SUMMARY

With its fragrant plantations, Réunion is the ultimate Vanilla Island. The birthplace of Edmond Albius, the first person to hand-fertilise a vanilla pod, the island is rich in human life and natural diversity. A subtle mix of spices and flavours from Asia and Madagascar. The “Intense Island” is your next stop in the Vanilla Islands : move to the beat provided by the young Piton de la Fournaise volcano.

The diversity of the population reveals its rich history. Your stay on Mauritius will be full of unforgettable moments. Egret Island, the Chamarel rum distillery and the seven-coloured soil will leave you with enduring memories. During the trip, a host of fun activities await, such as hiking, an electrobike ride – or, if the mood takes you, why not go kayaking or snorkelling ? Admire the contrast between the dense vegetation and the urban environment, which is steadily growing. You will love the breathtaking views, beautiful beaches and warm, turquoise lagoons for which the Vanilla Islands are known.

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14
DAYS

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13
NIGHTS

From
€856
including VAT*
per person
(Based on 4 people sharing)

Getting in touch with nature 4/5
Meeting the locals 3/5
Eco-responsibility 3/5
Comfort 4/5
Accessibility 3/5

A ECOTOURISTIC CIRCUIT CHARACTERIZED BY

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Participation in an eco-volunteering workshop for a project to rehabilitate sea turtle nesting areas

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A guided hike with the theme “Native wildlife and plants”

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A dive in the heart of a UNESCO heritage site : Blue Bay Marine Park

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Fun, eco-responsible activities and tours : kayaking, electrobike, hiking

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Accommodation in places concerned about and respectful of the environment

COMBINED ITINERARY

The visits, meetings and transfers mentioned may vary depending on the availability of participants and local constraints.
Day 1 : Paris – Saint-Denis de La Réunion

After a pleasant flight, we welcome you to Saint-Denis. Following a brief briefing, head for the Cirque de Salazie. On the road, make sure you see the Niagara waterfall, visit a vanilla factory and meet the farmers who carry on the expertise of previous generations. Once in Hell-Bourg, one of the most beautiful French villages, visit Maison Folio and tour the authentic Creole huts. A guesthouse will provide you with dinner and a restful night.


Day 2 : Hell-Bourg

Accompanied by a naturalist guide and a renowned botanist, this unforgettable walk in the heart of the primal forest of Bélouve will stimulate your senses. Weave your way through the tree-like ferns, the highland tamarinds and the colourful Bois de Couleurs. The trail will take you to the island’s largest waterfall : Trou de Fer. Enjoy a happy Creole picnic in the middle of the forest. Then you will return to Hell-Bourg for a night in a guesthouse.


Day 3 : AHell-Bourg – La Plaine des Palmistes

In the morning, take a trip on one of the most beautiful rivers in the East. Discover nature’s abundance, including plants, invertebrates, birds and many other species. Around noon, a little break for lunch. After lunch, walk along the Route des Laves separating Saint-Rose from Saint-Philippe and wonder at the impressive ancient lava flows before entering the Piton de La Fournaise lava tunnels. Head to a charming guesthouse for dinner and stay for the night.


Day 4 : La Plaine des Palmistes

After a good breakfast, a horse ride on the Grand Étang awaits, allowing you to marvel at the island’s only volcanic lake in the heart of a national park rich in stunning flora and fauna. At noon, a traditional lunch is served. The programme continues in the Trelles area, where you can learn about Réunion medicinal plants and the world of bees with the help of a beekeeper. Return to the hotel at the end of the day for dinner and a restful night’s sleep.


Day 5 : La Plaine des Palmistes – Rivière-Saint-Louis

After breakfast, set off for the Piton de la Fournaise. Having stopped off a few times to admire unique views of the south’s volcanic panorama, cross the magnificent lunar landscape before arriving at the volcano’s main crater. At noon, arrive at a traditional restaurant where you will be given a good lunch. Then, explore the science and education area to learn about the volcano’s activity and Réunion’s geological formation. Following this busy day, you will head to the hotel on the west coast in the early evening for a well-deserved rest.


Day 6 : La Rivière Saint Louis – Les Makes

After breakfast, visit the first crop established on Réunion : Bourbon pointu coffee. The Café Grillé nursery workers will welcome you to their Creole botanic garden. Here, you will enjoy a traditional lunch made from local produce. At the end of the day, admire the sunset over the Cirque de Cilaos from the village of Les Makes. An ecologist guide will then take you to see something spectacular : a close look at southern hemisphere constellations with binoculars and telescopes. Spend a peaceful night in village guestrooms.


