The French have a secret, and it's called La Réunion. Floating in the Indian Ocean, it's an Island like no other. Sure it has the beaches and constant sunshine, but the landscape is something unexpected. Upon arrival you are greeted with jagged mountains, burning volcanoes and lush tropical forests - it's as if you've arrived on the set of Jurassic Park. And what could possibly make this destination any more rewarding? Well it's the culture, bobbing close to Africa and India and with a heavy influence from China and its heritage of France; it's an eclectic mix, which makes La Réunion one of Black Tomato's must got to destinations.<
Balancing in the shadows of its neighbours and the French tradition La Réunion has, this is a culinary experience not to be second guessed. Hearty Creole cuisine is all over La Réunion, infused with local spices and freshly caught game; it’s just waiting for you to tuck in. We suggest sampling the Bredes. They are edible leaves cooked in a variety of ways; either in water to create a soup, or try them with spices scattered over and cooked on rapid fire. It’s a treat even the biggest of meat eaters can’t refuse.
La Réunion landscape is unlike anything we have ever seen before. As soon as you arrive you are stunned into silence and awe as you gaze at the endless tropical forest covered mountains. It is a place of endless wander and is so diverse, from jagged peaks, a live volcano and an enviable coastal line. Our top tip for the best way to witness it – well you’ll have to take to the skies. A heli-tour will soar over the entire island giving you the best views and the perfect opportunity to home in those photography skills.
South of the Island is home to one of the most active volcanoes in the world (thankfully it does no harm to the local people of Réunion), Piton de la Fournaise - literal meaning ‘furnace peak’. Standing at a staggering 2,631 meters; it’s a spectacular sight to see. Take a jeep ride to the crater where you’ll be able to gaze over the whole island, something not to be missed.
With La Réunion’s mixture of cultures, their diary is never short of an event or two. Starting off the calender with Chinese New Year. This may seem an odd circumstance, but there is a big Chinese influence and gathering who celebrates their most favoured time of year. May and June see the arrival of festival season, starting with Leu Tempo Festival, a theatre, music, agricultural and contemporary art fiesta, of which 30,000 spectators descend to the island making it one of the biggest in the Indian Ocean. In October you can enter the competition of Grand Raid, a 170km long, uphill climb of 10,800m trek. It’s physically tough, and you only have 64 hours to complete it. But you get spectacular views over the whole island, top sights to see are Piton de la Fournaise, cirques of Cilaos, Mafate and Salazie and trudge through Kerveguen Forest.
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