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La Réunion - Petite Traversee

9 Days 4800 ex Saint Denis


6 Nights in Gîte or Refugio
2 Nights in Hotel


Mostly on foot
Transfers included

Included Meals

8 Breakfasts
6 Dinners

Trip Grade

Dense tropical forests, breathtaking vistas of an active volcano, hidden waterfall baths, and rich cultural diversity – Réunion Island offers these experiences and so much more.

Nestled in the Indian Ocean between Mauritius and Madagascar, Réunion, a small French-speaking island of just 2500 km², punches well above its size in terms of its offerings. With over 200 microclimates, it’s a treasure trove of varied landscapes.

This volcanic island is home to more than 800 unique species, which is why its national park proudly features on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. The island’s population is a vibrant mix, with European, Asian, African ancestries and more coexisting and fostering cultural interchanges. Prepare yourself for a kaleidoscopic journey.

“Jutting out of the ocean like a basaltic shield cloaked in green, Réunion is a scenically magical island that enjoys a truly astonishing diversity of landscapes. “

Lonely Planet

“Expect awesome mountains, emerald forests, tumbling waterfalls, soul-stirring panoramas, energetic coastal cities and a sprinkling of white- or black-sand beaches – not to mention the formidable Piton de la Fournaise, one of the world’s most accessible active volcanoes.

With its extraordinarily varied terrain, Réunion is a dream destination for lovers of the outdoors.” 

Lonely Planet

The roof of the Indian Ocean.

At just over 3,000 metres, that is the Piton des Neiges.

Incredibly, this tiny speck in the vast (over 70 million square kilometres) that is La Réunion, boasts the highest point within this vast expanse of blue.

It’s said, that on a clear and crisp morning, almost the entirety of this jagged island of dark volcanic rock, sandy beaches and tropical jungle can be spied from this vantage point.

Tomorrow morning, in the dark of the pre-dawn, we’ll be gingerly making our way to that summit in anticipation of clear skies, the warming sun, and those professed views.

That said, even the views above the cloud are said to be something else anyway…

C’est la vie!


The Journey

Welcome to Réunion Island! Morning transfer from St-Dennis to the small village of Hell Bourg. Found at 930m in Le cirque du Salazie, this charming village is littered with colourful Créole houses, each more beautiful than the last, and surrounded by the lush vegetation of the calm Salazie commune. If you wish, you can visit the Maison Folio Natural History Museum (payable locally). (D)

Morning transfer to the aptly named forest road, the ‘Hauts de Mafate’ or the ‘heights of Mafate’ and the Col des Boeufs for the start of your first day hiking in the Cirque de Mafate. Today’s tallest peak, the dormant Piton des Neiges, was once the birthplace of La Réunion. It now houses three calderas, which are depressions formed by the collapse of a volcano post eruption. These calderas – filled with stunning peaks, ridges, and valleys – offer exceptional hiking trails that beckon adventurers globally. Mafate, the most renowned of these calderas, served as a sanctuary for those fleeing slavery, with the interior mountains providing a shield against slave hunters. Even today, this location maintains its isolation, remaining accessible solely on foot.

Today’s walk journeys through the Bois de Couleur, ‘the colourful forest’, ventures into the small village of la Nouvelle and continue up to the Trois Roches where a strange volcanic world and surprising waterfall top views await. Your accommodation for tonight is found in Marla at 1630m. Shorter routes are possible.

6 hours of walking. Elevation: +850m/-1070m

Night without your luggage you will be reunited with your luggage tomorrow. Day pack for overnight stay. (B,L,D)

Today you hike through the Col du Taïbit (2083m), the passage which links the Cirque de Mafate to the Cirque de Cilaos. The views from up here do not disappoint, on a clear day you can expect a spectacular display of the surrounding cirques, the south coast and Grand Bénare volcanic peak. The route continues down through the thick vegetation of the ‘Bois des Couleurs’ to Cilaos. From here, it is a 15-minute local bus or a 2-hour walk via the Bras Rouge (Red Arms) waterfall to your accommodation. (B,L,D)

4 to 6 hours of walking
Elevation: +720m/-1200m
Accommodation: Gîte
Your luggage will be waiting for you.

This morning, you can take a 15-minute bus to the beginning of your hike to avoid 45 minutes of uphill walking on scree. The shaded path up to tonight’s refuge is steep. Along the way there are many beautiful viewpoints to admire Cilaos from. You should find shelter and water halfway up but beware, this water point is not always refilled in times of drought. The climb continues up to rewarding views and around 2500m of altitude and your accommodation at 2400m. (B,L,D)

4 to 5 hours of walking
Elevation: +1110m/-25m
Accommodation: Gîte
A night without luggage – you will be reunited with your bags tomorrow.

