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Picture of the week (No.27): Outdoor activities in Reunion Island, France.                              Share

Each week (actually currently 1 or 2 times a month), Willgoto selects here a nice picture. The tourist attractions of Reunion Island (France) and, particularly, outdoor activities such as paragliding and trekking are the theme of the twenty-seventh picture of this series. Reunion island is indeed an ideal destination for leisure and outdoor activities.

Paragliding on Reunion Island
Paragliding on Reunion Island (France) in the Indian Ocean.                                                                       © IRT Cedric Etienne

The countryReunion Island is located in the Indian Ocean. Together with the islands Mauritius and Rodrigues, it constitutes the Mascarene Archipelago.

The relief of Reunion Island is much more mountainous than that of Mauritius. It is formed by two volcanoes. Piton des neiges, which rises to 3,070 m above sea level, has not been active for more than 12,000 years and shaped most of the island. Its flanks collapsed and formed three large volcanic depressions: Mafate, Salazie and Cilaos.

The second volcano, Piton de la fournaise located in the southeastern part of the island, is more recent. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Since the beginning of this year (2018), it has erupted four times. Two eruptions lasted only a few hours early April and July and two others from 36 to 45 days end of April and in September-October. None of these four eruptions endangered human habitations.

The climate of the Reunion Island is tropical with a dry season from May to December and a humid season (and possibility of cyclones) from January to April. Temperatures are milder during the dry season and warmer during the rainy season. Because of the trade winds that blow from east to west and due to the relief of the island, the eastern part of the island (windward coast) is wetter than the western part (leeward coast).

Due to the arrival of many black slaves and thereafter of Indian and Chinese workers who were employed to cultivate sugarcane during the colonial period, the current population of the island is mixed and the local culture is characterized by a rich diversity.

Reunion Island is an overseas department and region of France. So, people speak French and pay in euros. Most of the flights to Reunion Island depart from the continental France or from neighboring islands such as Mauritius and Madagascar.

You may want also to see these beautiful pictures from Reunion Island:

Piton de la Fournaise




Holidays. Thanks to a favorable climate, Reunion Island is a holiday destination all year long, with a peak season from October to December, in addition to the school holidays in July-August. Apart from its culture, its rich colonial heritage and some museums, the outdoor activities, whether at sea, on land or in the air, are the highlight of holidays in Reunion Island.

At sea and on the beaches, activities are of course various: surfing, snorkeling, fishing, boat trips, relaxing on the sand, and many more. The west coast of the island is partly bordered by coral reefs. Along the western coastline from Saint-Paul to L'Etang-Salé, an area of 3,500 ha has been declared a Marine Nature Reserve.

However, what differentiates Reunion from the neighboring Mauritius Island lies in land recreational activities. Since a large part (40%) of Reunion’s territory is the natural habitat for a wide diversity of plants that present a high level of endemism, it has been proclaimed a national park. It is also part of UNESCO World Heritage.

Because of the beauty and the diversity of its landscapes, Reunion Island is a paradise for hikers who find here the whole range of hikes, from walks of a few hours to hiking trails well over 100 km. Every year in October since 1989, the island is home to the Grand Raid Reunion, an ultramarathon of 163 km throughout the island. This ultramarathon in a mountainous environment is considered one of the most challenging footraces in the world.

Reunion also offers many opportunities for horseback riding and mountain biking. Every year in November (or early December) since 1995, the Megavalanche Reunion takes place on the island, just like the Megavalanche that occurs in the Alpes d'Huez (in the French Alps) in July. It's one of the most famous mountain bike rides in the world. It starts from the peak of Maïdo at about 2,200 meters above sea level and ends on the coast in Saint-Paul.

The discovery of lava tunnels, golfing, climbing and canyoning are also among the popular tourist outdoor activities in the island of Reunion.

In the air, paragliding makes the fame of Reunion. It attracts both athletes and amateurs. The paragliding sites are located mainly in Saint-Leu, Saint-Paul and La Possession on the west coast as well as in Maïdo and Cilaos. Paragliding schools are also found mainly in Saint-Leu. They offer basic and advanced courses as well as first flight experiences. Tandem or solo paraglider flights enable you to discover differently the island and enjoy spectacular aerial views of its attractions.

The author of the pictures. Most of the pictures from Reunion Island posted in the Willgoto site have been provided by the Committee of tourism of the island. They are under copyright. See here all our pictures from Reunion Island.

See also:
Picture of the week 1: Bee hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world. It is endemic to Cuba.
Picture of the week 2: Pagoda of the Golden Rock in Myanmar. It is one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the world.
Picture of the week 3: Seychelles beach. Seychelles is a perfect destination for a dream holiday.
Picture of the week 4: Lemur of Madagascar (Coquerel's sifaka), an endangered species of primates, which, like all other species of lemurs, is endemic to Madagascar.
Picture of the week 5: World heritage in Cambodia. The temple of Banteay Srei, better known as 'Citadel of the women', in Cambodia is a jewel of Khmer art and a world heritage site.
Picture of the week 6: Bull shark and tiger shark. Both sharks are unfortunately known for fatal attacks on humans. However, experienced divers can approach them and swim with them.
Picture of the week 7: Firewalking in Mauritius. Walking barefoot over a bed of hot embers is an ancestral religious practice.

And many more pictures of the week including:
Picture of the week 19: The Beaches of Isla Mujeres(Cancun). They are much appreciated by holidaymakers, especially those who come from Europe and the United States in winter.
Picture of the week 20: Tourist attractions of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka offers a wide range of attractions that make it a tourist destination visited by a growing amount of holidaymakers.
Picture of the week 21: Tourist attractions of Thailand The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) in Chiang Rai, famous for its whiteness as pure as unusual, is one of the many attractions of Thailand.
Picture of the week 22: The Mekong Falls, better known as Khone Falls, located in southern Laos only a few kilometers from Cambodia prevent navigation between the two countries.
Picture of the week 23: Sloths of Tropical America, These mammals are so named because they sleep a long time and they only move slowly.
Picture of the week 24: Tulum, the Pearl of the Mayan Riviera, Tulum is one of the most popular tourist destinations of the Riviera Maya in Mexico.
Picture of the week 25: The tourist attractions of Aachen. The Aachen Cathedral is one of the first sites that have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List
Picture of the week 26: Beaches in Cape Verde. Cape Verde is a popular holiday destination throughout the twelve months of the year

See all our
"Pictures of the week".



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Reunion Island, an overseas region of France, is an ideal destination for outdoor activities and recreation, whether on land (hiking, horseback, mountain biking, canyoning), in the air (paragliding), at sea (surfing, snorkeling, boat trips, and others).