We decided for Reunion this year mainly because of its beautiful nature. According to photos we saw before departure, we had great expectations. But what we actually experienced there, took our breath. That's such a beauty! What to start with? With the heart of the island! It consists of three lapsed calderas of the already inactive Piton des Neiges volcano. They're called Cirques. Cirque de Salazie, Cirque de Cilaos and Cirque de Mafate, where I take you today.
The Cirque de Mafate is the only one of the trio that does not have any roads. If you want to explore it, it is possible by foot or by helicopter. Because we traveled with Ella, we didn´t make any track to to the Mafate's heart. But we headed to the edge of the crater, on the Le Maido outlook.
We went to Le Maido in the morning. If you go to the mountains and want to see something, it's good to go out on the Reunion early. At about ten o'clock, clouds start to climb in the mountains, and there is not much to see. The very trip from St-Gilles-les-Bains where we were staying, was great. The road led thru colorful villages and fields with sugar cane, then turned into the Tamarisk forest with picnic spots. About halfway we traveled through the village of La Petite France, which is famous for the production of geranium essential oil. After the forest, a beautiful view of the coast was opened, and the road was only lined with dwarf pines.
There was a wind blowing in the parking lot, so we put on the sweatshirts. We put them off right after because it was warm at the lookout. Even though we were at an altitude of 2,205 m. The entire top of the crater is surrounded by a wooden railing, so you do not have to worry about the edge.
And that view? Incredible! There are green mountain peaks in front of you, and when you look down, you are looking at the bottom of a deep crater where the waterfall shines, and beside it, roofs of the cottages shines through the green. The whole Cirque de Mafate seem so close and makes you speechless.
Hiking opportunities are there more than enough. From the lookout, you can go down to the bottom of the crater. Le Maido is also the starting point for bikers. Thirty-five kilometers of cycle paths with an elevation of 2,205 m are already a solid challenge.
Cirque de Mafate is simply a geological wonder! And surely, the reason is, it is difficult to access, so many tourists avoid it. As long as it stays like this, it will keep its dramatic and undisturbed peace. May it never change.