Travel to Hell-Bourg – Creole Heritage & Hikes in the Cirque de Salazie
Proclaimed as one of France’s most beautiful villages, Hell-Bourg is one of the best-known villages in Les Cirques. As well as being an ideal base from which to set out on foot to explore the ‘Cirque de Salazie’, Hell-Bourg also boasts a rich legacy of Creole architecture and the ruins of a former spa.
From the town of St-Andre on Reunion’s northeast coast a spectacular 22 km journey unfolds. A twisting road makes its way through the gorge of the Riviere du Mât, passing impossibly sheer mountainsides covered with lush vegetation and bisected by numerous cascading waterfalls. The island’s highest peak, the ‘Piton des Neiges’ (3071m) is often visible during the early part of the day before the clouds roll in.
Hell-Bourg is a popular start/end or transit base for hikers traversing ‘Les Cirques’. For those just visiting the village for a couple of days, several easy short walks are possible. One of the most popular short trails leads down to the ruins of the old Thermal Baths, located in a ravine just above a stream. For more demanding walks, Maison de la Montagne de la Reunion provides a specialist and comprehensive information and gite/hut booking service covering hiking routes all over Reunion.
Canyoning and rock-climbing can also be organised in the surrounding vicinity. Local operators specialise in organising activity pursuits in the ‘Cirque de Salazie’.
For unwinding and absorbing the fresh mountain air, Hell-Bourg has a couple of local cafés; or enjoy a picnic next to the river at the ruins of the old thermal baths.
- Beautiful setting in the middle of ‘Cirque de Salazie’ natural amphitheatre
- An opportunity to discover rich, traditional and colourful Creole architecture
- Former spa resort, now a laid-back mountain retreat and an ideal base for hiking