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First eruption of Piton de La Fournaise in 2023

Published on 23 November 2023

active volcano

Located in southeastern Reunion, Piton de la Fournaise is one of the most active volcanoes on the planet.

Piton de la Fournaise erupted on 2 July 2023 at around 8.30am (local time).

According to the Piton de la Fournaise Volcano Observatory (OVPF), the origin of the eruption was located on the steep slopes of the east side.

The prefect of Reunion decided to trigger the 2-1 alert phase, ‘eruption in progress in the enclosure’ (without endangering people, property or the environment) of the specific Orsec Volcano plan, on 2 July 2023 at 8.30am (local time).

The beautiful spectacle offered when Piton de la Fournaise erupts is visible from the Route des Laves (Route Nationale 2 between the town centres of Sainte-Rose and Saint-Philippe). This road remains open to traffic, but it is forbidden to leave the road to reach the lava flow.

Public access to the entire Piton de la Fournaise enclosure (upper and lower parts plus the steep slopes) remains prohibited until further notice, from the Pas de Bellecombe and all other paths.

Reminder: regulations apply to the landing of aircraft in the volcano area and permission must be sought from the prefecture.

At this stage, the RN2 road remains open to traffic.

(Source: Reunion Island Prefecture)


Reunion Island, ultimately volcanic

Reaching 2,632 metres above sea level, Piton de la Fournaise is one of Reunion Island’s main tourist attractions. This exceptional natural phenomenon puts the ultimate island under the spotlight once again, offering the islanders yet another chance to watch Reunion’s breathtaking spectacle. Piton de la Fournaise is a Hawaiian-type volcano with a natural enclosure and presents no danger to visitors. Reunion Island, ultimately volcanic!

After four spectacular eruptions in 2018, Piton de la Fournaise erupted five times in 2019, three times in 2020, twice in 2021 and just once in 2022.

‘Piton Tikal’ is the name given to the volcanic cone created by the last eruption of Piton de la Fournaise which occurred from 19 September to 5 October 2022. This name comes from Reunion’s tales and legends about Gran Mèr Kal.

For a truly amazing experience, check out:

Piton de la Fournaise, from the Earth to the Moon

Located in a UNESCO World Heritage zone, Piton de la Fournaise and its older neighbour, Piton des Neiges, together form Reunion’s volcanic range. When it isn’t erupting, this highly active volcano can be reached by crossing the incredible red-tinted landscape of the Plaine des Sables, which looks just like a scene from the planet Mars.

Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Would you like to really get the most out of your experience? Visit the Cité du Volcan, a visitor centre in the Plaine des Cafres. The innovative, interactive tour is both amusing and informative and you’ll learn all about the geological history of Reunion.

Every eruption produces unforgettable images. If you’re interested, you can find full-HD videos of Piton de la Fournaise, which are updated every half-hour both day and night, on reunion.fr:



preparing for your upcoming trip

Reunion Island offers visitors all sorts of unique experiences, to transport you far from the day-to-day routine!

Organise your next trip to Reunion #gotoreunion. In the comfort of your sofa, browse through the new tourism magazine from the Reunion Island Tourist Board: Reunion, the ultimate island, and check out our 10 tips for responsible travel on Reunion.

In the southern hemisphere, summer is from November to April when the weather is sunny. The air temperature can reach 33°C and the water is around 26°C.

You’ll swim in the lagoon and enjoy a unique experience surrounded by the sumptuous scenery of the national park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.