Réunion Island is one of the Indian Ocean’s latest major island escapades. The differing quality of scenes is genuinely amazing for such a diminutive island. Sticking out of the sea shrouded in green, this beautifully enchanted island is dubbed as the small Hawaii. Expect lush green tropical forests, imposing waterfalls, challenging mountain trails, serpentine streets, 360° impressive panorama, vigorous beachfront urban communities and a mixture of white- or dark sand shorelines.
The intimidating Piton de la Fournaise, one of the island’s dynamic volcanoes, adds to the rush. This makes Reunion Island a dream holiday destination by beach and outdoor adventure enthusiast. Mountain trekking is the most prominent activity aside from paragliding, kayaking, scuba diving; snorkeling, whale viewing and hiking are additionally accessible.
These are the must see and not to be missed places in Reunion Island…
Plage de l’Ermitage (Saint-Gilles-Les-Bains)
The main interest of this postcard place
Plage de l’Ermitage
remains the discovery of the lagoon that is inhabited by many species of fish in all colors. Provide yourself with a mask and snorkel and you will be in heaven. There is no need to go far to enjoy it, just 20 meters from the edge and you will feel like being inside an aquarium. Attention, time passes quickly and sunburns are wicked. The long strip of land at the rear of the nearby beach adds to the charm of this place. You cannot go to the Meeting without going to the Hermitage Beach.
Pretty diving sites and a beautiful beach, a haven of peace and the best place to unwind, plus, it offers easy access and no worry of parking. Avoid weekends to avoid the large crowd. Come early in the morning to avoid the rush especially during holidays and summer vacation. The water at the lagoon is transparent and there are fish of all colors to admire. Do not forget to wear sandals all the time because the corals can be sharp. There is good infrastructure, parking, and restaurants on its nearby spaces. Going topless is also tolerated on this beach.
Aquarium de la Reunion
If you go between late August and early September to the
Aquarium de la Reunion
, you might be lucky enough to see the passage of the whales. Do not miss the wonders of nature that encompass the island of La Réunion. From Italy, you can get there with the help of the identity card. It is not very big but it is well maintained and well stocked with good explanations on local fish and eco-systems. You will really like the technical explanations about the life of the fish in the aquarium, the water quality and life of the corals. It is touristy but it’s also frequented by locals. It is near the main street of St. Gilles and it is equipped with ample parking space.
The aquarium gives a good overview of the diversity of species of marine life that the Reunion Island is rich of. It is a great output for the whole family with children. It comes with well stocked aquariums filled with many species of wildlife marine where the sharks are particularly attractive. It’s like a great show before your eyes along with being in a great location and friendly staff. Be sure to drop by and see its enticing features while you’re in the Reunion Island. It is educational for children and interesting for adults.
Bleu Marine Reunion
Bleu Marine Reunion
offers friendly diving service and a very professional team with well explained rules . The head of the diving team, Christopher is able to reassure guests and takes all the time needed to make them get used to the gears and diving equipment, not to mention how to admire the beautiful waterscape. The water is filled with fish of all colors and you can easily equalize and level up your diving rank with proof and certification. They have a great knowledge of the area and quickly identifies where the best diving spots are in Reunion Island. In fact , you will be so pleased with their help that you will redo the diving expedition without hesitation.
They always have plenty of guides and you will feel confident underwater as the excursion dive is done in small groups. The guides are extremely personable, professional, and efficient. Every morning they picked their clients by car in the hotel (free), and render great service. This diving team and office is highly recommended if you plan to include a deep sea diving experience in your travel itinerary of the Reunion Island. If you want to have the best diving holiday adventures contact the Bleu Marine Reunion.
For those who come and visit the island for the first time, the
is a good alternative to the beach for a few hours and it allows seeing all the species of plants that grow in the Meeting. You can wander as much time as you want or dream about the Zen garden. It is not really interesting for young children, but they can run safely at their ease at the playground area. The Jardin is a beautiful exotic garden that is located near the Novotel which allows you to discover many trees, plants, flowers (and some small animals) of the island.
It offers a moment of pure relaxation to enjoy the morning rather during the cooler hours and preferably during the weekend where there are more crowds who frolic the garden to look for the famous chameleons.
Thanks to a small portfolio of information that they give away for free at the entrance, you will get during your walk a good picture of all the flora and fauna present on Reunion Island. This well maintained botanical garden also has a friendly lady staff at the reception that will make you feel welcomed and answer your queries about the importance of this garden to the island.
The downhill training with
and Fred is associated with the discovery of imposing sites and landscapes and with the pleasure of riding on a beautiful suspension mountain bike. The route discovery is accessible to all as long as the participants listen to good advice from Fred and remain in control of their speed. Fred is very nice and very professional. Indeed behind the guidance and smile it is not difficult to guess the capacity of the group and the potential hazards you will meet along the way.
On two wheels , they can help you discover the best of the island and its rich vegetation that is so varied. Fred likes to take pictures of Reunion Island and he shares it with his guests. He has a focused attention when shooting his compositions. On this package tour you are provided with a well maintained bike and a chance to have the best images of you with the island as your background. These are just a few of the things that you can experience with Fred and his Coco Bike team.
Kelonia (Saint Leu)
between land and sea and where diving is the center of life. You can stroll near the waterfront and learn a little history of the museum from a local guide. You can also walk your way through the different water basin to discover different kinds of turtles. You will discover their natural environment filled with sea plants that you will see anywhere around the island. In Kélonia, there is a little explanatory film showing here which chronicles the lives of the turtles who inhabit this place even way before this site got discovered by tourists.
