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Visit Reunion Island: Practical Tips

Reunion-Island

Despite being in the Indian Ocean, Reunion Island is a French Island. 3 adjectives to describe Reunion Island are lively, dynamic and surprising. Being in the same area as Mauritius, the climate is sunny and warm most of the time but might be prone to rainy seasons and natural calamities. It is also to be noted that the surface area of Reunion Island increases from time to time due to lava reaching the sea during powerful eruptions. Therefore, if you are curious and want to embark on a life-flourishing journey, Reunion Island is the perfect place for you, especially if you are adventurous in nature.

Travelling throughout the island

Are cars indispensable?

One of the main advantages of renting a car on Reunion Island is that a car allows for flexibility. By flexibility, I mean that public transport does not take you to every location; they have a specific route to follow, while on the other hand, taxis are usually expensive.

Remember, planning and organisation are the keys. To save money, public transport would be more suitable even though you would have to walk a little to get to your destination at times but apart from that it is not quite a hassle provided that you do not bring loads of items or bags with you. Driving a car somehow requires experience also, due to the narrow mountain road present near the cirques. You will also have to look for parking lots compared to public transport, which can thus be much of a hassle during busy days.

What to see and what to do during your stay?

The Piton de la Fournaise

Originally one of the most active volcanos amongst the world, it is believed that if this volcano stops erupting, dormant volcanoes of neighbouring islands such as Mauritius would wake up because they are connected to each other. However, the Piton de la Fournaise remains one the most popular attraction on Reunion, allowing for great hikes. For instance, its eruption always provides a mind-blowing spectacle for youngsters and elders.

The Cirques

Another famous feature of Reunion Island is the three cirques formed inside Piton des Neiges – the “mother” which gave birth to Reunion Island. Despite being formed by the same volcano, each one of them; Mafate, Salazie, Cilaos, has their own essence which will of course capture your attention.

Cirque of Mafate

One of the aspect of the Cirque of Mafate is both an advantage and disadvantage. Why? Well, to access the Cirque of Mafate, you will have to travel by helicopter or on foot. Either way, both would be an enriching experience for the family. The main characteristic of the Cirque of Mafate is mostly the wild aspect, which once served as refuge for slaves. Hence, the inhabitants are very attached to this land and keep some of the traditions going despite a lack of modern communication.

Cirque of Salazie

The Cirque of Salazie contains several villages and a Commune. Neighbouring St André and being the most accessible of the three cirques, the Cirque of Salazie is home to several waterfalls with rather strange but original names – “Pisse en l’air,” Voile de la Mariée, Cascade Blanche and others. One of the benefits of visiting the Cirque of Salazie first is that you will have the opportunity to access Mafate by going through the forestry.

Cirque of Cilaos

Originating from the word “Tsilaosa,” meaning “a country that you don’t leave.” The Cirque promises to provide you with a whole new level of experience; clearly different from Mafate and Salazie. One of the main advantage of Cilaos is that it can be accessed by car yet, you would have to pass through a road composed of 400 turns – certainly worth it, due to its beauty.

Reunion Island’s Gastronomy

How would gastronomy be described in Reunion? Well, in some words, the Reunion Island’s gastronomy is the fruit of different combinations of cuisine – Malagasy cuisine, African cuisine, Indian cuisine, Chinese cuisine and French cuisine. Appetizers are important to the Reunion cuisine. Similarly, some of the most traditional ones are also common to Mauritius. With their spicy taste, these snacks make the pleasure of youngsters as well as elders – “Bonbon piments” known as “Gateau piments or Gato Dhall” in Mauritius, Samosas and “Piments farcis.”

The most conventional dish found in Reunion Island is the curry.  Served in a plate with rice at the bottom, grains and the curry at the top and chutneys served separately, this dish can also be found in Mauritius and observes the same pattern. It is probably due to the fact of having common ancestors.

Where to stay during your trip to Reunion Island?

So you have already booked your flight, now is your time to think of the place where you would stay for your holidays. We would like to recommend TROPIC Appart’Hotel which is a hotel at Saint Gilles. Situated just 80 meters away from the sea, you will not have to travel too far from home. Also, you will find loads of services surrounding the area varying from sports clubs, restaurants, stores, pharmacy, laundry, nightclubs, casino and bakery.

Ideal for holidays, the atmosphere at the hotel is sure to help you relax yourself and take away the accumulated daily stress. The hotel for instance has 20 studios and 20 duplex apartments, all of them being modern, spacious and comfortable.

Who said that an hotel is monotonous in nature? Well, with TROPIC Appart’Hotel, your overall enjoyment and well-being is the aim. Do you still want to work while on holidays? Free high speed WIFI is available for your use. There is also a swimming pool inside the complex. However if you want to undertake more activities such as helicopter, golf, paragliding, mountain biking, canyoning, diving, big game fishing, catamaran trips, kayaking, paddling, the reception would be happy to provide you with some advice.

Why fly to Reunion island?

reunion coast

The island of Reunion – hustling rocks, lava and magma – is a unique island in the Indian Ocean. from the high point of its pitons its languid shores of beach, everything here is dominated by an impetuous nature that have an unparalleled force. If you are wondering why you should visit Reunion? Well, we got the answer for you!

Its inhabitants

Everywhere, the extreme kindness of Reunionese will surprise you and make you want to come and live on that beautiful island. They are always ready to help – to indicate the road, give a curry recipe or simply talk on the terrace of a cafe.

The circuses and volcano

With 3 circuses listed as UNESCO World heritage, you will succumb to this sumptuous vision of raising sun over Mafate, Salazie or Ciloas.  Sublime, majestic peaks, Circuses are the place to be for those who get up early. Just as the Volcano, one of a kind, which, even in regular activity, will make you dream with its plains resembling a lunar landscape over a few kilometers.

Its cuisine, a blend of world flavors

Reunion is an island where all the cultures and all the colors blend. This mix of cultures is also reflected in the dishes of the island. The specialties; the rougaille, bouchons, samosas, sweets peppers, jams, sweets coconuts … all accompanied by a ti punch or local rum aranger.

The climate

The island of Reunion has a near to perfect climate all-year round. This tropical island offers temperatures ranging between 20 and 33 ° C most of the time. The climate is suitable for swimming throughout the year, and the trade winds are very present in the east of the island.

Its Unique Beaches

Boucan Canot Beach

One of the finest white sandy beache of the islands remains Boucan Canot. It is located between Saint-Paul and Saint-Gilles-les-Bains. Surrounded by beautiful hotels bordering coastline, this popular beach invites you to enjoy a breakfast on the oceanfront.

Boucan Canot swimming area does not have a coral reef, which gives it a greater depth in the lagoon. However, there is nothing to fear if you think you won’t be able to swim during your holiday in Reunion, since a safety net was installed so as to ensure safe swimming. To the delight of children and adults wishing to wade in the water, a natural pool formed by volcanic rocks is also easily accessible.

You can enjoy your stay in Reunion in one of the accommodation and hotels in the vicinity of Boucan Canot for easy access to the beach and enjoy this stretch of white sand to relax. Besides swimming, many aquatic activities can also be practiced in the blue waters off the beach. It is quite nice to enjoy a drink, ice cream or lunch on one of the terraces that you cannot missed during a stroll along the beach to the south. The evening is pretty quiet compared to the Hermitage. Near the beach of Boucan Canot, you also have shops and art galleries where you can find articles that will be beautiful memories of your trip on the island of Reunion.

Although being one of the most tourist beaches and featuring a supervised bathing area, Boucan Canot remains a dangerous beach. A strong current can be formed very close to the edge, one must be very careful, watch the color of the flame (the flag) and do not hesitate to request information from the lifeguards.

