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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!

Living in Mauritius

Mauritius, one welcoming island, which is usually referred to paradise is the place to live if you are planning on leaving your home country. Beyond the clichés and advertising discourse about the beauty of Mauritius, this small island in the Indian Ocean has many strengths. Colourful lifestyle, economic stability and culinary uniqueness are few of the reasons for settling in Mauritius.

First –  The climate

With its mild temperatures all year round, Mauritius remains a great place to establish yourself. Everyday guarantees sunshine and an average temperature revolving around 25˚C without excessive temperature provides for an ideal atmosphere to live in. The humidity is pretty high but nothing unbearable. If you are still wondering which area is the best to live in, here are some advices for you. It is best to avoid settling in the capital of Port Louis, where the heat and humidity is overwhelming for approximately eight months of the year. Avoid going too much to the south and east since during the four months of winter the wind is omnipresent. The center of the island, where the main population base is concentrated, is not ideal unless you like rain and cold during winter, especially in the town of Curepipe.

The North is undoubtedly ideal for smooth and warm climate all year round with 20˚ degrees of average in winter and 30˚ in summer. That is also why Grand Bay (main North resort) houses most expatriates in Mauritius. This is THE climate paradise of the island of Mauritius: barbecue all year round, pleasant pool temperature, bathing in the lagoon whatever the season, outdoor sports, … life is sweet in Mauritius and even more in Grand Bay!

Facilities offered on the Island

Life on the island of Mauritius is very close to the western model with the heavenly side as a plus. Indeed, for shopping, for example, you will find European store be it for clothing or shopping (Celio, Mango, Super U, Monoprix) with the same products and brands at a more affordable rate.

In various parts of the island, you will come across ultra-modern cinemas that recently opened, with 4-6 rooms with films in simultaneous release with France and the United States. The multitude of activities you will find on the island will definitely conquer your heart. It’s easy to enroll in a football team or in a gym, the options are quite numerous. Living in Mauritius will not change much to your habits. For the curious and for those eager about discoveries, this little island is the place to bethe . The sea will push you to the discovery of water sports, paddleboard, Kite surfing, parasailing and diving among others. With is amalgam of cultures with influences from India, Africa and Asia, Mauritius promises wonderful discoveries, be it on the musical, artistic or simply human aspects. Mauritian being particularly welcoming and helpful people, you will find no difficulty in mixing with them.

Mixing up with the Mauritians

You will find no difficulty in mixing up with the Mauritian.  Their kindness will allow you to integrate the Mauritian culture without difficulty. The mentality is very different from some European countries. The people on the island are rather optimistic. Mauritians are very dynamic people and will always be here to help whenever you need them.

The work value and respect have already been developed on the island. This assiduity allowed the island to become a modern country that had developed rapidly. Mauritius has nothing to envy about the great nations. The major force of the island is the respect of its multiculturalism. The local population is in fact native to different parts of the world. There are Creole, more from the African continent, the Indians, who are the majority on the island, Asians, and finally the French, representing 2% of the Mauritian population. This strong cultural mix with different religions makes Mauritius a rainbow island with as main feature: respect between communities.

Economy in Mauritius

One of the reasons for the actual high demand for settlement in Mauritius: Its economy and taxation. Mauritius is historically a stable country since its independence in 1968. Political regimes of democratic natures have always maintained transparency. The government has implemented effective laws to attract many investors worldwide including particularly effective agreements of double taxation with dozens of Western countries, including France.

These laws and the arrival of foreign companies investing on the Mauritian soil, have contributed to the country’s economic prosperity and its strong development over the past fifteen years. This attractiveness is reflected in a particularly favorable tax regime. Taxes are uniform and amounted to 15% of income, no other taxes imposed. Low taxes, charges far from a Western country, while benefiting from the prevailing economic dynamism and transparency.

The dynamism of Mauritius and its inhabitants have a strong impact on the evolution of the country. The country has been modernized in terms of infrastructure (new highways, new airport …) and foreigners are now more likely to want to settle in Mauritius. Mauritius is today regarded as the gateway to invest in Africa and as the main economic hub of the Indian Ocean especially between Asia and Africa.

