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Travel highlights Reunion

Travel highlights Reunion

Cilaos and the Cirque de Cilaos
The town of Cilaos developed as a spa resort at the end of the 19th century. Most of the village's inhabitants are descended from French emigrants who settled in the 1700s. Cilaos is situated in the the Cirque de Cilaos, one of three on the island. It resembles a volcanic crater but is actually the result of erosion.
Over the years, the spa resort's original baths and walls became heavily stained and the station was closed in mid-1987 and turned into a museum. A new complex, Établissement Thermal Irénée Accot, using the same source, was opened just up the hill. It will be magic for relaxing after a long hike. There are several from town. Cascade de Bras Rouge is a day walk that begins from town and descends to the old thermal station and then traverses the slopes above the Bras des Étangs. After a couple of hours, you'll arrive at the waterfall Cascade de Bras Rouge.

Cirque de Salazie
The Cirque de Salazie, accessed by road from St-André on the northeast coast, is busier and more varied than the Cirque de Cilaos. The vegetation is incredibly lush and waterfalls tumble down the mountains, even over the road in places - Salazie is the wettest of the three cirques and has the dubious distinction of holding several world records for rainfall.
For real thrill seekers, there's the exhilaration of canyoning, which challenges you to abseil down the steep walls of canyons using natural watercourses. The canyons along this stretch are suitable for all levels.

Le Maïdo
Far above St-Gilles-les-Bains on the rim of the Cirque de Mafate, Le Maïdo is one of the most impressive viewpoints in Réunion. The lookout is perched atop the mountain peak and offers stunning views down into the cirque and back to the coast.
The name Le Maïdo comes from a Malagasy word meaning 'burnt land', and is most likely a reference to the burnt appearance of the scrub forest at this altitude. The peak is the starting point for the tough walk along the cirque rim to the summit of Le Grand Bénare, another impressive lookout.

Piton de la Fournaise
Piton de la Fournaise Volcano is located over the Reunion mantle plume. A nested caldera has been created by two large eruptions. The summit consists of two craters, the older Cratere Bory and the active Cratere Dolomieu. An eruption of the volcano occurs almost every year at Piton de la Fournaise Volcano. Volcanic activity consists of lava emission and small explosions.

Saint-Denis, Réunion's capital, is a pleasant and lively town unjustly overlooked by travellers. The city's architectural wealth, its Government Park and its many good restaurants provide an excellent introduction to Réunion's distinctive qualities.With its brasseries, bistros and cafe culture, St-Denis is a perfect reproduction of metropolitan France, down to the endless banlieues (suburbs) which surround the historic town centre.

Villa Folio in Hellbourg
The enchanting mountain village of Hellbourg is renowned for its quaint Creole villas, colourful flower gardens and dreamy atmosphere. Mr Folio's villa (Villa des Chataigners) is a typical creole house of the last century in a perfectly kept setting. This villa is a classified ancient monument.