Hermitage beach Reunion

Edging a turquoise sea, on the south coast of Saint-Gilles-les-Bains, the Hermitage beach is a long and sumptuous shady beach lined with casuarinas. This is a corner no one should miss during a stay on the island of Reunion. Extending over several kilometers, this beach of white sand, contrasting with the lush vegetation that surrounds it, is an extension of the South of Roches Noires beach. Offering prime locations and popular with Reunionese families, the beautiful beach of the Hermitage is of incomparable beauty and genuine charm.

Supervised swimming area, the Hermitage beach (or Hermitage) borders a lagoon nature reserve because of the aquatic wealth and geography. Feel free to take with you a snorkel because the underwater fauna and flora is very rich!

Ideal for relaxation, this pristine beach is ideal for long hours of relaxation on a towel or on a deck. Besides swimming, this blue lagoon protected by a coral reef is also a diving spot not to be missed on a trip to Reunion. And if you feel a little hungry, you will easily find restaurants and snacks available near the beach.

Grand Anse Beach

Edenic setting, worthy of a postcard, this beach will remain an unforgettable memory of your trip to Reunion. Grand Anse is an exotic place of unparalleled beauty. The swimming area of ​​the beach is considered dangerous but it should not prevent you to spend pleasant hours, staring into the waves. A small artificial pond of black rock was also constructed to allow children to swim safely .

Ideal for relaxing and various outdoor activities, Grand Anse Beach is primarily a place where the South Reunion families and tourists on vacation to the island of Reunion like to get together and share good lunches. Reunionese often come to picnic on Sunday and enjoy a family curry in the shade of casuarinas and Vacoas … Why? Because the site is beautiful!

A real “must-see” to discover especially on working days if you are not a follower of the crowd. Guests can enjoy the freshness of a small recreation area in the shade of coconut trees. You can also discover the flavors offered by the restaurants in the vicinity of the beach or those snack bars. The Grand Anse beach also has many places for barbecues. To enhance your stay on reunion island, you can also take a trip to Lime Kiln located in Grand Anse after spending hours at the beach and end your day beautifully.

Have a wonderful time on the island of Reunion!

Reunion Attractions

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!

10 choses à éviter pendant vos vacances à la Réunion

Partir en vacances à la Réunion est un quasi rêve devenu réalité et afin d’améliorer cela, voici des consignes pour vous aider a avoir des vacances parfaites!

reunion-plage

La première chose à considérer lors de la visite d’un pays étranger est la différence de mode de vie et cette règle applique pour Ile de la Réunion comme sux autres. Le système selon lequel ils vivent est certainement différent de, par exemple l’île Maurice. Habituellement, ce ne serait pas un problème, mais si le vacancier sera en interaction avec les habitants de l’île, certaines choses doivent être prises en considération. Une différence majeure est  l’allocation d’aide au retour à l’emploi que les résidents reçoivent. Il est assez considérable pour décourager  à se trouver du travail. Les amateurs de vacances peuvent trouver cela injuste, mais ces opinions provocatrices doivent être conservées à soi-même, pas besoin de ruiner les vacances pour une telle chose.

Nature Reunion

Le gouvernement a interdit la natation et autres activités nautiques dans la mer sauf dans les zones spécifiquement désignées dans une tentative pour empêcher les attaques de requins. Un garçon de 13 ans a été tué en Avril cette année dans une zone hors-limites à La Réunion. Ceci est exactement ce que personne ne veut qu’il se passe à eux pendant les vacances à l’île pratiquement sans critique de chez les vacanciers. Le requin avait arraché ses deux jambes et un peu de son estomac. C’est une image horrible, pas du tout ce que l’on envisage lors de la planification d’un voyage agréable et le risque est bel et bien trop élevé. Il devient une priorité de savoir comment empêcher cela. Ainsi, en faisant nos valises en chemin pour la petite île pittoresque, il faut aussi s’assurer que les dangers de la mer ne soient pas négligés.

reunion helicopter

La sécurité à l’aéroport de l’île de la Réunion est ne rigole certainement pas, il y a plusieurs exigences pour les vacanciers à s’adhérer et ceux-ci comprennent des éléments interdits. Quand ils ne disent pas permis, il n’y a pas d’ambiguïté. Par exemple, il est interdit d’apporter le fromage dans ses bagages quand on part pour ses vacances. A l’aéroport, ils vont saisir rapidement tout élément restreint qui sera incinéré à un stade ultérieur. Nous pouvons ainsi conclure qu’essayer de contourner ces règles ne servirait à rien d’autre qu’un gaspillage d’argent grave. Peu importe combien on peut manquer sa nourriture préférée, cela ne vaut pas la peine de la voir aller en flammes à la fin de la journée. Ce serait un début plutôt terrible à ce qui était censé être des vacances parfaites.

Map of Reunion Island

Map of Reunion Island

Les questions d’argent sont une grande préoccupation lorsque vous voyagez à La Réunion compte tenu du taux d’inflation élevé – étant donné que l’île importe la grande majorité de ses produits; il est très probable que les vacanciers finiront par payer plus pour le même produit pendant leur séjour là-bas. Les dépenses ne sont pas limités à de simples achats toutefois car les soins médicaux sont également assez cher pour les touristes en provenance des pays non membres de l’UE. Ceux de l’Union européenne sont couverts automatiquement par leur sécurité sociale, mais les autres ont besoin de prendre des dispositions pour l’assurance médicale car en cas d’accident, il serait assez difficile de couvrir les coûts pour le voyageur comme les factures médicales sont estimés légèrement inférieures à celui aux États-Unis où ils sont assez exorbitants pour dire le moins.

Saint Gilles Reunion

Pendant les vacances, il devient très facile pour les tiers de faire de l’argent sur vous grâce à de légères hausses de prix ici et là, les jugeant comme «prix pour touristes”. La nourriture à la plage coûtera plus cher pour le touriste peu subtile et même la banque se réjouit de la possibilité d’augmenter ses profits. Payer avec sa carte de crédit est certainement plus pratique et plus sûr que d’avoir à transporter de grosses sommes d’argent sur soi dans un pays étrange et les banques profitent de cela. Charges engagées aux cartes de crédit auront des coûts cachés dus à l’usage internationale. Ils ne sont pas des frais très élevés, mais ils continuent à s’additionner conduisant à une découverte facheuse quand on est à la maison.

Reunion Island

Where is Reunion Island?

Une erreur facile que les touristes peuvent faire est de présumer que tout le monde parle le Français. Alors que même si la plupart des habitants de l’île comprennent le français, ils ne peuvent pas toujours le parler. En fait, il est un signe de l’enseignement supérieur de couramment parler la langue. Ainsi, les barrières linguistiques peuvent créer un problème de communication. La solution serait d’investir dans un guide et éviter de laisser dans des endroits peu fréquentés. L’île est certainement sûr pour les visiteurs mais comme toute autre zone touristique, souvent en proie à des petits voleurs. Il vaut mieux être prudent que désolé ainsi bien préférable de ne pas prendre de risques.

Nature trekking Reunion

Les documents d’identification sont très importants, pas de doute à ce sujet, mais les accidents se produisent  et documentations cruciales peuvent se perdre. Lorsque l’on n’est pas en son propre pays, la chose la plus fondamentale devient plus compliquée que jamais. Quand vous allez à Ile de la Réunion, il est nécessaire d’avoir sur vous une preuve de résidence à être occupé – qui peut être une invitation de la part d’un habitant ou hôtel arrangements mais sans cela, aucun touriste ne serait autorisé à quitter l’aéroport. Perdre ses documents est le plus grand non-non pour les voyages à l’île. Cela signifierait la fin des vacances avant même qu’ils aient la chance de commencer.

