A real-life, active volcano, towering over the tropical island of Réunion at over 2,000 metres in height: on this excursion, our destination is nothing if not spectacular. Our journey will take us through a lunar landscape of frozen lava – truly an otherworldly experience. Fortunately, there is also a delicious lunch of traditional Creole cooking to bring us back down to earth.
What we will see
- The Piton de la Fournaise volcano
- Route des Tamarins
- Plaine des Cafres
- The village of Bourg-Murat
- Pas de Bellecombe
- Plaine des Sables
- The Enclos Fouqué caldera
- Lunch at a restaurant
- The La Cité du Volcan museum
What we will do
- We leave Le Port by coach, heading inland in the direction of one of Réunion’s most iconic features, the Piton de la Fournaise volcano, one of the most active volcanoes on the planet. Indeed, it holds the world record for the frequency of its eruptions.
- Following the spectacular Route des Tamarins, we cut through the villages of Saint-Pierre and Le Tampon before reaching the Plaine des Cafres, a fertile plain that is one of the richest areas on the island in terms of both culture and farming.
- It is here that we begin our climb up the slopes of the volcano, heading first to the village of Bourg Murat which, at 1,600 metres above sea level, is the most elevated inhabited settlement on the island.
- We continue our ascent, reaching the Pas de Bellecombe at an altitude of 2,300 metres.
- Our climb is rewarded, here, with enchanting views of the vast stretch of red and black detritus known as the Plaine des Sables – the Plain of the Sands – a moon-like landscape that demonstrates just how atypical a tropical island Réunion is.
- Having crossed the Plaine des Sables, we climb even higher, skirting ancient craters to reach the highest rim, which borders the central Enclos Fouqué caldera. From the viewing terrace – another 300 metres’ climb – we can admire the Formica Léo crater and the Piton de la Fournaise.
- We return to Bourg Murat for lunch at a restaurant serving traditional Creole dishes.
- In the afternoon we visit the new volcano museum: La Cité du Volcan. With 6,000 m² of exhibit space, this decidedly modern museum employs the latest technology to provide a thorough introduction to the world of volcanoes.
- We then take the coastal road back to Le Port, and make our way back on board the ship.
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