Reunion Island, otherwise known as l'ile intense, is not your average honeymoon destination. A land of the unexpected, head to this exquisite gem for dramatic volcanoes, spectacular topography and off-the-radar adventures.
Once a French Colony, Reunion Island lies between Madagascar and Mauritius. While it is most commonly associated with tropical beach relaxation, Reunion is so much more than just a beach holiday. The wild, Jurassic-like landscapes are ripe for exploration, whether trekking across staggering mountain ranges or horse riding around mysterious lakes fringed by verdant forest.
Towering at 3,000m, the gargantuan Piton des Neiges is an inactive volcano that has left behind spectacular rocky calderas and craggy peaks wrinkled by erosion. From the pretty mountain village of Cilaos you can explore the volcano's jungle-clad 'cirques' (natural amphitheatres) and towering peaks. Reunion is perfect for adrenaline-addicted honeymooners who can get their fix by way of helicopter rides dipping into deep ravines, paragliding off cliff edges and canyoning through fantastical settings. Don't miss Piton de las Fornaise on the eastern side of the island either; this active volcano is an extraordinary sight to behold with hardened lava flows and lunar-like terrain. After learning exactly what you want from your Reunion honeymoon, we can arrange specialist guides to help you get beyond the traditional tourist attractions and activities, to the heart of this Indian Ocean gem.
Looking for romance? There are plenty of spots for champagne picnics al fresco and secluded waterfalls for a private dip. For a spot of island culture, the sleepy town of St-Denis in the north offers fine examples of Creole houses and some of the best restaurants serving classic French dishes. Head west and you can indulge in private seafood dinners on the beaches of Saint-Gilles-les-Bain and rejuvenate with couple's massages after days of adventure. Its magnificent coral reef lagoon is perfect for snorkelling and diving amongst the rich sea life.
Reunion's hotels may not be traditionally 'swanky' like those of Mauritius, but they assume a quiet, tasteful elegance. Boutique lodges set in the hills have the most privileged mountain views while there are a handful of chic retreats by the coast. Foodies will find themselves in seventh heaven from freshly baked croissants in the morning to delicious Creole dishes for dinner- all with French savoir faire.
If you still want to add glitz to your honeymoon, combine Reunion Island with Mauritius for the perfect balance of adventure and pampering.