With its fragrant plantations, Réunion is the Vanilla Island par excellence. The birthplace of Edmond Albius, the first person to hand-fertilise a vanilla pod, the island is rich in human and natural diversity. A subtle mix of spices and flavours from Asia and Madagascar, Réunion, the “Intense Island,” is your next stop in the Vanilla Islands. But before that, move to the beat of the young Piton de la Fournaise volcano. The region retains a diversity of natural and human resources, making it a paradise for hikers.
Your adventure continues in Mayotte. The closed Mahorais lagoon is one of the largest in the world. You can discuss its conservation with an expert. It’s an opportunity to admire the underwater fauna, including turtles, dolphins and manta rays, which swim around magnificent coral formations. You will also have the time to admire the beauty of the sea from the surface or on the magnificent banks of white sand. Eco-volunteers will help you discover the wonders of this abundant nature, as well as baobabs and giant bamboos, the lemurs’ playground. As night falls, another magical show awaits you: sea turtles laying their eggs.
A ECOTOURISTIC CIRCUIT CHARACTERIZED BY
Discovering biodiversity and the importance of protecting it
Hiking and activities in the heart of natural areas
Interactions with local people and associations
The development of traditional farms and local handicrafts
Environmentally Friendly Accommodation
The guided tours, meetings and transfers mentioned may vary depending on the availability of the participants and local constraints.
Day 1 : Paris / La Reunion
Flight to Réunion. Dinner served on board.
Day 2 : Cirque de Salazie
After landing, you will go immediately to Cirque de Salazie. You will get a close look at the vanilla growing in the midst of the countryside. Next, you will have the opportunity to sample the local cuisine in a traditional Hell-Bourg restaurant. A guide will take you to Maison Folio, a historic monument, before dinner at the Diana Déa Lodge.
Day 3 : Piton de la Fournaise and the forest of Bélouve
After breakfast, you will go on an excursion to the heart of the legendary Piton de la Fournaise. A short stop at the Gite de Bélouve is a must for lunch. Head off with a specialist guide for a stroll in the primeval forest in the heart of the National Park. Then back to the Lodge for dinner.
Day 4 : The Wild South, the lava flows
You will enjoy a good breakfast before heading to L’Entre-Deux. On the way, you can admire the wild south and especially the lava stream of 2007, before a fixed-price lunch. Then, a guide will take you to the Garden of Scents and Spices before reaching the Hôtel Le Dimitile, which promises relaxation and comfort.
Day 5 : Cirque de Cilaos
Breakfast at the hotel before heading to Cilaos to meet a lentil planter. Lunch at a guest house belonging to the Cirque de Cilaos, before returning to the three-star Hôtel Le Dimitile and its welcoming staff.
Day 6 : L’Entre-Deux
Kakouk, a herbal tea blender and heir to a long family tradition, will surprise you at lunch. See how coffee is produced using permaculture and agroforestry practices. Spend the night at the three-star Relais de l’Hermitage in Saint-Gilles, where you will also have dinner.
Day 7 : Piton Maido and L’Etang de St Paul
After breakfast, you will climb Piton Maido and admire the stunning view over Cirque de Mafate. Meet at lunchtime for a demonstration of traditional culinary art and to taste the local specialities, Bonbons Lontan. An environment warden will take you to a geranium distillery and the Etang de St Paul Nature Reserve. Return to the hotel for dinner and rest.
Day 8 : L’Hermitage Lagoon
After breakfast, you can enjoy a trip in a transparent kayak with a professional guide on L’Hermitage Lagoon. A family-owned restaurant will serve you a good, tasty lunch. Next, you will enjoy the intense underwater experience on L’Hermitage Trail before returning to the hotel.
Day 9 : Reunion / Dzaoudzi
Leave RÉUNION for Dzaoudzi. On arrival, our team will drive you to Le Jardin Maoré Ecolodge. Dinner at the hotel. A warm welcome and comfortable bungalows await you. After lunch, you are free to explore N’Gouja Beach, its turtles, giant baobabs and lemurs. A good dinner will be served before you relax for the rest of the evening.
Day 10 : Sea excursion
The Ecolodge will give you breakfast. Then, you will have free time until the afternoon when a sea excursion is planned. A specialist guide in marine biology will help you discover the underwater environment and explain the challenges of marine conservation. You will spend the night at the ecolodge.
