Efforts continue from Reunion Tourism and the island’s private sector to showcase the rugged beauty of this French Indian Ocean island, as a group of 12 Spanish travel agents, organized by Viajes El Corte Ingles and local handling agency Papangue Touris, was invited to sample the wide range of attractions the “Ile de la Reunion” has to offer. Ocean and terrestrial activities here go hand in hand and are often just a stone throw away from each other, or minutes of flights in one of the helicopters which take dozens of tourists every day into the skies over the island to give a bird’s eye view over the volcanic terrain of the interior.
Diving – only recently was a new underwater diving record established in Reunion – is one of the main off shore activities, as is whale and dolphin watching, though deep sea fishing also has a strong following.
In the interior it is the scenic beauty of drives to such small towns like Hell-Bourg, listed incidentally among the “most beautiful villages in France,” during which plenty of waterfalls down the cliffs of massive rock faces are visible and particularly impressive after some rain has fallen in the interior from which the streams and rivers spring.
Added attractions are visits to the sugar cane plantations, the island’s vanilla showcase farm and processing facility and of course to see a rum distillery, where visitors can lift their “spirits” with the island’s own “spirit.”
Passing through the colorful markets and seeing often perfectly preserved old Creole houses rounds up the range of options tourists have, beyond just lounging on a sunbed next to the pool of their 5-star resort or on the white, or at times black sandy beaches, as after all the island’s volcanic origin does produce not just white but also black sand. Check out www.reunion.fr for more information on accommodation, tours and sightseeing, available in French, English and a number of other languages.