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5
Ke Classic
Ke Classic
Holidays

Reunion Island Paradise

Reunion Island
5 reviews
Available Departures: Sep

11 days from

US$2,845

without flights
Walk & Trek
Guided Group
MODERATE MODERATE

A superb walking holiday on the tropical Indian Ocean island of Reunion

Trip Code: RUN
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Reunion Island Paradise

Highlights
  • Distinctive Creole flavour and Indian Ocean beaches
  • Summit Piton des Neiges (3070m), Reunion Island's highest mountain
  • Proper volcano walking and overnight in mountain refuges
  • Sunrise on the summits and stunning mountain scenery walking on Reunion Island

At a Glance
  • Group Size 5 to 12
  • 8 days trekking
  • 1 day beach and sightseeing
  • Max altitude - 3070m
  • Join In St Denis

Accommodation & Meals
  • 10 Breakfasts
  • 5 Dinners
  • 5 nights Mountain Hut / Refuge
  • 4 nights Hotel with swimming pool
  • 1 nights Hotel
Overview

Wild and tropical trekking adventure holiday walking in the mountains of Reunion Island. Eight hundred kilometres east of Madagascar, the French overseas department of Reunion Island is a walking destination - par excellence! The far-flung volcanic Reunion Island, with its intriguing mix of African and French cultures, rises to over 3000m and its rugged interior boasts a network of walking trails which would not look out of place in Nepal. Three vast eroded cirques, Salazie, Mafate and Cilaos, dominate the centre of Reunion Island and provide the backdrop for this surprising walking adventure holiday.


Walking through forest and farmland, our trekking takes us across high passes, descending to spend time in and explore friendly villages. Luxuriant vegetation, exotic bird species, towering waterfalls and hot springs to are all part of the scene on the endearing paradise of Reunion Island. Trekking to the summit of Piton des Neiges (3070m) at dawn, we can look across to our final objective, the active volcano of Piton de la Fournaise (2632m). Having ticked off many of the best walking trails on Reunion Island, we will be ready for a day of R&R at the pleasant coastal resort of St Gilles, a great way to end our walking holiday adventure to Reunion Island.

Is this holiday for you?

This is not a long or sustained walking holiday and the altitudes that we reach are relatively modest. The first 3 days of walking take the form of a continuous trek, walking between 4 and 6 hours each day, as we cross from the cirque of Salazie, through Mafate to Cilaos. We then have a free day, before making a 2-day ascent of Piton des Neiges. Climbing this peak and then descending to the refuge …

This is not a long or sustained walking holiday and the altitudes that we reach are relatively modest. The first 3 days of walking take the form of a continuous trek, walking between 4 and 6 hours each day, as we cross from the cirque of Salazie, through Mafate to Cilaos. We then have a free day, before making a 2-day ascent of Piton des Neiges. Climbing this peak and then descending to the refuge at Belouve, will provide us with our longest day - possibly 7 hours of walking. We have 2 further day hikes, including the 5-hour return trip to the cratered top of Piton de la Fournaise. Although most of the paths that we follow throughout the trip will have way-markers (in the French style - blobs of paint) we will encounter a wide range of underfoot conditions. There will be forest trails, including muddy conditions at Trou de Fer, as well as zig-zag tracks on volcanic scree and rough, rocky sections on each of the peaks. There are a few short, 5-10m sections on the path which do have a little exposure. Whilst trekking for 2 nights / 3 days between Salazie (day 2) and Cilaos (day 4) and during the 2-day ascent of Piton des Neiges (3 nights/4 days), we will carry everything that we need in our daysacks. Our main luggage will be transferred to the following hotel. We do not need much as the refuges supply all bedding (although we recommend a sheet sleeping bag), backpack should be kept light, under 8kg. Carrying our few belongings over the walks makes it seem much more adventurous and exciting on this rural island.

Why KE?

With 30-year's trekking experience in far-flung destinations, we can tell you that this tropical island trek is sure to provide you with  'A taste of trekking paradise'.

