La Fournaise

Overview

Introduction

A highlight for some visitors to Reunion is a visit to the active 8,630-ft/2,630-m volcano, La Fournaise. There are tours from St. Denis that get you there, but some go only as far as Nez de Boeuf, which offers a spectacular view of the area. You can continue on from there to make the somewhat arduous hike up to the rim. Plan to climb as early in the day as possible, when the views are best—it's possible that you'll see the volcano spouting lava up into the air. The drive to the beginning of the trail is beautiful. It gets rather cool at the higher elevations, so take at least a sweater. You can also view the volcano from the air—get together with other travelers and charter a four-passenger plane to fly you over.

While in the area, be sure to stop at the Maison du Volcan, the world's first vulcanological museum, in the town of Plaine des Cafres. It has interactive exhibits relating to volcanoes and houses the collection of its designers, famous vulcanologists Maurice and Katia Krafft, who were killed by a volcano in Japan shortly before the museum opened. 28 mi/45 km southeast of St. Denis.

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