Reunion Beach

Reunion Beach

Lors de la visite d’un nouveau pays, la nourriture est certainement très haute sur la liste à faire. Les restaurants deviennent un incontournable à visiter et pour les touristes, il est important qu’ils soient conscients de certaines différences dans le palais – comme l’amour pour les escargots des Français, par conséquent, les réunionnais … Pour l’homme aventureux, cela présente une grande opportunité mais autrement, cela pourrait être une expérience cauchemardesque. Après tout, tout le monde n’est pas assez courageux pour vouloir consommer limaces pour le déjeuner!

Surfeur Réunion

Surfeur Réunion

 

Aujourd’hui, personne ne se trouve loin de leur téléphone mobile. Les médias sociaux est pratiquement indispensable avec les gens sur les séjours téléchargeant constamment la dernière photo artsy de leur nourriture, de la vue ou de la paroi la plus aléatoire dans la rue sur Instagram. À la maison, ce ne gros inconvénient, cependant financièrement lors de l’utilisation de données en itinérance plans, les choses peuvent prendre un virage pour le pire. Les charges, à l’insu du visiteur de vacances continuent accumulant alarmante menant à une découverte choquante quand il est temps de débourser de l’argent. Île de la Réunion a des factures de même cher pour une utilisation internationale de l’Internet. Des recherches antérieures sur les paquets disponibles est une nécessité pour éviter certains réfectoires.

Cascade-Aigrette-Ile-de-La-Reunion

La Réunion, cet affable morceau de la France qui se chauffe tranquillement aux rayons d’un soleil tropical.

Un aperçu de luxe est prompt à séduire le voyageur imprudent, telle est la tentation d’un chauffeur de limousine promettant des tarifs identiques à d’autres taxis à l’aéroport. Même si faire une entrée dans le pays avec une telle pompe est une perspective attrayante, il est souvent accompagné de factures beaucoup plus élevées que le taxi normal ferait payer. Inutile de dire, ce qui est un mensonge blanc pour accroître l’activité et ce que peut faire un touriste naïf, mais payer? Les amateurs de vacances devraient être prudents pour éviter de telles escroqueries de toutes sortes et d’attendre un taxi agréé comme tout le monde.

LaReunion golf

Mais en fin de compte, tout cela est facile à réaliser pour le touriste qui arrive pour des vacances en soleil. Vous allez vite remarquer que vos vacances iront à merveille à l’ile de la Réunion.

Maloya Reunion

Reunion island in a Nutshell

reunion in a nutshell

The description of Reunion island, in a nutshell, would surely be a French island in the Indian Ocean, a volcanic rock, a subtropical land, a riot of blue and green, of sea and mountain. However, these words and figures will never suffice to describe the complete nature of such an intense island. The intense landscape in which strong, ubiquitous green contrasts with delicate blue. The intense life with its harmonious mix of races and cultures…Let yourself be guided “intensely” while discovering the magnificent Reunion Island.

Visiting Reunion Island

We have shortlisted the many sites present on the island and we are bringing you on a trip around this island full off hidden gems! You can use public transport on the island, the yellow cars, or simply hire a car with or without chauffeur to get to the many corners of the island.

There are indispensable places to visit and you certainly have already heard about them but you should not miss seeing them during your holidays on the island! There are also so much things to do in this island. If you’re the kind of person who likes to soak up the sun with a book in your hand from sunrise to sunset all holiday, you’ll be more than happy relaxing on the white sands along the lagoon. If you travel to experience new cultures and flavours, you’ll love the interesting mix of European French and vibrant Creol that give the island it’s melting pot vibe. If you’re an active traveller, you’ll be spoilt for choice, between hiking one of the hundreds of trails that criss-cross the island, running along the beach, kite- or wind surfing, jumping down waterfalls and canyoning along one of the many rivers, or even cycling the epic road up to the peak of the volcano. There literally is something for everyone.

A journey to the heart of an exceptional nature

The island of Reunion covers 2500 square kilometers and 40% of its land is classified as World Heritage of UNESCO. The real beauty of the island is hidden in its interior. Still wild, often difficult to access, the mountainous surroundings are full of big surprises: volcano peaks, waterfalls, dense forests, isolated villages, plains and spectacular circuses.

Cilaos

Perched at 1,200 meters above sea level, Cilaos is surrounded by peaks oscillating between 2000 and 3070 m of height (Le Piton des Neiges, the highest point of Reunion Island). This single point remains one of the best spot for passing hikers and lovers of breathtaking views.

Salazie

Salazie is the largest and greenest of the three circuses and is accessible by car from Saint-André. Not far away, you will also discover the most beautiful waterfalls of the island: Cascade blanche, Grand Etang and Takamaka.

Mafate

Mafate is the wildest of the three circuses and the less visited. It can be reached only on foot or by helicopter. Mafate is accessible from Salazie, St. Paul (Maïdo) or Cilaos.

High Plains

Wedged between the circuses (Cilaos and Salazie) on one side, the Piton de la Fournaise on the other, the high plains are a natural corridor between the southern and northern coasts. Accessible through St. Benedict or St. Peter.

The Volcano

Get in touch with the Piton de la Fournaise, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. An immersion in the heart of intense Reunion island. While being there, you will have the feeling of walking on the moon

From Plaines des Kaffres, joins Plaines des Sables, where a stunning lunar landscape created by the hardened lava awaits you … The road to the Piton de la Fournaise offer you a strange landscape and you will be amazed by the beauty of the wild and natural surroundings …

You will be stunned while being here in the heart of Plaine des Sables and the Pas de Bellecombe where you can admire the view of the vast enclosure around the volcano. Be prepared to engage on a descent to the heart of the enclosure and join the small crater, this part is indescribable – you will have to see for yourself.

For the more energetic, a 6 hour hike (round trip)will take you to the foot of the Piton des Neiges crater. Those images will remain etched forever in your memory. Others attractions also lie in its rugged coastline and its forests.

Shortly after St. Joseph and towards St. Rose, cliffs replace the beaches and villages are fewer. The lava becomes ubiquitous. We enter the territory of the volcano. The sea is bubbling beneath the cliffs. St. Philip is the main town of the Southern Wild Island. You will discover the sublime wild black sand beaches, the most famous being that of Etang Salé.

And the Indian Ocean!

Reunion island also has a very protected lagoon on the west coast of the island. You’ll enjoy the warm sandy beaches and enjoy real relaxing moments. The reef stretches over 30 km and protects a beautiful lagoon with turquoise waters. Thus, you will have the opportunity to discover the coastal village of Saint-Gilles and the beautiful beach of the Hermitage. There you will find the best accommodation of the island.

In the evening, enjoy the gorgeous sunset that follows the lagoon. The turquoise waters of the lagoon are home to schools of colorful fish to discover with mask and snorkel. Do not miss enjoying the marine nature reserve, created in 2007, which will provide divers with stunning discoveries during their deep water exploration.

From June to September, you will have the chance to admire the whales off the coast. You can even watch them from the seaside. And finally for the brave and sportier, fishing boats take you out to meet the blue marlin, barracuda or even swordfish. Going to Reunion also means staying in the heart of the ocean …

Have a great time in Reunion!

Restaurants ile de la reunion

Reunion Island is an example in diversity when it concerns the island as a whole, with a great variety in ethnicity, culture and race. People came to Reunion Island over the years through different means and for different purposes. Through time, they have created a united country with its own identity. It’s a place just waiting to be explored and when you are holidaying there, take the time to admire its beautiful wonders of nature as well as its marvellous cuisine. Reunion Island has such a diverse cuisine that you are bound to be astounded, exploration is an absolute must!

