Electric bike in Reunion
In complete freedom or on a guided tour, discover the Reunion’s landscapes by electric bike. One of the many “Zarlor” promoted by the West Coast Tourist Office!
What is a Zarlor ?
Zarlor is a creol word that means « treasure » !
But here, ” Zarlor ” are activities, recommendations (guided tours, sport or cutltural activities…) highlighted by the Tourist Office to discover or re discover the West part of the island.
Let’s go to Saint-Leu
Yes, this morning we join Simon of Loisibike at 8:30 am for this Zarlor on an electric bike in Reunion. We join a small group of 5 people already there to have breakfast. Coffee, fruit juice, pastries, even with electric assistance, we will need energy! While we gain strength, Simon prepares our bikes. He then gives us a little topo on how work these pretty two wheels. We adjust our saddles, we put on a helmet and we are ready for the ride!
All in a single file
For those who have never ridden an electric bike before, we start with a quick ride in the parking lot in front of Loisibike. We warm up our thighs by testing the gears and different assist modes: Eco, Tour, Sport and Turbo, until everyone is comfortable. After 3 short minutes, it seems to be the case, so here we go! All in single file towards L’Etang-Salé by the sublime beach road.
Some coastal stops
The path is dotted with small instructive stops. La Pointe au Sel and its museum or even its magical little cove, with expert explanations from the guide! At L’Étang-Salé, there is talk about the arrival on the island of casuarina trees and the replanting of trees to, among other things, fight against beach erosion.
Close to the very beautiful Bassin Pirogue, we are looking for a local resident, a turtle who is very often there… but unfortunately, not at the meeting that day. Then, head to the Gouffre to find a hidden pool in the rock… So far, I’ve stayed in Eco mode and Romain, he decides not to even use the assistance, he wants to sweat!
So we go up…
Even if the ride on the coast is great, pretty, relaxing… we know this part quite well. As a result, we are very happy to get off the beaten track a bit and go back above the forest of L’Étang-Salé, passing behind Croc Parc to take the direction of Les Avirons and Ravine Sèche, it’s quite sloping. And frankly, of course, it’s still sporty, even in electric mode, but we realize that we can do things that we wouldn’t even dare to imagine without electric assistance.
Indeed, we had to do between 400 and 500 meters of elevation gain in less than 1 hour. So yes, it pedals and you can feel your legs a bit. But by playing between the different assistance modes – Sport and Turbo for me and Tour mode for Romain (still wanting to sweat that one!) – we have succeeded without to many pain!
Electric bike in the cane fields
Once at our highest point, we continue our loop towards Saint-Leu through the small villages of Les Avirons, Étang-Salé les Hauts and Piton St-Leu. Looking at the view of the coast, we realize that we have just made a nice climb! Ravines full of flowers, small Creole houses, cane fields, it’s great to ride where you don’t set foot every day!
We go through the heights of the magnificent town of St-Leu (and I’m not saying that because it’s my childhood town!). Close to Le Plate, very close to Piton, and the landscapes are completely different than on the way there, a real change of scenery made in Reunion!
Crazy descent at 60km an hour!!
To end on a high note, Simon tells us that we will end this activity by descending Chemin Lelievre. A pretty paved path that goes down well, with nice tight turns! The more adventurous, like Romain, go down at up to 60km/h. Others, like me, enjoy their descent with pleasure, but with their fingers never too far from the brakes!
That’s great! We arrive Cité des Pêcheurs! I recognize it right away because I spent quite a bit of my youth there with quite a few friends living in the area… Already on a bike at the time… but without assistance!
We arrive at sea level again and gently return to Loisibike! In the end, we did a nice 3h30 ride with more than 500 meters of elevation for about 45km. And you know what ? Not even feeling our legs badly!
Many loops by electric bike in Reunion are possible!
Not sure where to go or what you are capable of? In this case, the best thing is to take part in these rides and let yourself be guided to discover nice spots, without the hassle while benefiting from the explanations of your guide! In addition, there are a multitude of routes! Loisibike organizes different loops according to the desires, the physical condition of the participants, the weather… so even if you think you know, think again, there is plenty to do in the area!
On the other hand, if you prefer to be independent, no problem either. You can absolutely take Option B and oonly rent a bike! To each his own pace, to each his desires!
To rent an electric bike in Réunion, go to Loisibike, 357 rue du Général Lambert, 97436 in Saint-Leu.
For a guided tour:
You need a minimum of 2 people, or 4 people (holidays) and no more than 12 (for a single guide) to organize the guided ride. Beyond that, don’t panic, you’ll just need an extra guide!
There isn’t really a minimum age, but you have to be at least 125cm tall and be self-sufficient on a bike.
Your activity include lunch in a nice restaurant close to your activity! For this guided ride like in this article + lunch, count €70 per person. and €62 per child (7 to 11). For free ride + lunch: €56 adult and €36 child.
You can book your Zarlor on the Tourist Office West website(in french).
Do not hesitate to leave us a short comment if you liked this article. Or if you have any questions and discover here other activities to do in Reunion!