The Wild Nature and Rich Culture of Reunion Island

  • 05 April 2017

 

Seemingly hidden within the currents of the Indian Ocean is a little tropical gem which calls to the heart of every traveller looking for the ultimate experience. With far reaching mountainous landscapes and strikingly beautiful terrains, Reunion Island holds captive a pristine historical charm, luring those looking for the perfect island getaway.

Reunion Island offers a unique blend of a tropical paradise and an adventurer’s dream. With three Grande Randonnée footpaths crossing the island, you can effortlessly immerse yourself within the depths of Reunion Island’s natural majesty.

The Island offers a surreal experience, as the natural lush green landscapes give way to the volcanic fields of the Piton de la Fournaise.  These heated volcanic fields have shaped the Island. Yet, even this momentous giant effortlessly subsides at the Island’s Southern edge to a refreshing oceanic breeze.

Cast in the shadows of two prominent volcanic peaks and cliff-rimmed cirques, rests the tranquil beaches which epitomises the splendour of Reunion Island. With waves crashing gently into the shoreline, the water glistens and reflects the sun rays and it is within these moments that the curious traveller may capture a glimpse of the vivid colours projected by the 20 km coral reef resting within the shallows of the coastline.

Reunion Island boasts not only an adventurous retreat but also a pristine natural habitat for a variety of aquatic species. The Natural Marine Reserve extends over an astounding 40 km of coastline which stretches from Cap La Houssaye in Saint-Paul to la Roche aux Oiseaux in Etang-Salé. It is within this protected Marine Reserve that the 20 km coral reef has flourished to become a unique feature encountered by visitors to Reunion Island.

With such a diverse and ecological landscape the notion of diversity appears to have been embedded within the heart of Reunion Island and its residents. Many of the inhabitants of Reunion Island are descendants from France, Mozambique, India, China, Madagascar, the Comores and a variety of countries in Africa, thus leading to a mixing-pot of cultural lineage that maps out the unique traditions found on Reunion Island.

Prominent influences from such a diverse heritage can be found rooted within the music and dances encountered during your stay on the Island. Maloya is a local dance and music which descends from a narrative between African and Indian music, mixed with the haunting melodies of the slaves from Africa and Madagascar.

The diversity present on the Island entices the senses and offers a brilliant view into a multitude of customs held dear by the people of Reunion Island. With such a spectacular mix of people you will find that the cuisine as well as traditions are extremely diverse. Thus, throughout your stay on the Island you can expect influences from across the globe, harnessed and captured in the all of the delicacies offered on the Island.

It’s hard to resist the natural beauty and unique blended culture that this island has to offer. 

Photo credit: Emmanuel Virin

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