Sunday Special – Réunion Island


A small island that is blessed with natural beauty is tucked away in the Indian Ocean in the shadows of Madagascar and Mauritius. This isle, known as Réunion Island, is located approximately 700 km / 434 miles east and 200 km / 124 miles southwest of Madagascar and Mauritius, respectively. As a French overseas island it is part of the European Union (E.U.) though it remains outside of the Schengen zone thus retaining its own immigration code.

Regarded mainly for its abundance of hiking trails for all levels (over 900 km / 559 miles) its mountainous and volcanic terrain draws outdoor lovers into its fold. With trails for all experience levels one can take in lush rain forests, peer into the crater of an still active volcano (Piton de la Fournaise), gaze at fields of cane sugar, and even learn about the flora, fauna and geology of the area with a discovery trail. In fact, the island has such incredible topography that 40% of it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Though there is more to Réunion than the volcanoes, cirques and calderas.  Stunning beaches, natural marine reserves, flowing rivers and more. Even though it is a French territory there is a mixture of cultures that add a vibrant element to the islands culture. Peoples from Madagascar, Africa, Europe, and Asia all flavour the culture, music, and the food. This place strikes me as a wonderful place to explore and unwind at the same time. 

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Langevin Falls (also known as Grand Galet Falls) in Reunion National Park – Photo credit: No machine-readable author provided. JoKerozen assumed (based on copyright claims)., Cascade LangevinCC BY-SA 2.5

 

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Crater of Piton de la Fournaise, Reunion Island – Photo credit: User: Bbb at wikivoyage shared, ReU PtFournaise KraterDolomieuCC BY-SA 3.0

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SUNDAY’S SPECIAL SPOT – MADAGASCAR


No, this is not about the Dreamworks film of the same name. It is about the island country of the Republic of Madagascar.  With indigenous wildlife making upwards of 90% of that found on the island it is a bio-diverse locale indeed. However, years of human consumption has caused an increase in de-forestation and many animals are endangered or extinct. We really are a destructive lot (my personal opinion).



The majestic Baobabs (Adansonia) trees towering over the land. A island filled with beaches, tropical forests, highlands, escarpments, lakes and incredible flora and fauna, I imagine Madagascar a place like no other.


Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons, owned by: Attis 1979

SUNDAY’S SPECIAL SPOT – SARDINIA


Italy’s Mediterranean island of Sardinia is a sought after destination for beach lovers and sun worshipers. In addition to it’s warm summer weather it has a history that reaches back to 1500 B.C.E. It is one of the oldest pieces of land in Europe. It is now a semi-autonomous state of Italy.




Photo credit: Riviera VIP Services Blog

SUNDAY’S SPECIAL SPOT – SAINT LUCIA


The Caribbean Sea is peppered with lush green islands beckoning you to step foot on their pristine beaches and feel the water lapping your toes. So many to choose from! How about Saint Lucia? One of the Lesser Antilles islands of the Caribbean, this gem is recognized by its famous Pitons mountains.


Sandals Regency La Toc Golf Resort & Spa, Saint Lucia


Saint Lucia offers crisp beaches, lush mountain hikes, fun water adventures, stunning views and food that will set your taste buds dancing. A Caribbean getaway dream.

Photo Credit: Caribbean Travel