To the north of St-Leu, take the D12, known as Route des Colimaçons – a series of intestine-like S-curves – then veer due south on the D3 to La Chaloupe St-Leu before plunging back to the coast via Piton St-Leu, where the brightly painted Hindu temple is worth a gander. If you really want to get away from it all, you could continue to drive uphill from the village of Les Colimaçons until you reach the Route Forestière des Tamarins, which threads for 38km across the slopes from Le Tévelave to Le Maïdo – sensational. Whatever your itinerary, a GPS unit is essential as it's easy to get disoriented.