Les Letchis

Les Letchis restaurant is in Saint Benoit, owned by a family who make it a must to serve customers with a smile so that they leave satisfied with the service provided to them. The owner is personally involved in the day to day running of the restaurant and often drops by to make sure that the restaurant’s diner are enjoying their meal or require something else. This adds a nice personal touch to the service and is bound to endear to certain visitors. The restaurant specialises in a more rustic style creole cuisine, providing a varied menu of Reunion’s classics and favourites. This is a good first stop for the curious tourist. The view is sublime as well as Les Letchis restaurant is just by the river and you can even see people kayaking at times. Provision has been made for customers who want to sit by and enjoy the view with confortable lounge chairs overseeing the river.

les letchis restaurant reunion

 

The restaurant’s special menu includes palm tree heart pickles with fish. The Mascarenes Islands often pickle seafood but adding the palm is a unique Reunionais touch. For less food shy people, it has bizarre plates such as eel curry. Imagine that- eel cooked in curry served with a salad with rice or bread as you wish it. It’s definitely not to be missed if you want a more complete tour of Reunion Island including its fine (and maybe more shocking for tame eaters) cuisine of its own. If you are going to Les Letchis, just prepare yourself to eat the best of creole cuisine’s offering. Everything from the classic rougaille to a Bouillon de coquilles is to be tasted with utmost pleasure!

L’instant Plaisirs

This restaurant is located, of all places, you won’t guess it- in the Cilaos! The great caldera is a great source of attraction for tourists and reunionnais alike, they stand tall and shelter so many unique species of flora and fauna, many endemic to Reunion Island, the little town and commune also known as Cilaos is located right in the middle. L’intant Plaisirs restaurant hence affords a great view to its visitors whether they are around for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The name Cilaos is of Malagassy origin, meaning “the place one never leaves” and quite honestly, there is something about its atmosphere that simply makes you want to stay. The little restaurant enamours its customers with its impressive view and allows taking your meals outside all while enjoying a light fresh breeze with your food, making the items on your plate doubly more tasty and intriguing.

linstant plaisir reunion

A French restaurant by name, this restaurant of the humble island seems to mark all of its customers with its galettes. What’s always on the menu is pancakes. Not the british style pancakes but thin, soft and buttery pancakes. They are usually plain and eaten with some jam or chocolate but L’instant Plaisirs offers a wide array of choices to its customers given how this ended up being its speciality. Keep in mind though that this restaurant in question is usually open only on week ends and it’s not only tourists who are  fan of the restaurant but locals drop by for a nice lunch as well. So if you feel like this is your place to be on a fine Saturday or Sunday, do not get stuck in the traffic!

Le Manta

Le Manta Restaurant, don’t go by the weird name, tourists! is a beach side little wonder. Located in St Gilles, very near Hotel St Gilles Reunion, it is very accessible for a meal during your day out. It is a very calm restaurant, quite appropriate for a date with a certain romantism in the air but also alright for a family outing or a meal en solo. St Gilles is a busy place and very many hotels in Reunion Island are found there. It is the touristy part of Reunion Island as some may say. Don’t be afraid to strike up conversation with either a fellow diner or the staff members so long as they are free for a chat. The restaurant aims at providing service with excellence and the menus definitely supports that. Le Manta is actually a seafood restaurant. Hardly a surprise given its location right next to the beach so that you can admire some white sand beaches during your meal but it also has meat on the menu.

le manta reunion island

If seafood is not your cup of tea, you can still hang around and expect to be surprised by La manta. Its menu is kind of the unexpected style. From a rather normal tuna tartarre to fish lasagne, the menu is diverse in nature but seeks to center mostly around the theme of seafood. But if you are a fan of kangaroo, you have come to the right place as well. Nope, that is not a typo, the restaurant also specialises in tender kangaroo flesh, when better to broaden your horizons than when in a restaurant serving kangaroo flesh as if it was the most normal dish on earth? We encourage to to try not to flinch back and instead actually enjoy the dish in good humour and with an open mind. You might find yourself a new favourite dish! It can’t always be bacon and eggs for breakfast after all! Variety is very important for a saner life.

Le QG

Le QG restaurant is one which prides itself on its diversity, mirroring Reunion Island itself. The Chef Andre is accompanied by Abdou, the waiter who hails all the way from Senegal. It is ranked as the Number 1 restaurant in Plaine des Caffres on Trip Advisor. A quaint little building with yellow and white plain paint, nothing fancy on the outside to be quite honest but still this restaurant manages to demarcate itself with the good food. As an international style restaurant, the menu can be either eccentric or your normal everyday fare depending on where you are from. The restaurant is technically open for breakfast as from 07.00 but try making a reservation if you plan on arriving that early- after all, it’s a tiny place on a tiny island. It doesn’t actually open up that early on regular days. So if you just drive by on a fine Sunday morning, prepare yourself for a long wait if you haven’t bothered making a reservation in advance. Reservations are also necessary for other meals as well. Remember how it’s the number 1 restaurant in Plaine des Caffres? Yes, many people want to eat there. Sure, you may get lucky on a slow night or day but better be on the safe side and ensure that you will not return to your hotel hungry.

le qg reunion

If you feel like a steak, then Chef Andre will make you a mouth watering steak. If you feel like a plain rougaille saucice reunnionais style, he’ll be equally happy to serve you that instead. The restaurant implements local flavours in fine cuisine and classic creole dishes all while maintaining a great standard to astound customers and make them want to come back again and again. They have their menu in several languages such as English and German, so worry not, non-French speakers! Chef Andre and his little army got you covered!

La Perle du Lac

This is where you go when you haven’t eaten all day and are ready to eat a horse. Well, they don’t have horse on the menu but I think I got the point across indeed! La perle du lac is a buffet style restaurant, where you can choose either the buffet menu or the menu a la carte. Depending on your preferences, both offer great value for money and good food. With a warm welcome and smiling staff, your time at La Per le du Lac restaurant is bound to go smoothly. The place is clean with warm tones, giving a very homey atmosphere to customers who can relish their food in such a great atmosphere. A buffet at 20 euros per head is a bargain in Reunion island and with the level of service provided, you might as well wallow in regret if you miss it. The buffet menu, which is La perle du lac’s speciality includes entree, salads, main dishes and dessert. The menu is of course ever evolving to accommodate diners without boring them but client favourites always make a reappearance as well as special salads of the house and succulent dessert items.

perle du lac reunion

Certain things will surprise you as is the habit of most reunionnais restaurants with some outlandish menu item and for la perle du lac, it is the lentils cake. What most people would restrain to being a soup, they went and made cake out of it. Once you taste it though, you will most definitely keep wanting more! Other items on the menu are no less intriguing and await for visit during your holidays in Reunion Island. You can’t help but like the restaurant with its great location and welcoming atmosphere, it begs for an encore once you have been there. It is hard to find fault about La perle du lac, it is also very easily accessible even for those unused to the roads of Reunion island.

Le Kedai

Another weirdly named restaurant in Reunion Island, you should learn to expect no less with its wonderful mix of cultures! It is not French, don’t worry, your French is likely not that rusty yet. It is a creole word of unsure origins but in most contexts, it means a cooking utensil. One of the most important ones apart from the wok in Chinese cuisine. It is a rather common word in creole actually, be it Mauritian, Rodriguais or Reunnionais creole. Just another word from the average person’s daily lingo in a tropical island. However, what’s most interesting about Le Kedai restaurant is not the linguistic mystery of its name but rather, wait for it… it’s a Chinese restaurant. On the east coast no less! It makes for a good break from all the formal cuisine you have been indulging in most likely since your plane landed in Reunion Island. Serving generous portions of Chinese and creole cuisine, Le Kedai restaurant is a plain but efficient eatery.

le kedai reunion

The main objective is to get you fed with the least fuss aiming at maximum satisfaction. Unfortunately, the restaurant doesn’t have a trip advisor page but you should find it without much difficulty. It is one the the few restaurants open in the evenings on the east coast- a rarity in over there as the usual visitors will attest to. On its usual menu, you will have sandwiches and classic Chinese dishes such as noodles and rice items with pork, shrimp or chicken. Whatever floats your boat, you are likely to find it there to sate that little special hunger for a chow mein. Do tell them how spicy or not spicy you want your food when ordering! You can also take your food as take away and find a nice spot in nature to enjoy it either by yourself or with a companion or two.

