Three totally unique things to do in Reunion Island

  • 31 July 2018 | By Natalie Roos

With over 200 microclimates, one of the world’s most active volcanoes and even a miracle church, Reunion Island is one unique holiday destination. While you could easily spend your whole vacation swimming and snorkelling in the warm lagoon and eating the island’s variety of delicious food, we’d definitely recommend experiencing three of the island’s most unique activities before you leave.

Hike to the remote cirque of Mafate 

The Cirque de Mafate is located in the centre of the island, within the collapsed volcano of yesteryear. Entirely inaccessible by road, Mafate can only be reached by foot or by helicopter. While it may feel completely isolated and cut off from the rest of the world, it is possible to access this mystical place within a few hours of hiking through some of the most beautiful landscapes of the island and is a must-visit! Home to less than 200 inhabitants, the small villages within Mafate welcome visitors for traditional Creole food and comfortable overnight accommodation in a variety of gîtes (mountain accommodation) ranging from traditional bungalows to dorms or private rooms. We'd recommend a first time visit to La Nouvelle, which is relatively easy to reach by foot, starting from Col des Bœufs in Salazie. Here hikers can park their cars overnight, where security is on duty. Hiking trails are well marked and easy to follow, and the steep inclines and declines are richly rewarded with a cold beer or warm coffee once you reach the village. 

For more detail on hiking to Mafate, click here. To book your accommodation, visit our Book Here page. 

Explore underground lava tunnels 

Created when hot lava runs over cold water, Reunion’s lava tunnels are a sight to behold! To make your experience of going under the volcano even more unique, a musical concert is added to the adventure. Here, inside tunnels that sparkle with minerals and metals from deep within the earth’s core, you can experience local culture through traditional island music. At times, the lava ceiling above you shines like the night sky as the headlamp on your helmet shines on crystals while the beats of the island light up your soul. 

For more on exploring the lava tunnels of Reunion Island, click here

Explore a vanilla plantation

That humble flavour. That beautifully delicious scent. You are guaranteed to be mesmerised by the work that goes into growing the orchid which produces the vanilla pod. After being lovingly tended and polinated by hand (you will learn more about this interesting technique during your visit) the vanilla pod is traditionally blanched and then dried, but at the Blue Vanilla plantation, things are done differently. In order to keep the entire pod soft (and edible!) the growers use a top secret technique to ripen them while still alive. This time-consuming technique results in some very special vanilla - in 2016, the producers Escale Bleue won 3 gold stars at the Superior Taste Award in Brussels. 

For more on exploring the lava tunnels of Reunion Island, click here.

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