Reunion Island: A Land of Paradise
Reunion Island ticks all the right checkboxes for an island getaway. Breathtaking scenery, a balmy tropical climate year-round, and a friendly population that will be delighted to share Reunion’s fusion cuisine and culture with you. And in addition, a range of leisure and outdoor activities offered to you to complete your island experience!
Located east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, Reunion Island is undoubtedly one of the most unusual island paradises on the planet and woos its visitors with its charming French way of life.
While the island has an array of factors that contribute to its appeal, one of its most striking features is its cultural and ethnic diversity. The unique Creole culture—a result of ethnic mixing—is a testament to a culture shaped by an amalgamation of Indian, African, European, Chinese and other cultures. Temples, mosques, churches and pagodas stand in unity on the island, and visitors are invited to take part in the several different cultural festivals that are held through the year. These diverse factors contribute to the appeal of the island.
5 compelling reasons to visit
Gastronomy: The island’s cultural diversity can be seen in the delectable gastronomic specialties available to visitors. With each culture ascribing to a particular set of flavours, each delicacy is a representation of the different cultures who reside on the island. Samoussas, bouchons, bonbon piment, macatia, gâteau patate, cari poulet, rougail saucisse: there’s a long list of local delicacies that you can – and should – savour. The island’s cuisine is a mouthwatering blend of Indian, Chinese, African, and European-influenced dishes. For an in-depth discovery of the ingredients and spices that go into the cuisine, a visit to a farmer’s market is recommended. At least one farmer’s market takes place on the island every day. The two best-known are Saint-Paul on Fridays and Saturdays, and Le Chaudron (in Saint-Denis) on Wednesdays and Sundays. The island is also very well-known for its rhum arrangé which is a combination of local rum and fruits left to macerate for 6 months to 2 years.
Music & Dance: Two distinct music forms are known to have originated on Reunion Island. Sega and Maloya. Sega is a music genre typical in Rodriguez, Seychelles as well as Mauritius. The music from Maloya is unique to Reunion Island. Sega has a distinct resemblance to the ballroom dance genre and is usually accompanied by beats from western instruments, including the guitar and the harmonica. In contrast, Maloya is a musical expression that is native to the island. It is a type of ceremony dance performed during the night and usually around a lit bonfire. Maloya, which combines music, song and dance, is a tradition that has been passed down for several generations on Reunion Island. It was brought by slaves from East Africa or Madagascar. Since 2009, Maloya has been classified as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO.
Outdoor sports activities: The island is a paradise for those who enjoy adventure sports. Choose from a visit of underground lava caves, to mountain biking, canyoning, horse riding, or an exciting paragliding experience above the lagoon. In Reunion Island, you can experience a wide array of outdoor activities in an exceptional natural environment. Its temperate climate ensures that these experiences can be enjoyed almost all year round.
Trek on scenic hiking trails: The island has more than 1,000 km of well-signposted paths, and there is something to suit all tastes and abilities. Must-trek hikes will take you to the summit of the Piton des Neiges, into the remote, isolated cirque of Mafate, to Grand Bénare, or to Roche Ecrite. Shorter walks are also possible, for example around Grand Etang lake, at Voile de la Mariée waterfall, or to the headland of Cap Jaune.
Saint-Gilles’ Vibrant Night Life: Don’t leave the island without experiencing its dynamic night life. The locals of the island love festivals and celebrations. In the district of Saint Gilles, you will find spirited bars and restaurants where you can eat, drink, and dance all night. Apart from that, one can also enjoy jazz lounges, live bands, and traditional island performances – all promising a good night out on the town!
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