DURATION: 2 days walking
1st day: 6 hours
2nd day: 7 hours
To begin the hike, take the Le Maïdo forest road. Depart from "Grand Transmafatais", on the left of the road. An inscription on the ground "Roche Plate" will show you the right way. On your path you'll see a gentle slope with large lava rock slabs. After several minutes walking you will be at the top of the rampart Grand Bord. At that time, start the descent of "Ti Col", via a path that is steep but well-trodden. After 100m on this path, on your right, you will see a magnificent view over Roche Plate and the south of the Cirque de Mafate; make the most of the opportunity to take some photos and drink some water! An inscription "50/50" on the ground will indicate to you that you are half way down the path before your arrival at Roche Plate.
After 2 hours walking you will reach Ti Col, also called La Brèche. When you do, turn right in the direction of Roche Plate, using a path that runs along the edge of the rampart, but don't worry, there is a handrail along the first few metres. Anyone with vertigo should take care. After walking for 30 minutes, you will reach Roche Plate where you can get a meal and refreshments.
After your break, take the direction of La Nouvelle. When you arrive at the cross-roads, go straight ahead, in the direction of La Nouvelle You will come to another cross-roads, go straight ahead again towards the Col du Bronchard. After 30 minutes, the Col du Bronchard will be facing you (recognisable by the large white cross), continue straight ahead and go down a path that is easy in the beginning, then steep in its second part. After walking for 1 hour 20 you will be at the Rivière des Galets at the "Fond de Mafate". Go up river for 300 m, following the white points (several ford crossings). You will climb up a short ladder on the right bank to exit the river bed, before starting an ascent towards La Nouvelle. After 3 hours 10 walking, you will finally see the first houses of La Nouvelle and a good meal at the gîte and a good sleep awaits you!
The next day, after a good breakfast, take the path in the direction of Marla, Plaine aux Sables, Trois Roches. When you arrive at the cross-roads, go down to the right, in the direction of Trois-Roches, Roche Plate. Continue to go straight down towards the Plaine aux Sables. You will cross the Plaine aux Sables (a vast grassy plain). An oratory will be visible, which marks the beginning of the descent towards the Rivière des Galets. Continue to follow the signs for Trois Roches. After 1 hour 45 walking, you will finally reach the Trois Roches and can make the most of the beautiful river and the shade of the She-Oaks.
After a break, continue in the direction of Roche Plate, the path will be on the left bank and it goes up slightly above the river, then goes down again until the Ravine Chevaquine. After 30 minutes, you will begin a steep climb, then go along the rampart de Saint-Paul. You will come across several dry ravines along your path. You will arrive on the edge of a plateau overlooking Roche Plate, then an abrupt descent towards the islet. At the cross-roads, go left in the direction of Roche Plate (school). After 2 hours 30, you will reach Roche Plate. You can take this opportunity to have a meal.
To go back to Maïdo, take the same path that you took the previous day.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Take the bus at the Saint-Paul coach station, line 2 (Kar'Ouest - direction of Le Guillaume - Stop: Route du Maïdo).
Be aware: There is no guarded car park in Maïdo, you leave your car there at your own risk.
Find all the gîtes in Mafate here.
For all gîte reservations, enquire at the Office de Tourisme de l'Ouest, or in the information offices in La Possession, Saint-Leu and Saint-Gilles.
max. 1484 m
min. 743 m
Styles : HikingDiscoveryMountain
Public : SportsmenExperienced hikers
Themes : CulturalPatrimony