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Itinerary

Meet at the group hotel in Saint Denis. A transfer from St Denis Airport is provided. St Denis is the capital of the Reunion Islands and is a full of palms trees alongside the French boulangeries, bistro, colonial buildings and Creole atmosphere. KE Land Only services begin with a briefing from the guide in the early evening before dinner, and overnight at the hotel.

Accommodation

Hotel

After breakfast we set off into the interior of the island. We drive into the cirque of Salazie, possibly the greenest of the 3 huge cirques which dominate the northern end of Reunion Island. Salazie was formerly the home of escaped slaves and almost inaccessible from the coast. Today, there are several small villages, including Salazie, Grand Ilet and Hell-Bourg which occupy small level areas (known as 'ilets') within the otherwise precipitous landscape. Arriving at the highest settlement of Le Belier (1600m), we leave our transport and set off on trek. There are great views as we ascend to the Col de Fourche (1942m), our gateway into the cirque of Mafate which is the wildest part of the island, reachable only on foot. From the col, we drop down into a forest and follow a good trail across the Plaine des Tamarins to the largest settlement in the valley at La Nouvelle (1450m) stopping off for a picnic lunch en route. We overnight in a mountain refuge close to the village shop and 'bar'.

Accommodation

Mountain Hut / Refuge

Meals

B D

Ascent

800 M

Descent

600 M

Time

3 - 4 hrs walking

Distance

12 KM

Surrounded by basalt cliffs and peaks, which glow pink at sunrise and sunset, Mafate is a dramatic place, completely cut off from the rest of the island and from the sea, which cannot be seen from here. Several hundred people live in the Mafate Cirque in about a dozen small hamlets, many of them unseen amongst the hidden folds of this rugged terrain. Today, we hike downhill to the old settlement at Plaine aux Sables which once was the biggest in the valley and occupies the site of an old crater. From here, we continue descending on the GR R1 path through a ravine to the riverside beauty spot of Trois Roches, where the river flows across a smooth bed of volcanic lava and drops into a sheer-sided fissure. We stop for a picnic, before heading upstream through a rocky valley for a couple of hours to the high plain at Marla (1645m) and our overnight refuge accommodation.

Accommodation

Mountain Hut / Refuge

Meals

B D

Ascent

650 M

Descent

430 M

Time

5 - 6 hrs walking

Distance

10 KM

Today we head south towards the crest on a well-marked path which is taken by both the GR R1 and the GR R2. We soon leave the plateau area behind and begin a steep climb which eventually relents as we enter an area of shading acacia forest. After approximately an hour's climb, we reach the last zig-zag before the pass, where a short diversion from the trail takes us to a promontory which affords superb views back across the Mafate depression. We can see the route of our last 2 days hiking, as well as the village of Marla below us. Crossing the often windy Col du Taibit (2200m), we drop down quickly into the Cilaos Cirque on a zig-zagging path and by way of a lower col with some steep sections through forest to the Plaine des Fraises. After lunch, it is a short descent to the road which links l'Iet a Cordes with the town of Cilaos. We cross the road and continue to Cilaos, which we can see far below, by way of the old pathway. Arriving in Cilaos, we check in to our hotel.

Accommodation

Hotel with swimming pool

Meals

B

Ascent

600 M

Descent

1000 M

Time

5 - 6 hrs walking

Distance

14 KM

We spend a free day in Cilaos, with the option to relax by the hotel pool, or do some independent exploration on foot. The Cilaos Cirque has the most development of the 3 that we have visited and yet remains stunningly beautiful. The region around the town of Cilaos is known for its lentils, wine, embroidery and for hot springs. We spend a second night at our hotel.

Accommodation

Hotel with swimming pool

Meals

B

We have chosen to take 2 days for the 1700m ascent to the summit of Piton des Neiges, the highest point on the island and the Indian Ocean's biggest peak. So we have no need to get away too early. We walk up through the town and turn off on a path which climbs abruptly through the Mare a Joseph Forest, zig-zagging up to the Coteau Kerveguen Ridge with many sections of trail which have been 'improved' by the emplacement of often slippery log steps. After around 3 hours effort, we arrive at our overnight accommodation at the Caverne Dufour Refuge (2480m), where the views extend eastwards to the sea and Piton de la Fournaise.

