10 Star Attractions of Reunion Island
That UNESCO classifies nearly half the total area of Reunion Island as World Heritage Site should instantly draw the interest of any discerning traveller. What’s on the island that intrigues this international body? The answer is better experienced than explained. Here at Afro Tourism, we present to you 10 star attractions of Reunion Island that make this Island a definite bucket list topper.
1. Trou de Fer (in the Forest of Belouve)
This is one of the most magnificent slots canyon in the world, adorned with countless waterfalls including the Bras de Caverne stream, with 725m tall falls. If you love to trek, I bet you’d have some great time here.
2. Le Piton de La Fournaise (Peak of the Furnace)
Volcan du Piton de la Fournaise *Volcano of the Piton de la Fournaise
Le Piton de La Fournaise is more or less Reunion Island’s pilgrim site as tons of people visit the Island regularly to explore this thrilling attraction of the Indian Ocean. Le Piton de La Fournaise is one of the most active volcanos of the planet and can be visited by helicopter or microlight planes, but the best way to discover it is the hard way, trekking!
3. Voile de la Mariée (in the Cirque de Salazie)
If you intend to go for a waterfall tour and explore incredibly high waterfalls, I’ve just got you a perfect place. Voile de la Mariee is a group of very high waterfalls that take the appearance of the veils of a bride! Several chutes form this waterfall which end up in a natural pool surrounded by sumptuous flora. I will leave the pictures to tell the story.
You should equally check out these impressive waterfalls: Cascade blanche, Chaudron falls, Niagara falls, all famous sites with heights between 500 and 650m. Fleurs jaunes is an original waterfall, sliding down along a cliff in narrow channel, up to 300m tall. It’s a legendary canyoning spot.
Cilaos is a caldera with mind-blowingly dramatic scenery. It’s iconic peak, Piton des Neiges, which towers over the town at about 3070 meters high, is hikers’ paradise. Cilaos is equally famous for its impressive canyons and waterfalls that host extreme sports activities like canyoning (canyoneering) and rock climbing. Don’t hesitate to have some of Cilaos popular products such as lentils or its old-style sugarcane rum when you are in town.
This is Reunion Island’s capital city also known as the old city. Essentially an administrative centre, Saint Denis holds a lot of the Island’s history in its numerous museums and cultural monuments. Don’t hesitate to check out: Léon Dierx Museum (art gallery and museum), Jardin de l’Etat (public gardens – includes a natural history museum), Le Barachois, seafront park. Other spots include La Roche Écrite (15 km (9 mi) south of the city), summit overlooking Saint-Denis, with impressive views over the city, Brasseries de Bourbon and the mosque Noor-e-Islam, the biggest of Reunion and the oldest existing on French soil (1905).
6. Saint-Paul Market
This fairly big market opens on Fridays and Saturdays. Considered as the most beautiful and touristic market on the Island, Saint-Paul market parades stalls selling fresh produce as well as those selling handicraft and other beautiful items. This open market is located on the waterfront of the city and sells material mostly authentic to the culture and heritage of Reunion island, with street food encompassing local eats and French culinary flair.
7. Ermitage Beach
In addition to its mountains, calderas and vertiginous peaks, Reunion Island has some amazing beaches on its west coast. Ermitage (or l’Hermitage as pronounced by locals) beach which is lined with lush and graceful casuarina trees is the longest beach of Reunion Island. White sands and black volcanic rock punctuate the landscape of this nearly two kilometres long beach. Ermitage beach is a don’t-miss destination offering irresistible chance to gently melt into white sands for a long day of sun basking. The view of the shallow lagoon (the only lagoon in fact on Réunion Island) with a host of richly coloured coral and vibrant reef fish is simply out of this world.
8. Boucan Canot Beach
Calm but charming, Boucan Canot Beach is a popular beach destination in Reunion Island. This touristic beach of Saint-Gilles-les-Bains is where everyone goes for tanning, bathing, snorkelling, surfing and other sensational leisure activities during weekends. It’s usually calm during weekdays though.
9. Aquarium of Reunion Island
The Indian Ocean is lavished with different species of marine life and some of them are now preserved in the aquarium located in Saint-Gilles-les-Bains. The aquarium encompasses more than 500 species of fish and natural coral reefs nestled in more than 600 000 litres of water.
10. Eden Garden
Le Jardin d’Eden (Eden garden) is a botanical landscaped garden set on 2.5 hectares (25000 square meters). This beautiful garden has more than 700 species of plants. You will discover through a stroll of two hours a wide variety of tropical fauna and flora including some endemic species of Reunion Island. The garden is one of the quietest places in the Reunion Island and lovers of plants and calmness, we definitely enjoy being here.
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