GRR2 Day 6: Marla > Cilaos

GRR2 Day 6: Marla > Cilaos, all details about this part of one of the best trek in Reunion island. Our last day in Mafate during the GRR2 before we arrive at Cilaos.

GRR2 Day 6 North to South


  • Duration: 5h
  • Distance: 12,39 km
  • High Elevation: 986 meters high / 1325 meters down
  • Markings: Good / How is the path: Good
A frosty waiking up in Marla!

We thought we were lucky enough to have the sun to warm us up early in the morning, but it decided to get up behind the highest mountain. Fortunately, we still have a magnificent view on the “Col du Taibit”, “Les 3 Salazes” and around. So we pack our things quickly to begin walking as quickly as possible.

Our GRR2 Day 6, Marla Cilaos, begins with the sunrise!

The sun rises gently as we pass the little Marla’s church and the nearby donkeys.

Marla village's donkeys, during our GRR2 Day 6 in Mafate.

1/2) Marla > Col du Taibit

After not even 10 minutes of walking, we go back to the snack bar at Jimmy’s. We stop to fill our camelbacks with water and remove a few layers of clothing.

At the directional sign, go along the school on the right, towards the Col du Taibit. We walk between a few cottages and houses to the bottom of the pass that separates Mafate and Cilaos. It’s time to climb!

Just to know, Marla is the only place where pass the 3 different GR of Reunion Island.

Indication pannels in Marla village on Mafate.

Great view on Marla and La Nouvelle during the climb of the Col du Taibit.

View on Marla and La nouvelle from col du taibit climb during our GRR2 day 6 in Reunion.

Once at the top of Taibit, we can see Cilaos on the other side... it’s where we go! It looks far from here, isn’t it?

View of Cilaos from Col du Taibit top during our hike Marla Cilaos, GRR2 Day 6!
Go down towrds Cilaos, from Taibit!

Both uphill and downhill, you can see the 3 Salazes, the famous rock formations on which it is possible to abseil and climb with a certified guide (it’s coming soon)! Here is the junction to go up to the 3 salazes!

Junction to hike towards Les 3 salazes during our walk down to Cilaos from Marla.

We enjoy the view before taking the path again and starting the descent towards Cilaos, which is partly in the shade. There are a few bivouac spots possible for 1 tent, but close to the path. We go through the Ilet des Salazes and pass the Tisanerie on our left. Nice to drink the traditional drinks made “for the ascent” or “for the descent” or to eat a small snack.

Small tisanerie to take break when walking down or up in the Col du Taibit pass!

We continue on our way, we have an appointment at the bottom of Taibit with our friend Florent who comes to finish the walk with us to Cilaos and pick up our 4-legged sidekick, Huaca.

There is a small waterhole on the left, the Jacob spring . We hear the noise of cars… it feels weird after these first 6 days in total immersion in nature. Plus, it’s Sunday, the bikers’ festival!

We find Florent arriving from Cilaos on foot. We stop at the picnic area for a well-deserved lunch, 50 meters on the left, at the bottom of the Taibit pass.

Picnic area at the departure (or end) of the Col du Taibit in Cilaos.
  • Water: no, yuo should go up to the Jacob source.
  • Bivouac: yes, on the picnic area! For 3, 4 tents. There are also kiosks and bins.

2/2) Taibit > Cilaos

By the Cascade Bras Rougeby Le plateau des chênes, it’s the GRR1 trail, on which one we’ll also make an article soon!

The descent to the Cascade Bras Rouge is rather easy. Half shade half sun with beautiful panoramas. A little before the Bras Rouge waterfall you can turn right towards the Bassin la Roche, but we already know it so we decide to continue our way.

We arrive to cascade Bras Rougeduring our GRR2 Day 6, the best hike in Reunion Island.

At cascade Bras Rouge, we stop to take some pictures and enjoy the landscape.

Nice cascade Bras Rouge in Cilaos on our way to the village during the GRR2 trek.

We can swim and refill water, then we start again for the ascent to Cilaos. Nothing too complicated, the trail is mostly in the shade and goes up towards the road. We walk along it for 5 mins before going up to Cilaos by the path on the right of the winding road.

View from the last small climb to Cilaos village from Marla.
Arrival at Cilaos!

Here we are, the end of our GRR2 Day 6 ! Once in Cilaos (at the church parking lot) we take off our bags some stuffs. No more sleeping bags, tent, dog’s stuffs… after 6 days walking together, our friend Florent will take Huaca with him because the 3 last days’paths are not good for her.

Arrival to the church parking lot after the grr2 day 6 from Marla to Cilaos!

Longer, possibility of mud and especially 2 days walking in the slag (abrasive volcanic stones) … no way! So it’s a bit sad, but we’re also super happy that she shared these 6 days with us. We are now heading to our shelter for the night, the lodging of a friend “Au Coeur du Paradis”.

  • Bivouac: Yes, at the Plateau des Chênes (be discreet because camping prohibited, respect the “bivouac”). But also towards the Bloc or at the bottom of the Kerveguen.
  • Water: Yes, on the left going up towards the kiosks at the top for the plateau des Chênes. Also at the start of the Coteau de Kerveguen (water point at the start of the hike).
  • Altitude: 1200m approximately, rather 1300m for the Bloc and Kerveguen.
Au cœur du Paradis, Geneviève and Yannik’s maison d’hôtes

1st night of our trek not in a tent… It’s nice to have a real shower and a good bed to sleep in! The gite is really nice and well situated in Cilaos, and the view is great! It’s also possible to cook your own food (there is a kitchen). Here their website (in french).

The view from Au Coeur du Paradis's balcony, where we stoped in Cilaos for our GRRR2 day 6!
Conclusion of this GRR2 Day 6 in La Reunion – Marla > Cilaos:

A great day, really nice landscapes… possibility to bath, to refill camelbacks… and thanks again to Florent who came to take Huaca back home!

Next stage: Cilaos > Plaine des Cafres (Bourg Murat)

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