Le Massalé

Le Massale is where you will taste the authentic flavours of India. Sweet or savoury, this little café wants to make you fall under its spell. Oriental smells of very very many spices such as but not limited to cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and so forth permeate the place and you cannot help but want to taste each and every one of the delights on display. It is a rather quaint place with nondescript green and white paint with the name simply written high up. The interior resembles more a little snack bar with the prices stuck on the inside of the display cases. The menu is composed mostly of single cakes, similar to amuses bouches but believe me, one can lunch on a few dozen of these happily. Cakes such as samousas and pates are the more usual fare. And pate is not the meat pate that comes in a can and is spread on crackers but rather a delicious little savoury cake made with pate feuillete and folded like a cute rectangular envelop filled with delicious things such as cheese/corn/onions or chicken curry. Depending on what’s available for the day, feel free to broaden your horizons and give the cute little indian patisserie a go. You might end up loving their spiciness. These savoury cakes are served with a chutney or chilli paste which can be tangy with a lemony flavor or sweet and fruity if tomato base. There are even green chutneys for those who relish a less sugary experience sometimes!

le massale reunion island

Otherwise, if you have more of a sweet tooth, the restaurant can accommodate that as well. With gato banane or as it’s called at the restaurant- galette de banane, you will be a very happy person. This one is a simply batter of mashed overripe bananas, flour, sugar and some spices such as anis seed (the little ones) with all of that fried until dark brown. It is crispy on the outside and the inside melts in your mouth. If you are looking for a snack, you will like the kebab sticks which are heavily spiced with a more middle eastern touch- not to be missed!

Nature Trip in Reunion

Mafate Reunion

Right in the heart of the Indian Ocean, 800 km east of Madagascar, Reunion, along with Mauritius and Rodrigues, forms the Mascarene Islands. Reunion island is like a mountain resting on the surface of the Indian Ocean, just like the Piton des Neiges, rising to 3,069 meters. An active volcano, the famous Piton de la Fournaise wakes up periodically, and you can admire the magnificence of the lava flow in total safety. Reunion is the ideal destination if you are a fan of nature! Here is why:

The beautiful countryside of Mafate

The circus of Mafate is a natural site of the island of Reunion. In Reunion, they call it the caldera which is is a volcanic depression surrounded by mountains. Mafate is located in the communes of Saint Paul and Possession. It is one of three the wild circus on the island (Mafata, Cilaos and Salazie).

Mafate is classified as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The beauty of its sites is renowned. It is ideal for nature lovers because it is essentially within walking distance. Good walkers will create wonderful memories in this magical place. This place offers beautiful landscapes for hiking in the heart of unspoiled nature. There are nearly 140 km of trails with cottages for possible overnight stays. It is bounded by the wall of Maïdo, the peak Salazie to the east and south and the bulwark of the plain of Affouches in the north.

Hiking enthusiasts will enjoy the wild side of nature and stunning vegetation found there with trees and unique shrubs, ferns or orchids. Nature evolves depending on the location of the circus. In other sites we find agaves, lantana or wild mango.

Note that most of the hiking is along the entire surface of the circus. So if you come to tire along the way, know that the helicopter is the only way to pick you up. It is therefore advised to prepare your hiking when attempting the discovery of Mafate. There is plenty to see and do in Mafate. You can discover the fantastic forest of Tamarins, Roche-Plate, the church of the New, the gateway of Oussy arm, bell cayenne or Plaine des Sable among others.

The best places to visit in Mafate

Mafate has many places to show you. However there is the unavoidable site. The plain of Tamarins is a hiking trail that connects several islets to fork collar. You will discover the forest Tamarins where trees and mist are one.

Mafate Reunion

Three Rocks is a natural form of rock mass that turns into the abyss where the river empties itself resulting in beautiful cascades. The lookout Maido is located on the heights of Saint Paul. It offers stunning views of the islets on the west side circus. The plateau is a rather wooded site with the presence of waterfalls located southeast of the circus. The Bronchard is a highest peak at over 1250 meters above sea level in the heart of the Piton des Neiges.

Mafate is the wildest but also the most isolated among the circuses. The islets, residential group are still present on the circus trays. There are about 800 inhabitants. You can, during your hike, stop there and meet the Reunionese people which are great persons.

The Reunionese of Mafate still live according to the traditions and in harmony with nature. The difficulty of access is such that very few doctors move there. They then use plants as natural remedies. Each plant has its function and virtues and these therapy are transmitted from generation to generation.

This place, remains one of the most authentic of the island of Reunion. Yet, do not conclude they do not have modern comfort! Mafate is an ideal place for expert hikers. This getaway in nature ensures wonderful memories and photos.

The Iron Hole (Trou de fer), a beautiful canyon

Trou de fer Reunion

Magnificent, gorgeous, Those words are not enough to describe this marvel of nature! The Iron Hole is considered the most majestic canyon of the island! If its strange name appeals to you, this is normal: the Trou de Fer is actually a geological depression of the Piton des Neiges, which as its name suggests, form a gap (or “hole”) over 300 meters depth. It is surrounded by many irregular rivers and many waterfalls, with the most spectacular falling at 725 meters, a record for the French territory.

The Iron Hole trail

To discover the Trou de Fer, you can take a path through the forest whose starting point is at the lodging of Belouve. If the path appears not too difficult to access, it remains a long one. Keep in mind that you will need at least 3 hours for a walk round trip, so avoid to hike in the afternoon.

The path was entirely done by the workers of the N.F.O (National Forestry Office). Already four kilometers of the 6 kilometers that make up the path are covered walkway. Its wood slabs allow adventurers not to slip because the path is often covered in mud. Anyway, in the end you will still have muddy shoes, so strap on yourself accordingly!

Moreover, after 20 minutes of hiking, take the time to make a slight detour. You can contemplate the impressive “Reine des Tamarins” which is 300 years old. When you finally reach it, you feel like you’re being rewarded after such a walk –the long awaited lookout where you can admire the Iron Hole background and beautiful waterfalls. But you should know that the Iron Hole is often covered in mist, which can sometimes ruin visibility. A little patience, clouds are capricious.

The helicopter Ride

Sometimes the beauty is unattainable when you are exploring these lands on foot. And yes, Reunion Island hides a lot of secrets and Iron hole is well guarded. To enjoy its charm, it is essential to watch it from above. Do not miss the helicopter ride if you have the occasion to try it! Flying over the site will give you a better view of the huge canyon! So think about it!

Have fun in Reunion Island!

Around Reunion Island

Nature Reunion

The island of Reunion, nicknamed “the intense island”, is as intense as its name suggest. The east coast of the island of Reunion demarcates a unique contrasts: there are the blue of the ocean, the bright green forests and black lava flows. By visiting this coast, the ‘windward coast “, hikers and nature lovers will be delighted.

Nature at the heart of visits

The east coast has many natural resources: lychees, sugar cane, vanilla and rum distilleries. From Sainte-Marie to Saint-Phillipe, you will also discover authentic and breathtaking landscapes and the people of the island, ready to share with all the secrets of the island.

A UNESCO World Heritage site for its pitons, cirques and ramparts, the east coast of Reunion offers waterfalls, lush vegetation and natural pools in the rivers, which will make your stay in this beautiful setting memorable. The East Coast is windier and rainy than the West Coast, which explains its lush vegetation. We also advise you not to venture into having a swim because of strong currents along the coast. Breaking waves are nevertheless a sublime spectacle that we recommend you to admire.

