Experience The Wild South Of Reunion Island

Experience The Wild South Of Reunion Island

If you are looking for the perfect mix of pristine blue beaches, vintage style luxury, authentic creole food, stunning nature and adrenaline-filled adventure on Reunion Island, then the South is the best place to be! 

In this blog post, you’ll find everything you need to know to plan a visit to Saint Pierre, a city in southern Reunion Island, including how to reach Saint Pierre, visiting the Piton De La Fournaise volcano, wandering the alleys of the colonial Frenchtown and how to spend two beautiful days in and around the south.

Go Canyoning at Grand Galet Waterfalls

The Grand Galet waterfalls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Island. Made of multiple cascading waterfalls, it is also the best spot for canyoning, for beginners. Canyoning involves sliding into the gentle rapids, ziplining across the canyons, jumping into shallow pools and even rapelling from treetops into the water! It is best done with a guide and is one of the best activities to do on the island! 

Go Canyoning on Reunion Island with the expert team at Ricaric

Our experience:

We signed up for the amateaur canyoning experience with Seb, a certified guide from Ricaric Canyoning. We were given silicone watersuits, and canyoning Overalls for safety, after which he led us through the Canyon for the next 3 hours! Although I (Navneeth) don’t swim well, it was very easy to slide, rappel, jump into the pools and it was so much fun! All the while, the guide made sure that we were tethered to safety ropes. In fact, there were three young children accompanying us too!

We’d recommend Ricaric any day!

Walk in the alleys of Saint Pierre

Saint Pierre is the biggest city in southern Reunion. The city has many charming buildings from the many decades gone by presents a mix of traditional Creole and modern western architecture. Evenings are the best time to explore the city – start at one end of Boulevard Hubert Delisle and walk to the other and catch the sunset at the Marina!

Tip: The Boulevard Hubert Delisle is dotted with innumerable cafés and the best street food in Saint Pierre and the best place to be out at night.

Stay at a vintage themed hotel

The Villa Delisle Hotel offers one of the most charming luxury stays in Saint Pierre. The hotel is themed on the early 1900s, and has antique furniture, elegant chandeliers in classic lighting and a bar counter that seems to have come straight from the Titanic era. The rooms have walk-in showers – something that we’d never seen before!

The hotel is on the Boulevard Hubert Delisle, and the beach is only a two minute walk away.

Stay at the luxurious vintage hotel, Villa Delisle

The junior suite is absolutely beautiful with its lush color palette and antique wood furniture. Breakfast is served complimentary and the varieties of classic French and spicy creole cuisines are offered every morning! There is also a spa and a swimming pool on the upper deck and a Casino on the lower deck and is perfect for couples and families. Considering the accommodation prices in Reunion, the rent for a night at the Villa Delisle is surprisingly affordable too!

Check the prices here

Feast on Creole Cuisine in the city

The essence of Réunion is in its Creole culture and there’s no better way to learn about it than by eating the cuisine! Saint Pierre has a variety of restaurants, artistic cafés and street food stalls that will serve you mouth-watering Creole food! If you feel homesick, you’ll find many restaurants serving nearly every major cusine on Boulevard Hubert Delisle. 

Tip: Check out the street food scene right in front of Villa Delisle. The paninis and baguette sandwiches are incredibly tasty!

Visit the Piton De La Fournaise Volcano

Known to be one of the most active volcanoes on the planet, the Piton De La Fournaise is a massive 2.6 km tall mountain. The volcano’s biggest eruption in recent history was in 2007, when the lava flowed down to the Indian Ocean over five kilometers. Since then it has erupted multiples, and even erupted during our visit in August 2019! 

The lava flow looked absolutely stunning, particularly in the dark of the night, with the moonlight shining on the ocean on the other side.

Plan a personalised visit to Réunion Island with Anne from NamastéIndia

Relax on the white sand beaches of Saint Pierre

The turquoise blue lagoons of the Saint Pierre public beach are the safest spots to swim in Reunion Island! The waves are quite gentle and everyday, families gather on the public beach to play and chill. 

An equally fun place in the south is the Grand Anse beach. It lies between Saint Pierre and the Lava Tunnels of Piton De La Fournaise. At Anse, weekends are the best – you’ll see so many locals and tourists getting together at barbeque parties!

How to visit Saint Pierre

The best way to visit Saint Pierre from St. Denis is by road. Renting a car is most recommended way of exploring Reunion Island. There are a few scheduled intercity buses which connect Saint Pierre with other cities. There is also an airport.

 

Where to stay in Saint Pierre

We stayed at the Villa Delisle, a vintage luxury beachfront hotel. It has a great collection of rooms, a private jacuzzi and spa facilities too. We recommend staying in a certified accommodation if you need a visa for visiting Reunion.

See all accommodations in Saint Pierre here

How many days to spend in Saint Pierre

Spend atleast two nights in Saint Pierre for the best experiences. The city is the main point in the South to visit the grand cascades, beautiful beaches and volcanoes!

 

Suggested itinerary:

Day one: Canyoning in the morning followed by beach time at Grand Anse or relaxing Spa session at the hotel. Dinner in a restaurant on Boulevard Hubert Delisle.

Day two: Piton De La Fournaise Lava Tunnel tour and a leisure afternoon by the Saint Pierre beach. Don’t forget to explore the city on foot in the evening and end the evening with sunset at the Marina.

Plan a personalised visit to Réunion Island with Anne from NamastéIndia

 

Eating out in Saint Pierre

The restaurants in Saint Pierre offer a wide variety of cuisines and dishes. However, it may be expensive, even by European standards. To find wallet friendly food, check out the food stalls by the Saint Pierre Public Beach or Sandwich and Pizza parlours. Creole cuisine is quite affordable – try the rice and curry combo.

Vegetarians will find the variety limited in most places, but salads and fruits are easily available.

Reunion Island is called the L’ile Intense or “The Intense Island” because of the extreme range of beauty, culture, and wild activities it encourages travellers to engage in! If Saint Pierre was not enough a reason for you to plan a visit to Reunion, then here are a few more reasons to spark that desire to visit the island.

If you have questions on a planning a visit to Saint Pierre, write to us now!

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This article features in the Africa, Reunion, Tropical Island categories