Accommodation

Mountain Hut / Refuge

Meals

B D

Ascent

1300 M

Descent

130 M

Time

3 - 4 hrs walking

Distance

8 KM

Clouds tend to build up mid-morning and obscure the views at Piton des Neiges's summit and for this reason we make a very early (pre-dawn) start from the refuge. The well-marked path leads away to the north-east across a broad shoulder of the mountain, before entering a small cirque which we climb on its left side to reach the summit ridge. The Indian Ocean will also be visible if the weather is clear. Returning by the same route to the refuge, we will have breakfast, before trekking along the Cap Anglais Ridge to the Belouve Refuge. Following a well-marked trail, with great views to our right across the Bebour Forest, we drop down steadily, with some steep and zig-zagging sections which are muddy and slippery, passing the Caverne Mussard and the Cap Anglais, to finally arrive at our overnight accommodation.

Accommodation

Mountain Hut / Refuge

Meals

B D

Ascent

600 M

Descent

1590 M

Time

7 - 8 hrs walking

Distance

15 KM

At an altitude of around 1500 metres the Belouve Refuge is a great place from which to explore some of the island's finest primary forest. We have a morning's walk on forest paths, with a chance to see some of the many tree, plant and bird species that make this place so special. Tree ferns thrive in the humid environment on this windward side of the island and the forest has the feel of a tropical jungle. The highlight of the walk is at the viewpoint for the Trou de Fer waterfall, looking down into a deep and forested chasm, with the fall itself dropping away out of sight. After returning to the refuge, we meet our transport for the drive to our next overnight stopping place, at the Gite du Volcan (refuge), high on the slopes of Piton de la Fournaise. The exciting drive up to this refuge, close to the Pas de Bellecombe take us on a poor road across a landscape of bare volcanic rock, in marked contrast to the lush forest we have left behind at Belouve.

Accommodation

Mountain Hut / Refuge

Meals

B D

Ascent

100 M

Descent

100 M

Time

4 - 5 hrs walking

Distance

9 KM

We have another early start this morning for the long trek to Piton de la Fournaise (2632m). This is a very active volcano and periodically erupts, although usually in a fairly predictable and non-destructive way. The whole of the peak above the Pas de Bellecombe is bare rock and volcanic scree, with a marked path heading almost directly to the summit from our refuge. After an initial descent into the caldera which surrounds the central peak, we start our ascent, gradual at first, passing close to the cone of volcanic slag known as Formica Leo. As the angle of ascent steepens, we pass the rock formation of Chapelle de Rosemont and then fork left to the Crater of Domolieu, which is much bigger than the highest crater Bory and now about 300m deep, an impressive sight. There are good views across to Piton des Neiges and our route of descent from that mountain. We will eat our picnic lunch and then continue to the refuge. In certain circumstances, when the weather is bad or the volcano is erupting we will take a different route. We meet our transport mid-afternoon for the drive to the group hotel in St Gilles.

Accommodation

Hotel with swimming pool

Meals

B

Ascent

500 M

Descent

500 M

Time

5 hrs walking

Distance

10 KM

Today is free for independent exploration and sightseeing at this pretty coastal resort of St Gilles. This small town on the west coast of the island and one of the most popular resorts on Reunion. It has a pleasant port and marina, several sandy beaches fringed by palm trees and low basalt cliffs and a very relaxed atmosphere. It is also possible to go dolphin watching (all year) or whale watching (Jun-Oct). You can book this with your guide on arrival at the beginning of the holiday. There are various different options of trip depending on how long you wish to go for and spend.

Accommodation

Hotel with swimming pool

Meals

B

KE Land Only services end with breakfast at the hotel. A transfer to St. Denis Airport is provided.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Point Point
Airport Airport
Direction Direction
Transfer
Trek

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • Experienced local leader
  • Airport transfers to start and end hotels
  • Accommodation as described
  • Meals as per the Meal Plan
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary

  • Travel insurance
  • Meals as per the Meal Plan
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc

On arrival, all clients arriving into St Denis Airport (except during the night between 2100 and 0430) will receive a transfer to the group hotel in St Denis. The group briefing with the guide takes place at 18.00, so you should arrive before 17.00 so that you can join this briefing.

