5 facts about the Piton de la Fournaise


Reunion IslandNature and Outdoor Activities

IRT / Luc Perrot
© IRT / Luc Perrot

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 10 March 2024

It is the undisputable star of Reunion Island, and one of the most active volcanoes on the planet. Several times a year, the Piton de la Fournaise lays on a spectacular show with technicolour eruptions and lava flows.

2632 metres

The height that this force of nature rises up from sea level, its silhouette always visible even when its head is in the clouds. It should also be noted that the Piton de la Fournaise alone occupies almost one third of the surface of Reunion Island. You just can’t miss it.

500,000 years

Is the age of this colossus, which since 2010 has been a member of a very exclusive club as one of the natural assets listed as a UNESCO World heritage Site for their “outstanding universal value”. It is an honour that it shares with the island’s other volcano, the Piton des Neiges, as well as its natural corries. All of these form part of the Réunion National Park, a hiker’s paradise with amazing biodiversity.

9 months

Not many volcanoes can boast such exuberant activity. For the past ten years, the Piton de la Fournaise has erupted on average every nine months, fortunately without endangering the islanders. In 2017 alone, it put on a show three times on 31 January (for 27 days), 17 May (a few hours) and 14 July (until 28 August).

400,000 visitors

The Piton de la Fournaise is the most visited attraction on Reunion Island. An educational trail in the Enclos Fouqué, the great caldera formed by the volcano, leads to an observation point high up on the northern side, and there... it’s a sight to behold. As far as the eye can see stretches a lunar landscape, as if you’d just landed on another planet!


In Bourg-Murat, just before the forest road, the Cité du Volcan helps visitors understand how the innards of the Earth work through a series of fun, educational, and high-tech installations. You’d think you were there! Especially during the 4D panoramic film.

By France.fr

The magazine of the destination unravels an unexpected France that revisits tradition and cultivates creativity. A France far beyond what you can imagine…

See more