My husband and I have been fortunate enough to have traveled to several great island destinations so when it came to deciding which island to visit for our honeymoon it was a tossup between the Seychelles and Reunion. The travel agency offered us a better package for Reunion and with our crumby South African exchange rate – Reunion was the winner.
Never had I imagined that the pristine white sandy beaches of the island would play second fiddle to the abundance of epic inland activities.
We stayed at the wonderfully relaxing and beautiful Akoya Hotel and Spa, which is situated in La Saline-Les-Bains on the western side of the island. The hotel was so inviting and the staff were most accommodating and friendly. Most evenings were spent lounging on the pool deck and sipping on cocktails and beers whilst watching the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen.
The days however were jam packed with adventure. I would definitely recommend hiring a car as there isn’t much public transport and you need mobility to experience all the island has to offer. Most afternoons we would go snorkeling at the beach in front of our hotel (being careful not to stand on the gazillion sea cumbers that litter the sea bed), hiking is also very popular on the island, so we spent a glorious sunny day hiking Grand Bassin. At the bottom of the valley (after a 2 hour walk) is a gorgeous waterfall, where we cooled down, swam and ate our lunch, which we shared with a lonesome duck.
Scuba diving was great – the typography of the land under water is amazing, you can see the shapes of the lava as it cooled in the sea from many eons ago. Although we didn’t see any large fish the corals are teaming with an assortment of little fish and we saw several moray eels.
We also missioned to Piton de la Fournaise to see the active volcano but as luck would have it, we chose the most overcast day! So unfortunately we didn’t see the volcano but the drive up into the wooded mountains and the Mars type landscape at the apex was worth the drive.
Probably the highlight of our trip was Canyoning, which is combination of hiking, rock climbing, abseiling, swimming and my personal favourite – water sliding. We drove high up into the lush green mountains along very narrow windy roads to Trou Blanc water canyon, where we met our guide who proceeded to take us on this epic activity down the canyon. It was a full day activity and needless to say we slept like the dead that night.
Reunion is definitely the place you want to visit if you love active holidays and of course the French pastries are to die for. So yum!
PS – We visited the island in September 2016