With its fragrant plantations, Réunion is the ultimate Vanilla Island. The birthplace of Edmond Albius, the first person to hand-fertilise a vanilla pod, the island is rich in human life and natural diversity. A subtle mix of spices and flavours from Asia and Madagascar, 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.
In Madagascar, first explore the transition forest that separates the east and west of the Big Island, in the mountains. Then fly north to reach the Amber Mountain. Deep in the forest, marvel at Canarium madagascariensis : a rare and precious tree native to the country. During your trip through volcanic terrain you will be amazed by the Red Tsingy and the Mandresy Cave decorated with stalagmites and the fruit bats that live there. With your 4X4, go to Ramena with its fine white-sand beach surrounded by a clear and sparkling sea. Freshly caught seafood will be available for lunch. Travel on the water to three small bays : a beautiful way to end your stay.
A ECOTOURISTIC CIRCUIT CHARACTERIZED BY
Eco-friendly ecolodges, all of whose profits go to the local population
Hikes to see native wildlife and plants
Interactions with local people and associations
Historical and cultural tours
The tours, meetings and transfers mentioned may vary depending on the availability of the speakers and local constraints.
Day 1 : Paris / Réunion
Fly 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 Creole cuisine at a traditional Hell-Bourg restaurant. A guide will take you to Maison Folio, a historic monument, before dinner at the four-star Diana Déa Lodge.
Day 3 : Piton de la Fournaise and the forest of Bélouve
After breakfast, 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 for a stroll through the primal 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 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 Hotel 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 on Cirque de Cilaos, before returning to the three-star Hotel 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 Etang de St Paul
After breakfast, go on an excursion to Piton Maido. 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 : Hermitage Lagoon
Breakfast served. Take the opportunity for a trip in a transparent kayak with a professional guide on the Hermitage Lagoon. A family-owned restaurant will serve you a good, tasty lunch. Then, enjoy the underwater experience on the Hermitage Trail before returning to the hotel.
Day 9 : Réunion – Madagascar
Leave Réunion for Madagascar. On arrival, our team will take care of your transfer to the Lodge, where a welcome cocktail and a typical mountain lunch will be waiting. Following a briefing, head to the village of Sarimanina. Marvel at the beauty of the Aloe macroclada field, the tight-knit flocks of birds and the terraced paddy fields. Watch the sunset from your lodge before dinner.
Day 10 : Antananarivo
Before breakfast at the lodge, enjoy a morning walk with an ornithological focus. A native species reforestation programme awaits in the village of Antanetibe. A couple will serve you a typical lunch. In the afternoon, Mount Ampananina awaits you. At the summit, enjoy a breathtaking view of the city of Antananarivo. The villagers will provide you with folk entertainment before dinner.
Day 11 : Antananarivo – Ambohitantely
Start your day with breakfast, then go to the Ambohitantely Special Reserve. Along the way, admire the beautiful landscapes until you reach the camp in Madagascar National Park. You will then have lunch at the campsite before marvelling at the region’s exceptional flora : native orchids, triangle palms (Dypsis decaryi) and many other species. Dinner will be by the campfire near your tent.
Day 12 : Ambohitantely
Early in the morning you will hike to the Special Reserve, which contains one of the few remaining areas of central plateau forest. You will then stop at the sacred waterfall, where you will enjoy spectacular views of this transition forest between the east and west of the country. In the early evening, return to the ecolodge to spend the night half-board.
Day 13 : Antananarivo – Antsiranana – Amber Mountain
After breakfast, go to the airport and fly to the northern end of Madagascar. On arrival, you will meet our Amber Mountain team for lunch before exploring the village of Joffreville and the private nature reserve. Dinner and night at the Lodge
Day 14 : Amber Mountain
After breakfast, go to the Amber Mountain National Park, with its dense and humid forest brimming with native precious species, where you will see Dalbergia chlorocarpa and Canarium madagascariensis. The dazzling waterfalls, each as stunning as the next, will be a memorable part of your day. In the evening, watch the sunset from your lodge.
Day 15 : Amber Mountain – Ankarana
During the next part of your trip you will feel like you have been transported to a lunar landscape as you visit the Red Tsingy : one of the most impressive sites in the north. You will arrive at the Iharana Forest Camp around noon for a memorable lakeside lunch. Once you are sated, head to the enormous Mandresy Cave where you can admire the stalagmites and fruit bats that live there. Back to camp for a sunset aperitif.
Day 16 : Ankarana
Have a good breakfast before trekking to the heart of the Tsingy. Be guided to the Chameleon Cave. You will be amazed by the biodiversity and ecosystem in Ankarana’s Tsingy region during this adventure. You will have lunch in natural surroundings abundant in lush vegetation and incredible fauna (lemurs, butterflies, invertebrates). Return to camp for dinner and the night.
