Reunion (a French department) is an island of rugged beauty, in the Indian Ocean and the furthest north of the Mascarenes with totally different topography to the others Mauritius and Rodrigues. There are lush, ancient forests, the highest mountain in the Indian Ocean, sweeping golden beaches and one of the world’s most active volcanoes. This is a haven for hikers, adventure seekers and natural history enthusiasts. Self drive holidays are popular here as the roads are very scenic and you can stay in boutique guest houses sampling traditional hospitality.
There are over 1000km of hiking trails throughout the interior and you can stay in mountain houses and gites along the way. Activities here include paragliding, horse riding, mountain biking, canyoning and golf. For SCUBA diving the coral reefs on the west coast near St Gilles les Bains is fabulous but if surfing is your thing head for St Leu nearby and the ‘left hand waves’. The climate is sub tropical with the dry season May to October. November to March is more humid with most rain and possible cyclones in January and February.
Towards the south east part of the island is the crater of Piton de la Fournaise, one of the four most active volcanoes on our planet. It last erupted in 2009 and there are many surrounding sites where you can see the effects of the lava flows on the local communities. In the middle of Reunion are three ‘cirques’ which were originally craters of now dormant volcanoes and have amazing scenery – peaks and gorges, thermal springs and waterfalls plus an array of pretty villages and mountain hamlets, this really is a truly stunning landscape.
For some relaxing on the beach, head to the west coast which offers sandy beaches, bars and restaurants and lovely coral reefs. There are some great hotels here in tropical gardens and several will hire kayaks or bikes. One of the most beautiful beaches on the islands is Boucan Canot. The south coast is rugged and wild, having been shaped and determined by the active volcano. There are some lovely Creole villages around this area. The south east beaches tend to have black pebbles or black volcanic cliffs. Head to Reunion for an Indian Ocean honeymoon with a difference!
Reunion is a fabulous Indian Ocean holiday with a difference. Enjoy the stunning landscapes, gorgeous fauna and flora and the tropical climate – give us a call to discuss your tailor made holiday to Reunion.
Some photos courtesy of Richard Bizley (see below testimonial) copyright R.Bizley