On departure all clients will receive a transfer from St Gilles (except during the night between 2100 and 0430) to the airport in time for their flight.

Both transfers are 'tourist transfers' - which is a tourist bus which drops off people at different hotels. The transfer to the hotel in St Denis is approximately 15mins from the airport, and from St Gilles is 45mins - 1hr.

If you are arriving or departing between 2100 and 0430 you will need a private transfer, and we can provide this at an additional cost. Private transfers during the day are also available if you do not wish to take the shared tourist transfer.Taxis are also available.

Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

All breakfasts and 5 dinners are included in the holiday price. All lunches and evening meals on 5 days will need to be purchased directly. Some lunches will involve buying snack items for a picnic lunch and some will be taken in a café, restaurant or other food outlet. Meal prices on Reunion Island are similar to those in the UK. Allow €10 - €15 for each lunch and approximately €30 for each evening meal. A total of €300 will be sufficient to cover these meals.

Many places on this holiday have drinkable water from the tap to fill your personal water bottles. Please check with the leader at the various locations. Please take purification tablets or a filter bottle (such as a Water-To-Go bottle) for days when drinking water out of the tap is not available. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

The plethora of races and nationalities has contributed to the integration of cuisines from India, China, France, Madagascar and the African mainland making the local food, interesting and exotic. Eating is one of the favourite activities of Reunionese and mealtimes are family occasions. The regional specialty is 'cari', a truly Creole dish in which many ingredients are simmered together. The cari is made using Indian spices and local ingredients like meat, poultry, fish or seafood and contains garlic, onion, plenty of tomatoes, turmeric, cloves and ginger. Caris are best eaten with boiled rice. The favourite special dishes of the islanders are carri bichique, carri tangue and wasp larvae served in a dish called rougail. Traditional Indian, Chinese and French food is available at the many restaurants and cafes in Reunion that also serve good local and French wines. However, essentially being a part of France much of the food is based on the French food including baguette at breakfast and sandwiches for lunch. Of course one must not forget the beer "bourbon" which is more often called 'dodo'. Our packed/picnic lunches we need to purchase at the local shops and the tour leader will point you in the right direction for this.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

During this holiday the group will spend 1 night in a colonial style hotel with small swimming pool, centrally located in St Denis on the arrival night. We have 5 nights accommodation will be in a variety of mountain houses, gites and refuges, which usually have dormitory-style rooms and shared bathroom facilities. Bedding and pillows are provided at the refuges, except for Caverne Dufour refuge where we can not guarantee there will be bedding or blankets provided. We recommend you take a sheet sleeping bag and a sleeping bag for this night. In Cilaos, in the middle of the trip, we have 2 nights in a small hotel with swimming pool. And the last 2 nights of the holiday are in a resort style hotel in St Gilles with swimming pool and located on the beach. However swimming is not recommended in the sea due to the sharks!

If you are travelling by yourself, you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex for the hotel nights (5 nights). Single hotel rooms are available for a supplementary cost. If you are planning on extending your holiday additional nights at the group hotel are available on request.

The group will be led by a professional and qualified tour leader.

This holiday involves going to moderately high altitude.  During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 2500 metres.  Most people will have no difficulty with this level of altitude but before coming on the holiday, we recommend you read the advice on trekking at high altitude.  You can also talk to one of our trekking experts if you have any concerns about altitude.

Approximately €400 (Or equivalent in GBP or USD) should be allowed for should be allowed for tips, soft drinks, snacks, non-included meals and miscellaneous expenses. Alcoholic drinks, souvenirs and optional activities are additional so you may wish to budget for these. 

When staying in St Gilles and St Denis (3 nights total) there is a hotel tax of 0.92 Euros per person per night that you have to pay the hotel directly.

The currency is Euros and if you are taking cash you should bring euros as money changing facilities are limitied. There are ATM’s in St Denis, Cilaos and St Gilles. Credit cards are useful and it is a good idea to carry one in case of emergency.

