Cilaos - Marla

Walking/pedestrian at Cilaos
  • Col du Taïbit, perched at 2081 metres above sea level, straddles the Cirques de Cilaos and Mafate. It’s the only point linking these two cirques separated by a vertiginous ridge. Very little frequented by the people of Mafate themselves, who prefer to go out by the Col des Bœufs, Passage du Taïbit is much appreciated by hikers for its landscapes and impressive viewpoints. Starting from the Ilet à Cordes road in the Cirque of Cilaos, the route to Col du Taïbit takes you through a wide variety of forest landscapes: vestiges of semi-dry vegetation, gradually mixing with the mountain vegetation of highland coloured woods, to reach, near the pass, the low vegetation typical of the peaks of Reunion Island. In this last section, you can enjoy a view down into the whole of the Cirque of Cilaos, the Bonnet de Prêtre (Priest's Bonnet), the famous vertical rocks of the 3 Salazes and the distant steep abutments of the Dimitile massif. Col du Taïbit itself is a unique window to admire the two cirques of Cilaos and Mafate. However, to enjoy a better panorama of the Cirque of Mafate, you need to walk forward a few metres on the Mafate side to reach an exceptional balcony overlooking almost the whole cirque and in particular the islet of Marla which is visible beneath our feet, 600 metres below. This islet, the end point of our hike, lives mainly off livestock farming and tourism. Formerly inhabited by sheep breeders who took advantage of the large open spaces around the islet and Plateau Kelval, it was also an essential staging post for resupplying Cilaos and its thermal baths.
  • Difference in height
    1232.94 m
  • Route interest
    Panoramic viewpoint of the Cirque of Mafate Panoramic viewpoint of the Cirque of Cilaos The diversity of the forests The islet of 3 Salazes and its herbal teas The islet of Marla in the Cirque of Mafate
  • Did you know ?
    Taïbit and Marla are words of Malagasy origin. Taïbit comes from Taybitro which means "rabbit droppings". Marla originated from Marolahy, a word that translates as "many people". The islet was undoubtedly named around the time of the arrival of sheep breeders from Grand Ilet.
  • Documentation
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