Travel Expert Q&A: Reunion
We caught up with Africa Product Manager, Candice Buchan, to find out more about her recent trip to Reunion.
Tell us Candice, where exactly did you go?
I spent a week on Reunion Island, east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. My trip took me to the village of Hell-Bourg in the Cirque de Salazie volcanic caldera, coastal Sainte-Anne, and the vast Plaine Des Caffres plateau. I also tackled a windy drive to reach Cirque de Cilaos where a small town sits nestled in a steep-sided volcanic caldera and relaxed on the beach resort of La Saline-Les-Bains.
Which were your favourite excursions?
- Hiking to see Les 3 Cscades, a stunning series of natural waterfalls, in Cirque de Salazie.
- Climbing to the top of a shield volcano – the view from the top of Piton de la Fournaise is amazing.
- Driving the 400 hairpin bends in the road to reach Cilaos. It's a slow journey but a very pretty road.
- The helicopter flight over the island, seeing the Cirque de Mafate from the air, is an experience I'll never forget.
The thing that surprised you the most was...
I can't pick just one, so here are four things that surprised me:
- How narrow and winding the roads are.
- How amazing breathtaking the scenery is.
- How massive the volcano was.
- How hot it was!!
The view or memory that will stick with you longest is...
Seeing into the volcano from the helicopter!!
What was your most ‘local’ moment?
Ordering one of the local meals on the menu and not having a clue what I was ordering. I still don't entirely know what I ate...
What recommendations would you give travellers to Reunion?
- To take it easy and drive slowly!
- Try the local cuisine.
- Whether it's your first time or your fifth time to Reunion, ou have to do the helicopter flip!
- You also have to climb the volcano. It's a 5-hour hike but the sense of achievement is incredible.
What are you glad you packed?
Sun block, a good pair of walking shoes, flip flops for the beach and a decent jacket for the mountains.
The best meal you had was...
At Diana Dea, a fine dining restaurant at the hotel with local cuisine… TASTY!!
What was the most unusual part of the trip?
I couldn’t check in online for my flight home, it had to be done at the airport!
Your favourite hotels were...
- Diana Dea: because it was so top notch. This 4* hotel has a spa, is beautiful and well located.
- Le Nautile Beach Hotel: this cosy little 3* hotel that was simple and basic with all you would need for a beach hotel.
What's your top tip for families?
I would definitely suggest that if you're travelling with kids, stay in one spot for longer than 1 night and enjoy exploring around your base at your own pace before you move on.
Any advice for honeymooners?
Add some time in Mauritius for a luxury, relaxing beach stay after the adventures of Reunion!