La Reunion Islands
Seated in the middle of the Indian Ocean is Reunion, a French island which takes its pride in contrasting natural climates with some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in the Indian Ocean. One of the intriguing and unique features of this island is its possession of different destinations in the middle of the Ocean; an active volcano on its south coast, 17 miles of warm, welcoming beach in the west with lots of mountains and forest scenery between them, cultural treasures and unspoilt interior, the island offers holiday opportunities ranging from relaxing to true adventure to satisfy every taste.
The volcano magic is one of the island’s greatest assets that attract visitors to it. The two major volcanoes that attract tourist to the island are the inactive piton des Neiges located at the northern part of the island and the active piton de la fournaise located at the southern part. Stretched to about 2,631 meters in height, the Piton de la fournaise first eruption occurred about 50,000 years ago and kept counting with its latest eruption in 2004. The total number of eruption from 1640 – 2004 is 180 times. The volcano has been under proper monitor since 1980 for immediate evacuation of locals and guests if need arises. Piton de la Fournaise spews orange and yellow lava day and night, with the evening pyrotechnics topping any first-class fireworks display you’ve ever experienced.
The island’s most intriguing natural formations are the three cirques; cirque de mafate, cirque de salazie, cirque de cilaos, formed as the inside of Piton des Neiges which was further shaped by countless numbers of erosions subsequently. Though formed by same volcano, each of the three cirques are different in shapes and activities, they have different theme of attraction. The first cirque mafate, is beautifully formed and surrounded by mountains. Wild and untamed, it is the only one amongst the three that is accessible by foot or by helicopter, thinking of taking a long stroll, mafate gracefully gives you the arena. The flowery cilaos cirque treats its visitors to colorful fields of flowers. The cirque is rugged with forests of unique indigenous trees, soaring walls and pounding waterfalls. The majestic salazie is the largest of the three. Beautifully laced with green hues, the cirque is lined with over 50 different waterfalls, hills and valleys waiting to be explored.
Away from the volcanoes and natural beauties, the island has a varied nightlife scene and has something to offer for every style, every taste and every budget. The streets are full of life and bars and music can be heard here and there to indicate the change of over from the activities full day to the bubbling night. Partying plays an important role in the life style of locals. In the evening you can go out for a drink and enjoy party-like atmosphere, put the world to rights or even meet your soul mate. During weekends, parties start at the bar and everybody ends up at the nightclub. Most of the nightclubs are situated between Saint-Paul and Saint-Pierre. Entrance is free for ladies during the first hour. This special offer is much appreciated among both ladies and gents. The atmosphere usually remains warm and friendly.
The beauty of the island can be seen from its enchanting cities with different tropical taste and colors, oceanic treasures¸ rich diverse cultures and heritage which blend together in harmony, and most especially, the sweet and simple lifestyle of friendly and ever happy people. True to its name, the island is indeed a reunion island as all of these varieties coexist as one, giving the island one unique identity and also making it one of the most intriguing spots on earth.