Pitons of Reunion


The 'Pitons, cirques and remparts' of Reunion Island are renowned for their visually striking landscape and remaining high numbers of endemic plant species.

The site consists of two adjoining volcanic massifs, with remparts (steep rock walls) and cirques (imposing natural amphitheatres) that evolved due to erosion and volcanism.

The site corresponds with the core zone of La Réunion national park, which protects the middle and upper slopes of the two peaks. The park covers more than 40% of Reunion Island. The vulcanos are the dormant Piton de Neiges (3,071m) and the highly active Piton de la Fournaise (2,632m). The latter has erupted over 100 times since 1640 and is one of the most continuously active in the world. Many volcanic features can be found in the area, such as lava flows and basaltic cliffs.

The Pitons are covered with subtropical rainforests and cloud forests. It is a global centre of plant diversity with a high degree of endemism within the Mascarene archipelago, which consists of Madagascar, Mauritius and smaller islands in the Indian Ocean.


Community Reviews

Jarek Pokrzywnicki - October 2012

Non argueably one of world's wonders. Tropical forests, cirques, volcano, steep mountains, canyoons, watarfalls, everything can be found there.

Reunion National Park covers relatively big area almost entire interior (except those around villages), easy accesible by foot (marked trails) or bus. For those with limited time the best starting point to see the cirques is either Cilaos or Salazie (both accessible by bus).

For visiting the volcano (Piton de la Fournaise) it is better to have your own / rent car good road from Bourg-Murat up to Pas de Bellecombe (free parking). Otherwise it is a half day walk up to Gite de volcano. Piton de la Fournaise resembles Teide of Tenerife but at least the crater area is much, much bigger.

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Site Info

Full name: Pitons, cirques and remparts of Reunion Island

Site History


The site has 1 locations.

  • Pitons of Reunion


The site has 18 connections.



Human Activity

  • Maroonage ... from 1807 with sugar plantations for which labor came from Africa, Madagascar, India, Malaya and China, soon relegated to the status of slaves. The Cirque de Cilaos was cultivated for nearly 100 years by escaped slaves known as marrons whose leaders names are commemorated in the landscape of the cirques (UNEP-WCMC)


  • Holocene Le piton de la Fournaise, comme on le connaït aujourd'hui, date d'environ 4 700 ans. Cet âge correspond à l'effondrement majeur qui a donné naissance à l'enclos Fouqué en s'accompagnant d'explosions cataclysmiques. (Wiki)

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