Spice up your life with a Reunion Island getaway

Megan Wilkins


Reunion Island offers some of the most spectacular sights, excursions and experiences out there. Breathe in the smell of vanilla orchids as you meander through the plantations, learning about the vanilla extraction process. Sample the locally-made rum cocktails while you bask in the sun on the pure white beaches or hike through the tropical forests in search of waterfalls. Adventure and relaxation await you on this remote and breathtaking island.

Explore the unusual island architecture

Reunion Island’s history is as colourful as the island itself. As an overseas department of France, this little piece of paradise reflects a clear French influence in its architecture. With grand, centuries-old buildings scattered throughout the various towns. The melting pot of cultures has led to changes in architecture to encompass the Asian and African influences on the island, too. The result is a whole new style that seems to flow with the creole rhythm, making for some delightful photography.

One of the more interesting architectural spectacles comes from the land itself. Obviously, the buildings are older, which often makes them susceptible to damage from extreme island weather. The locals have found the perfect way to preserve their heritage, without having to spend too much on renovations. To keep buildings safe from harm, they reinforce them with bamboo and sugarcane walls. By using nature to combat nature, the island thrives. It’s also rather fun to look at.

Take a trip to ‘Mars’

As a volcanic island, Reunion offers a myriad of different landscapes. One of the more extreme options is Piton de la Fournaise, one of the most active volcanoes on the island. The trip to the volcano is breathtaking, as you travel from the sea, through the jungle, and finally, find yourself on a different planet. The road takes you through the Plaine des Sables, an area that looks strikingly similar to images seen of mars.

The barren landscape is typical of an area close to a volcano but somehow seems different. The stillness hangs in the air with a sense of mystery. As you walk over the red dust, the heat from the ground travels through you, electrifying your sense of adventure. 

Savour the Creole culture and food experiences

As mentioned above, Reunion Island is a mix of cultures, all of which celebrate with food. It makes sense, then, that food should be at the top of your list on your visit. Every Saturday in St. Pierre, the locals host a market, filled with mouth-watering savoury and sweet delights to feast on. From one-bite appetisers to full, three-course meals, you’ll never go hungry. And, if you get peckish throughout the day, there are countless street-vendors selling lychees still on the branch. Spectacular!

There is, of course, more than just food to the culture. The locals also love to dance. Pop into a shop or restaurant and ask someone who works there where you can watch a méringue performance by the Mahoya dancers. Sip on some of the island’s famous Rhum while you witness this stunning spectacle. You may even get the courage to join in.

Get a bird’s eye view of the island on a microlight tour

If you’d prefer a bit more exhilaration on your holiday, why not view the island from a different perspective? FelixULM offers microlight tours of the whole island, giving the chance to truly appreciate the varying topography.

From towering mountains to elegant waterfalls, you’ll not want to blink for fear of missing out on the spectacular sights below you. It’s truly one of the most spectacular ways to see the majesty of this region. And, while you pass over the Indian Ocean, you may just spot a whale or two.

While this is not recommended for those with a fear of flying, adrenalin seekers will feel on top of the world for every moment of the 30-minute flight.

Swim with whales and dolphins in the sparkling sea

While the food, the culture, and the views on the island are all to die for, the true siren call comes from the sea. The warm, azure waters invite you in, with endless opportunity for diving and snorkelling. The coral reefs are bursting with ocean life, while the waves are gentle enough for playful exploration.

One experience that you’ll never forget is the chance to meet marine mammals up close. The island offers various whale and dolphin watching tours, some of which take you to areas where it is safe to free-swim with these majestic creatures. There is no better way to feel connected with nature than to be a part of it.

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