Reunion:An Amazing Island Where Tourists Can Go Sightseeing Around Volcanoes and Sample Delicious Creole Cuisine

Photo by Dillon Ward

Reunion:An Amazing Island Where Tourists Can Go Sightseeing Around Volcanoes and Sample Delicious Creole Cuisine

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Reunion:An Amazing Island Where Tourists Can Go Sightseeing Around Volcanoes and Sample Delicious Creole Cuisine

Réunion is an incredible French Department island east of Madagascar and south-west from Mauritius on the Indian Ocean. The whole of Réunion island is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Read on for our recommendation on which places are the best to go sightseeing in the amazing island of Réunion.

1. Cirque de Cilaos (Cilaos)

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Cirque de Cilaos is an enchanting, large caldera formed by a collapse of a shield volcano in Réunion. The views from the top of the Cirque de Cilaos are truly spectacular. The landscapes are astounding with jagged rock ridges peering from dense green foliage and the intensely blue skies that seem to stretch forever around Réunion. There are many waterfalls and canyons here. From the top of Cilaos sightseeing tourist will also be able to view the dormant volcano Piton des Neiges, which is also Réunion’s tallest point. The village of Cilaos on top of Cirque de Cilaos is friendly and great for sightseeing. The 37 kilometer drive up the RN5 road from Saint-Louis, Réunion to the top of Cirque de Cilaos will provide sightseeing tourists with unforgettable views. This is a great place for hiking in Réunion.

2. La Cité du Volcan (La Plaine des Cafres)

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La Cité du Volcan is an interactive museum and 4D cinema dedicated to Réunion’s volcanoes. La Cité du Volcan re-opened to public in 2014 after extensive renovation. Tourists who decide to go sightseeing in La Cité du Volcan will be entertained by the panoramic film. They will also be able to go through a replica lava tunnel. Tourists will also learn about how underwater lava flows interact with corals and other marine organisms around Réunion. La Cité du Volcan is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9:30 AM to 5 PM and on Mondays 1 PM to 5:30 PM. Entrance is 9 euro for adults. We recommend reserving at least 2 hours for sightseeing of the museum.

3. Voile de la Mariée (Salazie)

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Voile de la Mariée, or Bridal Veil Falls, are serene and beautiful waterfalls from the Mât River in Cirque de Salazie in Réunion. Opinions vary of whether the waterfalls take their name because they are reminiscent of a veil of a bride or after a tragic Réunion love story legend connected to them. Tourists can go sightseeing the waterfalls by hiking or they can take a helicopter ride. Those who hike to see the falls will be able to take a refreshing swim in the pool by the falls. A helicopter ride offers tourists a chance to view some of the Réunion’s scenery that is not accessible by road. In proximity of the falls there are bamboo forests, banana and peach orchards.

4. Piton de Fournaise (Sainte-Rose)

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Piton de Fournaise, or in English the Peak of the Furnace, is a 530,000-year-old volcano in the east part of Réunion. Piton de Fournaise is Réunion’s and one of the World’s most active volcanos and sightseeing tourists can view impressive lava activity if they ascend 2632 meters up to the crater of the volcano. The panoramic views of the surrounding area are also beautiful. There are about 10 different routes to the summit. The main hike up to the summit is well marked and takes around 7 hours return. The hike is not too strenuous. Tourists are advised to set out early to miss the midday heat and to take plenty of water with them.

5. Jardin des Parfums et des Epices (Saint-Philippe)

Jardin des Parfums et des Epices is a private botanic garden and plantation of perfumed plants and spices in Saint-Philippe in Réunion. Tourists can visit Jardin des Parfums et des Epices for free or go on one of the paid guided tours. There are two tours per day one at 10:30 AM and one at 2:30 PM. The tours take about an hour and a half, are very informative and highly recommended. Sightseeing tourists will be able to smell the scented perfume plants including the star-shaped ylang-ylang and the calming vetiver. Tourists will also be able to view spices such as cardamom, clove and vanilla.

6. Natural Marine Reserve (Cap la Houssaye)

Natural Marine Reserve encompasses 40 kilometers of Réunion’s coast. It starts at Cap la Houssaye and end at Etang-Salé. Some parts of the Natural Marine Reserve are under strict protection from Réunion’s authorities and people are not allowed to enter these parts, but there are special designated underwater paths for tourists to go sightseeing. A great place to go snorkeling or diving in the Natural Marine Reserve is at the l'Ermitage Lagoon which can be reached from the l'Ermitage beach. Tourists will be able to sightsee sea turtles, crabs, colorful fish, remarkable corals and other marine wildlife.

7. La Saga du Rhum (Saint Pierre)

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La Saga du Rhum is a rum museum inside Réunion’s oldest family rum distillery still in operation. The museum opened to public in 2008 in the city of Saint Pierre in the south of Réunion. Rum is the most famous of Réunion’s alcoholic beverages, it is widely exported, and it is an important aspect of Réunion’s cultural and historic heritage. Tourists sightseeing La Saga du Rhum will learn about the sugar cane plantations in Réunion and about the production of rum. Those interested in sampling the produce can visit the attached gift shop. La Saga du Rhum is open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM and entrance is 10 euro.

8. St. Paul Market (Saint-Paul)

St. Paul Market is a crafts and fresh produce market in the city of Saint-Paul. Sightseeing tourists can try Réunion delicacies at the market peppers, vanilla and exotic fruit grown in Réunion. Local bee-keepers sell a Réunion specialty honey called pei. Vendors also sell flip-flops, sarongs and other Réunion wardrobe essentials. When you get tired of sightseeing and shopping in St. Paul Market, head to one of the restaurant stalls and try the local Creole coconut and chicken curry. St. Paul Market is open on Fridays from 6 AM to 5.30 PM and on Saturday mornings from 6 AM to noon.

9. La Sucrerie de Bois Rouge (Saint-André)

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La Sucrerie de Bois Rouge is a cane sugar factory open for sightseeing tourists to visit. Cane sugar is one of Réunion’s most important products. There are guided tours of the sugar factory Tourists will learn how a plant is turned into the sugar. They will also learn about the importance of sugar to Réunion’s history, culture and economy. Tasting of the sweet products made in La Sucrerie de Bois Rouge are available after the sightseeing tours. The best time to visit La Sucrerie de Bois Rouge is during the Réunion sugar season from July to December, but the factory is open for sightseeing year-round.

10. Musée des Musiques et Instruments de L'ocean Indien (Hell-Bourg)

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Musée des Musiques et Instruments de L'ocean Indien is a museum located in the very picturesque village of Hell-Bourg in central Réunion. The museum specializes in musical instruments of Réunion and other Indian Ocean communities. The museum’s collection counts over 1500 instruments from Réunion and further afield. Sightseeing tourists will enjoy the multimedia and interactive exhibitions. Audio guides and guided tours are available for sightseeing tourists. The museum in open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 6 PM and entry is 7 euro for adults. After sightseeing the museum tourists can enjoy the attached small botanic garden.

◎ Closing

The tropical island of Réunion is a wonderful place for a relaxing holiday. Some would call it a paradise island. There is astounding nature in Réunion and many places worth sightseeing. Réunion is teeming with lots of colorful flowers, picturesque Creole villages and amazing beaches. As you can see from the article, Réunion is an unbelievable place, so don’t hesitate and book your next sightseeing holiday there.