3 unique experiences of cultural discoveries in the Indian Ocean
A mixture of cultures, ancestral rites, accents, cuisines and inhabitants ... Only 30 minutes away from each other, the sister islands, Mauritius and Reunion, cultivate their differences as well as their similarities. Taste their authentic culture and savor conversations with the locals, revel in their local cuisines and soak up life in the tropics. And if you venture inland, you will discover the magical verdant landscape, where rivers meander between the mountains. It is a total immersion that we invite you to live, during which you will forget the stress of your daily activities and surrender to the serenity that reigns over the islands. Time, too, seems to slow down to enjoy the sweetness of life in the tropics.
REUNION ISLAND: ON THE ROAD TO A DATE WITH HISTORY AND HERITAGE
Land of contrasts, Reunion Island has nothing to envy to its neighbors in the Indian Ocean. With its breathtaking landscapes, cosmopolitan population, Creole cuisine and rich heritage, the island is, in itself, a wide place of discovery. Buckle up your belt, adventure starts on the volcanic island!
Once there, put on your walking shoes and stroll the streets of Saint-Denis. The capital of Reunion Island is reputed for its historical and cultural sites. The Félix Guyon Colonial Hospital, Saint-Denis Cathedral or Lazarets de la Grande Chaloupe stand before you majestically; Admire their architectural beauty ! Let yourself be charmed by the beautiful Creole houses on the famous rue de Paris that have nowadays, been transformed into museums, hotels and tourist office.
While hiking inland, halt at l'Entre-Deux, which overlooks the broad estuary of the Saint-Étienne River and the Great Southern Plain. Nestled between the mountains and the ocean, the region offers a panoramic view of the green landscape that surrounds it. The lush nature is ideal for long walks. Sit on the terrace of a cosy café, have a chat with local artisans and let your eyes wander over the facades of the colorful Creole houses. On your way back, make a final stop at Notre Dame des Laves Church in Sainte-Rose. The religious building is one of the most important monuments of the island, having resisted, in 1977, a lava flow that ravaged everything in its path.
A visit to the still-active Piton de la Fournaise volcano promises excitement and is sure to raise your adrenaline. We will take you to the peak, where the landscape is covered by lunar surface. Admire the steep landscape moulded by the lava flow. The visit has awaken your curiosity? A detour through the Volcano City, at Plaine des Cafres, should provide you with a wealth of information on volcanic activity.
Dreaming of new adventures and discoveries? Because we are always island hopping and in search of unique experiences, we suggest a combined Mauritius-Reunion Island stay. With their postcard landscapes, these sister islands are a pleasure for both the eyes and senses. Soak up, for a magical stay, their flamboyant cultures and natural wealth. First stop is Reunion Island.
Take full advantage of the five days of discovery in volcanic lands by waking up at dawn. Kick start the morning by a helicopter ride and enjoy the spectacular view over the steep topography of the island. Contemplate the three calderas, known as “cirques” unfolding before your eyes, with Piton des Neiges and Piton de la Fournaise as main background … So picturesque!
We’ll get closer, to the top, where the sky flirts with the summit.
After days spent furrowing the regions of the island, climbing its peaks or immersing in its lush valleys, sublimate your taste buds of Creole cuisine. Dine at L'Éveil des Sens for an explosion of mouth-watering flavors. At Marmite du Pêcheur, get ready to eat on traditional banana leaves. If you are looking for local flavors, follow the scent of spices that will take you right to Chez Guilaine, at the Plaine des Cafres where you will be served Boucané ti jaque, baba fig, rougail cod, rougail z'andouille, cari pat'cochon, sweet potato cake ... Local specialties that will delight the palate, flavors that will not fail to remind you of this idyllic holiday.
Then embark for Mauritius for the rest of your adventures in the tropics. The sight of the sky already sets the tone for this trip to the island that many call heaven on earth. Head south for a complete immersion in the lush and wild nature of this unspoiled corner of the country. Dense nature, tropical forest, kilometers of beaches as far as the eye can see, soft sand... The breathtaking landscapes of Mauritius flow from North to South. To liven up your stay in Mauritius, we suggest a stop at La Rhumerie de Chamarel to learn how to concoct this traditional drink. After a half-day sipping the different flavours of rum produced at La Rhumerie, head on to Heritage Nature Reserve. The natural park is home to various wild animals like deers, who lend themselves willingly to photo shoots during safaris. To better soak up the friendly atmosphere, tour the island on your electric bike, meet the locals and discover authentic villages.
COAST TO COAST
Living by the water, letting the waves set the pace of this seven-day holiday, drifting from one coast to another before anchoring to continue the adventure on land. Dive into the clear blue sea and explore Mauritius and its seabed where life abounds, on board the Chaka catamaran to set off your vacation.
A postcard landscape with a rich past, Mauritius conceals hidden treasures in its four corners. You have a date with the island’s history and its first occupants in the South-West. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Le Morne Mountain is the very emblem of the island’s historical heritage. Go conquer liberty by climbing this majestic mountain. Once you reach the top, discover a breathtaking view of the entire lagoon of the South. Swaying languidly with the waves, the crystal-clear blue sea reveals, to its admirers, the beauty of its seabed.
The history lesson continues in the capital city. Stroll through its streets that still carry vestiges of its colonial past, with its stone buildings and unique architecture. Port-Louis does not lack charm and continues to indulge the many tourists who walk its streets every day. After touring the landmarks, embark on a culinary and cultural tour with "My Moris" in the cosmopolitan capital. The friendly guides will open the door of tropical flavors, embellished with a pinch of spices from Asia. Taste ethnic cuisine, a tribute to the perfect cooking and to the customs and traditions of Asia, India, Europe and Africa, served on street corners. The culinary tour continues at the Domaine de Labourdonnais, a former sugar plantation where you can taste homemade pasta and rums mixed with spices and fruits, giving it a unique taste.
Last but not least, discover the sweet life of Poudre d’Or in the utmost authentical way: Onboard a bicycle! Stroll through the rustic villages of Poudre d'Or, meet the fishermen braiding their bamboo fish traps and explore the different places of worship, while learning how the different Mauritian communities fascinatingly blend together. A detour at Grand Bay, with its bustling streets, sidewalk cafes, beautiful white sandy beaches, snack trucks, and old-fashioned Chinese restaurants will only enliven this desire to come back.
Plan your stay with Islandian to experience these adventures and fascinating cultural discoveries in the Indian Ocean.