piton de la fournaise

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 !

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11 comments
  1. Photos are incredible! Amazing blog!

    1. Thank you 🙂

  2. Nice work! it’s an easy and interesting reading! I like your photos!
    Thanks for sharing these informations

  3. Love everybit of this journey….the volcano uncovering from the clouds is a view so breathtaking. Seriously, a visit to a volacano that too an active one is for sure in my bucketlist. The pics are so intriguing..😍

  4. Wow! It sounds fantastic to view live volcano…Quite interesting to read. I love this kind of adventures.Amazing pictures 👍

  5. Beautiful pictures and a great journey. Always wanted to hike a Volcano — your blog inspires me..

  6. I have a friend who knows someone from Reunion Island… Perhaps one day we’d go explore this island… What are the odds of seeing a ‘safe eruption’ lol ?

  7. Wow this is a great looking place! First of all, I had to google where Reunion Island is as I am not familiar but this article is an easy read and the photos look great but it looked like it might have been a harder climb for a novice like me! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Really picturesque natural landscapes you have captured there! I’m sure that the wait was worth it and the cloud layer actually accentuated the mysterious nature of the volcano. I’d love to visit and admire the beauty of this place for myself.

  9. Hey, never really heard of this place before. But which country is Reunion Island in, forgive for my ignorance. This place is such a gem for travel lovers. We have seen snow, mountains, valleys, beaches, forests and pretty much everything that nature has to offer, volcanoes are the only one left to be experienced. Shall try to make it here sooner !

    1. Hi! Thanks for your nice comment 🙂 Reunion Island is a part of France, but located in the Indian Ocean next to Mauritius and Madagascar 🙂

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