Tailor-Made Holiday

Reunion & Mauritius - Self Drive and Beach

Volcanic landscapes and coralline beaches of the Indian Ocean

17 days

from £3,495pp

Explore the volcanic landscapes of Reunion, driving around this pocket-sized French island – lost in the Indian Ocean. Continue to the beaches of Mauritus, staying at the beautifully positioned 20 Degrees Sud, a boutique hotel beside the warm ocean.

  • Self-drive around the island of Reunion, home to captivating landscapes and beautifully isolated
  • Discover hidden waterfalls and hike across the lush hills that carpet this island
  • Climb to the rim of the Dolomieu Crater and look down at the active Piton de la Fournaise Volcano
  • Relax on the beautiful beaches of Mauritius, swimming and sunbathing in the warm climate

REUNION

Circumnavigate this small island, beginning with the small towns of Sainte Anne and Saint-Pierre, exploring the villages that lie between. Visit the beautiful Rivière du Mât, with its steep cliffs and tumbling waterfalls; stop at the ancient spa village of Hell-Bourg, named one of the most beautiful villages in France; explore the spice gardens of Saint-Philippe; and walk the wild wave-swept beaches of Manapany-les-Bains.

Continue inland to the town of Cilaos, which sits in an impressive caldera, ringed by jagged volcanic peaks. Here, explore the precipitous landscape, hiking along the various trails the zigzag across this rocky, green amphitheatre. Afterwards, return to the coast and visit the picturesque village of Entre-Deux, before stopping at the Trou du Souffleur blowhole, which explodes from the ocean swell.

From the coast, again return to the highlands. Visit the crater-riddled south of the island, home to Reunion’s only active volcano, Piton de la Fournaise. Have the opportunity to hike across the lunar landscape of the Dolomieu Crater, up to the ash-dusted rim and look down on the smoking volcano.

Finish with some time exploring the picturesque western coast, admiring the beautiful scenery of Mafate and the Piton Maido.

SOLAR ECLIPSE

Travel in late August to combine this trip with the 2016 annular eclipse, which will occur on 1st September. Reunion lies almost directly on the path that the eclipse will take. With the main event occurring at around 2pm, whilst the sun is in the northwest, the seafront boulevard of Saint-Paul (close to Saint-Leu) is the place to be. Watch as the endless waters of the distant ocean grow dark, with the sun sitting above an unbroken, watery horizon.

MAURITIUS

Fly directly from Reunion to Mauritius, before transferring to the beachside escape of 20 Degrees Sud. After an active week exploring Reunion’s rich landscapes, have some time to relax beside the warm Indian Ocean waters of Mauritius.

Swim, snorkel and sunbathe from this boutique hotel’s private beach. Looking out over the beautiful Grand Baie, 20 Degrees Sud is tranquil and secluded, wonderfully detached from any surrounding hustle and bustle. Have the chance to venture offshore and dine atop the deserted Flat Island – ideal for a romantic meal.

For those who do not require total relaxation, additional activities can also be arranged. Offshore snorkelling, diving and swimming with dolphins are all popular choices, whilst – on land – there are visits to the markets, garden and museums of Mauritius.

WHY WE LIKE IT

This journey combines two of the Indian Ocean’s finest treasures. The landscapes of Reunion, with its quirky exported French culture, compliment the relaxed beachside ambience of Mauritius perfectly. Flexible and active, yet wonderfully carefree, this holiday delivers an exciting dose of exotic landscapes and desert island escapism.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • International flights
  • Internal flights
  • All accommodation and meals as stated in the itinerary
  • All transfers

what is excluded

  • Gratuities

PLEASE NOTE THE ABOVE FLIGHT COST IS A SUGGESTED FROM PRICE. FLIGHT COSTS WILL BE CONFIRMED AT TIME OF BOOKING. ALL FLIGHTS ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Paris

Fly Paris to Saint-Denis overnight

Day 2

Collect the hire car at the airport.

Drive from Saint-Denis to Sainte Anne (Road Journey)


You will be staying at Diana Dea Lodge, Half board

Day 3

Explore the Area Surrounding Sainte Anne
Head north to explore volcanic caldera of Salazie. Lying at the centre of the island, the Cirque de Salazie area is mishmash of waterfalls, high peaks and rural hamlets. En route, have the opportunity to visit a vanilla factory before stopping at Saint-Andre. Here, visit the beautiful Rivière du Mât, with its steep cliffs and tumbling cascades.

Drive on through this fabulous landscape, stopping to admire the magnificent Voile de la Mariee waterfall within the caldera. At the heart of the Cirque de Salazie, enter the ancient spa village of Hell-Bourg, named one of the most beautiful villages in France.


You will be staying at Diana Dea Lodge, Half board

Day 4

Drive from Sainte Anne to Saint-Pierre


Follow the road towards the south-eastern coast, stopping at the churches of Sainte-Anne and Sainte-Rose. Visit the Anse des Cascades, where waterfalls flow over cold lava flows. Further on, stop at Saint-Philippe, which is renowned for its spices and perfume gardens.

Drive on to Grand'Anse, before taking a walk across the wild wave-swept beaches of Manapany-les-Bains. Afterwards, stroll through Saint-Pierre's famous night market.


You will be staying at Villa Delisle, Half board

Day 5

Drive from Saint-Pierre to Cilaos


Passing through Saint-Louis, turn inland towards the town of Cilaos, which sits in an impressive caldera, ringed by jagged volcanic peaks.


