In my last post, you read about our MOST AMAZING WEDDING IN THE WORLD EVER MOST AMAZING WEDDING IN THE WORLD EVER, now I’m going to tell you about the MOST AMAZING HOLIDAY DESTINATION EVER that was our honeymoon! We spent a few nights in Mauritius (average, commercial, boring) and then took a 20 minute flight to Reunion, where the real adventure awaited us…
Husband and I are both active and adventurous, so Reunion with its’ wild terrain, volcanoes, waterfalls and beaches attracted our attention immediately.
Our travel agent (Nicci Hayden from Travel Counsellors) hooked us up in 3 awesome spots for 3 completely different experiences over 7 nights – in St Pierre, Cilaos and St Gilles. (My advice – do 10 nights at least, there is so much that we didn’t see!)
When we arrived in St Pierre, at our gorgeous B&B (La Plantation Cote Lagon), we got the perfect feeling for the holiday ahead.
Reunion is like Paris and a wild tropical island had a love affair and this is their love-child. (I said that, you can quote me)
This B&B gave us the definite French feeling with the decor and home-made French breakfasts, opening up right onto the “lagoon” in St Pierre.
While staying here, we made the trip out to Piton de la Fournaise – the island’s biggest and one of the world’s most active volcanoes. The 12km hike over uneven volcanic rock is worth it to sit at the top of the Dolomieu crater and watch it smoulder faaaaar down below your feet.
In it’s eruption of 1977, lava spewed through the town of Piton Sainte-Rose chewing up everything in its’ path except Notre Dame des Laves Church, where the lava flow slightly entered the front of the church, split and flowed around the building. I wouldn’t have believed it myself if I didn’t see it.
No trip to Reunion is complete without an adrenalin rush. Our first of its’ kind was experienced on the winding road up to Cilaos, an old village in the middle of a huge cirque, where hikes and adventure are the name of the game. 400 hairpin bends, often so sharp and narrow that only one car can fit at a time, was a good taste of adrenalin before we even got there! I couldn’t take a picture because I was too busy chewing off my nails. Once there, though, it’s a hiker’s/trail runner’s/mountain biker’s dream.
This area and its’ surrounds is also well-known for canyoning. Which we didn’t try. Don’t judge us, look:
We tried the downhill mountain biking, which was most excellent (and dirty). A shuttle takes you to the top of Le Maido (2200m high) and you mountain bike downhill (basically standing up, riding those brakes and trying not to fly off head-first) for a few hours. It was wonderful!
And not to be outdone by the ‘Maurituses’ of the world, Reunion has its’ own 5-star luxury resort on a long and picture-perfect white-sand beach. The reef here is quite long and safe, so you can venture into the water without being eaten by sharks 😂 Ocean life is in abundance here and so are the mojitos. Lux St Gilles was a most beautiful treat and a wonderful end to our honeymoon explorations!
That all being said, here’s my top 10 reasons to go to Reunion:
- It’s all about adventure
- You don’t need a visa (with a South African passport)
- You get to fumble your way through some non-existent French language skills
- It’s not yet overrun by tourists and you won’t get haggled or conned
- It’s still raw and wild
- It’s got a European flavour, with an island vibe
- It’s friendly
- It’s not yet spoilt by irresponsible tourism
- You can still spoil yourself with tropical island bliss to ease your aching, adventure muscles.