Becoming a resident of Mauritius

Living in Mauritius is a tempting and feasible idea. For someone living in a European country, living in Mauritius is legally possible under certain financial conditions. One of the doors to living in Mauritius is via the property market. The government has set up IRS and RES which are awarded to properties such as villas or quite luxurious apartments. These IRS and RES are marketed to Mauritians and foreigners and guarantee obtaining a permanent residence permit on the Mauritian soil.

And if you are interested in staying in Mauritius for longer than 6 months, why not look for your next villa or property in Mauritius?

Seychelles as a whole is “interesting” to the average person living an average life- it’s not an island as many seem to think. Oh no- it’s 115 islands. Indeed quite a lot of islands one may say, still not intrigued enough to visit it, are you? Well, the Seychelles Islands also happen to be the celebrity of islands worldwide. You must have heard of Bali, of the Maldives but those beaches of Seychelles? They have an impressive list of awards that have been allocated to them throughout the years and mark my words- these beaches have deserved each and every one of them!

On top of all that, Seychelles has an underwhelming population size of just under 90000 people. Imagine that- 115 islands and just 90000 people! But the most impressive fact is actually that 90% of them all live in Mahé! The island is home to the locals, expats and most considerably- the tourism industry. It is the island where you first land on your journey to Seychelles. This is where it starts- Victoria, Mahé.

mahe

Let’s start with that itself- the airport. It is a fairly recent one, only a couple of decades old with the honour of having been inaugurated by Her Majesty herself. It is the home base to Air Seychelles and provides a warm welcome to hundreds of thousands of tourists yearly. People have raved about its cleanliness and good service among other facilities such as wifi and lounge for layovers. However, you might want to bring a snack bar or two if you are going to be at the airport for longer than a few hours since it is not big on food shops. For others simply having a layover in Seychelles while en route to other countries, bear in mind that one cannot leave the airport without proof of residence arrangements! So, book a hotel in case you want to tour the island(s) for the few hours spent there instead of simply lazing in the airport lounge!

Concerning hotels in Seychelles, that will be a fairly easy task. Victoria has an abundance of hotel which cater not only to longer term tourists but also people who are just stopping over. So worry not, you will easily find a perfect fit to stay in Seychelles for however long you plan to. Especially with most hotels having their own websites and online booking facilities, this is doubly easy now. Victoria is a curious place to visit. It is the largest city of the largest island in Seychelles but simultaneously, the smallest capital of any African country! Filled with magnificent hotels, quaint houses, pretty little shops and an awesome bazaar- Victoria makes itself a highly interesting possibility for exploration. The island itself is home to a diverse group of flora and fauna as well as a very rich history. Having been previously colonised by the British gave Victoria its name in honour of Queen Victoria. To learn more about this vibrant past of the islands, a visit to the national museum is in order! Located in the city itself, it ha an affordable entry fee for the average holidayer. The descriptions and labels are mostly in French, a result of the more frequent use of creole over its official language which is English. However, the guides and locals are usually very helpful to the polite and inquisitive visitor. So, do not hesitate to ask questions and let your curiosity spread- you will thank yourself when you are back home with a quasi encyclopedia of knowledge to accompany your beautiful island memories.

Mahe-Island_Seychelles_S79QT_DX-News

About these island memories- what’s a Seychelles holiday without a healthy dose of the beach, sea and sun? Mahé is ever warmed by the tropical sun, being a pleasant place to lazy and tan all year round. April is famed for being the hottest month while July is supposedly the coldest. In Seychelles, “cold” doesn’t even warrant a quilt at night! The temperature remains mild and comfortable- so do not be afraid of extreme temperatures- it will take a natural calamity for that to happen in Seychelles!