East coast: Adventure and Culture

Reunion east coast is marked by Salazie which was created by the collapse of multiple craters that appeared following series of eruptions. By visiting this circus, one discovers sublime waterfalls including “The Bride’s Veil,” the heart of a verdant jungle filled with ferns and “chouchou” (chayotte) that grow very well in that region.

The visit continues with the discovery of one of the “most beautiful villages in ile de France” Hell Bourg with its famous Creole houses. For adventure lovers and thrill, the natural site of Takamaka is ideal for canyoning. Located in the Plaine des Palmistes, this steep and wild canyon promises tropical decor and unforgettable memories of your stay on the island of Reunion.

You will find the cultural heritage of the East Coast in the town of Saint-André with the presence of the Hindu Temple of the Colossus. This colorful building and adorned with mythological characters, is dedicated to Pandialé, the goddess of fire. In the same city, one can also drop by the house of Martin Valliamée whose architecture is typical Creole. This listed building opens its doors for a cultural visit.

If you are on the look of the religious heritage of the island must visits are St. Anne and St. Rose where you will have the opportunity to visit two very different churches: Holy church -Anne with very original architecture that appears in the movie “Mississippi Mermaid” by F. Truffaut and the Notre-Dame-Des-Laves, located in Sainte-Rose, known for lava flow that solidified its front porch during an eruption of the Piton de la Fournaise.

The Piton de la Fournaise

Piton de la Fournaise, still active, is the most visited site in Reunion. Its eruptions have left many traces of their passage in the island’s environment by marking the contrast between volcanic soils and lush vegetation. Admire the contrasts in the Yard where all lava flows.

The volcano is accessible by car and promises, if you wish, unforgettable hikes in the heart of a lunar landscape where you can admire many types of rocks and lava flows. If you want to enjoy this beautiful setting for several days and so do different hikers, gites welcome you at the foot of the volcano.

Saint Gilles, Reunion

To discover this intense island, we recommend you to reside in one of the various accommodation in St Gilles les Bains. This can be a good idea to discover the Creole joviality and enjoy the beaches on Reunion. Drop in at least to enjoy everything this city has to offer!

If Reunion Island has beautiful natural sites, it also has beautiful seaside resorts such as in the city of Saint Gilles les Bains. Located on the west coast, this town is popular with tourists. They usually call it “the little St Tropez of the island”. This former fishing village has become a seaside resort. The beaches around Saint Gilles are indeed the most beautiful.

Beaches of Saint Gilles les Bains

Three beautiful beaches are the hallmark of this city among which you will find the Hermitage beach with its white sand. The advantage of this beach is that it is very quiet one with a crystalline lagoon. It is ideal for children but beware, it is often overcrowded. Be aware that swimming is not supervised. Then, you will find Boucan Canot beach which is one of the most famous surf spots. Finally, there is the beach of Roches Noires. This beach is nice and lively.

On the beaches, numerous water sports like surfing or jet skiing are possible. In addition to these beautiful beaches you will find in Saint Gilles many hotels and guest houses and souvenir shops. You will also find various restaurants near the harbor where you can enjoy good fresh fish and Creole specialties.

Saint Gilles les Bains is a resort with all the necessary elements, which make it the most famous spot of the island. However, there are also various activities and excursions to do. Three examples. The Big Blue is a boat ride with a window placed at the bottom of it to admire the fish or turtles. With any luck, during the ride you might have the chance to spot dolphins or whales.

Aquarium of Reunion

The Garden of Eden is a tropical garden where you can admire around 700 varieties of plants during your walk. You can also attend various events and workshops for adults or children. The Aquarium of Reunion is a marine nature reserve. There you will have the chance to have a look at almost 500 different species of fish, from the smallest to the largest, as well as corals and shellfish. Children will be amazed by the giant aquarium. Saint Gilles les Bains is certainly unavoidable.

To discover a maximum of wonders on the island of Reunion, feel free to go around the island and enjoy it to the maximum.

Have a wonderful trip around Reunion Island!

Votre Destination Parfaite: L’Ile de La Réunion

Ile de la Réunion ressemble à un minuscule point dans l’océan Indien, mais vous trouverez que c’est une île spectaculaire avec de hautes montagnes, des canyons à couper le souffle, des lagons turquoises, des villes colorées et villages et cascades. Un département français d’outre-mer, la Réunion est un mélange magnifique d’influences françaises, asiatiques et africains. Il est vraiment une île enchanteresse; un paradis pour les aventuriers et les randonneurs ou pour ceux qui recherchent des vacances actives infusé avec de belles plages, des paysages à couper le souffle et des cultures fascinantes. Si vous êtes en visite pour la première fois, voici dix choses à faire dans l’île de la Réunion que je vous recommande vivement. J’ai essayé tous et chacun d’entre eux et les expériences que j’ai acquises étaient inoubliables!

Le paysage à la Réunion est absolument spectaculaire. Je suggère de louer une voiture et de conduire autour de l’île. Il est une grande île de sorte que vous voudrez peut-être vous-même le rythme. Conduisez la Route du Volcan ou dans le cirque de Cilaos pour certains des paysages les plus étonnants. Les étendues côtières offrent des vues charmantes de villages colorés, des lagunes et des plages tandis que l’intérieur est caractérisé par des montagnes impressionnantes, des canyons, des forêts (de forêts de pins à arbustes épais et fougères arborescentes sub-tropicales!) Et les hauts plateaux herbeux.

Reunion Island waterfalls

Une visite à Piton de la Fournaise, un des volcans les plus actifs du monde, est un must dans mon livre. Le paysage le long du chemin est  belle et sur l’approche du volcan, la route vous mène à travers la Plaine des Sables, une zone qui ressemble beaucoup à Mars!

Si vous êtes vraiment dans les volcans, je peux recommander la randonnée dans une ancienne coulée de lave du Piton de la Fournaise. La visite de tube de lave est un voyage merveilleux qui vous fera passer des formations intrigantes et des systèmes de tunnel. Je ne recommande pas si vous êtes enclin à la claustrophobie.

La Réunion est célèbre pour ses trois cirques (Mafate, Cilaos et Salazie), trois grandes caldeiras formés par l’effondrement d’un volcan bouclier. Parmi les trois, Mafate est inaccessible par la route, ce qui est idéal pour les randonneurs qui souhaitent profiter de la nature impressionnante dans la solitude totale. Il y a plusieurs villages à l’intérieur du Cirque de Mafate, qui ne sont accessibles que par des sentiers (et hélicoptères). Quelle que soit la voie que vous choisissez, vous serez garantis panoramas époustouflants, des rivières jaillissantes et des cascades et des forêts luxuriantes.

Reunion island Beach

Je vous recommande vivement de voir l’île de la Réunion de haut. Alors seulement vous être en mesure de vraiment apprécier sa topographie impressionnante et variée. Du volcan aux cirques incroyables, des forêts verdoyantes et des cascades élégantes, c’est une expérience que vous ne serez pas facilement oublié!

Saint-Denis est la capitale et la plus grande ville. Il est idéal pour se promener autour de cette belle ville – ne pas oublier de vérifier sa belle architecture et visiter ses marchés.

Une autre ville de marché à visiter est de Saint-Pierre sur la côte sud avec son marché animé samedi. Il est un endroit idéal pour déguster des spécialités locales comme Bon Piment et une variété de rhum, acheter haut de vanille de qualité et ramasser quelques souvenirs. Une autre ville, je vraiment aimé était Saint Gilles les Bains, avec ses boutiques colorées et des plages de sable fin.