Day 7 : Les Makes – La Saline les Bains

Time for a morning where you get stuck in : you will go to a beach and take part in conservation activities for sea turtle nesting areas. The project involves reintroducing heritage plant species that protect the nests from noise and light pollution, heat and trampling, as well as having a scent attractive to sea turtles. Then visit the Kélonia museum to meet the protected turtles themselves. After a typical Creole lunch, you will venture out onto the island’s largest lagoon in transparent kayaks to see the coral reef up close. A guide will take you to the most beautiful areas of the lagoon, which will no doubt keep you enthralled until dinner in La Saline les Bains.

Day 8 : La Saline les Bains – Saint-Denis – Mauritius

After breakfast, you will hit the road and travel to the most beautiful viewpoint on the island where you can admire the spectacular Cirque de Mafate. From the Piton Maïdo, marvel at Réunion, its beautiful white sandy beaches and its lagoon protected by the coral reef. A short detour to visit Mr Bègue where you will learn more about how their geranium and Japanese Cedar essential oils are made before lunch in a traditional restaurant. Now is the time to prepare for your next destination : Mauritius.


Day 8 : Arrival in Mauritius – Plaisance – Deux Frères

Once you arrive at the airport, a team will take care of your transfer to Otentic Ecolodge on the east coast. After settling in, have dinner by the riverbank campfire.


Day 9 : Amber Island

After breakfast at the Otentic Ecolodge, head for Saint-Antoine for a day dedicated to kayaking. Have a snorkelling break and help conservation efforts for the species native to Amber Island. You are going to have an unforgettable picnic on Bernache islet. Back in Saint-Antoine, your driver will take you back to your hotel.


Day 10 : Black River Gorges National Park – Chamarel

Pull on your hiking shoes and head towards the Black River Gorges National Park. In Pétrin, an expert ornithologist guide will take you to the heart of the forest to meet nine native island species. The Ebony Forest Reserve and museum await after lunch. Admire the various native plants and birds. Then, take a quick tour of the Seven Coloured Earths and Chamarel waterfall before returning to the Otentic Ecolodge.


Day 11 : Blue Bay – Egret Island

After breakfast, you will travel to Blue Bay Marine Park. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its underwater fauna and flora. In a glass-bottomed boat, or snorkelling, you can explore the beauty of the underwater world up close. To make the most of this lovely day and beautiful fine-sand beach, you will have a picnic on the seafront. At the start of the afternoon, a boat awaits at Pointe Jérome for a journey to Egret Island, an old British military base that has been converted into a primal forest recovery site by the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation. Return to the Otentic for the night.


Day 12 : Grand Port

Your day will be a full one. You will be able to visit some places on an electrobike. Beginning with the Vieux Grand Port, explore the ruins of Fort Frederick Hendrick before arriving at the Ferney Valley Nature Reserve. A break for lunch at the top of the Falaise Rouge is a must. Admire the town of Mahebourg, with its small stalls. A short visit to the naval museum is recommended before returning to the Otentic Eco Tent Experience, where your dinner and room await.


Day 13 : Otentic – Deer Island

On your last day, enjoy the beautiful beach and turquoise waters of Deer Island. Your lunch will be served at 1pm at the Otentic. Enjoy a free afternoon where you can go paddle boarding or kayaking along the river before going up to the Grande Riviére Sud-Est waterfall.


Day 14 : Otentic – Paris

Your trip to the Vanilla Islands is over. The team will take care of your transfer to the airport. Have a nice trip back to Paris. Luxurious setting where you can relax.

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EXPERIENCES THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Participate in an eco-volunteering workshop for a project to rehabilitate sea turtle nesting areas
A guided educational exploration of one of the most active volcanoes in the world : Piton de la Fournaise.
Discover marine flora and fauna by kayaking and snorkelling
Ornithological hike and relax in natural surroundings
Explore different areas of the island and learn about its culture, history and heritage

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

The tours, meetings and transfers mentioned may vary depending on the availability of the speakers and local constraints.
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Bank cards

Réunion & Mauritius

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Health

No vaccinations are required.

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Tips

Tips are not mandatory, but left at the client’s discretion.

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Insurance

No insurance is required in either country. However, it is possible to take out insurance at your own expense.

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Trip management in both countries

A guide will accompany you during your whole stay in Réunion and Mauritius. Specialist guides or certified instructors will supervise you during your activities

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Time difference (from UK)

Réunion & Mauritius
Summer : UTC +4 (BST +3)
Winter : UTC +4 (GMT +4)

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Accommodation

Réunion : The charming accommodation proposed for this trip reflects the local heritage and is owned by welcoming and eco-friendly hosts. They are involved in managing their sites sustainably.

Réunion : The Otentic is the only safari-tent ecolodge in Mauritius. It provides guests with a shuttle boat for trips to Deer Island. In this part of the island, modernity has not yet affected the inherent authenticity and simplicity.

