Go on a trip to Reunion Island
Going to Reunion Island means traveling to the Intense Island as it is called. It lives up to its name and is full of things to do and see.
Reunion Island is a magnificent island with preserved geographical sites and a spectacular relief of great diversity. Between valleys and mountains, sea and volcanoes. A trip to Reunion Island promises an unforgettable vacation.
To help you see more clearly and plan your vacation, we have drawn up a list of the most important places in Reunion Island. So let’s go to the circus of Cilaos, Mafate and Salazie, passing by the Piton de la Fournaise. Reunion Island is of course a paradise for hikers, but not only… You can also relax and stroll on the beaches of L’Hermitage, Boucan-Canot and Cap-Méchant.
Tour guides in Reunion Island
Five ideas for guided tours in Reunion Island
Reunion Island is a volcanic island. Several old collapsed volcanoes have left huge “holes” surrounded by mountains called “circus”.
The Circus Mafate is one of the three circus and one of the most important sites to see when visiting Reunion Island. A very remote place, difficult to access with no road to take you inside the circus and its residents are regularly picked up by helicopter.
You have to take a hiking trail to get there.
With its unique atmosphere and beautiful wilderness, it is an ideal place for hiking. In Mafate, one feels disconnected from the world in true contact with nature. Far away from civilization, commerce, consumer society and roads, but there are beautiful landscapes and 140 kilometers of hiking trails. You can start from a unique point of view on the whole circus of Mafate: the belvedere of Maïdo culminates at 2 190 meters of altitude and offers perhaps one of the most beautiful views of the center of Reunion.
La Cascade du Voile de la Mariée
Located in the region of the Salazie Circus, “Le Voile de la Mariée” which means bride’s veil is the most famous waterfall of Reunion Island.
Head towards Hell-Bourg, about 1 km from the village of Salazie, and you will see the “Voile de la mariée” waterfalls in the distance, made up of numerous streams on the mountainside. A beautiful 1.5 hour round trip hike takes you along the watercress vegetation, over pebbles and stream beds to the base of the waterfalls. Depending on the season, the water flow is more or less important, so ask the villagers before taking the trail. And don’t forget to wear the best walking shoes… your feet are bound to get wet.
The Hermitage Beach
Located on the west coast of the island, Hermitage Beach is a small paradise with warm crystal clear water, coral reefs and a colorful aquarium where it is possible to swim safely. It is easily accessible from the city of Saint-Paul and the Tamarins road.
With a length of 7 km, the beach is undoubtedly the largest of Reunion Island. A white sand beach between La Saline and Saint-Gilles-les-Bains which shares the same turquoise lagoon, is family oriented, well equipped and supervised, worthy of a postcard, it offers beautiful landscapes.
The lagoon is protected by a huge coral reef, a kind of natural rampart against the assaults of the Indian Ocean. Its depth, decorated with corals, never exceeds 2 meters and contains multitudes of multicolored fish to discover with fins, mask and snorkel.
Popular with families and vacationers, this long white sandy beach is supervised by lifeguards at various points, making it an ideal swimming area in Reunion.
La Plaine des Sables
In the south of Reunion Island, on the road to the volcanoes, the Plaine des Sables looks like a large lunar surface at an altitude of nearly 2300 meters. It is a typical mineral scenery, where cones, peaks and other geological curiosities stand out, sometimes with reddish reflections and sometimes bronze.
The Plaine des Sables, obligatory passage to reach the Piton de la Fournaise, borders the Pas de Bellecombe on one side and the Rempart des Sables on the other.
You will have the impression of having landed on Mars while walking in this unique desert, an arid valley formed by the intense volcanic activity. No vegetation here, but a mineral landscape as far as the eye can see.
The road leading to Piton de la Fournaise crosses this perfectly lunar landscape to reach one of the most active volcanoes in the world with an average of two to three eruptions per year.
We first cross a forest of cedars, straight conifers that quickly give way to a vegetation stunted by the cold and the altitude. The road is now a path in a landscape of volcanic rock.
The arrival at the Pas des Sables, at the edge of the ramparts at an altitude of 2,350 m, offers you a breathtaking panorama. A desert of ashes with reddish reflections that looks exactly like the moon. Lean against the railing and let your eyes wander deep into the enclosure, which bears the marks of thousands of eruptions. Black streaks of young lava flows rest on rocks altered by older volcanic eruptions. Dantesque shapes of frozen magma can be seen everywhere. A magnificent sculpture garden!
Les marchés de Saint-Denis de La Réunion
The city of Saint-Denis has a historical center with Creole houses and large buildings of colonial architecture. The island is strongly influenced by the Creole culture, both in music and in traditional dance. To soak up the local flavors and colors, go to its typical markets.
Whether you want to stock up on local fruits and vegetables, taste corkscrews and samoussas, or fill your suitcase with all kinds of souvenirs, the Reunionese markets are a must. Immerse yourself in the local culture while breathing in the scents of spices and bourbon vanilla. Here is a brief overview of the most emblematic markets of Saint-Denis, its capital city.
– Le Marché du Chaudron.
You can discover the lively, warm and authentic atmosphere of the market. Gardeners, butchers, craftsmen, fishmongers, herbalists, florists… There is something for every taste, every smell and every background noise. In the middle of a Creole conversation, you may feel a little lonely or have trouble understanding the person you are talking to, but that is exactly what makes this place unique.
– Le Grand Marché.
The Grand Marché brings together artisans offering handmade items, embroidered tablecloths, basketry and inlaid boxes. A great place to buy gifts at bargain prices. It was built in 1864 and is composed of eight pavilions located on either side of a covered passage.
– Le petit Marché.
Renovated in 2014, Petit Marché is where you’ll find mainly fruits and vegetables, but also a great selection of fish, sausages and meats.
A true local market and a place to buy for Dionysians (inhabitants of Saint-Denis) . However, you can also find crafts and many local products such as spices, honey, syrups, jams and rum preparations.