Optional Activities:

Whale-watching or Dolphin Tour, St Gilles. There are a few different options ranging from €20 for a 1 hr trip, €30 for 2 hrs and €60 for 4 hrs, and packages which including drinks and meals.

Dolphins tours are all year around, Whale-watching is Jun-Oct.You should speak with your guide on arrival to book a tour. 

Tipping is the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your leader and local team. Tipping is entirely voluntary and should be dependent on good service. We recommend that you decide levels of tipping and give any tips as a group rather than from individual group members. As a rough guide we recommend €30 per person for your guide.

Our holidays are normally designed with minimal 'down time' at the start of the trip, but having a day or two at the beginning will have the additional benefit of allowing you time to get over the stress of a long journey or travelling across time zones, leaving you refreshed and ready for your holiday. We can easily arrange for you to have additional nights and airport transfers.

For this holiday you should take one piece of luggage and a daypack. During the 3-day trek from Salazie to Cilaos and during the 4 days from Cilaos back to St Gilles, you will carry your personal equipment in your daypack. In practice, you should not need to carry more than about 8 kg. It is possible to leave other items not required on these trekking days at the hotel which will be transferred to the next accessible accommodation. Luggage with wheels is considered useful for this holiday. For international flights please check your baggage allowance with your airline.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

Visa Reunion Islands

UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa for shorts stays.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

VACCINATIONS

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you specific require any vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella), along with hepatitis A and typhoid. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required if travelling from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transitted for more than 12 hrs through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

The unit of currency in the Reunion Islands is the Euro.

Getting some additional exercise before coming on an active holiday makes a lot of sense. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience.

You should be aerobically fit and comfortable with walking 3 to 6 hours for consecutive days. Hill walking, with a good amount of ascent and descent, is the best training. Running, cycling and swimming are also good for developing cardio vascular fitness and stamina.

From May to October is the winter season on Reunion Island and the climate is generally cooler and drier than other times of the year. This is the best season for trekking in the mountains. From November to April it is hotter and wetter. Daytime maximum temperatures at the coast at the time of any of our departures are likely to be around 22°C to 26°C. High on the mountains, temperatures will be pleasantly cool, averaging between 12°C and 18°C. Early morning at the summit of Piton des Neiges, we might encounter frosty conditions.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

Reunion. IGN 1:75,000

The full Reunion Island at 1:75,000 on a GPS compatible map. It shows the topography, walking routes and places of interest. Also included is a street plan of Saint-Denis.

St-Denis - Cirques de Mafate et de Salazie. 1:25,000. IGN 4402RT (Blue series)

IGN blue series walking map of the Cirques de Mafate and Salazie. This map covers walking days 2 to 8.

Piton de la Fournaise. 1:25,000. IGN 4406RT (Blue Series)

IGN blue series walking map of the Piton de la Fournaise. This map covers walking day 9.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please try to keep the weight of your baggage to a minimum. See the ‘baggage allowance’ section for further details.

You should bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots
  • Trainers or sandals for river crossings / hut use / beach use
  • Sleeping bag down to 0 degrees C (for 1 night in the Caverne Dufour Hut)
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Underwear & socks
  • Trekking trousers and shorts
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket and overtrousers
  • Thermal baselayer shirts and leggings
  • T-shirts and/or casual shirts
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Lightweight thermal or fleece gloves
  • Daypack 40 litres
  • Headtorch and spare batteries
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose, etc.)
  • Water bottles 1 litre (x2) (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)
  • Water purification tablets
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Basic First Aid Kit, including: insect repellent; antiseptic cream; diarrhoea treatment; painkillers; plasters and blister treatment; and re-hydration salts.

The following items are optional:

  • Trekking poles (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)
  • Travel/trek towel
  • Travel pillow (one hut night there is no pillow, you can use rolled up clothes)
  • Ear plugs 
  • Camera
  • Swim wear
  • Gaiters (against the mud)
  • Spare laces
  • Pen-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)

Notes:

During the holiday you will have time away from your main baggage and will need to pack your rucksack accordingly. You will not have access to your main bag from Day 2 to Day 4 (3 days, 2 nights), and from Day 6 to Day 9 (4 days, 3 nights). You will need to carry your sleeping bag (down to 0 degrees C) for the Caverne Dufour Hut on the night of Day 6.

