Lusciously green like fresh dewy herbs, plains constitute the
island’s central region between Trois Cirques and the Piton de la
Fournaise or “Peak of the Furnace”. Along twisting roads you will
find picturesque sugarcane plantations as well as vast fields with
sumptuously green fern and rich fuchsia. Plaine des Cafres, Piton
des Neiges and Plaine des Palmistes are where one can enjoy
luxurious, picture-perfect landscapes.
A few kilometers north of Saint-Pierre a narrow and twisting road
leading right up to the charming region of Le Tampon. With plush
green slopes and omnipresent vivid, fragrant flowers, Le Tampon is
ideal to begin your hike up to the Piton de la Fournaise volcano
through quaint villages of Bourg-Murat and le Nez-de-Boeuf. Most of
these lands belonged to Count Gabriel le Coast de Kerveguen, a
bankrupt French aristocrat settled on the island in hopes of
restoring the family image. The Count grew rich with clove
plantations and soon became the island’s most important landlord.
In 1859 he brought from Europe demonetized German coins which he
used to pay his Tamil workers. One “Kerveguen” was the equivalent
of one French franc and the currency was in use on the island until
1880 when the French government forbid it. The Count was obliged to
pay off his debts which completely ruined his family.
La Plaine des Cafres is where you will feel like in Normandy or
Brittany with cattle fields and gorse bushes while fogs and pine
trees will take you right back to the Vosges. These vast fields and
tamarind forests was where African slaves runaways hid from their
landlords. Nowadays the fields are where horses are being bred.
Also noteworthy is the picturesque town of Bourg-Murat from where
depart excursions to the volcano.
Steep rocky slopes should only be accessed by experienced hikers.
If you wish to spend some time in the wild, reserve two days for
this excursion as you will have to spend the night at a shelter.
With Cilaos as the departure point, hike up to the Découverte
Lookout offering astounding views on the area. Make sure to climb
up to the meteorological station located on the Piton des Neiges
with its breathtaking and inspiring views.
The station is located 1100 meters above sea level and isolates the
Piton de la Fournaise from the Piton des Neiges. The rustic region
was once densely populated by palm trees and is beloved by
inhabitants of the coastal region who build their weekend cottages
inland. Locals still grow tea on their small plantations while
winter is the season to grow guavas, acidic yet delicious small
berries. Many pathways encourage long, enjoyable walks in this
charming picture-perfect region. The Bélouve Forest expands on the
horizon. The region’s rich flora are not only plush verdant
conifers but also omnipresent innocent white arum lilies.
Be cautious as this impressive volcano with an altitude of more
than 2 600 meters above sea level is still active with two proud
twin craters towering over the region. On March 5, 1988, five years
after its last return to activity, the volcano erupted unexpectedly
and that is the reason why it is being strictly monitored in order
to avoid any potential accidents. Past the village of Bourg-Murat
you will arrive to the Bellevue pass where cattle and sheep
tranquilly feed on lusciously green grasses. The Commerson crater
in Nez-de-Boeuf is more than worthy a nice detour. Sandy fields of
this region paint an ochre and grey landscape, a great contrast to
verdant plains. Only an hour’s drive away is the Pas de Bellecombe,
a picturesque mountain pass and lookout.
The east coast’s natural beauty will surely keep in you in awe in a
way that you will desire nothing more but to make your luxury
charter vacation with Sunreef Yachts Charter last