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Transports

Réunion : Trips in air-conditioned car with driver-guide

Mauritius : A vehicle takes you to all activity locations, accommodation and the airport.

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Bring with you

Located in the southern hemisphere, Réunion and Mauritius have a tropical climate tempered by the proximity of the Indian Ocean. It is hot and sunny all year round.

Southern-hemisphere summer : November to April
In the hot and humid season, it is around 30°C. At altitude, the temperature can drop by about ten degrees ; this is the season for watersports. Bring light summer clothes that can protect you from mosquito bites when night falls.

Southern-hemisphere winter : May to October
This is the cool season. At altitude, the temperature will drop but at sea level it remains around 25°C. Bring knitted clothing and a windbreaker.
Essentials : hat or cap, sunglasses, eco-friendly sunscreen and mosquito repellent, swimwear and walking shoes. If you do forget something, you will find everything you need in local shops.

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Practical information
Documentation

Réunion : For French or European Union nationals : identity card or valid passport. For nationals of other countries : valid passport, visa if applicable, and return ticket or confirmation of continuation of travel.

Mauritius : For French or European Union nationals : identity card or passport valid for 6 months after your return. You are also required to provide an address for your stay.

The right to stay, for information purposes only
Less than 1 month : approximately €29 – 100,000 Ar
Between 1 and 2 months : approximately €35 – 90,000 Ar
Between 2 and 3 months : approximately €40 – 140,000 Ar
3 months to 3 years : approximately €43 – 150,000 Ar

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Flights

Mauritius
Five airlines (Air France, Air Austral, Corsair, XL Airways, French Bee) fly directly to Réunion from the French mainland. The island is also reachable via Mauritius.

Air France
Number of flights per week : 12 between Orly Ouest and Saint-Denis de La Réunion
Flight duration : Paris – Réunion : 10 hours 50 minutes

Air Austral
Number of flights per week : 12 direct flights to Saint-Denis and a daily flight to Saint-Pierre
Flight duration : Paris – Réunion : 10 hours 55 minutes

Corsair
Direct daily and night flights between Saint-Denis de La Réunion and Paris
Flight duration: Paris – Réunion: 11 hours

XL Airways France
Number of flights per week: 13 direct flights
3 flights per week from Paris CDG T2A, 2 flights per week from Marseille, 1 flight per week from Lyon.

French Bee
Daily direct flights between Paris Orly and Saint-Denis
Flight duration: 11 hours
The regional return flight to Madagascar is operated from Roland Garros Airport in Saint-Denis.

Maurice : Mauritius is easily accessible by plane, with several direct flights and connections from France.

Direct flights
Air France
Air Mauritius
(Direct daily and night flights)

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Meals and drinks

La Réunion : Réunion’s cuisine is the result of the combined influences of Malagasy, French, Indian, East African and Chinese dishes brought to the island by immigrants. Naturally spiced, tasty and relatively consistent, Cari is the traditional dish. It is made up of rice, leguminous plants and meat or fish (chicken, octopus, sea bream, swordfish, sausage).

Half-board stay, lunches at very affordable prices, and drinks are not included.

Maurice : Half-board stay at the Otentic Eco Tent Experience.
Breakfast : seasonal fruit, traditional bread, home-made jams and yoghurts, eggs, omelettes, ham and cheese, fresh juices and freshly ground coffee.
Dinner : barbecues on the wood fire or plancha (meat, fish or kebabs) accompanied by 2 or 3 vegetarian dishes, a salad and a dessert.
Aperitif : Infused rum or a herbal tea with lemongrass from the garden around a campfire.
Lunch is served as a picnic (drinks included).

TARIF

Price per person
€856
based on 4 people sharing : Mauritius Part
(Excluding flights)

This price includes

Half-board accommodation in double rooms
Transfers
Services of a Trip Advisor
Administration costs
24/7 assistance

This price does not include

Plane tickets
Tourist tax to be paid in situ (about €1 per day) per person
Deposits required for accommodation (specified upon confirmation of booking)
All activities and optional tours
Lunch, drinks and/or restaurant suggestions

This price includes

Otentic Eco Tent accommodation
Transfers
Services of a Trip Advisor
Administration costs
24/7 assistance
All meals (excluding drinks)

This price does not include

Plane tickets
All activities and optional tours
Drinks (unless otherwise stated)

CONTACT

REUNION

Name : Réunitours
Tel : +262 (0)692936347 / +262 (0)262331112
Email : gaetan.chauvat@reunitours.com

MAURITIUS

Name : Promotour
Tel : +230 465 89 35
Email : audrey@promotourmauritius.com

THE VANILLA ISLANDS

info@vanilla-islands.org
www.vanilla-islands.org