ravel to La Plaine-des-Cafres – The ‘Little Switzerland’ of Reunion
From the village of Bourg Murat on La Plaine-des-Cafres, the ‘Route du Volcan’ leads to one of the most active volcanoes on our planet – Piton de la Fournaise. It is also a very scenic region in its own right.
La Plaine-des-Cafres is a popular highland region during Reunion’s hot summer months. The 1300m altitude ensures cooler days and nights and an escape from the energy-sapping humidity. During winter, temperatures drop quite dramatically; ensuring log fires are the norm at night and days are ideal for mountain trekking.
The region is also known as ‘Little Switzerland’ because of its green pastures, herds of cows and flocks of sheep. The village of most importance to the traveller is Bourg Murat. As well as offering basic amenities, accommodation and restaurants it is also the start point for the 23 km-long ‘Route du Volcan’, a well-maintained all-weather road that runs to the edge of the Volcano.
In Bourg Murat the ‘Maison du Volcan’ provides an excellent and interactive overview of not only Piton de la Fournaise, but also other major volcanoes around the world.
Of significant interest for walkers and trekkers, the GR R2 runs between the island’s highest point, ‘Piton des Neiges’, through the Plaine-des-Cafres, up to the volcano, and finally down to the south coast. Maison de la Montagne de la Reunion provides a specialist and comprehensive information and gite/hut booking service covering hiking routes all over Reunion. Mountain bike trips of varying durations can also be organised in the area.
For complete flexibility and independence, a car is essential for travelling around this fascinating volcanic region.
- Start point of the ‘Route du Volcan’ – the road that leads to the ‘Piton de la Fournaise’ volcano
- Visit the excellent volcano museum, ‘Maison du Volcan’, in Bourg Murat
- Head out on mountain bikes or on foot to experience the scenery of ‘Little Switzerland’