SEE AN ACTIVE VOLCANO

See An Active Volcano

Piton de la Fournaise (meaning Peak of the Furnace) on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean is one of the world's most active volcanoes, and is classified as a World Heritage Site. As part of a visit to this spectacular and unique island you can walk to the crater rim and marvel at the majesty of the natural world.

A good quality road, followed by a good track, connects the highway to the Pas de Bellecombe, where a parking area and facilities are available to visitors. The Pas de Bellecombe is situated over the caldera (collapsed crater) rim cliffs and offers a good viewing point. A path descends from the pass to the caldera floor. Please note, visitors exploring the caldera should be in reasonably good physical condition.

Scientifically, Piton de la Fournaise is classified as a basaltic shield volcano, with frequent short-lived eruptions that start with lava fountains and produce large lava flows. Eruptions have occurred most recently in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2014. Since the active areas of the volcano are not inhabited, the eruptions pose little danger and cause little damage. The Piton de la Fournaise Volcano Observatory, operated by the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, monitors this very active volcano.

Another excellent way to get a great view of the volcano, and the island as a whole, is in a scenic helicopter flight. Access is limited during seismic activities and eruptions.