Reunion for Romance
Romantics who want to do more than lie on the beach during their island holiday should put Reunion Island at the top of their list for an adventure-filled romantic getaway, wedding or honeymoon destination all year round.
Recognised widely for its adventure offering; the authentic and captivating Reunion Island is a dramatic landscape of volcanic terrain, lush green forests, tropical gardens, white, black and green beaches and warm Indian ocean. It is also home to the world’s most active volcano – though this is tucked safely away from civilisation.
Whether hiking through the natural UNESCO heritage regions (covering 42% of the island), canyoning down waterfalls, gliding along in a glass-bottom boat or having a go at SUP (stand-up paddle); there are plenty of activities to keep couples entertained.
It’s not all about action though; no island sojourn is complete without some time spent lazing on the beach, cocktail in hand, and there are plenty of spa’s to visit for pampering treats.
After dark, the island’s nightlife is a blend of local bars and beach restaurants peppered with regular music and culture festivals. By day there are temples to explore as well as visits to vanilla farms, perfumeries and historic buildings which unfold 351 years of diverse civilisation on this 3 million year old island.
GETTING MARRIED IN REUNION
South Africans are not able to legally marry in Reunion but the fascinating island is an unforgettable place to enjoy a special ceremony with close family and friends. Options for couples looking to celebrate their marriage in Reunion include hiring a large home for a group of friends and family or marking their special occasion with a reception at one of the islands top end hotels. Either way, Reunion Island Tourism can assist in finding the perfect venue for this special holiday just four hours from Johannesburg. No visas required.
HONEYMOONS IN REUNION
Reunion Island has less large resorts and hotels than many of the Indian Ocean Islands but this won’t stop adventurous newlyweds from booking their honeymoon in paradise. Whilst some of the hotels offer honeymoon packages, guesthouses also have honeymoon suites and romantic views from French colonial rooms.
What to do in Reunion…
HIKES AND BIKES
Diversity defines this island with its two central mountain massifs; Piton des Neiges and Piton de la Fournaise; presenting over 200 micro-climates and 3000 endemic plant species.
There are over 1000 kilometres of hiking trails that encompass a landscape of extraordinary volcanoes, spectacular cirques and deep forests. There are three accessible major trails that range from easy to challenging. Multiple day hikes are also possible with simple accommodation along the routes. Rock climbers of varying abilities will also enjoy exploring the island’s basaltic rock faces.
Explore the volcanic slopes and coastal areas on a mountain bike or recumbent bicycle to see this extraordinary island at a slow and steady pace. For another perspective; harness up for a horse ride.
SEA AND SAND
The 30km-long lagoon is naturally protected by a coral reef and forms a gentle marine playground in which to enjoy a host of water sports, whilst the beaches of the West Coast (some infused with the black tints of volcanic rock) face into the warm Indian Ocean.
The beaches are peppered with beach bars and restaurants and visitors can join the locals as they enjoy casual Sunday afternoon picnics every weekend.
CAVES AND CANYONS
For a rush of pure adrenalin, try a guided canyonning experience of one of the area’s many waterfall kloofs. The surreal lava caves are also a rare and memorable experience.
PAMPER AND NURTURE
The people of Reunion Island enjoy fitness and exercise, and visitors can join them on the beach for yoga sessions or beachside runs. Activity is part of a Reunionese day, but so is the idea of pure relaxation. A pampering at one of the hotel spas is bound to reset the balance, and with many oils and essential botanicals being extracted in the region, there are many fragrant ingredients to enjoy during your nurture session.
EAT AND DRINK
Reunion is a French department, so excellent pastries await hungry visitors, and many of the supermarket goods, cheeses and wines are imported from France. The local food is however a fusion of cultures and tastes resulting in a Creole cuisine of spicy and mild curried foods and gentle island flavours. Expect seafood, chicken and vegetables in the main - with the local delicacy Chouchou (a pear shaped vegetable, close in taste to a marrow) an interesting must-try.
Visitors can also try the local coffee blend; Bourbon Pointu. Found nowhere else in the world, this premium coffee is also one of the most expensive in the world.
Rhum arrangé is a local variation on rum; made by distilling basic rum with macerated fruits. These may include mango, vanilla, coconut and pineapple – and the end result is served with a dish of spicy samosas.
When self-catering, a supermarket or open air market is never too far, whilst many hotels have premium restaurants and are in close proximity to any number of local beach restaurants. Street food is another option, with many little kiosks selling local meals and treats.
FROM THE AIR
A helicopter flip or micro-light flight may seem like a bit of an indulgence but it’s the ultimate way to see Reunion Island. Skimming the coastline and peering down volcanic craters from the air is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will forever embed the memories of a romantic holiday.
REUNION RIGHT NOW:
Follow #gotoreunion to explore the island through the eyes of a team of South African and international bloggers. The blog team will be in Reunion from 26 June – 3 July 2014 or visit the hashtag #gotoreunion any time to collect authentic impressions, hints and tips for planning a Reunion holiday. Follow international bloggers Keith Jenkins from Luxury Travel blog Velvet Escape, Matthew Karstens the Expert Vagabond, Priscilla Magalhaes from Brazilian Travel Blog Voali and filmmaker Matty Brown as they discover why you should #gotoReunion.
South African bloggers Meruschka Govender from Mzansi Girl, Natalie Roos from Tails of A Mermiad, Kati Auld from Getaway Magazine Digital and Selene Brophy from News24 Travel join these bloggers to explore why South Africans will love the island.
They are joined by local Reunion adventurer, Yann Macherez, who will introduce them to a few locals and his own hidden gems.
A new blog for the Island launches soon, covering everything there is to do and see and highlighting the bloggers' experiences. Keep an eye out on the 24th of June, when the new blog will be live.
SPECIAL RATE ON FLIGHTS TO REUNION – LIMITED OFFER
As a South African, going to Reunion Island is now easier than ever before…not only do you not require a visa, spontaneous South Africans can take advantage of a special rate being offered by Air Austral for a limited time only.
For R 4354 return (ZAR 1870 per person +airport taxes of ZAR 2484 – TOTAL ZAR 4354) travelers can fly direct from Johannesburg to Reunion Island.
Tickets are economy class and must be bought between 5 and 29 June 2014 for travel to Reunion Island between 15 June and 3 July and returning from Reunion Island between 22 June and 13 July 2014
Travel to Reunion Island between 24 August and 2 October 2014, returning from Reunion Island between 31 August and 9 October 2014.
This is an approximate saving of R 1000 per ticket.
• Minimum stay: must include one Saturday (so no Sunday to Thursday flight)
• Maximum stay: one month
• Tickets are non refundable and non changeable
• Subject to the rate of exchange
To redeem this offer:
For bookings contact AIR AUSTRAL at:
Tel. (011) 326 4443/ 326 4388 / 326 0626 / 326 3837