Explore the Cirque de Cilaos
Spend some time exploring this marvellous landscape. Rocky peaks erupt above deep ravines, with thick forests carpeting the gentler slopes. Within this natural amphitheatre, secluded hamlets dot the lush terrain.

Visit the breath-taking La Roche Marveilleuse viewpoint, a quaint embroidery house and Le Chai de Cilaos vineyard. Also set out along the numerous hiking trails, exploring the caldera on foot.


You will be staying at Tsilaosa, Half board

Day 6

Drive from Cilaos to Saint-Leu


Return to the western coast, possibly stopping visit the picturesque village of Entre-Deux. Visit the black beaches of Etang-Sale and see the unique geological formation that occurs here - a narrow gulf has formed between the black rocks, funnelling the waves of the Indian Ocean. Just before Saint-Leu, stop at the Trou du Souffleur blowhole, which explodes from the ocean swell.


Explore Saint-Leu
Spend some time exploring Saint-Leu. Visit the Stella Matutina history museum, the Kélonia marine turtle observatory and the gardens of the Conservatoire Botanique des Mascarins.


You will be staying at Blue Margouillat, Half board

Day 7

Explore the Volcanoes of the South
Drive inland and return to the highlands, towards Le Tampon. Visit the crater-riddled south of the island, home to Reunion's only active volcano, Piton de la Fournaise. En route, stop at the Nez-de-Boeuf viewpoint to look out over the landscape. At the caldera, visit the impressive Commerson Crater, cross the Plaine des Sables and look out towards the Dolomieu Crater from Le Pas de Bellecombe.

Also have the opportunity to hike across the lunar landscape of the Dolomieu Crater, up to the ash-dusted rim and look down on the smoking Piton de la Fournaise volcano. Follow a marked trail up to the crater rim, over lava rocks and towards the blackened rocks of the rim.


You will be staying at Blue Margouillat, Half board

Day 8

Visit Maido and Mafate
Either spend the morning relaxing, or drive inland to the Piton de Maido, which towers over the north-western part of the island. The road that winds its way up to this spectacular peak passes through a forest of highland tamarin. From the peak, look out over the inaccessible Cirque de Mafate, another magnificent caldera that is enclosed by sheer cliffs. Afterwards, visit the idyllic village of La Petite France.


You will be staying at Blue Margouillat, Half board

Day 9

Drive from Saint-Leu to Saint-Denis


Have the chance to visit Saint-Gilles and the western beaches, before driving back to Saint-Denis.


Return the hire car.

Fly Saint-Denis to Mauritius


Covered in lush vegetation and exotic flowers, Mauritius has dramatic mountains and a vibrant culture, mixed with some of the finest beaches and aquamarine lagoons in the Indian Ocean. The warm climate and the blue green sea gently lapping the sandy shores within the protective belt of the coral reef, create a tropical paradise.

The wonderfully friendly local people stem from India, Madagascar, East Africa, China, France and England, producing a rich mix of cultures and lifestyles.


You will be staying at 20 Degrees Sud, Full board

Day 10

Activities at 20 Degrees Sud
Relax beside the warm Indian Ocean waters of Mauritius. Swim, snorkel and sunbathe from this boutique hotel's private beach. Looking out over the beautiful Grand Baie, 20 Degrees Sud is tranquil and secluded, wonderfully detached from any surrounding hustle and bustle. Have the chance to venture offshore and dine atop the deserted Flat Island - ideal for a romantic meal.


You will be staying at 20 Degrees Sud, Full board

Day 11

Additional Activities at 20 Degrees Sud
For those who do not require total relaxation, additional activities can also be arranged. Offshore snorkelling, diving and swimming with dolphins are all popular choices, whilst - on land - there are visits to the markets, garden and museums of Mauritius.


You will be staying at 20 Degrees Sud, Full board

Day 12

Today, perhaps go snorkelling offshore.


You will be staying at 20 Degrees Sud, Full board

Day 13

Spend another day reading and sunbathing.


You will be staying at 20 Degrees Sud, Full board

Day 14

Maybe leave seclusion behind and explore some cultural sights.


You will be staying at 20 Degrees Sud, Full board

Day 15

Have a final day beside the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.


You will be staying at 20 Degrees Sud, Full board

Day 16

Fly Mauritius to Paris overnight

Day 17

Fly Paris to London

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

20 Degrees Sud

20 Degrees Sud

A true haven of refinement and exclusivity, this small, intimate hotel comprises 34 bedrooms decorated with antiques and designer furniture....

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Diana Dea Lodge

Diana Dea Lodge

Sitting above fields of sugar cane amidst verdant, tree-dotted hills, the tranquil Diana Dea Lodge is positioned within sight of the island's rugged coast....

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Blue Margouillat

Blue Margouillat

Built in an attractive Creole style, the beautiful Blue Margouillat looks out towards the warm waters of the Indian Ocean....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Mauritius

Bridget Cohen, Travel Expert

"Bridget had a great knowledge of the areas being looked at and given I have spent time in both countries, it required someone who completely understood the type of camps preferred."

"Bridget's service was very personal and friendly whilst maintaining a professional manner. All my questions were dealt with promptly and efficiently."

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Illona Cross, Travel Expert

"Illona was quite simply brilliant. She listened and carefully noted what we thought we wanted, made suggestions and came up with an itinerary which suited us down to the ground."

"Excellent personal service; well-informed local knowledge; dependable outcome; quality of experience."

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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