If lazing about on a white sandy Beach sounds like your idea of a perfect holiday, then Reunion is not for you, However if you are an Adrenalin junkie, love adventure or enjoy hiking beautiful landscapes, then put reunion on the top of your bucket list !
L`ile intense is the nickname for this Pandora’s box of exciting outdoor activities which include paragliding over the sea, trekking in tropical forests, Hiking in a giant volcanic creator, canyoning in steep gorges covered in stunning waterfalls and mountain biking down hilly slopes to the sea. And that’s just for starters; for such a small island, Reunion has so much to offer. Here are 10 reasons why this French island deserves an ooh la laaa.
1. Awesome Volcano
Visit one of the worlds most accessible active volcanoes – Piton de la Fournaise, or known to the locals as Le Volcan. – by hiking into its crater. If its erupting while you are on the island, hike to the Dolomieu crater in the evening to experience the molten lava spurt into the night sky.
- What you need to know – Visit the Maison du Volcan in Bourg-murat on route to the volcano to see Photos and videos of the eruptions.
2. Incredible Hiking
Reunion has breathtaking hiking trails through stunning scenery, from the barren otherworldly landscape of the La volcan to rain forest paths complete with waterfalls and mountain climbs amongst the craggy peaks. Much of the inertia is accessible only by foot, so the scenery is untouched and beautiful.
There are 2 major multi- day hiking trails
- Grande Ranonnee Route ( 1 and 2) – as well as numerous short rambles and day hikes with over a 1000 kilometers of hiking paths to choose from.
- What you need to know – Accommodation on the hiking routes is in simple mountain lodges you can get all the info for maps, routes, guides and booking lodges from Maison de la Montagne.
A mixture of swimming, walking,scrambling,jumping and abseiling – through the canyons and gorges is the best way to get your adrenaline pumping. Explore the magnificent island which has thick rain forests and dramatic waterfalls. There are about 20 canyoning sites, ranging from those suitable to beginners, to pretty tough, like the spectacular Trou de Fer Canyon, which will challenge even the most experienced canyoneer.
Popular canyoning spots are Bassin la Paix on the eastern side of the island and is perfect for beginners, Trou Blanc, Bras Rouge and fleurs Jaunes in the cirque de salazie, and mini Fleurs Jaunes are suitable for children.
Reunion is a wold destination for paragliding, drawing enthusiasts from all over the globe each year for the world series. St – Leu, is the islands best paragliding spot, launch off from high above the town and take in the best views of Reunion as you float over the ocean, a lagoon cane fields and botanical gardens. A must do if you are not scared of hights
- Need to Know – Parapente reunion is a paragliding school in St – Leu which offers tandem flights with a pilot for beginners and kids above the age of 6 years old, as well as multi – day training program.
5. Superb Food
After all the adventures you will have burned a ton of calories ! Good News …. Reunion has superb food to refuel on. French and Creole cuisine, try a spicy carris (curry) with fish, seafood,chicken or meat served with rice and lentils, or buttery french pastries and croissants. the fruit is magnificent – Reunion is said to have the best pineapples in the world.gorge on litchis when in season, or golden – orange pawpaws, tiny sweet mangoes. don’t leave Reunion without trying the delicious Rhum arrange ( oranges infused in Rum).
A must visit is the Petit Marche – a small market on the Rue Marechal Leclerec in St – Denis for fabulous fresh fruit and veg and locally grown vanilla pods.
6. Family – Friendly
Reunion is a fantastic family destination especially if you aren’t a family of couch potatoes. There are plenty of easy hikes suitable for children including one into the volcanic crater, and kids from 6 years can go on a tandem paraglide. There is also horse riding around the island, such as Le Maido and around Bourg – Murat near the volcano.
Kids will love Kelonia, spend a day at the turtle and tortoise sanctuary just outside St – Leu. Where kids are allowed to pat the turtles and tortoises. Spending the day at the Beach or Lagoon would also be the high lite of their trip.
Reunion has great surfing spots and attracts surfers from all over the world to visit its breaks, it’s said that St Pierre has the best right – hand break. L’Hermitage pass is known for its barrels, Trois Bassins is popular with beginners, Boucan – Canot is also great. St -Leu is the most popular of all and for a very good reason: it has the best left – hand point break in Africa according to committed surfer – dude Justin Fox. Surfing lessons are given in a St – Leu at Ecole de Surf.
8. Cilaos – the Prettiest Town
With their pastel – colored buildings, Creole architecture, neat gardens, quaint shops and restaurants and spectacular mountain amphitheater settings, the town of Cilaos must be among the most scenic on the island. The drive to get to Cilaos is amazing, the road takes in 400 tortuous bends and offers spectacular views of cloud en robed peaks, while it’s hard to keep your eyes on the road as the stunning waterfalls, soaring mountains and tropical forests unfold on the drive to Hell – Bourg spend at least one day in Cilaos and go hiking,
Taste local wine at Maison des Vins du Chai de Cilaos, and fill up on the delicious treats at the cafes, creperies and bloulangeries that line the charming main street. you can rest your legs at the towns thermal spa where you can have a massage and treatments.
9. Mountain Biking
Reunion is a Mountain bikers haven with over 1500 kilometers of tracks ranging from mountain paths suitable for beginners and children to Pistes noir for experienced riders. Regarded as one of the best places for down hill mountain biking in the world, Le Maido is the most popular spot with a 35km, 2205 – meter descent through the forestland cane fields all the way to the sea The areas around St Philippe, Cilaos and the volcano also offers some great routes.
The hard and soft coral reefs, which are in great condition, teem with tropical fish such as Sergent majors, Moorish idols, squirrel, trumpet, lion, pipe, parrot, clown and angelfish. The best dive spots on the island are at St Leu and St Gilles. you definitely want to spend a few days diving around the reefs
When to go – High season is June to September
Cyclone season is December to March
Winter months April to October – Best time for surfing / hiking
Take Care & Safe Travels
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