poster_ambiance_terre_ocean_sauvageAmbiance Terre d'Océan Sauvage

The South Coast

Between the south and south-east of Reunion the Land of the Wild Ocean is where travellers feel the full beauty and power of the island’s countryside. Known as the Wild South, on this unspoilt coastline far from the urban sprawl the power of nature takes hold, the wind and the ocean clash and collide in a fascinating spectacle.

You can roam these landscapes along majestic cliffs and a coastline that seems to be at the end of the world, as is perfectly illustrated when you get to Cap Jaune. This cliff in St Joseph, owes its name to the colour of the magma and volcanic lava (hyaloclastite) in the rock.

 The Wild South is where spellbinding nature and a simple way of life come together. Because while the lands of the South may seem extreme, the generosity of its inhabitants more than makes up for it. A Sunday picnic on the magnificent beach at Grande Anse, in Petite-Île, is probably the best way to soak up this Creole culture which is all about sharing and joie de vivre.


Raw and wild nature

The Land of the Wild Ocean perfectly captures the neighbouring regions in a nutshell. From the Land of Light, it has taken the relaxed way of life. From the Land of Volcanoes, it has taken the spectacular power of the elements. And finally, from the Highlands, their rare and precious know-how. This combination of moods creates a unique environment for travellers in search of authenticity and thrills.

 The Wild South also reflects the natural diversity of the island, the worlds of plants and rocks come together. The contrast between the lava flows and the lush vegetation, between the intense blue of the ocean and the generous green of the flora, creates landscapes marked by the wild beauty of a coast beaten by the wind and waves.

 Walk along the basalt cliffs for a while to feel the intensity of the elements. Open your eyes wide, enjoy the spectacular views of the South particularly from its most iconic site: the incomparable Cap Méchant in Saint-Philippe.

A land of contrast, in the Wild South you can, in a snap of a finger, find some peace and quiet by plunging into one of the many natural pools to enjoy an original and peaceful dip. The natural pool at Manapany formed out of basalt rock is a safe place to swim and enjoy the strange but pleasant sensation of being in the middle of the Indian Ocean. This is a beautiful, unspoilt place, home to distinctive plants and endemic species unique to Reunion Island such as the iconic green Manapany gecko.

 As you move through the lands, the raw energy of the ocean slowly gives way to soothing calm. Another unmissable place is Rivière Langevin, whose waterfalls feature on the most famous postcards of Reunion Island. Very popular with islanders, the banks of the river welcome families for big Sunday picnics, walkers and lovers in search of peace and quiet. A dip in its translucent waters is refreshing for both the body and the mind.

Crafts and tradition

 The Land of the Wild Ocean is home to unique and traditional know-how, preserved over time. Where Creole houses meet spectacular countryside, you will come across a variety of local craftsmen who are preserving the Creole way of life. You will also find, for sale at the roadside, the most highly valued and best tasting vanilla in Reunion Island and the whole of the Indian Ocean. The iconic duck with vanilla, a highlight of Creole cuisine, is cooked with the delicious “Saint-Philippe vanilla”. In the Wild South, you will discover a land of agricultural traditions where countless different endemic plants and flowers are grown, with aromatic flavours and soothing properties.

 Getaways in the South are also an opportunity to discover the best arts and crafts in Reunion Island. Such as palm weaving, using fronds from the screw pine, the iconic tree in this part of the island. Visit Maison de la Tresse for a demonstration and introduction to weaving (by appointment). Watching traditional know-how come to life before your eyes is an unforgettable experience, for both young and old!

 Make sure to stroll around street markets as you explore. The market in Saint-Pierre, renowned for being the most authentic in Reunion Island, won 3rd place in the Most Beautiful Market in France competition organised by TF1 in 2018. Markets are still the best places to discover local arts and crafts but also to chat with these women and men who are keeping Creole traditions alive.

The South, a way of life

If you like taking your time, the Land of the Wild Ocean is for you. It has retained a nostalgic atmosphere where life is gentle, slow and peaceful. Get away from it all for a while and go and experience this way of life, immerse yourself in Creole know-how and culture and embrace the slower pace of the South for a day.

 When the sun goes down, the sea front and the port at Saint-Pierre are the ideal setting for a beautiful stroll in the glowing light of dusk. If you venture to the small fishing village of Terre-Sainte, with its own special atmosphere, you can enjoy some freshly caught fish.

 The Wild South is a land given to sharing, sharing its simple beauty and infectious joie de vivre. It is the ideal place for those who like the countryside, strolling around and meeting others.

Immersion on the South Coast