Night-time departure for the summit of the Piton des Nieges at 3070m above sea level, the highest point in the Indian Ocean. The views from here are truly amazing and, as your surroundings are illuminated by the first glow of the morning sun, we are sure you will agree that this is a very special place. Return to the refuge for breakfast. Today’s route then continues down to the muddy Mare à Boue, along the passage of the eery la Caverne Bras Chansons to the enchanting Piton Tortue and lush green pastures below (amazing for these latitudes). A short transfer from Bourg Murat to your accommodation in la Plaine des Cafres. (B,L,D)

8 to 9 hours of walking
Elevation: +730m/-1800m
Accommodation: Gîte
Your luggage will be waiting for you.

Our last day of hiking takes us to the vibrant Piton de la Fournaise, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. As we climb the main crater, we are mesmerized by the surreal colors, fumaroles, and sulphur that reveal the volcano’s intense activity, a living testament to the ever-changing nature of this unique shield volcano.

Concluding our adventure, we journey to Saint-Gilles, where we have the freedom to partake in various activities that celebrate the island’s natural splendour. Whether paddling on the turquoise waters, snorkelling amidst marine wonders, or exploring the Conservatoire botanique des mascarins and Aquarium de St Gilles, we are immersed in the island’s biodiversity. (B)

4 hours of walking
Elevation: +350m/-250m
Accommodation: Gîte
Journey time: 30 minutes
Your luggage will be waiting for you.

Free Day (B)

Free Day (B,D)

Journey Extensions

Check out our Journey Extensions for those that want to stay a little longer or try something different along the way.


  • Gîte accommodation with shared facilities
  • All meals as noted (B,L,D)
  • Nights 7 and 8 in a 4 Star hotel
  • All in-country transfers by private vehicle as detailed in the itinerary
  • Luggage transportation as detailed in the itinerary
  • Secure baggage storage
  • Full supervision by an expert-qualified guide

If you are travelling alone and do not wish to share accommodation, a Single Supplement of $150 will apply only for the hotel portion of the trip (mountain huts do not have single rooms).


  • International airfares
  • Travel Insurance
  • Local expenses

Your Guides and Safety

Our lead guides are fully trained, registered and licensed tour guides. All are passionate about nature and the wonderful landscape of La reunion and have a deep understanding of this unique island’s unique culture and history.


What on earth is a Gîte?

A “gîte” is a holiday home in a stand alone building and will almost always be self catering (although not always as you’ll see below).

Usually our travellers sleep in mountain accommodation with shared bathroom facilities and dormitories of 4 to 10 people (with the exception of one dorm in a refuge at the Piton des Neiges which sleeps 8 to 16 people).
Hot showers are not always free, notably in the Piton de la Fournaise area where water is a rare commodity or in the refuge at the Piton des Neiges where there is no running water.

The Best Time To Travel To La Réunion

The best time to explore La Réunion is from May through until December (January through to March is the Cyclone season).

July to October are the driest months and the cool temperatures are ideal for hiking. Be warned though, the mornings and evenings are cold at this time. It gets very busy from July to the end of August as these are the main French school holidays (and around Christmas).

Meals On The Trip

No matter where we take you, food is an important component of any No Roads Expeditions trip. La Réunion, with it’s fusion of European, African and Asian influences is no exception.

All meals are outlined within the itinerary (B,L,D). 

Breakfast: Continental style breakfasts are served at your accommodation each morning. You can expect tea, coffee, fruit juice, bread, butter, jam and maybe meats and cheeses.

Lunch: Not included in the trip price. You can purchase pre-prepared picnic lunches from your accommodation during your stay to carry
with you each day. These meals include fresh seasonal produce, cheese, meat, salad and fruit. Please be aware that, due to the inaccessibility of La Réunion’s remote communes grocery stores are not always well stocked. We recommend purchasing snacks to carry with you whenever you can.

Dinner: Hot, hearty, home cooked meals of local cuisine are served at your accommodation. Supplies in this remote area are delivered by helicopter so evening meals may not vary greatly but you’re sure to love the mix of French, Indian, Chinese and African flavours that are Creole cuisine. The traditional dish is a curry with tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger and spices served with either chicken, duck or fish and accompanied by rice, grains (beans or lentils) and rougail, a spicy condiment flavoured with tomato, lemon and pistachio.

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