soleil-montagne-credit-buchowsky-vagabonde-dts-03-2024-leg.jpg© IRT/Buchowsky Vagabonde
© IRT/Buchowsky Vagabonde

The ultimate to‑do list for the West of Reunion Island

West Coast Must-Sellers !

 

 

The West Coast is one of those places that you will never forget. In this Land of Light, the scents, colours, atmosphere and easy-going way of life are bewitching. In the same way as the land here has been moulded by lava, it shapes us and leaves its everlasting mark. We leave here with unforgettable memories, and all the senses are awakened in its exploration. Use our to-do list to really get the most out of your experience on the West Coast of Reunion Island.

1. Dive into the Ermitage lagoon

Equipped with a mask and snorkel, dive into the Ermitage lagoon, on the most iconic beach of Reunion Island. Before our eyes, a small underwater world appears, a sunken world where corals, lionfish, moray eels and bluespotted cornetfish all live together in perfect harmony. Waves of colours are paraded before us! A few times, we are tempted to take off our snorkelling mask to make sure it’s not a dream.

2. A game of beach-tennis with friends on Brisants beach

Get together with your ‘dalons’* on Brisants beach. There is so much to do there: take a nap, sunbathe, enjoy a cocktail under a parasol and other less strenuous activities… We opt for a game of beach-tennis. On the beach there are a few courts for this new fashionable sport and Reunion Island is one of the hot spots. Every weekend, there’s a tournament. A healthy competitive spirit is welcomed into this fun sport. And the games come to an end just when the sun is about to set. Everyone goes for an after-match drink at the beach bar, to taste one of the delicious local beers. ** 

  * dalons = friends

 ** The abuse of alcohol is dangerous for your health. To be consumed in moderation.

4. Experience the night-time atmosphere of Saint-Gilles

As soon as the sun sets, Saint-Gilles is filled with festive lights. The peace and quiet of a day at the beach is replaced with the lively night-life. Music resonates through the streets. It begins at the beaches, before slowly moving towards the town centre. We find a seat at the Roches Noires esplanade for a mojito, then head to a restaurant in the town for an exceptionally well-prepared ‘civet’. When the sun goes down, the town doesn’t go to sleep, on the contrary, it wakes up. The time has come to enjoy what the night-life of this seaside resort has on offer. Hopping between the bars and nightclubs, we blend in with the festive atmosphere, brought to life by both local people and tourists.

5. Read a good book in the shade of the casuarinas of La Saline

On the shores of the lagoon in La Saline, the casuarinas provide welcome shade to those looking for a place to relax. We set down a towel in the shade of the leaves and pine needles, to read a good book. They cast a stripy shadow down onto the pages of our books. Under these branches, time seems to stand still, and we become rooted to the spot! We could spend entire days here!

6. Admire the sunset at the Roches Noires esplanade

Roches Noires beach has become the place to be for those looking for relaxation. On the esplanade, the ice cream vendors and bartenders go about their day with the crashing of the waves onto the volcanic rocks in the background.  The day comes to a close and the sky turns a burnt orange. While we’re hesitating over which flavour ice cream to go for (guava or passionfruit?), the whole atmosphere of the place has already changed. The burnt orange has transformed into bright red. With our ice creams in our hands, we have the best seats in the house to witness this amazing blend of colours.

8. Delve into the History of Reunion Island in Saint-Paul

To dive into the island’s past and discover the rich history of Reunion Island, what better than to go to an iconic site: the Grotte des Premiers Français caves. Along with a guide who knows this place like the back of his hand, we are surprised to discover the observation points overlooking the chambers. Just as its name suggests (Premiers Français = first French people), the cave was used as a refuge for the first French settlers when they arrived on the ‘Bourbon Island’ in 1646. After a pleasant walk around the rocks, we set off in the footsteps of the pirates by wandering the alleys of the seaside cemetery of Saint-Paul. Here lies the famous pirate La Buse and Parnassian poet Leconte De Lisle who overlooked the ocean from their last residence on the island.