About natural calamities, Indian Ocean is well-known for its cyclones. It is something to be expected, a big bad cyclone attack on a near yearly basis. However, these cyclones somehow always manage to evade Seychelles apart from some few exceptions including in 2016 very recently. Though small, the islands got back on their feet in a remarkably short time and got back to business as usual. And hotels in Praslin are as amazing as any other! Hence, your holidays are unlikely to be marred by any sort of extreme reaction of Mother Nature. She seems to like this cluster of paradisiacal islands…

Beau Vallon is reputed for its white, refine sand and calm blue sea. It just begs for a swim actually. Your holidays in Seychelles will be practically incomplete if you do not set foot on Beau Vallon. One of Mahe’s pride, it is where you take your family or significant other for a fun day at the beach. If you have a camera handy, bring it along- you will want to capture that perfect sunset! To be rather honest, every sunset in Seychelles with its red and orange sky is beyond perfection but it is still worthwhile to take a more tangible memory of all of them with you when it’s finally time to go home. Go to the beach, rock that beach body, make new friends, buy ice cream from the local vendor and take some wonderful pictures. They happen to also make great post cards!

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Let’s not forget the academic side of life! Being in Seychelles is another big opportunity to learn about so many things. The botanical garden in Mahe is a good place to start. You will visit palms endemic to the Seychelles which are older than even your grandparents among other trees with equally impressive characteristics. The surprises don’t end here- ever seen a tortoise extend its neck for nearly 1 metre out of its shell? Well, it is indeed time to go to Seychelles! That very sight is of the Giant tortoise of Seychelles- they are a mighty impressive breed!

All in all- Mahé might be an invisible dot on the world map but it is more than worth a visit on its own. Book your ticket now!

In the northern tip of the island of Reunion, supported by the mountains, lies Saint-Denis, the largest city of the French overseas territories, with more than 145,000 inhabitants.

Saint Denis
Saint Denis

Being once a small village of settlers, it experienced an economic leap in the eighteenth century when it became the capital of the island of Reunion. Three centuries later, the city keeps track of its rich past. At Barachois you will have a clear idea of ​​its past: the guns evoke the war against the English. A little, further up the hill, the monuments of La Redoute recall that the blood flowed during battle.

Saint-Denis offers in its old center, beautiful Creole houses and colonial buildings in a single-old mansion style. The Art Library presents contemporary artists, the Natural History Museum has an amazing collection and the city contains within itself something magical.

Culture

Saint-Denis is a mostly harmonious crossroads of peoples and cultures. Old Chinese stores and businesses managed by Indo-Muslims in their kurtah.

All this, like Creole curry, create a perfect blend, combining customs and traditions from three continents- Africa, Asia and Europe. They are no ethnic Reunion but one people with subtle nuances that will welcome you during your stay in Saint-Denis.

This beautiful city is a real sea of greenery. Few French towns can boast of having as many trees and many gardens. That is why we find these large or small spaces where orchids, ferns, tropical plants and European roses compete in beauty. Saint-Denis is surrounded by hills forming forest sanctuaries, where you can relax in peace and enjoy the fresh air and the sound of ever falling waterfalls.

Climate

The climate being tropical, there are two main seasons. Winter lasts from April to September, it is cooler and drier, turning temperatures around 20 ° C and summer lasts from October to March and is rainy and prone to cyclones, with average temperatures of 28 ° C.

Fog often prevails in the mountainous parts of Saint-Denis. The temperature over there are always less than 18 ° C. To make the most of your trip, the months of May and June are the most appropriate, thus avoiding the influx of tourists and the wettest period.

The annual rainfall in Saint-Denis is approximately 1700 mm. The three wettest month with an average of 11 days of rain in January, February and March, the austral summer period.

Places to Visit in Saint-Denis

Saint-Denis lives to the rhythm of a mixed Creole tradition. You will discover with pleasure the pedestrian area, La Rue de Paris, the Art Library, the Creole houses scattered throughout the city, the covered market with its wrought iron architecture, Barachois and its coastal cannons, the Cathedral, the state Garden and its Natural History Museum, and the Léon Dierx Museum.

Furthermore, beautiful excursions await you: Quinquinas island, the Chaudron waterfall, la roche écrite, the village of Grande Chaloupe in particular. You will find varied accommodation, hotels, condos or homes where you can stay during your vacation.

