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Reunion Island Volcano

The island of Reunion is lively, surprising and continuously moving. Under a sunny and warm climate, its population is accustomed to cyclones and other mishaps of nature. La Fournaise sometimes spits gush of lava flows so powerful at times that they manage to reach the sea to create new territories.

Much of the island became a national park in 2007 and the pitons, cirques and ramparts were in turn registered in the UNESCO World Heritage in 2010. On Reunion island, nature seems to explode in all directions – a myriad of waterfalls, lost in a wild circus, beside a green and blue lagoon or above the famous volcano.

The coast

On the one hand a dominant side, little windy and lined with shady casuarina beaches that delight fans of relaxation and water sports. The other a coastline exposed to the trade winds, tougher green face that appeals to lovers of raw nature. Choosing one or the other is not the question, no one can claim to know Reunion without having seen these two seaboards, each having their charms.

Hiking on the volcano ….

It is not coincidence that the Grand Raid, the famous mountain race in Reunion, starts rushing towards the volcano. Mineral landscapes of Piton de la Fournaise indeed offer some great opportunities for hiking. The usual visitor join the crater rim from the Bellecombe. Other prefer the road down to the sea, crossing a surprising succession of landscapes and vegetation

… And in circuses

So green that the area around the volcano are minerals, Cilaos, Mafate and Salazie offer an exceptional space to practice the queen activity of the island: hiking. Each year, thousands of visitors soar on countless trails, revealing in passing the particular lifestyle of these separate spaces. In the center, the Piton des Neiges, the highest point of the island, is also a nice playground for hikers.

St Denis

If she rarely immediately raises the enthusiasm of the newcomers, who often prefer the attractions of the west coast, the first town on the island nevertheless has a charm of its own. The Barachois, its historical remains, dawdling in the aisles of the garden state is simply a wonderful journey. With its religious sites, markets and neighborhoods, Saint-Denis is also an excellent introduction to the island particularities

Surfing and kitesurfing

Do you know the the famous wave of Saint-Leu? The reputation of the city with surfers. The island has many other popular spots for surfers and bodyboarders. Aficionados of the “kite”, will also find excellent conditions along the west coast.

Piton Maido

At 2200 meters above sea level on the hills of the West Coast, the name of the Piton Maido sounds like a promise to visitors’ ears. Accessible by car, on a beautiful winding road through a forest, Piton Maido reserves an exceptional view of Mafate and its islets. The opportunity to embrace a glance – if the weather permits!

The Grand Brûlé

South of the island, the lava flows are the witnesses which now stand still like statues right by the Piton de la Fournaise. Past Saint-Philippe, the coast guard, indeed, many traces of the most recent eruptions of the volcano. Black basalt extending to the sea, the landscape reminds some of the most “hot” episodes in the history of the island, such as the eruption of 2007, which cut the RN2 .

Canyoning and white water sports

A steep terrain, ravines, waterfalls, ponds … the island has all the turnkey to seduce lovers of canyoning and white water sports. You will delight either in the Cilaos and Salazie or in St. Benedict, which concentrates clubs offering rafting, snorkeling and canoe-raft.

Paragliding in Saint-Leu

Paragliders not raving about the conditions offered by the western resort of the island beauty of the setting, spot protected from the wind by the relief, conditions for almost fly 300 days a year … The site is ideal for a baptism, in tandem with an instructor, but confirmed will also find their account.

Bathing in the pools

Their names are evocative: Niagara near Sainte-Suzanne, Bouteille in the high plains, Peace Pool and Sea Basin just outside Bras-Panon and many more remain havens of freshness. Ponds and waterfalls of the island, often hidden in the bend of the cane fields, to the delight of fans of picnic and swimming … in total privacy.

Saint-Gilles-les-Bains

Main resort of the island, Saint-Gilles-les-Bains draws crowds with its finely tuned cocktail of beaches, activities and restaurants-bars. Decidely casual and trendy for others, the city is the epicenter of the Western part of Reunion, less than an hour from Saint-Denis.

