Réunion is famous for

Réunion Island is known for its luscious green peaks, tropical growth, tumbling waterfalls, volcanic craters, soul-stirring panoramas, and dramatic coastlines.

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The three cirques

To begin with, the French volcanic island in the Indian Ocean has three cirques, namely Salazie, Mafate, and Cilaos. Each cirque has its unique identity with timeless landscapes. All three cirques are listed UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

  1. Cilaos is a high mountain village and spa town, popular amongst hikers. With two natural mineral water springs, it is said that Cilaos’ thermal waters are particularly effective.
  2. Mafate is the heart of a collapsed volcano and you can reach it only by foot or helicopter. It bursts with fantastic wild landscaped paths and is a haven of peace and tranquillity.
  3. Lastly, at Salazie visit the St. Martin of Grand Îlet church, a historic monument since 19 December 1982. The exquisite stained-glass windows, above the entrance, is the work of the Reunionese master glassmaker Guy Lefèvre .

Réunion Travel Tip

By the way, take a helicopter flight to enjoy magnificent panoramic views over the famous Cirques of Cilaos and Mafate. It’s simply amazing!

At Cilaos
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Grand Îlet Church, Salazie

Above photo credits by Wikimedia Commons. Authors from left to right: B.navez, Herve Douris, Regulator974
Reunion Viator Sedgeway tour
Click on the picture for more fun things to do.
Salazie Reunion Island viator travel and home
Click on the picture for more fun things to do in Salazie.
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Piton de la Fournaise

“Peak of the Furnace” (translated into English) sits at an altitude of 2460 m (8071 ft). It is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and located within the Réunion National Park, a World Heritage site. The Furnace has a caldera of 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) wide. Inside the caldera are two craters. Namely, the Dolomieu crater and the Bory crater.

Saint-André, a worthy day-trip

Maryen Péroumal Temple

If you’re looking for a day-trip and interested in cultural heritage, this is it. Saint-André is about 20 minutes (28 km) by car from Saint-Denis. It’s about one hour by bus. The temple offers guided tours. 

Location: 307 bis, Chemin Maunier, 97440 Saint-André, Réunion

Distillerie de Savanna

If you enjoy good quality rum, then this is the place to complete your day in Saint-André. Find out some secrets about making rum from a distillery that produces two types of rum. Their main exports are to the European Union. They offer guided tours as well.

Location: 27 Chemin du Bois Vert, 73500 Saint-André, Réunion

Vanilla plant 

In addition, if you have enough time left, you may want to visit a vanilla plant. Especially, since it is the local treasure. 

Reunion temple
Reunion beach

Things to do

  • Go hiking from Volcano House on the “volcano route”.  Enjoy the geological history of an island with one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Crater Dolomieu, Pas de Bellecombe, and Pas des Sables will present you with many memorable views and photo opportunities. Dress in weather-appropriate and comfortable clothing, hiking shoes, a sun hat, and sunglasses.
  • Scuba diving will bring you up close to many different species. For example whales, dolphins, turtles, rays, tunas, barracudas, wrasses and so many more.
  • Besides all the above, other activities also include paragliding, canyoning, mountain biking, rafting, and horse-riding.
Reunion hiking

Reunionese Gastronomy

To describe Reunionese cuisine is quite challenging, so bear with me. If you take the French cuisine as a base and you add a bit of Indian, Chinese, and Malagasy customary flavors, you’re more or less there. Reunionese cuisine will tease your taste buds. Together with a tasty Vanilla flavor in most of their cuisine, you’re in for a treat.  

Incidentally, when you spot “Brèdes” on a menu, please don’t assume it has to do with bread. Far from it. It is a local side dish prepared with the leaves and stems of various plants. For instance, Chinese cabbage, pumpkin, or chouchou, to name a few. They fry the ingredients with chili peppers, garlic, onion, and ginger. An acquired taste, for sure. One you should try!

They love their curries (or “cari”) which I am particularly fond of as they are super delish the Reunionese way.

Reunion coast

International airport

Roland Garros Reunion Airport (IATA: RUN, ICAO: FMEE) is the main airport and about 10 km from Saint-Denis.

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Where to stay