Downtown

Saint Denis is principally a place to do shopping with its innumerable shops. Its pedestrian area allows to make purchases safely while blending into the daily life of local people. Likewise, always enjoying the city, you will see lots of Creole original houses, sometimes in ruins, mixed with more traditional and modern architecture.

The Covered market

A large covered hall to purchase small gifts and typical souvenir of Reunion for family and friends. Its wrought iron architecture gives it a very different aspect of traditional covered markets that can be found anywhere else.

Covered Market of Saint-Denis
Covered Market of Saint-Denis

The Barachois

The Barachois is the northernmost district of Saint-Denis and remains. The term “Barachois” is used in some parts of the French-speaking world to describe a coastal lagoon or lagoon separated from the ocean by a sandbar.

Saint Denis
Saint Denis

Saint-Denis’ Barachois is one of the most enjoyable walks of the island. Barachois is best known for what is found a little further on the coast itself: its battery of cannons pointing out to sea from Pointe des jardins, from which distances separating the island from the rest of the world are measured in kilometres. The place is also popular with tourists and honeymooners who come to have their picture taken at sunset.

Further east, the Barachois hosts a bowling alley and a concrete pool built in 1959. Designed by Guy Lejeune, while modern architecture symbolized the dynamism of the new department. The basin was filled, renovated, and transformed into a dancing bar.

The Cathedral

 This imposing cathedral situated Rue de la Victoire dates back at 1829. It has a lovely shaded courtyard, filled with a kind of figurative art fountain, made of cast iron, it comprises of a column, a basin and cherubs.

Garden of the State and the Natural History Museum

The shady garden has many treasures. The garden is more than a garden, it is a real plants conservatory. A variety of plants are to be discovered here and there in the aisles. Then its basin located in the center beautifully enhances the quality of its magnificence. Since the nineteenth it hosts the Museum of Natural History, a wide colonial building where the popularization of knowledge is the key word.

Musée Léon Dierx

First Museum of Fine Arts from overseas, it is the initiative of Marius and Ary Leblond that this neo-classical architectural building welcomes since 1911 an incredible number of works by world-renowned artworks as paintings by Cezanne, Chagall, Degas, Delacrois, Manet and Matisse as well as sculptures by Renoir and Gauguin.

The Noor Islam mosque

Located right on the shopping street of Marshal Leclercq, this splendid Mosque was renovated in 1970 as the previous was destroyed by fire a decade earlier. In 1905, the first mosque, which was erected on the same site, was the first of Reunion, and was built at the initiative of Muslim traders of Saint Denis.

Chaudron waterfall

Visiting the Chaudron waterfall and Bassin Bleu is one thing to do. The narrow path winding through the houses of the site remind you that the city of Saint-Denis is very close. Gradually, as you venture deeper, you enter a denser vegetation. The ravine and the river in the background will amaze you.

Have fun during your vacation in Saint-Denis!

Before discovering the top seven things to do in one of the most beautiful island of the indian ocean, Mahé, let’s have a quick overview of the island which is also host to the best hotels and villas in the indian ocean.

Mahé is named from the French Governor, Bertrand Mahé de Labourdonnais. Found in the north east of the paradisiacal archipelago, Mahé is the largest island of the Seychelles. Mahé is home for the capital of the Seychelles- Victoria and also accommodates 86% of the total population of the Seychelles.

The island hosts the most beautiful islands of the archipelago and has a diversified fauna and flora. Mahé is a travelers favorite desination. Mahé’s forest also have few endemic plants found only in the Seychelles. Some of these such as the Medusagyne oppositifolia are critically endangeres species.

#1 Swim in the Indian Ocean

Beau Vallon

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The Beau Vallon Beach in Seychelles

Located on the northern estern coast of Mahé, this picturesque bay is one of the most frequented beaches of the Seychelles. Beau Vallon has an amazing clear water and coral reef. Due to this, the waters of Beau Vallon are prized for swimming and Snorkeling. Beau Vallon also host a small food and souvenir bazaar every Wednesday all year round.