Mosquitoes - In the hotels on the coast the rooms are air conditioned so mosquito nets are not required. When we are walking in the mountains the altitude is usually too high for mosquitoes, and some insect repellent should be sufficient.

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
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Reviews

4.6 out of 5 from 5 reviews

A little bit of Europe in the Indian Ocean ★★★★★

Whilst getting there is a long haul from the UK via Mauritius, the final destination makes the travelling worth it. We arrived to see whales breaching in the sea near the airport runway and then met our guide Claire at the hotel. Claire is a local who knows the island and is an excellent leader for this trip. Whilst the distances on each day do not look on paper too long they are surprisingly hilly and in Claire's words 'efficient'. The accommodation is lovely in both hotels and refuges and the early morning ascent to get the sunrise on the highest point of the Indian Ocean on Piton des Neiges is well worth the effort. A great trip all round. Advice - Pack light for the trekking phases as you will be carrying it, walking poles are well worth brining if you use them as the paths are very stoney and uneven in places.
By Matthew from Harrogate | 11 October 2019

Excellent Trip ★★★★★

Reunion Island is a beautiful place. The trip itinerary is perfect to cover many areas of it. Our guide Claire was the best guide I have had on a trip to date. She was knowledgeable about the area, she shared a huge amount of information about local flora and fauna and she was passionate about the island. The accommodation during the trek was basic but good and we were well fed. The hotels at either end were good. I would say it is more expensive for meals and drinks than the UK so you need to b udget for that. The only way you could improve this trip is by adding a couple of extra days to enable a visit to the wild south to see the lava flows , lava tunnels and vanilla plantations.
By Vanessa from Milton Keynes | 28 April 2019

A terrific tropical trekking holiday ★★★★★

La Réunion is an amazing island in the middle of the Indian Ocean....and offers wonderful trekking. The landscape changes from lush, forested valleys to waterfalls to barren volcanic wastes....and there's the beach - swimming, snorkelling, dolphin cruises etc etc - at the end. The trek was very well planned: after an initial night in a hotel in the capital, we had 3 days trekking and 2 nights of 'Gîte' - a kind of 'refuge', basic but comfortable and with hearty food. (If you happen to like rum , this is a trip for you - each meal began with a rum punch, finished with a 'rhum arrangé', basically rum flavoured with all sorts of fruit and herbs. Alongside the local beer Dodo, every meal was an event!). Then a rest day in Cilaos for chilling (we were soooo lucky, as there was a huge thunderstorm that day. Loudest thunder I've ever heard in my life. We were told that 1661 bolts of lightning were registered on La Réunion on that day!). Then another 4 days trekking and 3 nights Gîte. These were the real highlights - climbing Piton des Neiges, the highest peak in the Indian Ocean (3070m), to watch the sunrise; walking through the forest to the astounding waterfall in the Trou de Fer; then climbing one of the most active volcanoes in the world, the Piton de la Fournaise. Nothing prepares you for the stark lava landscape, the craters, the lava tubes, the extraordinary colours. The last 2 nights were back on the coast ...so, pool, Indian Ocean, snorkelling, lovely restaurants with live music (Café Metis in Ermitage-les-Bains superb). We also did a helicopter flight with Hélilagon, which was stunning, but you have to be lucky with the clouds - the weather can change in an instant in the island!). Tips: - wax earplugs are an absolute must, given the dormitory style of sleeping and the inevitable snorers. - meals in hotels/restaurants are expensive, as indicated in the trip notes. But the inclusive food at the gîtes was very good. Only the breakfasts are poor - a baguette, butter and jam, and coffee. Not ideal for a strenuous trek. High calorie snacks are a good idea....and fruit/veg if possible from a local supermarket. - water was not a problem. The tap water could be drunk safely. I took purification tablets and hardly used them at all. Hydration was key, given the high humidity levels. - the Pass the Pigs game proved hugely popular and really bonded the group. I can't explain how happy our Guide Claire was, when she won! - if you want a few souvenirs, look no further than the Grand Marché in St Denis (on the first day......but you can get some in Cilaos as well). It is a huge bazaar of artisan goods...and very good value. We had a super group of Trekkers - very experienced indeed - and an excellent guide, Claire Balada, which meant that the whole trip was harmonious and full of high spirits.
By Colin from Nottingham | 27 April 2019

