Reunion Island volcano erupts: see Piton de la Fournaise quickly

  • 23 June 2014 | By Lynnette Johns

Piton de la Fournaise erupts

Reunion Island’s 530 000-year-old Piton de la Fournaise volcano is erupting, giving tourists and locals alike a fiery display.

Reunion is part of the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands and Piton de la Fournaise (French for Peak of the Furnace), on the eastern side of Reunion, is a popular tourist attraction.

If watching a volcano erupting and seeing lava flowing is on your bucket list, then Reunion is the place to be right now.

If, however, an erupting volcano does not strike your fancy, there are many other attractions on the island, including visiting beautiful churches and temples, trips to mountainous villages, the botanical garden at Saint-Denis and, of course, the vanilla factories.

An aerial view of the lava flow

The volcano may be out of bounds until the eruptions stop and the lava cools down (it can take up 72 hours for the lava to cool, and up to three weeks for the volcano to open to visitors).

Piton de la Fournaise is a basaltic shield volcano, built almost entirely of fluid lava flows, and it resembles a warrior’s shield lying on the ground.

Once the lava has cooled down, about 72 hours after the last eruption, take a microlight flight over the area for stunning visuals.

Pascal Viroleau, CEO of Vanilla Islands Tourism, said the eruption started shortly after 1.30am on Saturday 21 June. The previous eruption started on 9 December 2010 and lasted for two days.

Piton de la Fournaise is one of the biggest attractions in the World Heritage Site Reunion National Park.

Follow #gotoreunion on Twitter and Instagram to explore the island through the eyes of a group of South African and international bloggers who will be visiting between 26 June and 3 July 2014, as well as for hints and tips when planning a Reunion holiday.

South Africans do not need visas to travel to Reunion Island. Take advantage of Air Austral’s special offerbuy a return economy-class ticket between 5 June and 29 June 2014 to travel to the Island between 15 June and 3 July 2014 for only R4 354, including airport taxes of R2 848.

Or, you could save about R1 000 per ticket if you travel to Reunion Island between 24 August and 2 October 2014, returning between 31 August and 9 October 2014.

To redeem this offer, book via Air Austral at:

Tel. + 27 (0)11 326 4443/326 4388/326 0626/326 3837

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