• Cilaos, Réunion
    © AMA / age fotostock

    Cilaos, Réunion

Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Réunion

Réunion is an island better known for its inland areas than its coasts, and with good reason! The splendid landscapes are a series of peaks, coves and cliffs, with no two alike. It is made up of two volcanoes, one of which, the Piton de la Fournaise, is still active, three coves and a mountain at the heart of the island. Some regions are desert-like, while others are often inaccessible, but they are always stunning and mysterious. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the National Park, which covers almost 40% of the island's surface area, contains a wide variety of endemic species. Hiking and paragliding are the two most popular activities for exploring the inland areas of the island and admiring them from the sky. Whatever your vantage point, you will be left speechless by the beauty of the landscapes.

Cilaos: what to do?

- Hike in the middle of the coves.
- Descend into the 2,632-metre high Piton de la Fournaise.
- Go paragliding above the coves and the volcano.
- If you can afford to, pay to take a helicopter ride over the volcano and the coves: the view is impressive.
- Go for a swim in one of the many waterfalls.
- Spend a night in a gîte, a rented holiday home
- Go for a walk in the forest and have a picnic, a great idea in summer when it is very hot on the coast.
- Ride a horse at one of the several equestrian centres offering horseback rides.
- Visit the Maison Folio in Hell-Bourg.
- While in Cilaos, take the opportunity to enjoy a treatment in the thermal baths.
- Go canyoning
- Hike to the Piton des Neiges from Cilaos or Hell-Bourg.

Inland - the Cirque de Mafate and its series of parallel ridges.
H3 - The village of Cilaos with its timeless atmosphere.
C3 - The lava flows of the Piton de la Fournaise.
The Plaine des Sables (sand plains)
- The region of Plaine des Palmistes
- With a bit of luck, you may get to see an eruption; a spectacular sight!

  • The beauty and diversity of the landscapes
  • The hospitality
  • The hiking possibilities
  • The lovely cool temperatures
  • The frequent cloudy weather
  • The quality of the wine in Cilaos


Paying too much attention to the weather forecast before you go on an excursion as the sky generally clouds over towards the end of the morning.
Pack a good pair of walking shoes
Always take water and warm clothing with you, as temperatures can drop quickly.
Cover your head if you are going hiking, especially if you will be visiting high altitude areas.

To avoid

Going on excursions in the late afternoon.
Going hiking by yourself.
Thinking that a simple pair of trainers will be enough for going on an excursion.
Bringing back wine from Cilaos that has been bottled at a high altitude and which may explode due to the difference in air pressure.

Cilaos: what to eat?

Garlic and ginger cheeses with honey, dried fruits and caramel from the Palais du Fromage on the road to the volcano, or goats cheese from the farm of the inland inhabitants.
Lentils from Cilaos.
Hearts of palm.
Salazie watercress.

Cilaos: what to buy?

Honey and honey sweets from the mountain villages such as Cilaos or Salazie.
Essential oils from the farming cooperative of Bourbon-Caheb in Tampon.
Vanilla from the cooperative.
Embroidery from the Maison de la Broderie (an embroidery museum in Cilaos).

Cilaos Reviewedhotels
  • 6.85 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Cilaos - Réunion
    Hotel Hotel 4 Etoile(s)

    The Tsilaosa is a typical family establishment in the village ...

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