Paradise of fruits

Besides the delicious Victoria pineapples, bananas and coconuts that grow all year, every season brings a lot of vitamins. December and January is the season of lychees, mangoes and papayas, which are often present until February. The passion fruit appear in March and April. As for the guava trees, small and tasty red fruit, can mainly be found during the months May and June.

Hermitage-les-Bains

Hermitage-les-Bains, the family beach par excellence, has a trump card: a long series of casuarina trees that provide shade along the coast. Quiet beach, it is the favourite spot picnic lovers, who flock there every weekend. A Creole family tradition…

Sugar, and rum distilleries

Industrial tourism? Not only. Because in Reunion, sugar is also a culture, a history, a heritage. Throughout the visit of the distilleries on the island, and its two gigantic sweets still in business, you will learn about the production of alcohol and cane sugar industry that shaped the economic destiny of Reunion and opens new opportunities. A significant part of the electricity consumed on the island comes from sugar cane.

Mafate

A must for hikers! At the heart of Reunion, Mafate can only be approached on foot or by helicopter. No road leads into this vast basin bordered by peaks and mountain walls, home to a few hundred inhabitants. Rare are those who regret the effort required to get there, as they are offset by the peaceful and quiet and beautiful scenery.

Vanilla

In 1841, a young slave of Reunion, Edmond Albius, discovered the process for manually polinating vanilla, giving the so-called vanilla “Bourbon” name. Production has had its ups and downs, but the Reunion vanilla remains one of the most popular among connoisseurs. Several sites, especially in the east of the island, you can discover how this delicate orchid Vanilla planifolia is cultivated.

Tamil ceremonies

Colorful and festive, Tamil ceremonies reveal a surprising facet of Reunion culture and its melting pot. During Teemeedee, the faithful walk on glowing embers, while celebrating the Cavadee, penitents pierce their tongue and cheeks with needles. As for Divapali, the festival of light, it takes place in the light of hundreds of candles lit to illuminate the return from exile of Rama …

We hope that you enjoy your holidays on the Island of Reunion!

mauritius_reunion

Mauritius and Reunion island, also known as Sister Island, makes up the Mascarene island. Choosing between Reunion Island and Mauritius may seem like a hard job, but if you start considering what you like, need and what your priorities are, you will come up with the best choice for your vacation.

Here is an easy guideline that points out some basic information about these two amazing tropical islands. Reunion Island vs Mauritius. Which one will you pick?

Reunion Island: Intense Island

What is most surprising is when the aircraft lands! Taking the 30 degrees and humid air in your face, makes you realize that you are on a tropical island. If you are from France or a French speaking country there is no drastic change, the official language is French, they use the same currency and they drive the same way.

The first things to do in Reunion Island, just to identify well the locations, the helicopter ride. It remains an unparalleled experience. The Reunion Island is a volcanic island and is very mountainous in the center and a helicopter ride is the best way to visit the interior of the island. There are three circuses each having their peculiarities.

It’s many circuses and mountains are its greatest features and allows one to enjoy intense sports such as: paragliding, mountain walk, hiking, zip lines, the list goes on …

One of the most Active Volcanoes…

The volcano is one ‘must see’ in Reunion Island. It is actually one of the most still active volcanoes in the world. Fortunately it is not dangerous and during an eruption only a few slow spits of lava flows. It is a lunar desert landscape that awaits you at Piton de la fournaise. Walking on the solidified lava flow is impressive.

Reunion is a beautiful island that combines fun, volcanic mountains and green tourism. The island enjoys a warm and sunny climate all year round. Moreover, the culture of the region is different from what you find band the experience is definitely worth it.

