The Créole hike
Day 1 Saint Denis - Col des Boeufs - La Nouvelle (Cirque de Mafate)
On arrival, we are greeted by our guide at the airport before joining the Cirque de Salazie. We are driven to the Col des Boeufs. After a good picnic, we are preparing our backpack to go spend 3 days and 2 nights in the famous Mafate cirque (we will collect our luggage in Cilaos). Our hike starts easily and we enter in the Mafate cirque by the Col des Boeufs. There is no road access to this cirque, isolation and tranquility are guaranteed!
3 hours of walking
Elevation: + 150m / -500m
Day 2 La Nouvelle - Marla (Mafate)
We hike in the heart of the Mafate cirque, between the villages of La Nouvelle and Marla. Arrival in Marla for a last night in the Mafate cirque. Tomorow we will pass the Col du Taïbit to enter in the Cilaos cirque.
4 hours of walking
Elevation: + 600m / -400m
Day 3 Marla - Col du Taïbit - Cilaos
This morning we leave Marla in direction of Cilaos cirque. We cross the Col du Taïbit wich is the only way to link those two cirques. From the pass we enjoy a beautiful view on Cilaos and the South coast on one side and on Mafate and its villages and peaks on the other side. After the long way down to the Ilet à Cordes road we take a small bus to the village of Cilaos. We collect our luggage and we settle in our hotel. The opportunity to rest while taking advantage of the hotel's infrastructure.
4 to 5 hours of walking
Elevation: + 450m / -820m
Accommodation: Hotel with swimming pool
Day 4 East coast : Producer of vanilla and lava tube - Plaine des Cafres
This morning, we take the direction of the east coast of the island. Today program : discovery of a renowned producer of vanilla, fields of sugar cane, lava flows from Piton de la Fournaise. We continue our day with the visit of a lava tube (depending on weather conditions and seismic activity, access may be prohibited to visitors). In the afternoon, we reach the Plaine des Cafres.
1 hour of walking
Day 5 Piton de la Fournaise - Cité du Volcan - Gîte de Bélouve
This day is dedicated to the Piton de la Fournaise. We start from the Pas de Bellecombe, which gives us a superb panorama of the Piton de la Fournaise. The hike start with a short way down to enter the Enclos Fouquet. It's a 5000 years old caldeira, resulting of a huge collapsing. The landscape is totaly mineral from this point. We explore the enclosure and cross all kinds of amazing rock manifestations. Return to the Pas de Bellecombe. We leave the volcano to discover its Museum: the Cité du Volcan. We are going to learn more about it and the volcanic universe of the island in general. Direction Bélouve and its gîte in the heart of the endemic tropical forest. A mystical atmospheres is reigning around here
NB: In the event of a volcano eruption, alternative hikes in the area are offered.
3 to 4 hours of walking
Elevation: + 150m / -150m
Day 6 Forêt de Bélouve - Trou de Fer - Saint Gilles les bains
Early departure for the primary forest of Bélouve. We cross this forest and immerse ourselves in a wet tropical forest typical of the height of Reunion Island. We are surounded by fern trees and an endemic vegetation. The tortuous trees give to this place a magic atmosphere. Then we arrive at a belvedere on the highest waterfalls of France : le Trou de Fer. Return to Bélouve and direction Saint-Gilles for a moment of rest near the lagoon. Dinner at leisure.
3 hour walk
Elevation: + 160m / -160m
Accommodation: Hotel with swimming pool
Dinner at leisure
Day 7 Saint Gilles - Free day
Free time by the lagoon to enjoy the most beautiful beach of Reunion Island. Possibility of many optional activities from Saint-Gilles: whale watching from June to October, helicopter, ULM, paragliding, canyoning ...
Meals at leisure
Dates & prices
No departure for now
Trip code: QREUD-EN
- Full supervision by an expert qualifed guide
- 4 nights gîte accommodation with shared facilities
- 2 night in hotel accommodation
- The visite of Museum (Maison Folio, Cité du Volcan, producteur de vanille)
- Exploration of a lava tube supervised by an expert qualifed guide
- Full board from lunch Day 1 to breakfast Day 7
- All in-country transfers as detailed in the itinerary
- Luggage transportation as detailed in itinerary
- Secure baggage storage
- Breakfast Day 1 & dinner Day 7
- International flights
- Repatriation insurance
Terms and conditions
- Cancellation received more than 30 days prior to the departure date: a sum of €50 per person will be retained
- Cancellation received 30 to 21 days before the departure date: your deposit, 30% of the total trip price will be retained
- Cancellation received 20 to 14 days before the departure date: 50% of the total trip price will be retained
- Cancellation received 13 to 7 days before the departure date: 75% of the total trip price will be retained
- Cancellation received less than 7 days before the departure date: 100% of the total trip price will be retained
- Fixed airfares: if your airline ticket was issued in advance, often done to avoid significant surcharges, you will be charged 100% of any non-refundable fees if you wish to change or cancel your flight plan.
- Fixed in-country costs: early charges for firm bookings will be charged if you cancel or modify your trip.
- Insurance costs: if you have taken out comprehensive or cancellation insurance, the cost of insurance is due and cannot be refunded.
Changes to travel contract
Budget & exchange
- A cap or sunhat
- 1 or 2 sets of thermals: long-sleeved thermal tops and full-length long johns
- Long sleeved and short sleeved t-shirts, preferably in quick-drying technical material
- 1 light fleece or equivilent (plus extra warm layers for austral winter months)
- A breathable wind proof, waterproof jacket (Gore-Tex...)
- Lightweight waterproof over trousers
- 1 pair of long suitable shorts
- 1 pair of walking trousers (detachable legs ideal)
- A pair of high-rise walking boots with vibram soles - Réunions trails can be rocky and muddy (or appropriate trail running shoes)
- A pair of trainers or equivilent casual shoes for the evenings
- Thick walking socks
- Warm gloves, hat and scarf (forJune - September trips and those which climb up to the cirques or high mountains)
- A swimsuit
- Sleeping bag liner. Sheets and blankets are provided except in the refuge at Piton des Neiges where there are only blankets
- A tupperware box or bowl and cutlery for picnics
- Your personal toiletries - think to use as many biodegradable products as possible.
- Fast-drying microfibre towel
- Water bottle(s). Min. 2 litres, light and isothermal
- A good pair of sunglasses (think min. category 3)
- Sun-cream, face and lips
- Head torch and spare batteries
- A pocket knife
- A pair of hiking poles
- A waterproof bag cover (or plastic bags) to protect your belongings
- A rucksack (35-40L or 45-50L) for use as a day bag. This will contain your (vital) personal belongings for the day, or sometimes for several days.
- A larger bag (60-80L) containing the rest of your belongings, those which you do not need with you in the day. This bag will be transported by our driver to your accommodation each day. Sometimes, as detailed in your itinerary, you will not see this bag for one or more nights. Please bring is a soft bag like a ruckack or holdall rather than a hard cased suitcase because it is more practical for our drivers.
Health information & recommendations
- Avoid dropping litter - use bins or carry your rubbish with you.
- Use drinking water sparingly - avoid wasting water, take showers not baths, report leaks, etc..
- Support the preservation of cultural sites - resist the temptation to touch statues, moves stones etc..
- Exchanges are prefarable to donations - generations gifts can destabalize the local economic balance.
- When walking, be aware of fragile ecosystems, observe wildlife from a distance, stick to trails, limit trampling and do not steal from the nature - resist the temptation to pick flowers, collect fossils or stones...
- Some hotels have air conditioning - to avoid excessive energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, please use sparingly and remember to cut the aircon when you are not in the room.