Volcano road, Route du Volcan, la FournaiseVolcano road, Route du Volcan, la Fournaise

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  • Off the path Explo
    78 %
    Off the path Explo rate
    3.9 / 5
    This road is quite famous in the region. But it is really singular Fritz!
  • Article Quality
    88 %
    Article Quality rate
    • Score
      5 / 5
      Very good description Fritz!
    • Score
      5 / 5
      Yes, and you added a plan!
    • Score
      4 / 5
      Yes, many pics!
    • Score
      4 / 5
    • Score
      4 / 5
  • Explo Popularity

The only access to the volcano: a 30km long road (20km are tarred). By driving on this easy road, you will pass from tropical and farming landscapes to a mineral universe...

My experience, Explo description: 

The Piton de la Fournaise is a relatively "young" volcano (500.000 years old), compared to the Piton des Neiges (3 millions years old). Whereas the Piton des Neiges is asleep, La Fournaise has 2 eruptions per year...

Along this excellent road, you will see various volcano phenomenons : secondary craters, collapse holes, erosion : it is a permanent and free show ! Do not hesitate to stop along the way to admire the show !

Once you have visited the volcano museum (Maison du Volcan) in Bourg-Murat (1560m), go north on the RN3 towards Saint-Benoit (you will see there picnic spots). Then, turn right on the RF5 road (also called "la route du volcan : the volcano road).

All around Bourg-Murat, you will see many little peaks (sometimes just 100m high) emerging from the Cafres plain, in a fresh green landscape, among farms and crops. Sometimes, you might feel like in Europe !

The road slightly goes up and, slowly, you will discover the central plain, and the main peaks of the island, like the Piton des Neiges, emerging from the clouds. You can even see to south coast of the island.

After a few km, you will reach "Nez de Boeuf" (2040m) : an impressive belvedere overlooking the Remparts river, 1000m below. Be careful and please respect signs and barriers.

The Commerson crater :
Slowly, the vegetation disappears and the air gets clear. 3 km further, the road reaches the Commerson crater (2310m) that you can hardly see. You will need to go down the car and walk 5 mn to get there : but the show is really worth it ! This crater has a 200m diameter, and a 120m depth, with vertical cliffs. Once again, be careful and respect signs and barriers !

A placard also shows how this odd crater was created.

"Le Pas" and "La Plaine des Sables" :

Cross the Rempart plain and, 2 km further, the vegetation totally disappear (as well as the tarred road !) : you have reached the "Pas des Sables" (2364m). There is an orientation table. Then the track goes down a ramp (100m high) and you will arrive on the Moon ;-)

The contrast is really impressive ! Everything is red and brown. This is the Plaine des Sables, 3km large, flat, lined with 100m tall cliffs. Only 3 or 4 craters emerge from it. When you are there, your vehicle will create a huge sand cloud !

My personal recommendations: 

"Le Pas de Bellecombe" :
3km further, you will reach a cross road :

  • > the left branch directly goes to the volcano inn where you can stay for a night if you have previously booked.
  • > the right branch goes to the "Pas de Bellecombe" (2350m). This is the end of the track. There is a belvedere overlooking the central crater : THE MUST OF THE VOLCANO SHOW !
How getting there: 

From Bourg-Murat to the Fournaise volcano, visiting on the way Nez-de-Boeuf, the Commerson crater and the "Plaine des Sables".

Afficher Route du volcan de la Fournaise , Réunion sur une carte plus grande

A tip to sleep: 

Volcano inn tel :02 62 51 17 42 .
You need to make a reservation, because the place is really popular. Call the "Maison de la Montagne" (mountain house) in Saint-Denis (tel 02 62 90 78 78) or tourism offices. The comfort is very Spartan, but you have no choice if you want to leave early to visit the volcano.

Useful information: 
Access security: 

This trip, if you have a car, is accessible for everyone.