The ultimate experience
Reunion Island is a land of contrasts and diversity, a jewel of the Indian Ocean that covers a surface area of 2,512km². Situated 9,345km or 11h by plane from Paris, in the heart of the southern hemisphere; this overseas department blends the exoticism of a faraway destination with the safety of a region of France. For holidaymakers in search of the unexpected and sensations, La Reunion is an intensely engaging island! A tropical destination with breathtaking landscapes where the steep terrain provides some spectacular views. Its natural treasures (its active volcanoe, waterfalls, basins, cirques, verdant mountains with their unusual topography) are unique in the world, so much so that UNESCO classified part of the island as World Heritage in 2010. Reunion Island is an extraordinary tropical garden where the flora and fauna marvelous in equal measure. Between the magic of the eruptions of the Piton de la Fournaise volcano and the leaps of the humpback whales not far off the coasts, between the sunsets across the crystal clear waters of the lagoon and the wild coastline landscapes formed of basalt rocks, everything provides contrast and wonderment on Reunion Island. Reunion Island is an island brimming with experiences, a melting pot, its culture is authentic and enriching, its inhabitants share a lifestyle that is unique. Its history, traditions, gastronomy and architecture are fascinating. Its outdoor leisure activities provide thrills and the opportunity to recharge the batteries, featuring visits to tunnels carved out by lava flows, walking trails, diving and paragliding.
Intense culture: Reunion Island is a land with a thousand faces, a blend that can be explained through four centuries of history and the arrival of people from the four corners of the globe (Africa, Asia, Europe, India, Madagascar). This veritable cultural and ethnic melting-pot cultural gives Reunion Island its status as a unique destination where different people live in harmony: an intense island where traditions and religions come together in peace, an island where difference is a source of its richness.
Intense nature: Reunion Island provides a veritable mosaic of breathtaking landscapes: Pitons, cirques and ramparts, forests, waterfalls, cliffs… With this succession of sumptuous backdrops, the island becomes a wonderful outdoor playground that can be explored in perfect safety on foot, by bike, on horseback, by segway, on a quad bike…
Intense blues: Reunion Island boasts a 22km turquoise lagoon that is exceptionally well-preserved, as well as 30km of white or black sand beaches that allow visitors to relax by at the water’s edge. Boat trips take visitors whale watching or to gaze at the sunset, nautical activities (adhering strictly to current regulations), scuba diving, multi-colored fish, beach, restaurants, charming hotels; everything comes together to create some truly exceptional moments.
An ideal destination for:
Reunion Island is a land of intense experiences that visitors can enjoy: make an unexpected and grandiose visit to tunnels carved out by lava flows, enjoy a moment of relaxation and well being that will awake the senses at a Spa in a charming hotel, take a boat trip to admire the sunset while sipping an exotic cocktail, enjoy a visit to an exotic garden filled with heady aromas, fly high above the island in a helicopter, attend a musical event in the west of the island (the « Rondavelles » play host to artists every Sunday), experience an unforgettable culinary day out with Far Far Kréol in Saint-Gilles, take in the high-end ambiance at the Cabaret Pat’Jaune in La Plaine-des-Cafres (gourmet breaks and musical spectacular), discover the secrets of the coconut tree, the tree of life (tastings, weaving…).
Observing humpback whales in the wild just off the coast of Réunion Island
Réunion Island is one of the leading places on Earth to go whale watching, notably humpback whales, which are classified as a protected species. Every year these giants of the sea come and play out their courtship along the coastline of this intense island, between the months of June and September. As of June 2017, these whales have put on a show to the great delight of visitors. Heading out to encounter these magnificent sea creatures in their natural habitat is always a unique and special moment. A number of local companies now allow visitors to enjoy this experience in a way that fully respects the environment and these marine animals, making this an annual natural spectacle across this intense island. It is because of this that the authorities have now established a charter to govern how to approach these whales, which has subsequently been extended to cover turtles and dolphins, as well as creating the Observation Certifiée Responsible label for whale watching across Reunion island (O²CR).
Eruptions of the Piton de la Fournaise
Also listed as World Heritage by UNESCO since 2010, the Pit on de la Fournaise was born 530,000 years ago. Alongside the Piton des Neiges, it forms the volcanic massif of Reunion Island. From its 2,631 meter peak, this effusive volcano, one of the most active on Earth, is closely watched by the international scientific community. It is, along with the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, one of the most fascinating volcano on the planet and its lava flows are always a major event. When it is not erupting, it is possible to explore a walking trail that leads to the summit. Along this ascent, the landscapes start to take on a surprising lunar appearance. The descent into the crater followed by a final ascent towards the crater rim is one of the most unforgettable features of this walk. After a surprise eruption on 17th May of last year, the Piton de la Fournaise started erupting for the third time that year in the south-west of this intense island. Less than two months after this last eruption, La Reunion island’s active volcano has been rolling out its red carpet of lava since 00h50 on 14th July 2017.
The Sakifo Festival is a benchmark for the musical and cultural scene of Reunion Island. Every year, in the south of the island, the site of La Ravine Blanche in Saint-Pierre, situated by the ocean, resonates to the sounds of music from across the globe. The artists make festival goers pulse with their mixture of sounds, including pop, rock, electro, French chanson, blues, reggae, funk, African music and sounds from across the Indian Ocean… This event allows visitors to encounter a world of different music and thousands of fellow music lovers. The eclectic bill mixes major international acts and local newcomers to discover.
Dipavali, or the Festival of Lights, is a major event for the Tamil culture. This colorful festival represents the victory of light over darkness. Temples can only be visited from the outside by the general public. A parade of floats dressed in a thousand Indian colors is held in Saint-André, a town in the east of the island, where a large Tamil community lives. Members of the public and worshipers gather for this great procession.
The 20th December, or the “Fèt Kaf”, is a feast day on Reunion Island, commemorating the abolition of slavery on 20th December 1848. Local people get together to celebrate freedom and the identity of La Reunion Island with music across its four corners: street entertainment, parades of colorful floats, traditional songs and dances, concerts, conferences, exhibitions, workshops, poetry.
Hotel Saint Alexis & Spa
A 4 Star hotel & Spa situated on the magnificent Boucan Canot beach just 3km from Saint-Gilles, Le Saint-Alexis provides elegant rooms equipped with whirlpool bath and private balcony or terrace giving direct access to the swimming pool. Two vast pools surround the hotel in the heart of a tropical garden. The 500m² Spa provides a wide range of treatments using Sothys beauty products.
+262 262 24 42 04
CONNECTIONS BY AIR from Great Britain
Five airlines serve La Reunion Island with direct flights (approx. 11 h flight time) from Paris Orly (Air France, Corsair) and Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle (Air Austral, XL Airways, Air Caraibes in code share with French Blue).
|Contact Air Austral:
Sales & Marketing Executive
+44 (0) 870 774 7340
|Contact Air Caraibes:
Sales Manager Europe
+33 (0)1 47 83 88 69
|Contact Air France:
Trade support: +44 (0871) 222 2200
+44 (0871) 222 5757
Customer Services and Bookings:
+44 (0207) 660 0337
Reunion Island Tourist Board
0033 1 40 75 02 79
Reunion in images: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTdI_LQVVJg
Sales Manual 2016-2017 http://actu.reunion.fr/index.php?id=2864
Time zone: GMT+4