As a wife of a Reunionese husband, I’ve had the privilege of experiencing the breathtaking beauty of Réunion Island. Nestled in the Indian Ocean, this French-speaking gem is a haven for nature enthusiasts, thrill-seekers, and culture aficionados alike. Allow me to take you on a virtual journey through the top five activities that make Réunion Island an unforgettable destination.

Things to do in Réunion Island Top 5

Réunion Island, an exotic French territory in the Indian Ocean, beckons travelers with its dramatic landscapes, vibrant culture, and outdoor adventures. Whether you’re a hiker, a history buff, or simply seeking a sensory escape, this tropical paradise offers something. Let’s dive into the heart of Réunion Island and explore its top attractions.

1. Hiking the Majestic Piton de la Fournaise

Piton de la Fournaise is the island’s fiery heart—a living, active volcano that beckons adventurers. Lace up your hiking boots and ascend to its rim, where you’ll witness the raw power of nature. The lunar-like landscape, dotted with craters and lava flows, is a testament to the island’s geological history. Don’t forget your camera; the views are nothing short of awe-inspiring.

2. Domaine Du Café Grillé: A Journey Through Time

Step into the past at Domaine Du Café Grillé, an ethno-botanical garden that weaves together Reunion Island’s rich history. Wander through lush gardens, where 900 plant species tell tales of medicinal discoveries and the island’s golden age. From modern Creole aesthetics to ancient endemic forests, this journey is a sensory delight. Guides share captivating stories as you explore.

3. Maïdo Summit: A Panoramic Perspective

At the Maïdo Summit, you’ll stand on the edge of the world. As the sun rises, the Cirque de Mafate unfolds before you—a rugged amphitheater carved by ancient volcanic activity. Capture this moment; it’s a photographer’s dream. The crisp air and panoramic views will etch themselves into your memory forever.

4. Beaches on Saint-Gilles

Beyond its culinary delights, Reunion Island boasts some of the most breathtaking beaches in the world. Each beach offers its own unique charm and opportunities for adventure. But I recommend you go Saint-Gilles les Bains area for the beaches. Snorkelers and scuba divers can explore vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life, while thrill-seekers can brave the waves with a spot of surfing or kiteboarding. However, it’s essential to note that Reunion Island’s waters are home to majestic creatures like sharks, adding an element of excitement and caution to aquatic activities. While the island’s authorities have implemented measures to ensure the safety of beachgoers, it’s always wise to heed local advice and stay informed about any potential risks.

5.  Helicopter tour

If you’re seeking an unforgettable experience on Réunion Island, a helicopter tour is an absolute must. Buckle up and prepare to be amazed as you soar above the island’s natural wonders. You’ll be treated to breathtaking views of waterfalls, tropical forests, lagoons, coral reefs, cirques, and volcanoes. 

All about the Cuisines

 Réunion Island’s cuisine is a delightful fusion of flavors, influenced by centuries of mixed French, Malagasy, Chinese, and Indian culinary traditions. As a mirror to the island’s culture, Creole cuisine reflects this rich heritage. Here are some highlights worth exploring:

  1. Rougail Saucisse:
    Our culinary journey begins with a dish that holds a special place in every Réunionnais’s heart – Rougail Saucisse. This delectable dish features smoked sausages simmered in a flavorful tomato-based sauce, infused with spices like thyme, ginger, and garlic. Served alongside fluffy rice or tangy lentils, Rougail Saucisse embodies the island’s diverse cultural influences and is a staple at family gatherings and festive celebrations.
  2. Carry:
    Next on our list is Carry, a savory curry that reflects Reunion Island’s multicultural heritage. Influenced by Indian, Chinese, African, and French cuisines, Carry is a tantalizing medley of meat or seafood cooked in a fragrant blend of spices, coconut milk, and local herbs. Whether it’s Carry Poulet (chicken curry) or Carry Poisson (fish curry), this dish promises a symphony of flavors that will leave your taste buds craving more.
  3. Samoussas:
    No culinary tour of Reunion Island would be complete without indulging in Samoussas – delightful triangular pastries filled with a variety of savory fillings. From spiced meat to fresh vegetables and tangy cheese, Samoussas are a beloved snack enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. Crispy on the outside and bursting with flavor on the inside, these addictive treats are perfect for munching on while lounging on the beach or exploring the island’s lush landscapes.
  4. Bouchon:
    Réunionnais is a delightful Creole snack that has become popular on Réunion Island. Introduced by Chinese immigrants from the Canton region, Creole bouchons are particularly popular as appetizers. They are often served hot with soy sauce or Chinese chili pepper for dipping. Also, for a heartier option, you can find the famous pain bouchon, which is a hot sandwich made by stuffing a baguette with bouchons. Food trucks across Réunion offer this delicious creation.
  5. Bonbons Piment:
    Hello, Spicy food lovers! For a taste of Reunion Island’s street food culture, look no further than Bonbons Piment – savory lentil fritters with a kick. These golden-brown delights are seasoned with fiery chili peppers and fragrant spices before being deep-fried to crispy perfection. Whether enjoyed as a quick snack or paired with a refreshing Ti’ Punch cocktail, Bonbons Piment are a must-try for spice enthusiasts and foodies alike.

I hope you’ve been inspired to savor the island’s diverse flavors and explore its stunning coastal landscapes. From the aromatic spices of Rougail Saucisse to the azure waters that beckon beach lovers, Reunion Island offers a feast for the senses that’s sure to leave a lasting impression. Whether you’re indulging in street food delights or soaking up the sun on a sandy shore, every moment spent on this tropical paradise is an adventure waiting to be savored. À bientôt.