Day 11 : Saziley
After a delicious breakfast, you will go hiking and picnic on the Saziley peninsula with a local guide or an eco-volunteer from Association Escale, depending on their availability. Dinner awaits you upon your return to the ecolodge.
Day 12 : N’Gouja
After breakfast in N’Gouja, you will have a free day. You can enjoy a kayak tour or relax by the sea. Dinner and night at the ecolodge.
Day 13 : Mont Choungi
Start the day with a tasty breakfast before climbing Mont Choungui with a local guide. Lunch at your own expense, dinner and night at the Jardin Maoré.
Day 14 : Sada / Coconi / Bandrele excursion
Breakfast, dinner and night at the ecolodge. During the day, take a trip to the Sada Crafts House and the Coconi Botanical Garden. Discover the sensational scent of the ylang ylang in Combani, the Bandrele salt eco-museum (depending on seasons) and the cultures of the island.
Day 15 : N’Gouja
After breakfast, you will have a free day. Back to the ecolodge for dinner and rest.
Day 16 : Dzaoudzi – Paris
After breakfast, you will have a free day. The restaurants will leave a lasting memory of the taste and flavours of the Vanilla Islands with you at the end of this trip. A final transfer to the airport for your return flight to Paris.
EXPERIENCES THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE
• Discovering the local biodiversity and the importance of protecting it
• Discovering the local historical heritage : Hell-Bourg and Entre-Deux
• Showcasing Creole culture : craftsmanship and plantations
• Walks in the national park and around Piton de la Fournaise and L’Etang de Saint-Paul
• Accommodation in three and four-star hotels
• Interaction with the Escale eco-volunteer association
• Discovering biodiversity and helping to protect the site
• Hike to Mont Choungui and its stunning view, then on to Saziley
• Stay at the environmentally friendly Jardin Maoré Eco-Lodge.
In air-conditioned cars with driver
Tipping is at the customer’s discretion
Meals and drinks
• Lunch as per the programme
• Drinks extra
Optional insurance can be provided for an additional charge
• Paris – Réunion
• Réunion – Dzaoudzi
• Dzaoudzi – Paris
All bank cards (Visa, Mastercard, etc.) are accepted by ATMs located in big cities and medium-sized towns.
In Réunion, a driver-guide will accompany you on the entire tour. Specialist guides are provided according to the programme and activities in both countries.
• PARIS : +2 hrs UTC/GMT
• REUNION : +4 hrs UTC/GMT
• MAYOTTE : +3 hrs UTC/GMT
• Réunion : For French or other European Union nationals : identity card or valid passport.
• For nationals of other countries : valid passport, visa if applicable, and return ticket or confirmation of continuation of travel.
Don’t forget to pack
Suitable footwear, sunscreen and mosquito repellent, wind and rainproof jacket, some warm but lightweight clothing.
As Réunion and Mayotte are part of France, European tourists will be aware of the rescue and assistance services available.
The health services in Réunion comply with European standards, while Mayotte has health facilities close to those of the metropolis and constantly improving.
No vaccinations are required. Vaccinations against diptheria, tetanus, polio, hepatitis A and B, typhoid fever, whooping cough and measles are recommended for children.
Malaria : Absent, but the risk of other infections justifies effective individual protection against mosquito bites.
• Half board at Diana Déa Lodge, a four-star hotel at a height of 650m, overlooking the Indian Ocean and the whole of the east coast of the island.
• Half board at the luxury Dimitile
• Half board at the three-star Relais de l’Hermitage, ideally located on the lagoon, natural reserve and one of the island’s most beautiful seaside resorts.
Mayotte : Half-board accommodation at the Jardin Maoré Ecolodge
Price per person
(airfare not included)
Air fares, which are indicative only, and subject to change:
• CDG-RUN return trip : €550
• RUN-DZA return trip : €380
This price includes
• Double rooms in hotels with half-board
• Stated meals
• The guided tours and excursions mentioned
• Airport transfers
• Tourist taxes
This price does not include
• Insurance (can be provided for an additional charge)
• International flights
• Drinks and personal spending
• Bank charges
• Any expenses not mentioned above
*Single room supplement : €408 for the Réunion tour
No single room supplement at Le Jardin Maoré, Mayotte.
LA RÉUNION & MAYOTTE
Compagnie des Iles Vanille
Name : Bernard Le Rouzes
Tel : +262 (0) 262 38 93 89
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
THE VANILLA ISLANDS