Head for Bourg-Murat, and at 8:30 make your way to the Cité du Volcan (‘Volcano City’) and step back in geological time to really understand island volcanism.
Dinner and overnight in Saint-Pierre or surrounding area at a guest house or small hotel.
On the second day, set off to explore a Reunionese specialty: the lava tunnels…Meet at Saint-Philippe for the full tunnel crossing under the 2004 Grand Brûlé lava flow (1.2km long, involving three and a half hours underground) led by a guide qualified in caving. The spectacle that awaits you will teach you about how a volcano is made, and the landscape outside will take on new meaning. Have lunch in Tremblet at Chez Moustache !
Take the road going to Saint-Rose and get a room at La Can’a Suc guest house (or similar accommodation). A warm welcome awaits you here, and the hosts’ kindness is legendary. You’ll be very comfortable here, with views overlooking the garden planted with lychee trees, vanilla, mangoes and tropical flowers. A tip: dine at the Joyau des Laves !
Spend your third day on ocean-side land in the South: explore original sites with a guide who’ll share their own passion for volcanism, fauna and flora with you. A Creole picnic at Vincendo awaits you, and in the evening, savour dinner at the La Fournaise restaurant. Enjoy a good night’s sleep at the Can’a Suc Guest House (or similar accommodation!).
A visit to the Bourbon vanilla plantation at Sainte-Rose is something to look forward to on your fourth day – the plantation is situated right in the heart of a forest with endemic species at an altitude of 300 metres. You’ll enjoy a guided visit of the vanilla plantation and its 4000 plants, called pieds (‘feet’) in Reunion. You’ll also find several endemic and indigenous species within an agricultural holding that covers four hectares of protected forest. Then it’s time for lunch, after which you can stroll around the village of Sainte-Rose. Aside from being the place where lava and ocean meet, Sainte-Rose is also a place where you’ll encounter idyllic landscapes with plentiful vegetation, as well as its own renovated little fishing port. Admire the plan trees, monkey puzzle trees, tree ferns, taro plants, orchids and little fishing boats at Anse des Cascades – a moment of pure delight !
Set down your suitcase for the night at the Diana Déa Lodge**** (or similar accommodation). Located at an altitude of 600m above Sainte-Anne, you’ll enjoy high quality services, sophisticated food and panoramic views over the East coast. You can take a walk lasting from half an hour to three hours without leaving the estate.