Known as the "wild south", the southern part of Reunion Island offers dramatic hardened-lava landscapes and an abundance of wild natural beauty. This part of the island is also famous as a hub for music-lovers, and is the home of the annual Sakifo Music Festival, which takes place in June.
Home of the Sakifo Musik Festival. This annual celebration takes place on the ocean’s edge at La Ravine Blanche in Saint-Pierre, where music from across the world is celebrated annually over three days in June. The festival attracts both music lovers and musicians from across the globe and is the biggest of it's kind in the Indian Ocean.
Sainte-Rose to Saint-Phillipe
The stretch of the Route Nationale 2 between Sainte-Rose and Saint-Philippe is know as the Route des Laves or "the lava route", named for the road features solidified lava flow formed by the eruption of Piton de la Fournaise. Here, it's possible to take a guided tour into the lava tunnels, which are formed during eruptions, when the molten lava in cooled down by the ocean as it hits the water. This unique experience offers and incredible look at the many minerals that are brought to the surface from the earth's molten core during an eruption.
Grand Bassin is a small village surrounded by mountains and accessible only by foot. A must-do for hiking enthusiasts, Grand Bassin is located in the Plaine des Cafres along a scenic 4.5km trail that descends 700m to the village below. From La Plaine des Cafres, follow route D70 to a large parking lot and you'll find a viewing deck at Belvédère de Bois Court. The views of the Grand Bassin gorge will take your breath away!
If you'd like some adventure, join a canyoning excursion which will take you zip lining across the stunning Grand Galet waterfall and jumping, diving and sliding down numerous smaller falls into stunning pools.
The centrally located Belvédère de Bois-Court near Le Tampon is a majestic viewpoint that overlooks the ramparts of Cilaos and into the Grand Bassin and the Voile de la Mariée waterfall from 1 400m above. There is a grassy area suitable for picnicking, with kiosks that sell refreshments.
Cilaos is a caldera (volcanic crater) that can be reached by road or by hiking up to the summit. Natural features include canyons and waterfalls, where rock climbing and canyoning may be enjoyed. A small village of the same name is famous for its sugar cane rum. It's a wonderful place to spend some time exploring, as you'll find beautiful examples of Creole architecture as well as the island's locally-produced wine. The area is also famous for lentils, which are farmed in the cirque.