Since my arrival here more than four years ago, I hike frequently in order to discover all the wonders that abound the beautiful island of Reunion! I share with you three of my most beautiful experiences in nature:
Le Grand Bénare: I have done this hike more than five times, but despite everything it was a different and unique experience for everyone! Indeed, depending on the time of day but also depending on the season, the weather throughout the day, the landscapes are changeable. The walk to the Grand Bénare offers you an exceptional view of Mafate, Cilaos, the Piton des Neiges, and sometimes even a view of the Piton de la Fournaise when it is devoid of any cloud (generally early in the morning). The start of the hike is from the Maïdo. My advice is to arrive just before sunrise at Maïdo, you will attend a breathtaking spectacle: enough to fill you with energy to face the 5/6 hours of round trip hiking to Grand Bénare. For the return, I recommend that you go through the Glacière the path is simpler and this allows you not to take the same path in the opposite direction but rather to make a loop. Count 18 kilometers with 930 meters of elevation gain, this course is intended for rather trained people.
An overview of the final point of view:
Roche Verre Bouteille: one of the easiest hikes on the island, it offers a great view of the Mafate circus. Leaving from Dos d'Âne (La Possession) you will arrive at the Cap Noir kiosk in just 15 minutes without difficulty. Guaranteed wonder! You then have the option of turning around and will be back at the car park after barely 30 minutes of walking and the memory of a breathtaking view of Mafate! But, for those who wish, you have the possibility of continuing from the kiosk: you will walk along the Mafate circus and will have the privilege of seeing other breathtaking views! The journey is relatively short and accessible, a few ladder passages which may surprise but which in reality do not present any difficulty. From then on, you will change your horizon and have a magnificent view of the city of the Port, but also of the Indian Ocean. Allow a maximum of 1 hour 30 minutes of walking for the loop and 320 meters of elevation gain. Young and old, sporty or not, children, adults, the Roche Vert Bouteille hike is suitable for all audiences and all tastes. Here again, I recommend that you do it in the morning to benefit from the clearest possible view of the viewpoints. After 11am, very often, clouds appear!
The Piton de la Fournaise: the hike that leads to the Dolomieu Crater from the Pas de Bellecombe is a must during your stay on Reunion Island! Imagine being able to tread the ground of another planet ... It will be (almost) done with this hike where you will walk in the enclosure of one of the most active volcanoes in the world, on its cooled lava! At the start of the hike you will descend into the Piton de la Fournaise enclosure via the stairs. Therefore, be vigilant and attentive to follow the markings. It should be noted that the routes that lead to the Dolomieu evolve at the rate of the eruptions (frequent in Réunion), so stay informed. Throughout this hike, you can admire the other (smaller) craters formed by previous eruptions. After your ascent of approximately 2h30 / 3h, you will arrive at the final viewpoint from where you can see the interior of the Dolomieu Crater. You will be surprised by the atmosphere that emerges there, and by its circumference since it is 1 kilometer in diameter! It is simply breathtaking! For the lucky ones who will have good weather for this hike, the views over the horizon are again breathtaking! The hike lasts on average 5 hours round trip with 500 meters of elevation gain. In the event of danger and in particular, of an eminent eruption foreseen, the access to the enclosure is closed. As a result, stay up to date with local news. If the enclosure is open and no phase of vigilance has been launched, you can go there with confidence, well equipped all the same and by scrupulously following the markings: it must be earned!