The Maïdo area, with its thrillingly steep descents and spectacular mountain scenery, is a top two-wheel destination.
Feature: Thrilling Downhills
The spectacular flanks of Le Maïdo will prove a sort of nirvana for mountain bikers who prefer sitting back and letting gravity do the work. The 35km, 2205m descent follows trails that wind through tamarind and cryptomeria forests and sugar-cane fields. Throughout the ride you're presented with astounding views of the lagoon and the coast.
Rando Réunion Passion is a professional set-up that offers a range of mountain-bike trips for riders of all levels. The most popular ride is the 'Classique du Maïdo' descent, from the lookout to the coast. If you're a beginner, fear not! You won't ride at breakneck speed, and various stops are organised along the way, where the guide will give you the lowdown on flora and fauna. Half-day packages including bike hire, transport to the start (by minivan, with an extra €5) and a guide cost around €60 per person (minimum four). Children over 12 are welcome.
If you want to open up the throttle a little more, opt for the 'Maxi Cap Ouest' (€100) descent.
Hiking options abound near Le Maïdo. The peak is the starting point for the tough walk along the Cirque rim to the summit of Le Grand Bénare (2896m), another impressive lookout. Plan on six hours return. Hikers can also descend from Le Maïdo into the Cirque de Mafate via the Sentier de Roche-Plate.