This magnificent "freedom" Trek with your Horizon Réunion guidebook or accompanied by a mountain guide allows you to enjoy “the Ultimate Experience”, crossing the island diagonally from North-West to South-East, following the iconic GRR2 and some wonderful "off the beaten track" variations. Accommodation essentially in hikers’ lodges or guest rooms on a half-board basis to share the day’s experiences in a friendly atmosphere over a good Cari (curry) or a nice Creole Rougail. Airport pick-up, private transfer with luggage to certain stages of the Trek to lighten your load. Requires a confirmed level of mountain hiking. Discount rates from 3 to 15 persons. Through this magnificent "freedom" Trek with guidebook provided, including IGN maps, or accompanied by a mountain guide, you’ll walk the most beautiful paths and discover the many magnificent landscapes and enjoy the Ultimate Experience. You’ll follow the route of the famous GRR2 (followed by the famous "Diagonale des Fous" trail race) using a few variations to allow you to discover the Cirques de Mafate and Cilaos as well as reaching unmissable summits offering breathtaking panoramas: the Roche Ecrite (2277 m - panorama over the Cirques de Salazie and Mafate), the Piton des Neiges (3071 m - highest point in the Indian Ocean) and the Piton de la Fournaise (2631 m), one of the most active volcanoes in the world!
Airport pick-up and private transfer by car with driver to various stages with your luggage in order to lighten your backpack and collect your personal belongings. Option to extend your stay in a hotel on the beach, a tour of the island by car, or in combination with the island of Mauritius. Requires a confirmed level of mountain hiking.
This tour is offered by the incoming partner agency Horizon Réunion.
Rate available to 31/10/2017
This tour includes
A personalised travel journal including a detailed roadbook with guide
IGN route maps and vouchers
A telephone conversation two weeks before your departure to help you pack your bags and advise you how to prepare for your Trek
Transfers with a private chauffeur + luggage transfer service at certain stages as mentioned in the programme (Day 1, Day 8, Day 14)
1 night with breakfast in a 2-star hotel in St Denis town centre
12 nights’ half board in a lodge, refuge or guest house
Telephone support 24/7 during your trip
But does not include
Lunches and dinner on day 1,
The services of a mountain guide,
The double room supplement in your accommodation (between €2 and €5 per person per night according to availability),
Cancellation insurance and repatriation assistance with our partner Europ Assistance (between 2% and 5% of the total amount according to the chosen formula)
Airport – St Denis town centre
Arrival at St Denis airport in the morning (overnight flight) - Welcome by your Horizon Réunion representative and private transfer by car with driver or minibus (depending on the number of people) to your hotel in the centre of St Denis (15 min walk from the start of the trail). On arrival, your Horizon Réunion representative will give you your roadbook (itinerary for the 13 days of the Trek + GR®R2 guidebook with IGN data + reservation vouchers). Option to leave some of your luggage to pick it up again on Day 8 and Day 14 and at certain stages if desired (optional). Use this free day to discover the town centre of St Denis (the beautiful colonial residences of the Rue de Paris, the shopping and cosmopolitan street of Maréchal Leclerc, and the Jardin de l'Etat). Dinner as you please and overnight stay in a 2-star town centre hotel.
Saint-Denis (Providence) – Gîte de la Roche Ecrite
Breakfast. Begin your trek with this first stage which takes you up to the Gîte de La Roche Ecrite via the village of Brûlé and a forest of cryptomeria. Discover this fabulous natural park in the north of the island which the Tuit-Tuit (small endemic bird of Reunion Island - endangered species) has made its home. Average walking time: 6 hr 30 / Height gain +1790 m. Dinner and overnight stay in a lodge at Roche Ecrite.
Ascent of Roche Ecrite (2277 m) – Dos d’Âne
Breakfast. Before heading off in the direction of Dos d'Âne, we recommend you take a detour which involves climbing Roche Ecrite starting early in the morning to watch the first rays of the sun on the Cirque de Salazie on one side, and part of the Cirque de Mafate on the other. Impressive views! Allow about 1 hr 15 for your ascent to the summit of the Roche Ecrite from the lodge. After this detour, pick up the GR®R2 route from the lodge and head towards the Plaine d’Affouches. You’ll be hiking through a forest of coloured wood and upland tamarinds, with views of the Cirque de Mafate on the way, arriving right in the centre of the village of Dos d'Ane. Average walking time: 6 hr / Height gain: +450 m / Height loss: -1350 m. Dinner and overnight stay in a guest house in Dos d’Ane.
Dos d’Âne – Aurère (Cirque of Mafate)
Breakfast. We’re off to discover the Cirque of Mafate with a first stop-off at the “islet” of Aurère. The word "islet" refers to a small plateau lost amid the rugged relief. Relatively inaccessible, the islet was the place of refuge for black marrons (escaped slaves). Average walking time: 5 hr / Height gain: +700 m / Height loss: -690 m. Dinner and overnight stay in a lodge in Aurère.