Stunning views and fun hiking. ★★★★

This was a really well planned trip with a lot of point to point walking so that you feel like you're really travelling through the beautiful island. There are some really striking views of the live volcano, the interior cirques and some beautiful beaches. Our guide, Claire, was very knowledgeable about the routes we were taking, the history of the island, the flora and fauna and the geology making this a very rewarding trip. Just watch out for the humidity and the intense tropical showers!

By Holly from LEE-ON-THE-SOLENT | 18 April 2017

.. and now for something completely different! ★★★★

Reunion is like nowhere else I've been - but with echoes of so many other places. The trekking is steep, and although the paths are well marked, they varied from flights of irregular steps through boulder fields to mudslides. However, don't be put off! The variety of terrain, vegetation and the 'jizz' of the place more than make up for the occasional discomfort! We were unlucky that the Piton de la Fournaise chose to repel us, but sunrise on the Piton des Neiges was stunning! The food was absolu tely excellent everywhere - including the communal meals in the mountain huts, washed down with a glass of the local 'dodo' or a tot of rum punch! For me, the vegetation was one of the big plus points, ranging from rain forest complete with tree ferns through montane scrub to bare volcanic slopes, but all fascinating. And at the end there's a chance to relax on the shore and remind yourself why half a day on the beach is very nice but quite enough for one holiday! When we were there (October) it was often hot and sunny first thing, but clouding over mid-morning to a pleasant walking temperature and generally brightening again later. And expect rain (though it's quite warm!)
By Catriona from KINGUSSIE | 30 November 2015

Traveller Reviews
4.6 out of 5 from 5 reviews

A little bit of Europe in the Indian Ocean
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Whilst getting there is a long haul from the UK via Mauritius, the final destination makes the travelling worth it. We arrived to see whales breaching in the sea near the airport runway and then met our guide Claire at the hotel. Claire is a local who knows the island and is an excellent leader for this trip. Whilst the distances on each day do not look on paper too long they are surprisingly hilly and in Claire's words 'efficient'. The accommodation is lovely in both hotels and refuges and the early morning ascent to get the sunrise on the highest point of the Indian Ocean on Piton des Neiges is well worth the effort. A great trip all round. Advice - Pack light for the trekking phases as you will be carrying it, walking poles are well worth brining if you use them as the paths are very stoney and uneven in places.
By Matthew from Harrogate | 11 October 2019

Excellent Trip
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Reunion Island is a beautiful place. The trip itinerary is perfect to cover many areas of it. Our guide Claire was the best guide I have had on a trip to date. She was knowledgeable about the area, she shared a huge amount of information about local flora and fauna and she was passionate about the island. The accommodation during the trek was basic but good and we were well fed. The hotels at either end were good. I would say it is more expensive for meals and drinks than the UK so you need to b udget for that. The only way you could improve this trip is by adding a couple of extra days to enable a visit to the wild south to see the lava flows , lava tunnels and vanilla plantations.
By Vanessa from Milton Keynes | 28 April 2019