A somewhat dark part of its history is represented to guests to show how and when it is hunted for its meat and its shell to make art object such as combs or pins and jewelry of any kind. If you like marine turtles and want to learn more, this is the right place to visit when you’re in Reunion Island. The turtle conservation and museum site is nice and you will learn a lot of things there through the panels. You can also have a glimpse of the “behind the scenes” in the creation of the turtle care center. It’s great to be able to watch these protected sea turtles up close which is quite difficult to achieve if you’re swimming in the sea.
Conservatoire Botanique National de Mascarin
Conservatoire Botanique National de Mascarin
is the ideal place to explore if you love nature and tranquility. The site is a very beautiful park that is equipped with different themed gardens. It has a wide variety of orchids, coffee, cactus, succulent and not to mention all the tropical species of plants that can be found on the Reunion Island. Another noteworthy feature is their team of highly motivated and interesting guides who will gladly provide you with details of the featured plants and the Creole House. You can also wander inside the colonial house and shop for handicrafts at the souvenir/gift shop located within its premises. There is also a small snack shop if you feel hungry after the tour.
It is a wonderful place where the owners have shown the mixture of the culture of the country and botany. On this horticultural attraction you can go through the lined endemic plants of the meeting and other imported plants that are nurtured either by man or by the wind, the sea or the animals is the center of the ancient life of the Meeting. It is like a journey to a thousand wonders and discovery, meeting up to its name with this multitude of cultural and botanical diversity which makes it a very charming and an enticing place to visit in Reunion Island.
Le Musee du Sel
Salt Point is a beautiful place on the coast of St Leu and you can spend a magical moment to contemplate the roaring waves and flying straw-tailed fishes above the salt museum; a small structure managed by the Conservatory coast and the city of St. Leu where you will also discover an exhibition of the late artist Ann-Marie Valencia who painted the beautiful watercolors of landscapes of Reunion Island in their mural. One could see how salt was produced and its history in the Meeting. The tour is very rewarding and you will learn so much about art, cultures, history, and the important role of Salt Point to the island.
Upon arrival you will be greeted by a warm and friendly welcome form their knowledgeable staff. Then you will be required to watch the documentary on salt making, and after the film showing the guide will lead you to visit and discover the tanks with seawater supply pipe and where you can make the salt purchase. It is interesting with children or for adults who have never seen salt marshes. It is something to see in the island if you have enough time.
Musee Stella de Matutina
Musee Stella de Matutina
traces the history of the people of the meeting with the guideline of “sugar cane” making. It is comprehensive, but it takes time to read everything and do everything. You can also see the steps in the creation of sugar.
You will pass by the real parts of industrial machines up to the processing tables. The site is nice but it will be even more beautiful if it is well lit and ventilated. The famous Musée is built in an old sugar factory which tells the history of sugar in Reunion with remarkable portraits of the people involved in this story. It has a very fascinating atmosphere and above all it is free.
Air Reunion Parapente
Air Reunion Parapente
offers the best
and unforgettable paragliding adventure above St. Leu and the lagoon. It has a team of super nice and trained paragliders that knows how to put you at ease and the least worried while enjoying the soaring experience in the atmosphere of the Reunion Island. The pleasure of being up in the air and the quality of the team (top-flight drivers, skilled paragliders, and helmet, equipment and right gears) makes it an adrenaline pushing and a must try adventure even once in your life. You do not need to force yourself to smile in photos and videos because the ride is so thrilling and truly breathtaking.
The dynamic team will capture all your activity so it is advisable to bring your own SD card and a good camera for your own documentation of your ride. You will be given full information on the flight and see their level of professionalism. If the weather is on your side, you will not regret your choice. Do not forget to bring a sweater because even if it is very hot in the air, the temperature is not the same. If you are lucky, the chance to see whales from above the island is 100% possible.
Parc du Colorado (St. Denis)
Planted in the hills of Saint Denis, the
Parc du Colorado
is where you can enjoy a huge space and where children can explore the various “spot” games or activities. It has a beautiful view of Saint Denis and you can do long walks and meet lots of cheerful locals. In short, it is a friendly place where families gather on weekends to share a meal and spend time being together. If you go during the weekend, you must arrive early to secure a nice place and stay until late afternoon to watch its majestic sunset. Because of its high location, it is one of the few places to chill during the hot weather in Reunion Island.
It is a very large park located on the heights of Saint-Denis with several areas to enjoy; a golf course and tennis courts, a large children’s play area, kiosks equipped for picnics and a large grassy meadow for ball games and other outdoor activities. Going up to the weather radar (“The Ring”), you will have a beautiful view of Saint-Denis and even on the other side the views of Le Port. You can meet many trailers and other hikers who use the trail to Window and St. Bernard or to the Plain of Affouches or those on the other side back down to Saint-Denis.
Jardin de l E’tat
is a breath of fresh air to the city center. The famous park in St. Denis is a pleasant place for relaxation and where you can spend a quiet time with your family. There are water games for kids where they can play as long as they want. In the middle of the park, there is a building that houses the Museum of Natural History of Reunion Island. What is unfortunate is the difficulty to find a decent parking space and the opportunity to park nearby. For families with kids it is best to arrive early but still grab the opportunity to be at the foot of a tree in the shade if it is summer. You can arrange for a picnic with friends or family, get children to play water games in the park, see the different species of trees, the birds, and visit the museum. It is also a nice place for wedding photos and a romantic place for dating couples.
Reunion Island has so much to offer for every adventurous traveler. Aside from history, you will also discover thrilling adventures that are designed for air, land and water. You can fully explore the island and bring with you lots of good memories postcard like images that you can show to your friends back home. Be sure to make the most out of your visit on the not to be missed places of Reunion Island.