If you want to go to Cilaos, a traveller’s favorite, then you have to take the “route aux 400 virages” (the 400 turns road) to reach the different areas inside the cirque. As you must have guessed, this road is really windy but goes through great landscapes.
Depending on your driving, it takes approximately 1 hour to reach the village of Cilaos from Saint Louis. If you don’t feel like driving there, you can take a bus from Saint Louis’ bus station and the ride will last roughly 1.5 hours.
Just like Mafate, the name of the cirque has a Malagasian root, “Tsilaosa”, which means ” the place one never leaves”
The track which kept its traditional creole character is famous for its lentils production, its wine, produced in a professional way by “les chais de Cilaos” but also in a more traditional way by locals.
Whereas the wine from the chais is produced with grapes from Chenin, Malbec and Pinot noir vines, the traditional wine is made out of Isabelle vine, the first vine introduced on La Réunion which is now forbidden in France because of its reputation of driving people crazy but permitted in La Reunion as it is a part of Cilaos traditions).
Artistically, its unique embroidery called « les jours de Cilaos » made by removing threads in a certain way in a piece of fabric to “draw” patterns such as flowers or geometrical shapes.
sport-wise, with its canyoning routes, in particular those of fleur jaune or bras rouge and its numerous hiking trails leading to points of views such as la Roche merveilleuse with a breathtaking view over the village of Cilaos, but also its climbing sites or “canopy adventure park (parc accrobranche), Cilaos has no reason to envy the rest of the rest of the island.
After the effort, relaxation! and there is no better way to soothe those aching muscles than dipping in the thermal waters of Cilaos.