A volcanic dot of tropical French idyll, flavored with Creole, Indian, African, and Chinese culture, endowed with some of Earth's finest natural beauty, Réunion is also ideally placed to receive powerful and consistent Roaring Forties swells. It's a volcanic isle with black sand beaches and high peaks, including Piton de la Fournaise, an active volcano known locally as le Volcan. Its last eruption occurred on 2 January 2010 and lasted 10 days. The mountainous geography has a big influence on weather patterns and, consequently, coral reefs have only developed on the leeward W coast because the rainfall there is minimal. The rain has shaped canyons that funnel water into the sea and then through coral passes. Most of the 32 reported spots on the W coast break on fragmented barrier reefs, quite a distance from the beach. There's also normal lava rock bottoms, but they are less numerous and usually have murky water – good habitat for sharks. For the less adventurous, there's a few average black sand beachbreaks along with the popular white sand beaches of Roches Noires and Boucan Canot.