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.
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!