La Réunion volcanoes

The interior of La Réunion consists of three extinct volcanic craters called Cirques. La Réunion is a volcanic island. High peaks and deep valleys are very reminiscent of the European Alps. The interior of La Réunion consists of …

La Réunion volcanoes

Piton de la Fournaise

La Réunion is a volcanic island. High peaks and deep valleys are very reminiscent of the European Alps. The interior of La Réunion consists of three Cirques and a still active volcano, Piton de la Fournaise.

Cirque de Cilaos

The Cirque de Cilaos is the largest of the three cirques. The village of Cilaos in the middle of the cirque is the ideal base for a stay of 3-4 nights. It is an attractive but quiet village where there are some good restaurants. Cilaos is also the starting point for many hikes or mountain tours; there are beautiful paths that enter you high up the mountain forest, along deep ravines and with beautiful viewpoints. However, there are also shorter and simpler walking routes. You can also rent mountain bikes or participate in canyoning excursions. Access to the Cirque de Cilaos is via a challenging mountain road, with more than 100 hairpin bends zigzagging their way up from the coastal plain. This ride is already an experience in itself, so be sure to take plenty of time out for this.

Cirque de Mafate

The Cirque de Mafate is the wildest and most inhospitable of the three cirques, there is not even the possibility to drive here by car. This cirque is only accessible on foot. The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful, the only 600 inhabitants of the Cirque de Mafate enjoy it every day. The Cirque de Mafate is home to about 100 km of marked hiking trails. The access is from Cilaos or from Hell-Bourg. You can also drive from the coastal town of Saint Gilles to Maido, from where you can have a view of the entire cirque de Mafate. A very special way to see the cirque is from a helicopter. In good weather this is a not to be missed excursion from Saint Gilles Les Bains.

Cirque de Salazie

The Cirque de Salazie is the greenest and most fertile of the three impressive amphie theatres. Here you will find more than 100 waterfalls, which plunge into deep gorges and ravines. You can walk here to the hot springs of 'Les Sources Pétrifiantes', or to the le point du Jour viewpoint, with a waterfall nearby. The Cirque de Salazie is perhaps the most accessible cirque and the largest village, Hell-Bourg, is less than two hours' drive from Saint Denis airport. It is therefore a good start or end point of a tour of the island.

Piton de la Fournaise

The Piton de la Fournaise volcano is still active and erupts at least once every year. The area around the central crater resembles a lunar landscape, where ash and lava dominate. There is no vegetation at all and the colours range from reddish brown to black. The 13 km long walk to the edge of the crater is relatively easy, but it is important that you are well prepared, the weather conditions here can change quickly.

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