La plupart des plus beaux lagons de l’île se trouvent sur la côte ouest, entre Saint-Paul et Saint-Leu. Ici, vous trouverez de vastes étendues de plages de sable fin, allant du blanc au noir! Les zones de plage les plus populaires sont autour de La Saline les Baines – ici vous trouverez une variété d’hôtels, chambres d’hôtes, restaurants et bars, comme au Coco Beach. Vous pouvez choisir de lézarder sur la plage, faire de longues promenades, ou offrez-vous dans une variété de sports nautiques comme la plongée, planche à voile et stand-up-pagayer.

Ce fut l’une de mes expériences préférées à La Réunion. Une vieille coulée de lave a été sculpté dans un canyon de la rivière, avec des murs étonnants de chaque côté, piscines tranquilles, suivies par des rapides et des chutes d’eau. Ce fut une expérience incroyable, sauter sur les murs (certains jusqu’à 12 mètres de haut) dans la piscine ci-dessous, la luge d’une piscine à l’autre ou flottant sur la rivière.

La Réunion présente un mélange fascinant de cultures françaises, africaines et asiatiques, résultant en un large éventail de plats délicieux et arts de la scène. Allez sur un «tour alimentaire» à l’un des marchés (comme mon préféré, le marché du samedi à Saint-Pierre) et laissez vous aller dans la cuisine créole. Si vous pouvez, demander autour de places pour assister à des performances étonnantes par une troupe de et les beaux danseurs Mahoya. Et ne pas oublier de goûter quelques-uns des fameux rhum de l’île!

La Réunion est un endroit idéal pour faire l’expérience de la vie marine de près. Il existe différents pour les dauphins et les excursions d’observation des baleines. Ce sera l’occasion d’une vie à se joindre à des scientifiques du projet Dare Win comme ils font des recherches sur les systèmes de communication complexes des dauphins et des baleines. Si vous êtes chanceux, vous pouvez même aller plongée libre avec les dauphins et les baleines avec les chercheurs!

reunion-island-beach

Après toutes ces activités pleines d’action, vous méritez un peu de repos. Vous pouvez retourner à la plage ou dans les collines ou votre hotel luxurieux.

Hiking in Reunion Island

Today’s mundane life has turned us into working machines. People are possessed by stress. In such a situation, it is best to find means of exorcising it out of them. A simple step could be going on a vacation with family, friends or the distinguished presence of your own self. The Indian Ocean is a mine of treasures that would energise the body, mind and soul. Among the many islands, Reunion Island stands out. Born of a volcanic formation, the island has a rocky and uneven surface with breathtaking panoramic sceneries, be it the blue sea or the misty mountains. One of the most favorite activities of Reunionais and tourists is hiking. The mountains and forests are so alluring that they make hiking the top of the to-do list, even if you are not a risk taking person.

Excerpts from a traveller’s diary

Travelling gives birth to new feelings and attitude to the traveller. For the holidays, I went to Reunion Island encumbered by the oceanic blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Going on the trip alone was no less than a challenge. Yet, I challenged myself further by opting to indulge myself in the most adventurous and thrilling activity of the island, hiking. In Reunion Island, even though hiking is made easy by the authorities as they cleanly and diligently maintain the areas of trail, trippers still need a reliable and knowledgeable guide by their side. Among the many exciting places for trek, I chose to go to Piton des Neiges.

reunion island beach

Before going on that trip, I was required to do some bookings and payments which were easily done with a couple of clicks. On the selected day, dressed in comfortable trekking pants, shirt, jacket, shoes, cap and duffle bag-which has to have mosquito repellent cream, mineral water, snacks, towel, spare clothes, map, medicines-I was accompanied by numerous trekkers, who were at that point of time, strangers. Clustered with a group of people and enlightened by a friendly guide, we started our journey at the La Caverne Dufour whose peak houses a mountain hut reserved for hikers. The journey could have been covered in a single day, but as we wanted to sojourn in that special hut, we made it a two-day trip. After walking an hour or so, we reached the peak of La Caverne Dufour in early evening, where the hut welcomed us in the coziness of a home. Giving in to tiredness and cold, we all retreated in the privacy and warmth of our individual cabins and groped on the delicious food. In a minimum amount of spare, strangers became friends. I marveled at the relationship that we human beings share. Closing my eyes, I let sleep take control over my mind and body.

reunion helicopter

If anyone wants to witness the enchanting sunrise from the highest mountain of the Indian Ocean, then the perfect way to do so is to reach the peak of Piton des Neiges at the perfect way. This is what we did. We commenced our second part of the journey after a light breakfast. As we marched all the way to the top of the mountain, in the wee hours of the morning, temperature dropped to such an extent that even the stars seemed to be shivering out of cold. Like all adventurers, we carried on with our trip without losing much confidence, with torches and lamps illuminating our path. I was exhausted, not to admit that would be a blatant lie, yet the prospect of being the first one to greet the sun in all its magnificent glory kept me moving.

The rustling of dead branches and leaves, the hooves of nocturne birds fleeing the day and the running of the nearby lake kept us entertained. I imagined myself being cast in a slow motion song. Early mornings like these are appropriate for a meditation session and to discovering oneself, as I did. Taking deep breaths, accepting oxygen in its purest form and feeling it captivating my lungs, vessels and brain, I relished that moment. It was almost as if positivity is replacing negativity. As I was escalating to a higher altitude, my mind began revolving concepts of existentialism and self-contentment that I never acknowledged. It might’ve frightened me. But now that I think of it, I feel I have matured.

la-cambuse beach Mauritius

A tiresome ascension. Oh! I see. The final step of our journey. The sun was about to rise. With a final dash, we conquered the peak just in time. Inhaling lungful of air and waiting for the yellow ball seemed to be the most patient thing on Earth for me to do. Eyes fixated towards the horizon, there it was, finally coming out of its cocoon. The sun gradually rose in the sky and bathed us all with its warm rays. Tiredness, soreness, numbness, sweat and cold were all forgotten in a jiffy. The warm feel of light on my face was just indescribable, almost out of the world. I stood there, facing the sun, and realized, that thing really is something powerful as it burns and still continues to shine and inspires all of us to do same. The experience had been an enchanted one…full of magic.

Mother Nature does wonders and I might just have witnessed that.

We hope your next hiking trip would be as enchanted as our traveller’s.

West Beaches of Reunion Island

beach-boucan-canot-reunion

I came to the island of Reunion for the first time in summer 1998, or more precisely in the winter of 1998, since the seasons are reversed in the southern hemisphere and July and August here correspond to the southern winter. Austral, that single word made me dream. And every time I returned to the island, I always thought to myself “this island is badly sold”

Three mountain Circues, a peak that rises to over 3000 meters (the highest of the Indian Ocean zone), a volcano among the five most active on the planet, dark and dense forests, steep footpaths, fog in the mountains and ice on the volcano one or two days a year, and activities such as paragliding, diving and canyoning! Indeed, it could scare vacationers looking for a beach destination, lagoon and coconut trees.

Then of course there is the “sister island”, 170 km away, the beaches are legion and lagoons evoke postcards. Mauritius has built its reputation on the blond gold of its sand and the turquoise of its waters. Besides, Reunion island evokes a greener, more sporty image. Not without reason.

Yet if I took some time and talk about known treasures of Reunion island, I might convince you to visit this wonderful island. I want to show you some nooks and meet colorful characters, I also want to show you what you will find exclusively in Reunion Island, things that any tourist dreams of finding on his arrival on an island in the sun: the beach and the lagoon – Reunion does have it all!

Beaches in Reunion Island

The most popular beaches are those on the coast near the town of St. Paul, which by its size, is among the longest towns on the island. St. Paul, first “capital” of Reunion since it was the first anchor point of the earliest settlers from Madagascar and beyond possess magnificent beaches. We should not omit Boucan-Canot, Roches Noires, Saint-Gilles, the Hermitage and Saline les Bains. All those a tourist bonanza since they are the more sheltered coast from the winds – the East Coast has the largest lagoon and beaches at your discretion.

