The Maïdo is a mountain peak on the island, in the heights of St. Paul, listed as World Heritage by the UNESCO. A breathtaking site, it offers a fascinating view on the cirque of Mafate, the west coast and the Indian Ocean. The RF8 road allows to reach the top in about an hour by car.
Thus the Maïdo awaits fans of breathtaking landscapes, who will be fully satisfied with the trip by car or motorbike, but also walkers who will joyfully start on the trails leading to the Grand Bénare and la Glacière. Various activities are available for visitors, especially in the Adventure Forest (tree climbing), quad biking in the forest, summer tobogganing, downhill mountain bike up the coast. Visits (distillery ...) are available along the road.
Cape la Houssaye , in St. Paul , is a protected area of the Conservatoire du Littoral. Favourable to walking, hikking and horse riding, it is particularly noteworthy for its exceptional panorama : a savannah landscape dominated by orange color that contrasts with the blue of the ocean nearby , and dotted green spots of a few trees. Closely clamped between the cliffs and the sea, the Cape route will lead you to a 6 km walk not to be missed .
For the adventurous ...
Although generally speaking of Cap la Houssaye , there is actually another cape, that of La Marianne , recognizable by the profile symbolizing the Republic at the top of the cliff, overlooking the ocean and calmly contemplating it. Cape La Marianne is located South of Saint -Paul, before reaching Cape la Houssaye and after the Grotte des Premiers Français. One can see the face of Marianne as he drives out of the old railway tunnel.
After the tunnel , nets dotting the cliffs remind us that we must be wary of falling rocks which may occur on this route yet so heavenly in appearance (caution to the windshield, specially if you rent a car!). Another important occasional danger is swell. It should not be forgotten that we drive right next to the sea. ...
And nature lovers
We can also see from the road the black sand beach, frequented by fishermen and others. What enhances the charm of the place is that we often unknowingly drive over a natural cave, which you can admire from the carpark available for visitors.
Since this road has been deserted since the opening of the Route des Tamarins, taking the Cap La Houssaye road is all the more interesting: the traffic is fluid, you can drive along it peacefully, enjoying this majestic site at will.