Mountain biking is certainly one of the most exciting and intense ways to discover the incredible island of Reunion. Mountain biking here is generally not for the faint-of-heart, as trails are often steep and volcanic terrain rough and sometimes unpredictable.
There are, however, a number of trails that are appropriate for novice or intermediate riders. Le Maido is the island’s most renowned spot for downhill biking, and during peak tourist season, the area is teeming with mountain bikers from far and wide. La Maido boasts more than 100 kilometers of marked trails, some quite difficult and others manageable for those with a minimal amount of experience. Short tracks take as little as 40 minutes to descend while other rides may last up to 2 hours.
If you prefer, you can employ the services of a guide for your mountain biking excursion or join a group of mountain bikers of a similar skill level. Guides ensure your safety, whether you’re biking down the Piton des Nieges or taking a simpler and less steep track. Bike rental shops are also plentiful and offer the latest in mountain bikes and equipment.
D.1 Meet & Greet at the airport, then transfer to hotel JULIETTE DODU in St-Denis
Overnight at hotel JULIETTE DODU
D.2 Around 9 a.m., collect your bike from the hotel and star your tour along then east coast
Bike trails will enable you to follow the sea side, amongst sugar cane plantation and small harbour, from Saint Denis, passing by Sainte Marie, Sainte Suzanne and its light house, Bois Rouge and its sugar cane factory, Le Colosse and its famous Indus Temple, etc
Just after Saint André, get the exit to Salazie . Small road will enable you to reach the entrance of the valley and you will bike along the river, to discover, step by step the magnificent landscapes, before passing by banana and watercress plantations, waterfalls, amongst the famous “ Bride’s Veil”
After the village of Salazie, bike up to Mare à Poule d’Eau before reaching Hellbourg –
Overnight at hotel RELAIS DES CIMES , altitude 900 m Appr 50 kms
Difference in level + 900 meters
D.3 From Hellbourg, Bike Back to the “Bride’s Veil” , then up to Grand Ilet and Le Bélier, then along the forest road , gate away to the valley of Mafate : approximately 10 kms to reach the car park, altitude 1850 m .
You might decide to leave the bikes with the guard of the car park ( 10 euros per day, with security agent all day along) then hike to “Col des Boeufs” the pass between the two valleys, Salazie and Mafate . Would you wish to go on and hike to the first village, La Nouvelle, you will need 4 hours, return, so be sure to have time enough, as you will then have to bike to your next place for overnight, the village of Hellbourg ( hike Col des Boeufs / La Nouvelle / Col des Boeufs : – 400 m / + 400 m )
Then from the car park of Col des Boeufs, you will have to bike down to Grand Ilet, Mare à Vieille Place, then take the direction up to Hellbourg .
Overnight at RELAIS DES CIMES Mountain hut Appr 35 kms
Difference in level : – 1000 meters / + 1000 meters
D.4 This morning you might wander in the small village of Hellbourg, explore the surroundings by bike ( Mare à Poule d’eau) , decide for a hike to Belouve forest ( + 500 m / – 500 m , appr 4 hours) , visit the “Folio House” a private creole house from the 19th century nestled in a gorgeous garden, and much more
In the afternoon, bike down to the east coast and Bras Panon, then follow the RN2 till Sainte Rose
Set up at hotel LA FOURNAISE for overnight Appr 50 kms
Difference in level : – 900 meters
D.5 The Garden Route
Today you will enjoy the South East coast, the most magnificent of the island . From Sainte Rose, follow the RN2 to the South, Stop at Piton Ste Rose, to visit the church “Notre Dame des Laves” which escaped from a lava flew in 1977, bike down to “Anse des Cascades” , a lovely small harbour surrounded by “elephant” Palm Trees,
Then go along the “Grand Brulé” , the natural overflow of the volcano, with numerous lava flew which crossed the road before reaching the ocean
The most impressive being the last one, from 2007, the hugest one from human memory
Then you will enter the so called “wild South” , the “Garden Route” : Le Tremblet and Saint Philippe display nice small houses surrounded by flower full garden, a peaceful area. Colours are even nicer than anywhere else on the island, from dark blue of the ocean, to black lava cliffs
Go on and explore the coast, Langevin River, Manapany les Bains, and do not miss “Grand Anse”, one of the nicest spots in this area . Just a few kilometres, and you will reach hotel VICTORIA in Grand Bois, for overnight
Appr 60 kms , difference in level : + 100 meters
D.6 Go on biking along the coast to visit the charming little fishermen village of Terre Sainte, then the active water front of Saint Pierre, second largest city of the island, with its white sand beach, harbour, and buildings from the trade ship company , Or you can decide to explore the nice village of Entre Deux, altitude 400 meters, with old houses and typical gardens , Then bike down to cross river “Saint Etienne” at “Le Ouaki”, before reaching town “La Riviere” then down to Saint Louis”
From Saint Louis, follow the biking trail to “Le Gol” ( small lake), than the path along the sea side, to reach the village of Etang Salé. Go on along the coast, RN1A, till next town, Saint Leu, for a stop by the harbour and water front
Just at the exit of St-Leu, opposite “Kelonia” , go along along the coast to reach La Saline Les Bains and take the exit to the village. After crossing the village, turn left to the lagon and hotel LE NAUTILE Appr 95 kms Difference in level : + 400 m / – 600 meters
D.7 Day at leisure to relax or explore by bike the west coast, to Saint Paul and its lake
Overnight at LE NAUTILE
D.8 Drop off the bike at the hotel in the morning, then transfer to the airport.
MINIMUM OF 2 PAX IS COMPULSORY. SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY AND WEATHER CONDITIONS
- RETURN FLIGHTS ON AIR AUSTRAL FROM JHB IN ECONOMY CLASS
- AIRPORT TAXES
- MEET & GREET AND ASSISTANCE THROUGHOUT YOUR STAY
- TRANSFER AIRPORT / ST-DENIS, ST-GILLES / AIRPORT
- 6 DAYS OF BIKE RENTAL, PICK UP AT ST-DENIS, DROP OFF AT ST-GIILLES
- 7 NIGHTS B&B , SUBJECT TO HOTELS AVAILABILITY
- 5 DAYS OF CAR RENTAL (GROUP A, TWINGO 2 DOORS) FROM/TO ST-GILLES
- ONE DESCENT WITH A GUIDE (MAÏDO / ST-GILLES)
- LUGGAGE TRANSFER TO EACH HOTEL
ZAR23 259 PER PERSON SHARING (Valid for travel in Low season **FEB to SEP** – subject to availability, currency and airport tax fluctuations at the time of enquiry/booking. Peak season surcharges will apply )
- Any items of a personal Nature
- Travel Insurance
- Meals not mentioned / included
- Nightly Tourist tax which is payable directly at each hotel – approx EUR0.80 pp/pn
- Optional Excursions
- Tips, Drinks, Taxi fares etc.