A terrific tropical trekking holiday
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
La Réunion is an amazing island in the middle of the Indian Ocean....and offers wonderful trekking. The landscape changes from lush, forested valleys to waterfalls to barren volcanic wastes....and there's the beach - swimming, snorkelling, dolphin cruises etc etc - at the end. The trek was very well planned: after an initial night in a hotel in the capital, we had 3 days trekking and 2 nights of 'Gîte' - a kind of 'refuge', basic but comfortable and with hearty food. (If you happen to like rum , this is a trip for you - each meal began with a rum punch, finished with a 'rhum arrangé', basically rum flavoured with all sorts of fruit and herbs. Alongside the local beer Dodo, every meal was an event!). Then a rest day in Cilaos for chilling (we were soooo lucky, as there was a huge thunderstorm that day. Loudest thunder I've ever heard in my life. We were told that 1661 bolts of lightning were registered on La Réunion on that day!). Then another 4 days trekking and 3 nights Gîte. These were the real highlights - climbing Piton des Neiges, the highest peak in the Indian Ocean (3070m), to watch the sunrise; walking through the forest to the astounding waterfall in the Trou de Fer; then climbing one of the most active volcanoes in the world, the Piton de la Fournaise. Nothing prepares you for the stark lava landscape, the craters, the lava tubes, the extraordinary colours. The last 2 nights were back on the coast ...so, pool, Indian Ocean, snorkelling, lovely restaurants with live music (Café Metis in Ermitage-les-Bains superb). We also did a helicopter flight with Hélilagon, which was stunning, but you have to be lucky with the clouds - the weather can change in an instant in the island!). Tips: - wax earplugs are an absolute must, given the dormitory style of sleeping and the inevitable snorers. - meals in hotels/restaurants are expensive, as indicated in the trip notes. But the inclusive food at the gîtes was very good. Only the breakfasts are poor - a baguette, butter and jam, and coffee. Not ideal for a strenuous trek. High calorie snacks are a good idea....and fruit/veg if possible from a local supermarket. - water was not a problem. The tap water could be drunk safely. I took purification tablets and hardly used them at all. Hydration was key, given the high humidity levels. - the Pass the Pigs game proved hugely popular and really bonded the group. I can't explain how happy our Guide Claire was, when she won! - if you want a few souvenirs, look no further than the Grand Marché in St Denis (on the first day......but you can get some in Cilaos as well). It is a huge bazaar of artisan goods...and very good value. We had a super group of Trekkers - very experienced indeed - and an excellent guide, Claire Balada, which meant that the whole trip was harmonious and full of high spirits.
By Colin from Nottingham | 27 April 2019

Stunning views and fun hiking.
★ ★ ★ ★

This was a really well planned trip with a lot of point to point walking so that you feel like you're really travelling through the beautiful island. There are some really striking views of the live volcano, the interior cirques and some beautiful beaches. Our guide, Claire, was very knowledgeable about the routes we were taking, the history of the island, the flora and fauna and the geology making this a very rewarding trip. Just watch out for the humidity and the intense tropical showers!

By Holly from LEE-ON-THE-SOLENT | 18 April 2017

.. and now for something completely different!
★ ★ ★ ★
Reunion is like nowhere else I've been - but with echoes of so many other places. The trekking is steep, and although the paths are well marked, they varied from flights of irregular steps through boulder fields to mudslides. However, don't be put off! The variety of terrain, vegetation and the 'jizz' of the place more than make up for the occasional discomfort! We were unlucky that the Piton de la Fournaise chose to repel us, but sunrise on the Piton des Neiges was stunning! The food was absolu tely excellent everywhere - including the communal meals in the mountain huts, washed down with a glass of the local 'dodo' or a tot of rum punch! For me, the vegetation was one of the big plus points, ranging from rain forest complete with tree ferns through montane scrub to bare volcanic slopes, but all fascinating. And at the end there's a chance to relax on the shore and remind yourself why half a day on the beach is very nice but quite enough for one holiday! When we were there (October) it was often hot and sunny first thing, but clouding over mid-morning to a pleasant walking temperature and generally brightening again later. And expect rain (though it's quite warm!)
By Catriona from KINGUSSIE | 30 November 2015

DATES & PRICES

Private Departure?

Gather a few friends, family or club and take over your own departure.

2024

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More Information

  • Reunion Island Paradise
    Without Flights
  • Departure Reference: RUN /04/24/
  • This trip begins on Sun 8 Sep and ends on Wed 18 Sep
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of US$475
  • Single Supplement Price: US$475 - Group nights in St Denis, St Gilles & Cilaos (5 nights in total)
  • Download Trip Notes

Land Only Information

The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in St. Denis, Reunion. For clients making their own flight arrangements, St Denis Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel.

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Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure is a fully bonded tour operator. We hold an ATOL license (No: 2808) and are bonded with ABTA (Membership No: W4341)


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