Reunion Island, only a 4 hour flight from South Africa has so much adventure activities to offer that it’s taken me quite a few days to create a listing of what I would like to squeeze into a 2 week itinerary.
I love hiking and Reunion Island has almost 1000 km of hiking trails. There are a number of trails to choose from and it’s up to the hiker to decide which direction to take and which portions of the trails to trek on.
Alongside the hiking trails are gites (small lodges) or refugios (small mountain village accommodations) that should ideally be booked in advance. Getting around the island seems to be very easy by public bus or car rental.
When I visit I’d like to:
Trek on the 3 famous cirques (natural amphitheatres) inland: Cirque de Salazie, Cirque de Cilaos and
Cirque de Mafate
Ascend (by foot) to the tallest summit on this Indian Ocean island, Piton des Neiges (3070m high extinct volcano)
Trek through the Jurassic-like Bebour-Belouve Forest
This forest has the stunning Trou De Fer falls
Chill out and kite surf at the sea-side town St Pierre Take a helicopter tour of the island from St Pierre
Try out Paragliding in St Leu
Stroll through Rue de Paris in St Denis, observing a legacy of the French presence on Reunion Island while snacking on fresh baguettes
The Day by Day of my planned itinerary to Reunion Island would be:
|Sunday||0||Fly into St Denis||St Gilles||Beach|
|Monday||1||Hellbourg||Caverne Dufour||Hike on Cirque de Salazie|
|Monday||1||Caverne Dufour||Piton Des Naiges||Hike on Cirqe de Cilaous|
|Tuesday||2||Piton des Neiges||Cilaos||Hike on Cirqe de Cilaous|
|Wednesday||3||Cilaos||La Nouvelle||Hike on Cirqe de Cilaous|
|Wednesday||3||La Nouvelle||Plateau de Kerval||Hike on Cirque de Mafate|
|Thursday||4||Plateau de Kerval||Marla||Hike on Cirque de Mafate|
|Friday||5||Marla||Roche Plate||Hike on Cirque de Mafate|
|Friday||5||Roche Plate||Fond de Mafate||Hike on Cirque de Mafate|
|Saturday||6||Fond de Mafate||Aurere||Hike on Cirque de Mafate|
|Saturday||6||Aurere||Col des Boeufs||Hike on Cirque de Mafate|
|Sunday||7||Col des Boeufs||Grand Ilet||Hike on Cirque de Salazie|
|Monday||8||Grand Ilet||Hellbourg||Hike on Cirque de Salazie|
|Transfer to Belouve by car|
|Tuesday||9||Belouve||Piton de La Fournaise||Hike to Volcano.Night in Volcano Gite|
|Wednesday||10||Piton de La Fournaise||St Pierre||Beach|
|Thursday||11||St Pierre||St Pierre||Beach|
|Friday||12||St Pierre||St Leu||Helicopter Tour in St Pierre|
|Saturday||13||St Leu||St Leu||Paragliding from Colimacons|
|Sunday||14||St Leu||St Denis, and Fly out|
However, while I have made this plan of activities that I would like to do I realise that plans change.
Once I set foot on the island I realise that I may be interested in another activity on the island. I just like to have a possible itinerary in place with a list of preferred activities before getting there. This list of activities is definitely something for me to look forward to.
If I had to go on a shorter trip then I may just trek between Mafate and Cilaos (driving out on the road with 420 bends), and ascend Piton De La Fournaise. If I go on a longer trip I would probably relax more on the beach and possibly add a white water rafting adventure.
Reunion Island truly has so much adventure to offer.
To read more about why Reunion Island is on my bucket-list check out this post.
Have you been to Reunion Island before? What would you recommend?
Update: I did finally visit Reunion Island in December 2015. Some expectations were met, but the trip was not without its challenges. Here’s my article on it: Reunion Island as a summer destination?
Cirque de Salazie by Photos et Voyages.
Cirque de Cilaos by Joseph Colin
Cirque de Mafate by Louis Volant
Pitone des Neiges by Simon and You
Bebour forest by Megatatan
Trou de Fer by David Domingo
St Pierre by Marie Astier
St Denis, Reunion by Images History