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So you want to #gotoReunion?

I have only just surfaced after returning from Reunion Island on Thursday last week and I’m busy going through all my videos, pictures and thoughts to start telling the stories of this beautiful island that I have truly fallen in love with.

A mid-week, mid-winter’s afternoon at La Saline les Bains

While I was there, I was sharing small snap shots of the trip along the way on Social Media and I’ve had some great comments and questions from followers and friends. The good news is that people are curious and South Africa has started to take note of the island just some-2000 km’s from our coast.

I’ve had lots of emails and Tweets from people who are planning their trips, so I thought, while I’m processing my stories, I can share one of the Q&A email conversations that might answer one or two of your own questions.

Street Art Heroes: Kid Kreol and Boogie in front of one of their pieces in Saint Denis

From: Sarah 

To: [email protected]
Hey Natalie

I guess this is the beautiful thing about having a blog, you get random people like me emailing you potentially annoying questions 😉

Your blog about Reunion has left me dying to go there! Which means you did a really good job with it 🙂

I’ve done some looking around and I’m at the point where I’ve Googled myself into a bit of a corner.

Is it possible to visit reunion for a week without spending tons of cash? If it is could you recommend places to stay that won’t break the bank but are still in nice areas and generally some tips on traveling there on a budget?

I’m more interested in experiencing the culture, swimming and going on a few hikes than staying in a five star hotel!

From: [email protected]

To: Sarah
Hi Sarah,

Thanks for your email! I’m really happy to hear that you’re keen to visit Reunion – it truly is an amazing island!

I can recommend Hotel Les Filaos (http://www.hotelfilaos.com/) in Saint Gilles les Bains. They have a special rate for South Africans – 60 Euro per room per night, (including breakfast) and are located within walking distance of the lagoon and a few cool restaurants and bars.

If you’re keen on hiking, I HIGHLY recommend hiking into the village of Mafate and spending the night there. It’s a remote village that can only be reached by foot and it is truly unique. You can get driven to a starting point from where the hike is about 2,5 hours or you can start at a point called Maido peak, from where you’ll hike 8 hours.

For culture; the food, music and street art are a great place to start. Try the Creole food at La Marmite in l’Hermitage beach and on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights there is live local music at Coco Beach. 

There’s lots of amazing street art in Saint Denis and in Saint Gilles. If you can, try to do some research on Kid Kreol & Boogie – a street art duo who are creating visuals to illustrate the island’s myths and legends, previously passed down verbally. You’ll see their work a lot in Saint Denis, the island’s capital.

I hope that helps a bit, but if you need more, check out blog.welcometoreunionisland.com or email me with your questions 🙂

Sunday afternoon sunset in l’Hermitage