Day 17 : Ankarana – Ramena
Once breakfast is over, head to Ramena Bay. You will see the “sugar loaf” island in the middle of Andovobazaha Bay (also known as French Bay). Lunch is seafood at Hotel Meva Plage. In the afternoon, follow the guide to explore a two-mile beach typical of coral seas and the fishing village nearby.
Day 18 : Ramena – Three Bays
Leaving Ramena, continue your trip on the water and visit Dune Bay, Pigeon Bay and the idyllic Sakalava Bay. You will taste the results of the local catch during a picnic at lunch. Return to your hotel to dine at nightfall.
Day 19 : Ramena – Antsiranana – Antananarivo – flight to Paris
You will end your stay with a last breakfast before a transfer to Antsiranana Airport, from where you will fly to Antananarivo before returning 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 the Creole culture : handicrafts and plantations
• Walks in the national park and around Piton de la Fournaise and Etang de Saint-Paul
• Accommodation in three and four-star hotels
• Themed native wildlife and plant hike in the Ambohitantely transition forest
• Discovering the Amber Mountain primal forest
• Educational hike in Ankarana’s Tsingy region
• Helping protect native baobab species : Andansonia suareziensis
Réunion and Madagascar : All bank cards (Visa, Mastercard, etc.) are accepted by ATMs located in big cities and medium-sized towns.
Réunion and Madagascar : Tipping is at the customer’s discretion
Meals and drinks
Réunion : Depending on the schedule (drinks extra)
Madagascar : Typical Malagasy cuisine and fresh local produce during excursions.
• Paris – Réunion return
• Réunion – Antananarivo return
• Antananarivo – Diego return
Réunion : A driver-guide will accompany you on the entire tour Specialist activity guides
Madagascar : You will be accompanied by a general tour guide and local guides
Réunion : Optional insurance can be provided for an additional charge
Madagascar : Don’t forget travel/health insurance covering repatriation and medical care.
Time difference (from UK)
• Summer : UTC +4 (BST +3)
• Winter : UTC +4 (GMT +4)
• Summer : UTC +3 (BST +2)
• Winter : UTC +3 (GMT +3)
Transport for the whole trip in Réunion : Trips in air-conditioned car with driver-guide
Transport for the whole trip in Madagascar : Travel in a nine-seater minibus until day 13 and in a 4X4 when exploring the north of the Big Island.
• Half board at the four-star Diana Déa Lodge
• 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 locations.
Madagascar : Charming accommodation with a focus on being eco-friendly and managing their sites in sustainable ways.
Réunion : As Réunion is part of France, European tourists will be aware of the rescue and assistance services available. It has a healthcare infrastructure that meets the same standards as mainland France.
Madagascar : No vaccinations are required. Vaccines against hepatitis A and B and typhoid fever are recommended
Réunion : For French or European Union nationals : identity card or valid passport. For nationals of other countries : valid passport and a return ticket or confirmation of continuation of travel.
Madagascar : For French nationals travelling to Madagascar, it is essential to have a passport with at least six months of validity remaining. A visa will be issued at the airport. You will need 2 ID photos. For a stay of less than 30 days the cost is €35, payable in person and in cash, upon presentation of passport.
Bring with you
Réunion : Located in the southern hemisphere, Réunion has a mild tropical climate. It is hot and sunny all year round but each region has its own microclimate.
Madagascar : For Madagascar’s rainforests, don’t forget a raincoat and a torch for night trips.
Essentials : hat or cap, sunglasses, sunsrceen, mosquito repellent, a windcheater and a raincoat, swimwear and walking shoes. If you do forget something, you will find everything you need in local shops.
Price per person
(airfare not included)
Air fares, which are indicative only, and subject to change:
• CDG-RUN return trip : €550
• RUN-TANA : €350
This price includes
• Double rooms in hotels with half-board
• Stated meals
• The guided tours and excursions mentioned
• Tourist taxes
This price does not include
• Insurance (can be provided for an extra charge)
• International flights from Paris and inter-island flights
• Drinks and personal spending
• Bank charges
• Any other expenses not mentioned in this schedule
This price includes
• Half-board accommodation in double rooms
• Transport and lunches
• Specialist tour guides
• Domestic flights (Tana-Antsiranana-Tana)
• Tourist tax and administration costs
• 24/7 assistance
This price does not include
• International plane tickets
• Deposits required for accommodation
• Tourist tax to be paid in situ (approximately €1 per day) per person
• All activities and optional tours
*Single room supplement : €408 for Réunion
Name : COMPAGNIE DES ILES VANILLE
Tel : +262 (0) 262 38 93 89
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Name : Ramartour Madagascar
Tel : +261 (0)202248723
Email : email@example.com
The Vanilla Islands