GRR2 trek – hike in La Reunion

Famous GRR2 trek

You dream about crossing Reunion Island on the famous GRR2? We describe our itinerary in details in this article! A great adventure with landscapes more beautiful one from the other. And you can see below an short extract of our trip in our video!

Cross Reunion Island on foot

In many guides, the GRR2 trek in generally composed in 12 stages. But everyone is free to make is own itinerary!

From our side, we did it in 9 stages, so 9 days and 8 nights!

La Reunion GRR2 trek in 12 stages (according guides)

The GRR2 trek in brief

  • From North to South: from La Providence (Saint-Denis) to Basse Vallée (Saint-Philippe).
  • Distance: 140 km
  • High elevation: almost 10 000 meters high and 10 000 meters down.
  • Markings: 2 lines (red and white)
  • Best time: regarding us, we would say from September and November, or April / May. Nights are cooler/colder that in summer. But days are nice and there is fewer risk for rain.

Our GRR2 trek in details

In yellow, our itinerary, in blue, the 3 main “bonus hikes” you can add to your GRR2 trek (Roche-Ecrite, Piton des Neiges, Volcan). We’ll soon add some articles about those 3 hikes.

At the beginning, we planned to hike the all trek in autonomy with our dog, Huaca.

But at the end, we made the 6 firsts days with our tent. Then a friend came to grab our dog in Cilaos and we finished alone in gites the 3 last days. Indeed, from North to South, the 3 last days are not ok for dogs. There is a lot of mud, but furthermore, a kind of stone that is really really sharp and hurt dogs’pads (close to the Volcano).

We also choose to modify a bit the Roche Plate > Marla’s itinerary. Instead of hiking to Bronchard, we prefered to go to Trois Roches. This part is nicer and there is Water! Which is very important when you trek with a tent.

  • When: end ot August
    Nights are cold, but weather is nice. We had only 1 rainy day on 9. Between Plaine des Cafres and The Volcano.
  • Distance: 136 km
  • High elevation: Positive : ? / Négatif : 
  • How long: 9 days, 8 nights.
    As we had big bags (15 and 18kg) we decided to hike 9 days. Enough time to enjoy our days, take pictures, videos and stop anytime we want (about 6h hike per day).
Stages of our GRR2 trek in Reunion

Find below the links to know more about every stages of our GRR2 trek’s itinerary! Where we slept, where there is water, where to buy food…

BIVOUAC – Camping, the difference:

In La Reunion, bivouac is often tolerated whereas camping is not! So, what is the difference? When we talk about bivouac, it means install your tent at the last light of day (or nightfall) and packing it up at daybreak. Not to make a fire if there is no place for it and not to leave anything there of course. Basically come to sleep while disturbing as little as possible.

Generally, we put the tent a little before or a little after the villages so as not to disturb the inhabitants.

Backpack for hike & « bivouac » :

Personally, we had big bags (15 and 18kg) … between hiking, bivouac and our photo / video material, hard to keep a light bag! But it is easily possible to go below 10 kg if you sleep in gites (7 to 8 kg).

Here a list of important staff you should need if you hike & bivouac :

  • Water of course! 1,5L Camelback minimum.
  • Camping tente and a good sleeping bag.
  • 1 survival blanket + 1 yoga mattress cut in 2 (for ground insulation and comfort).
  • Minimum of clothes: 1 short, 1 legging, 1 legging +  1 jogging for cold night, 1 swimsuit, 2 short t-shirts, 2 long sleeve t-shirts, 4/5 slips, 5 socks (very important) + a good waterproof jacket.
  • Baskets and flip flops.
  • Minimum hygiene kit: toothbrush, small toothpaste, biodegradable soap (for skin, hair and dishes), light towel and SOLAR cream!
  • Small safety kit: moisturizer, cotton, betadine, bandages, safety pin, tweezers, nail clippers, compress and adhesive plaster, paracetamol, labello.
  • Penknife, lighter, headlamp, battery/powerbank to recharge headlamp, phone…
  • GPS (with phone, watch)… AND a detailed MAP (if you have no more battery).

That’s it! Find now the detailed 1st day of our GRR2 trek in Reunion Island: Saint-Denis > Dos d’Âne !

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