If you enjoy spectacular scenery, outdoor pursuits or adrenaline activities, tropical beaches or walking and hiking, you'll love Reunion. For birders or those who take pleasure in exploring the hidden corners of France, Reunion Island is an excellent choice for a touring holiday. This itinerary combines the volcano with picturesque towns in magnificent settings and time to relax at the beach, but it's completely flexible and can start on the coast and end in the mountains. There are excellent family-friendly places to stay too, and with so many different activities on offer, we can tailor-make a holiday to suit all tastes and interests. If you love the outdoor life, you'll love Reunion!
Day 1 Fly from London to Reunion via Paris with Air France, or via Mauritius with Air Mauritius.
Day 2 Collect your hire car and take a leisurely drive to Hell-Bourg through lush fields of sugar cane, and past Tamil temples built by the descendants of plantation workers. Hell-Bourg, the main settlement in the magnificent Cirque de Salazie amphitheatre, is one of the most beautiful villages on the island with brightly coloured Creole buildings. Day ends at Sainte Anne, in the east of the island, for a 2-night stay at Diana Dea Lodge, breakfast included.
Day 3 Picturesque Salazie, with its tumbling waterfalls and spectacular gorges, is the lushest of the three amphitheatres dominating the centre of the island. From here you can walk to the hot springs, explore the Forest of Belouve, and drive to the outstanding viewpoint at Le Point du Jour and the nearby cascade. If you enjoy high-energy activities, you can go canyonning, mountain-biking or climbing
Day 4 On the fourth day, drive south across the island, over the high plains that separate the three cirques from the active volcano. Visit Anse les Cascades and it's endemic Elefant foot palmtree, in Cap Mechant where you can see the pirate's hole... Drive on to Le Tampon and St Pierre where you can mingle with the locals as they promenade and sip a refreshing drink at the marina. Stop at Grand Anse, one of the most lovely beaches on the island, and stay 2-nights at the four star Palm Hotel & Spa, breakfast included
Day 5 At Grand Anse you can divide your time between relaxing on the white sand beach and exploring the rugged, black pebble beaches and volcanic cliffs of the southeast coast. The island's active volcano, Piton de la Fournaise (or peak of the furnace), is easy to reach from your base at the Palm Hotel. At the coastal village of St Philippe you can walk on the crust of recent black lava flows.
Day 6 Drive inland to the village of Entre-Deux. Continue to Cilaos where you stay 2 nights at Hotel Dimitile, breakfast included. Climb to the summit of Dimitile from where there is a stunning view over the largest of the calderas, Cilaos.
Day 7 There are wonderful hiking trails up into the Alpine-like mountain forests and among the ravines, as well as many gentle, shorter walks. Entre-Deux is just a 40-minute drive from Cilaos. Just outside Cilaos, the Irenee Accot health spa offers a chance to recuperate in hot thermal springs, rich in minerals.
Day 8 Drive back along the coastal highway to LUX* Ile de la Réunion for a 5-night stay in a superior room, breakfast included. This five star property is only 3 kms out side of St Gilles on of the island’s most popular beach resorts and on one of the best beaches at Hermitage-les-Bains, an excellent base for exploring the surrounds or simply relaxing prior to your return home.
Day 9 Diving and surfing, golf and paragliding are all available nearby. Drive up to Le Maido, on the rim of the Cirque de Mafate for breathtaking views of the peaks and into the cirque itself. During your time here you could take a day hike along the rim to the summit of Le Grand Benard or descend to the village of Roche Plate. From near St Gilles take a helicopter trip into the calderas - this is a really exciting trip and whilst the cost is not insignificant the views are tremendous. After the day's adventures, enjoy the lively local nightlife.
Day 13 On your last day, return your hire car to the St Denis airport and check in for your overnight return flight to London via Paris or Mauritius
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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