Aurère - Ilet à Malheur - Grand Place les Hauts
Breakfast. Discover along your route the pretty village of Ilet à Malheur, before settling down for the end of the day and night in the village of Grand Place Les Hauts, which is located in the heart of the Cirque of Mafate and enjoys superb views of the Coeur de Mafate and Piton Cabris. Average duration: 4 hr / Height gain: +410 m / Height loss: -485 m.
Dinner and overnight stay in a lodge in Grand Place les Hauts.
Grand Place les Hauts – Roche Plate
Breakfast. We’re off to another "islet" in the Cirque of Mafate: Roche Plate. This stage in the route takes you past places with such evocative names as Piton Tortue and Ilet des Orangers; you’ll ford the Ravine de Maïdo and the Ravine Grand-Mère, finally arriving at the islet of Roche Plate, which rises to 1132 m. Average duration: 5 hr 30 / Height gain: +943 m / Height loss: -613 m. Dinner and overnight stay in a lodge in Roche Plate.
Roche Plate – Trois-Roches - Marla
Breakfast. For this stage, rather than following the GRR2 which brings you to Piton Bronchard on a very technical path with perilous descents, we recommend a variant which consists of heading for Marla via the geological site of Trois-Roches and its impressive waterfall, an ideal place for a picnic! Average duration: 6 hr / Height gain: +900 m / Height loss: -350 m. Dinner and overnight stay in a lodge in Marla.
Marla – Col du Taïbit - Cilaos
Breakfast. Start this day by climbing the Col du Taïbit and discover during this stage another of Reunion’s cirques: Cirque of Cilaos. Once you arrive at the intersection with the Ilet à Cordes road, transfer your luggage with our driver to lighten your backpack and collect personal belongings for the rest of your Trek in total freedom. Average duration: 3 hr 30 / Height gain: +/-500 m. Dinner and overnight stay in a lodge in Cilaos.
Cilaos – refuge de la Caverne Dufour (Piton des Neiges)
Breakfast. This is a tough day when climbing from Cilaos to Caverne Dufour will see you climb 1341 metres in a single ascent. Average duration: 5 hr 30 / Height gain: +1341 m / Height loss: -72 m. Dinner and overnight stay at the "Refuge du Piton des Neiges" lodge.
Ascent of the Piton des Neiges (3070 m) – Bourg Murat
Leave the lodge around 4.00 am with a headlamp (+ wind-proof jacket and warm clothing) to go and admire the sunrise from the highest peak in the Indian Ocean!
Average duration: 3 hr (return trip from the lodge) – Height gain: +592 metres. Breakfast served in the lodge (on your return from the ascent of the Piton des Neiges). Descent to Bourg Murat and its lowland landscapes. This trail leads you to a beautiful primary forest. Dinner and overnight stay in a guest house in Bourg Murat.
Bourg Murat – Gîte du Volcan
Breakfast. This day comes under the banner of a "procession of Pitons": between the Piton Grand-mère and Piton Rouge, head off towards Piton Misère to meet Piton aux Herbes Blanches (2035m). Then reach Piton l’Argamasse, Piton Textor and finally cut through the forest road of Piton de l’Eau to end your day at the Piton de la Fournaise lodge (2250 m).
Average duration: 5 hr 30 / Height gain: +809 m / Height loss: -162 m. Dinner and overnight stay at Gîte du Volcan.
Ascent of Piton de la Fournaise (2631 m) – Gîte du Volcan
Breakfast. This day is all about the ascent of Piton de la Fournaise (2631 metres), one of the most active volcanoes in the world! The hike takes you to Pas de Bellecombe, from where you have an exceptional panorama of the inside of the Volcano; you then descend inside the volcano, passing near a first crater called "Formica Léo" with its tones of ochre and vivid red. Then continue your route to the summit of the Dolomieu crater, the main crater in the Volcano, before returning by the same path to the lodge. Average duration: 5 hr (there and back) / Height gain: +/-600 m. Dinner and overnight stay in Gîte du Volcan.
Gîte du Volcan – Gîte de Basse Vallée
Breakfast. Head for the south-east of the island ... during this stage, you’ll be crossing the old eruptions of Piton de La Fournaise to see how the vegetation has regained its foothold: you’ll find Gîte de Basse Vallée amid this lush green setting. Average duration: 6 hr / Height gain: +103 m / Height loss: -1752 m. Dinner and overnight stay at the Gîte de Basse Vallée.
Basse Vallée – Transfer to the Airport or continue your stay in Reunion Island
Breakfast. Finish your Trek with this short stage which takes you past farms as you walk along shaded trails where nature will thank you for enjoying its show during this wonderful Trek! Average duration: 2 hr / Height gain: +0 m / Height loss: -565 m. Around 10.30: pick-up by your private chauffeur in Basse Vallée, gather your luggage and transfer to the airport or to wherever you’re staying.