Boucan Canot Beach, Reunion

Head to Boucan-Canot beach to eat some cheese samosas and observe the youth first try at seduction. Here you can sometimes get the impression of being on the Riviera with the pareos clustered on the sand in the solar corona. For children and little seasonal swimmers, this is a unique place with calm and clear waters, with reef fish that dance while you enjoy your swim.

Roches Noires Beach, Reunion

Further down to Roches Noires beach that stretches for kilometers to the marina of Saint-Gilles where you can take a drink after facing waves appreciated by surfers. One should not deviate Grand Fond, a quieter, calmer, better suited beach for picnics with the family under the casuarinas during the weekends since it remains the less exposed to view. Here, less people, less noise, but so much fun.

Boucan Canot and Saint Gilles, Reunion

Yet another track that I chose make you discover today, the most discreet one you can find on Reunion Island: You have to push after Boucan-Canot and stop before Saint-Gilles to park your car on a roadside right before the main road. A sarong, sunscreen, a water bottle, here’s everything you need to face the tranquility and privacy of this intimate and yet wilder beach. The shade of casuarinas allows employees to come and eat in the shade between twelve and fourteen hours, friends whisper secrets between two mouthfuls of rice. Creole family distributes beverages and paper towels to young too eager to go into the water, a pair sharing the same beach towel under a blazing sun. There you’ll find the perfect place to sit on a carpet of casuarina needles.

Here you can read quietly, dawdle a bit on the sand along the sails on the horizon or browse the endless beach for broken shells and corals. The beach has a pearly reflection and its clear water invites to bask without delay while admiring the cliff and the black rocks that form a scree in the northern end. The beach of Cape Lobster is beautiful, but above all natural and wild. Nobody picks up stranded corals, although there are still very few tourists busy looking for shells on the edge of the waves while environmental protection messages are plastered everywhere, from the airport to the beaches. Like the beach, do not miss its shells!

Is it a nice beach? … You decide!

Those are some of the awesome beaches of the island of Reunion, and I have not even talked about those in the South of the island … Now I think it’s time to tell you other secret places, less crowded and just as fine. This will be the subject of my next articles. But we had to show you the Reunion Island in this specific aspect as “vacation” and beaches similar to those in Mauritius! It’s done!

Have fun in Reunion!

Destination Reunion Island

reunion aerialWelcome to the island of Reunion. This little pearl of the Indian Ocean will make you live a unique experience during your stay. All year round, you can enjoy the tropical climate, favorable to many activities. Its splendid beaches contrast with its impressive mountains to offer a magnificent natural spectacle.

Located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Reunion Island remains one of the most beautiful tourist destinations to discover in the Indian Ocean. Thanks to the beauty of its breathtaking landscapes and its rich and authentic culture. Discover activities to do and essential places not to be missed on a trip to Reunion with us.

A wide range of activities for everyone

The island of Reunion pleases everyone. Young and old will not risk getting bored in this place where peace lives alongside dynamism. For followers of idleness, the island is the destination not to be missed. Offshore activities are numerous. You can for example enjoy your stay to practice scuba diving, sailing or water skiing.

For fans of thrills, some sites offer interesting activities like sea kayaking or snorkeling. Golf, paragliding and surfing are also among the main activities of the island. Families can discover a unique fauna and flora that will not cease to amaze you. To party with friends, the trendiest discos open their doors late into the night.

You prefer atypical and unusual activities? Indulge in an unforgettable flight over the island in a helicopter or enjoy the lagoon and its underwater riches aboard a transparent kayak. Land of hikers, the island of Reunion also offers a wide range of landscapes conducive to hiking.

Visits and essential discoveries

You cannot say you visited Reunion island without making a detour to the Piton de la Fournaise. This huge volcano rising to 2632 meters above sea level is the real star of the island. Erupting from it is a beautiful flamboyant orange sight that every tourist can enjoy if they are visiting Reunion island at the right time.

Lose yourself in the random streets of St. Denis and St. Paul market to enjoy the good mood of its Creole inhabitants, and taste the delights like exotic fruits that grow all year. Walking lovers in the meanwhile can find their happiness in Cilaos, Mafate and Salazie.

The industrial site of Bois-Rouge is the site not to be missed in Saint André to learn more about the different methods for manufacturing alcohol and sugar cane. For a change of scenery, the Piton Maido and the Grand Brûlé are essential places to visit.

Exoticism and adventure to the island of Reunion!

Formerly known as Bourbon Island, the island of Reunion is home to stunning countryside popular with adventurers and nature lovers.

Until 1666, the island is deserted; the few Dutch, English or Portuguese did stopped there to stock up on food and water. Gradually, the French settled there with servants coming from Madagascar, the large neighboring island, giving birth to the first mestizo children.

The East India Company, which managed the island, introduced the cultivation of coffee, clove and the nutmeg, by growing the population consisting of slaves.

Bourbon Island named by the French in honor of the royal family, will change its name several times. It will be called Bonaparte Island then resume its present name of Reunion in 1848.

Reunion Diversity

The Reunion Island is a wonderful blending of several peoples: the Malagasy, French of the metropolis, Indians, Africans, Arabs and Chinese. This cultural diversity is seen and felt in culture and gastronomy, mixture of Creole, Indian and African dishes. This melting pot of different communities cohabit in various religious practices, which give rise to colorful events during holidays.

Thus, “Kafir” (descendants of slaves or indentured laborers African and Malagasy) are generally Catholics, “zarabs” (Indian Muslims) practice a moderate Islam, the “Malbars” (descendants of workers engaged in the southern India) Hinduism, the “zoreils” (metropolitan French) and “Yab” (high white ones) are of Christian obedience … But of course, all these communities tend to mix, so that we can really distinguish the origin of a Reunion!

We can attend, in November, the Hindu festival of lights, “Deepavali” with ceremonies and parades everywhere on the island, musical celebrations on the day of the feast of the Abolition of Slavery on December 20 and on the day of the Chinese year in January … This period is also the best time to go to the island of Réunion; The climate is tropical and, delicious, tropical fruits are in abundance! April is the best month of the year: 28 degrees on average and shows for the Tamil New Year.

If you go in July and August, you may have the opportunity to attend the spectacular “walking on fire,” which is a Hindu ceremony no more celebrated in India but still alive on the island of Reunion.

Reunion: Unique!

Reunion island is also an impressive variety of landscapes which covers 2500km2: white sand beaches and volcanic gray rocks, sun, sea and lagoon, fabulous mountains, white water, waterfalls, forests, volcano … A paradise for sportsmen, hikers and followers of idleness of all kinds!

Admire the Niagara waterfall, 25 meters high and swim in the pool from which it flows, have a picnic in the company of locals who spend their weekends hiking in the Plain des Kaffres, try climbing the Piton des Neiges and climb the Piton de la Fournaise! For the less athletic, Reunion offers beautiful beaches, like that of Boucan Canot, valued for its waves and fishing grounds and the Grande Anse.

For gastronomy lovers, it is impossible to miss the famous Bourbon vanilla grown on the island which is certainly the best in the world. Do not hesitate and taste the rum (in moderation!) And Creole dishes (chicken curry, rougails, samousas cakes and other sweet potatoes …) Unforgettable!

You are probably already conquered by the evocation of this remote island in the Indian Ocean … Meanwhile you can already discover another island only half an hour from the island of Réunion: Mauritius, which is equally wonderful!

Have a nice trip on Reunion Island! 

We strongly recommend Hotel le Saint Pierre Reunion to complement your fantastic sejour with a great hotel!