salazie-credit-les-droners-dts-web-16-01-2030.jpg© IRT/Les droners
© IRT/Les droners

Landscapes on Reunion Island

Top 5 viewpoints in the Highlands

Landscapes in Reunion Island

Driving in a car or hiking, Reunion’s Highlands are like natural lifts up the island’s most beautiful viewpoints. At the summit, you are greeted by magnificent starry nights, flaming sunrises and unforgettable panoramic views. Get ready, choose your floor and reach for the sky with our top 5 unmissable summits in Reunion Island.

1. Watching the sun rise from Le Maïdo

Our car’s headlights pierce the dark night sky. In a few minutes, the sun will flood over Piton Maïdo. In the West of the island, this is the only viewpoint of Mafate accessible by car. The ramparts of Le Maïdo are soon crowned with thick clouds. We arrive with the last stars. Starved of fresh coffee and pastries we drink in the view. Before us, the horizon slowly ignites and the ridgelines are ablaze. Then the sun rises to reveal the vastness of the landscape surrounding us. We can make out the imposing Piton des Neiges and Gros Morne while the elusive cirque of Mafate emerges below. It feels like we’re witnessing the dawn of the world in front of one of the most intense spectacles on Reunion. To prolong this incredible experience, a hike leaves from Le Maïdo and heads to Grand Bénare, the island’s second highest summit at 2,898 metres.

2. Fenêtre des Makes at dawn

A different viewpoint! We’re off to Fenêtre des Makes, a viewpoint renowned for its magnificent panoramas over the cirque of Cilaos. With our hiking boots laced up and walking sticks at the ready in the village of Les Makes we start our ascent. The sky is still dark as we stride along the lovely forest road which climbs to the balcony overlooking Cilaos. We stop at one of the many picnic sites along our path to have a break for coffee and croissants. Just enough time to take photos of the landscape as it turns indigo and we’re off again so as not to miss the sunrise. Once we get there, Fenêtre des Makes has amazing views over the majestic cirque of Cilaos. The sun emerges and slowly lights up the dark rock. In the distance, we gaze at the island’s iconic peaks: Piton des Neiges, Grand Bénare and Col du Taïbit.

 

Don’t forget this viewpoint is easily accessible for cars and people with reduced mobility!

4.Taming the Dimitile

As with all Reunion’s summits, Dimitile, in the L’Entre-Deux Highlands, has a selection of slopes for adventurers. It’s possible to work those calf muscles with a wide range of hikes to suit all levels. Budding walkers or avid trekkers, there’s a climb for everyone to enjoy in an intensely pure natural setting. Water bottles, snacks and sun cream, we’re ready for anything! There’s a bit of history on the slopes of Dimitile too. As we follow the bends, we delve into the island’s past and its runaway slaves in search of freedom. We learn that Dimitile gets its name from a runaway slave known as the “elusive” one. Once we reach the summit, a viewpoint reveals a superb panorama over Cilaos. We take plenty of photos while an orientation table helps us to see where we are between the steep ridges of the cirque.

5. Reaching for the sky at Cap Noir

Perched in the mist above La Possession, we finally come to Cap Noir and its iconic viewpoint over the cirque of Mafate. To get there, we head to the peaceful village of Dos d’Ane, the starting point for our hike.

A quick glance at the map: one loop, 6 fixed ladders and a gentle slope await us. A hassle-free way to reach for the sky. We make sure to leave early enough to fully enjoy the exceptional spectacle from the promontory at Cap Noir.

As is often the case when exploring the summits of Reunion Island, our binoculars help us to see the multitude of details in the landscape at one glance. Rivière des Galets meandering through Mafate, Canalisation des Orangers running alongside the rampart of Le Maïdo… so many surprises, often invisible to the naked eye.

On the way back we pass the famous Roche Verre Bouteille, a strange stone inlaid with olivine crystals. The emerald reflections of this mineral actually look like bits of glass bottles.

You can drink in this viewpoint in Reunion Island as much as you want!