A village of approximately 6,000 residents, Cilaos is one of Reunion Island's larger towns. The name Cilaos is believed to come from the Malagasy word Tsilaosa, which means "the place one never leaves."

Cilaos is a pleasant town to explore, with plenty of places to stay, including both hotels and B&Bs, managed by friendly locals. Visitors are heartily welcomed and residents are eager to show you around, suggesting hikes through the nearby cirque or a ride to the closest winery, where you can taste a variety of fine French wines and explore the fields of grapes. You can eat and drink with locals in the rustic bars that dot the town or visit the Creole houses that line the narrow roads.

Long known as a spa resort, visitors of old flocked to the thermal baths of Cilaos, which were believed to possess curative powers. Today, guests can travel to the modern Irene Accott Thermal Center and take advantage of the same soothing waters that made the town famous in the 19th century.

Lentils are a staple in Cilaos and many local dishes feature this popular grain. Be sure to try one of these culinary delights! You'll also want to take home an example of the fine embroidery created by local Cilaos women, lauded for its amazing beauty and fine detail.