Top 6 Hiking Trails in Reunion Island

Published Date: 07 Jul 2017

Reunion Island is to hikers what the ocean is to divers - a playground! With so many hiking trails to choose from, your level of experience is sure to be catered to and will allow you to enjoy the peace, quiet and unforgettable views and landscapes that are on offer. Whether you’re taking a romantic hike as a couple, a group hike with friends or a family hike with the little ones, you’re sure to find a trail that suits your needs.

Here are the top six hiking trails to try out when you visit Reunion Island.

Les Ravenales

  • Distance: 3 km
  • Approximate duration: 1h45min
  • Difficulty: Easy

Quick and easy, this is the perfect trail for novice hikers, families with small children or anyone who is looking for a bite-sized experience of the Reunion Island trails. Hikers will also have the opportunity to see the beautiful Ravenala plants that line the path, and without steep hills or cliffs on the route, it is an ideal trail to stop and have a picnic along the way.

Col des Boeufs - La Nouvelle

  • Distance: 11 km
  • Approximate duration: 4h35min
  • Difficulty: Easy

Named after the previous focus of the economy, cattle husbandry, the Col des Boeufs trail is long in distance and duration, but fortunately an easy trail. It is still common today to see the oxen below the pass, along with a forest of ancient evergreen trees sometimes drowned in the mists - all creating a fantastic atmosphere to enjoy throughout the hike.

Canalisation des Orangers

  • Distance: 28 km
  • Approximate duration: 8h20min
  • Difficulty: Medium

Although this used to be a narrow and dangerous path, it is now one of the most popular hikers’ trails in Reunion Island due to how level it is across most of its distance. For more experienced hikers who are used to endurance trails, the Canalisation des Orangers trail offers a delightful view of the Cirque de Mafate over an immense balcony, along with breathtaking views of villages below, mountain ranges and the river.

Grand Bassin

  • Distance: 10 km
  • Duration: 4h40min
  • Difficulty: Medium

Sometimes known as “the little Mafate”, this is a classic choice for hikers in Reunion Island. In summer it brings with it the opportunity to bathe in the pool of the Veil of the Bride waterfall, which is a perfect way to cool down before attempting the climb up to Bois Court, where there is a panoramic view of the waterfall, bathing pond and the very trail that led you to that point.

Cap Bouteille

  • Distance: 4 km
  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Difficulty: Hard

Not for the faint of heart, this is one of Reunion Island’s more challenging trails. It allows you to hike up the very volcano that forms the island and results in a view where you are able to see the huge chimney and split crater of the ancient volcano itself.

Nez de Boeuf-Roche Plate (rivière des remparts)

  • Distance: 15 km
  • Duration: 7 hours
  • Difficulty: Hard

Long in both distance and duration, the rewards of hiking this trail far outweigh the difficulty that accompanies it. Starting at the base of the volcano, the trail sees a descent into the river ramparts, which offer a view overlooking the valley and eventually cross into a tropical forest. This trail is so special because it allows hikers the opportunity to experience the many elements that make Reunion Island such a beautifully diverse landscape.

Things to remember for your hike

Whether you’ve decided to embark on a short or long trail, always remember to pack the right goods for your trip. Water, sunblock, a hat and good shoes are essential no matter the level of difficulty or the duration. If you opt for one of the longer trails, pack some snacks too.

Planning your route is important as well. With many of the highland locations, you’ll have to make an early start or else clouds could obscure the beautiful views that make the hikes so worth it. It is also advisable that trails shouldn’t be attempted alone.

All that's left to do now is pick your trail and book your holiday to Reunion Island!