Saint Denis is the capital of Reunion. Réunion is an island and region of France in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar and 175 kilometres (109 mi) southwest of Mauritius. This enchanting destination is blessed with a tropical climate and beautiful volcanic landscapes. It is an island, but it’s appeal comes less from sandy beaches than from mountain paths and formidable landscapes. Saint-Denis is located at the island’s northernmost point, close to the mouth of the Rivière Saint-Denis. It’s known for the Creole-style mansions that reflect its colonial heritage.
Best Time to Visit
July and August bring cooler temperatures, especially in the Cirques. October and November: best months for hiking. So, these months will be good to visit Reunion.
Top Places to Visit in Saint Denis Reunion
1. Rue de Paris
East to west, this street is shopping central in Saint-Denis and intersects with Rue de Paris. But like its neighbour it can tell you a great deal about the island: You have the mosque, the Shri Kali Kovil Kampal Tamil Temple and a Chinese Pagoda on the parallel Rue Sainte-Anne.
2. Saint-Denis Cathedral
Full of poise, the city’s low-key cathedral was built over a few decades in the middle of the 19th century. It replaced a church that had been on the same spot for around a century. What you’ll encounter is a demure and well-formed classical building without anything that will blow you away, although there are a few features to hold your interest. Just outside, see the bust of the abolitionist priest Alexandre Monnet, whose ideas got him kicked out of Reunion in 1847. In the nave the pulpit is a remnant from the previous cathedral and is carved from Indian teak, while the altar is made of marble shipped all the way from the Camargue in the South of France.
3. Parc du Colorado
You don’t have to stray too far from the city to get a feel for Reunion’s natural splendour.With its trails and stables, the Parc du Colorado is springboard for many a hike or horseback ride.The park is on high ground next to the city and on clear days gives you astonishing views of Saint-Denis that you can share over a picnic.The rest of the time you can experience what it’s like to be in the clouds, quite literally.There’s also a generous playground for kids, and you’re right by the Golf Club Colorado, also blessed with those awesome panoramas.
Hiking is the number-one activity. Some of the most inspirational hiking trails in the southern hemisphere are to be found here, from simple nature trails in the forest to more challenging.
There’s a wealth of architectural treasures, historic sites, delightful religious and colonial buildings and vibrant festivals that are a great occasion to immerse oneself in local culture. A smattering of top-notch museums round out the offerings.
Food lovers will revel in trendy beach restaurants serving the freshest of fish, and in snug restaurants featuring mouth-watering Creole specialties. You’ll also find plenty of bakeries and pastry shops selling baguettes, croissants and melt-in-your-mouth cakes.