You know how I love to travel, and that I put in loads of planning before picking my key holiday destinations, and I do believe that the planning is half of the fun!
I am considering La Réunion for an island break, and have started doing some research on this tropical destination that is a mere four-hour flight from Johannesburg (talk about on our doorstep!)
This Indian Ocean island is the best way to easily sample the melting pot of cultures that make up the distinctive Creole flavours of Réunion.
Think high-street patisseries (pastry shops) and boulangeries (bakeries) where you can grab a tasty treat and a cup of amazing espresso made from coffee beans grown on the island to laid back beachside cafés serving a range of traditional Creole and French dishes made from fresh, island-grown ingredients, La Réunion is a feast for the senses.
The Creole spoken in Réunion has evolved along with the island’s first settlers, with people from France, Madagascar, Africa and India contributing to this colourful language.
Best I start brushing up on my French, as well as driving on the wrong side of the road, lol! Luckily they also have great and efficient public transport and bussing around is a great way to explore too!
Most of the towns are located around the coast of the 2,500 square km island and are picture perfect, from the capital of Saint-Denis through charming little towns like the fishing port of Saint-Leu and the bustling beach resort of Saint-Gilles to the sleepy villages of Sainte-Rose and Sainte-Phillipe.
High up in the mountains is the town of Cilaos, which is surrounded by the towering walls of a volcanic caldera. This area is well renowned for its wine growing and lentils, as well as its incredible scenery.
There are three calderas – known as cirques in French – on the island: the Cirque de Cilaos, Cirque de Salazie with its picturesque village of Hell-Bourg and Cirque de Mafate – home to the little village of Mafate that can only be reached either on foot along a spectacular hiking trail or by helicopter.
This certainly looks like a holiday destination that suits me down to the ground. Stay tuned!
Images from The Reunion Island Website – here…