To visit in Reunion

– Circuses (Mafate, Salazie, Cilaos), Piton des Neiges, Piton de la Fournaise

– Hiking Trails

– Horse, bike, 4 x 4, golf

– Saint-Leu (diving), Saint-Gilles, Boucan-Canot

– Deep sea fishing, surfing

Agenda of the festivities

– The procession of Cavadee called Thaipoosam Cavade late January-early February: festival celebrated by the Tamil community on the island, dedicated to a deity Mourouga

– Leu Tempo Festival in Saint-Leu, early May: concerts, jugglers shows, carnival parades, shows all over town

– Festival of guava and milk products, Plaine des Palmistes, two days in late June: event around the guava, tastings of local products, culinary competitions, exhibitions and free concerts

– The Deepavali early November: Festival of Lights

– The Pandiale, from December to January, in St. Paul- walking on hot coals.

Pros:

– An “active” tourism (hiking, sports) and a “passive” tourism (lazy) that combine very well

– A favorable climate all the time.

Cons:

– The scarcity of architectural remains and the relative weakness of the “beautiful beach” argument

– The sharp rise in air fares in peak season

– Insecurity in aquatic environments due to the many shark attacks.

Mauritius: It’s a Pleasure

The little gem of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius has an ideal climate offering breathtaking landscapes. Mauritius has beautiful white sand beaches that surround the coastline of 320 km. Discover the azure lagoon and its coral reef at your own pace during diving sessions or meet with the dolphins while cruising around the island. When you get inland, you will discover the second facet of the island: its pronounced relief where one can discover many mountains, fresh water waterfalls, and ancient dormant volcanoes. The interior invites you to discover new colors and intoxicating scents. The mixed population, an amalgam of Europe, Africa and Asia, will surprise you with its warmth and hospitality.

Best beaches in the World!

Mauritius won the title of best beaches in the world three times. Difficult to do better? In addition, Mauritius has won several other titles in the Indian Ocean, such as best wedding destination, and best port. It has been nominated in various categories such as best global honeymoon destination.

 

 

Festival Calendar in Mauritius

– January or February: Thaipoosam Cavadee (Tamil festival: pilgrims wear the cavadee a wooden arch covered with flowers and offerings to elevate their souls );

– February: Eid al-Adha (Muslim holiday to commemorate the sacrifice of Prophet Abraham); Chinese new year

– December to February: Teemeedee or “fire walking” (Tamil festival of purification);

– February-March: Maha Shivaratree, pilgrimage to the sacred lake of Grand Bassin (Hindu festival that lasts four days);

– February or March: Holi, or “festival of colors” (Hindu festival of the vernal equinox, glorifying fertility and love);

– August or September: Ganesh Chaturthi (Hindu festival for the anniversary of the birth of the god Ganesh);

– Night of 8 to 9 September: Festival of Blessed Father Laval, which mobilizes Mauritians of all faiths;

– October or November: Divali (Hindu festival to celebrate the victory of light over darkness spiritual);

– November 15: Eid al-Fitr (Muslim festival for the end of Ramadan).

Must See in Mauritius

– Black River Gorges- Largest nature reserve of the island

– Trou Cerfs- Dormant volcano in the centre of the Island

– Grand Bassin- Sacred lake where you can admire one of the tallest statue of the Indian Ocean

– Casela Adventure Park

– Ile Aux Cerfs

– Port Louis Market

– Pamplemousses Botanical Garden

– Chateau Labourdonnais

Pros :

– An active tourism policy, which guarantees more facilities in a strict respect of the environment;

– The benefits of a duty free zone for purchases such as jewelry, textiles, electronic equipment;

– The recent diversification of air transport to temper prices in this area.

– The amazing sand beaches and turquoise water lagoons

– The coral reef going around the whole island.

– Cultural diversity

Cons:

– Mauritius has a more expensive accommodation than its neighbors

Verdict!

The two sister islands each have their charm and personality. No island is more beautiful than the other! It all depends on your desires. Some prefer green tourism and other white sandy beaches. For my part I remain faithful to my Mauritius although I envy the mountains and circuses of Reunion Island.

Well, whichever the island you choose enjoy your holidays and don’t forget that you can combine a visit of both islands for your next holidays!