Anse Royale

This beach is the longest on Mahé and it provides beaches protected from choppy seas, providing a safe and comfortable swimming haven. This makes for very favorable conditions for swimming and beach fun from May to October.

Port Launay

Situated on the west side of the island, Port Launay beach is one of the most beautiful of the island. The beach is usually crowded on weekends. Port Launay beach has clear water and soft sand which makes it great for sun tanning and swimming. The beach is also very well kept. One advice, do not litter.

#2 Visit the Natural History Museum

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The seychelles national history museum

The national history museum is the perfect place to be if you do not know what to do out of your free time in Victoria. But beware, do not assume that you will be visiting something like the metropolitan of New York or the Natural History Museum of London. You will love the exotism and authenticity of the tales they will tell you. The National History Museum of the Seychelles is found in the capital Victoria and is housed in a colonial architecture building. The entrance fee is relatively very low. There are few cabinets displaying some bugs, beetles and insects. Most of the descriptions are in French and some of the money collected is used for environment protection. Overall the visit is worth it.

#3 Visit the Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market

sir-selwyn-selwyn-clarke-market-seychelles
Sir Selwyn-Clarke Market

The Sir Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke Market is emblematic of the Seychelles. This national landmark built in 1840 in a magnificent early-Victorian Style architecture renovated early 1999. The Market is also the main market on Victoria. It is the best place to buy the freshest fruits, vegetables, fish and meat. They also have a variety of spices. The maket is a very colorful place and do not forget to take your camera along. You will find many local craft and souvenir stands that sell for cheap.
The market is usually opened from Monday to Friday early morning till 4-5 in the evening and especially very lively on Saturday. It is generally closed on Sundays.

#4 Explore Mahé’s Capital Victoria

Situated on the north-eastern side of Mahé, Victoria is the capital city of the largest island of the Seychelles and at the same time the smallest African capital. The city was first established under the British colony. This is why it has been named after Queen Victoria.  Walking down Victoria, you can well distinguish the colonial influences on the city. Some perfect examples are the little ben monument ant the queen Victoria statue in the center of the island.

Victoria-Mahé

Even though Victoria is a capital city, it has yet some way to go. Life is slow paced in the Seychelles and you do not feel the rush of big crowded cities. This is probably why the city has got only one traffic light. Choose to explore the city by foot. Victoria has many attractions to offer such as the botanical garden and some markets.

#5 Go see the Aldabra Giant Tortoises

The Aldabra Giant Tortoises hold their name from the island of Aldabra. They can also be found on many island of the Seychelles. This species of giant tortoises is endemic to the Seychelles. The botanical garden on the island of Mahé is home to these mythical creatures which can live up to more than a hundred and fifty years.

These turtles are emblematic of the Seychelles and are very distinct from other turtle species since their long neck can help them reach leaves from up to one meter from the ground.

#6 Tour the tea plantation and Factory

During your stay in Mahé, one of the things to do is to tour the tea plantation. The tour is very affordable and costs about 25 SCR per person. It is of a short 15 min duration which begins with the guide showing you how the tea is dried before being sorted, blended then finally packaged. Seychellois tends to be very friendly. So will be your guide. They are very informative people and they will not leave any of your questions unanswered. After your visit, you can wander around the plantation and grasp some view of Port Glaud. The site is picturesque, so do not forget to take your camera along.

You can also visit the tea shop and café and enjoy some nice iced citronella or seybrew.

#7 Visit the Botanical Garden

The botanical garden is the highlight of your visit to Mahé. If you’re holidaying in couple and want to have some nice quiet time, it is the best place to be on Mahé. The best advice is to visit during the week days.

The gardens have a variety of palm trees which the majority are endemic one. There are also many colorful tropical plants. You will find shaded areas throughout the gardens which are non-other that inviting for some relaxation.

A good avice is that you contact a car rentral company in seychelles and rent a car tour the whole island. Car rental offer cheap rates.

Go ahead and make the most of your holidays.