The island of La Réunion (Île de la Réunion in French) is becoming increasingly more popular to visit. Ile de la Réunion is an overseas department and region of French. Familiar road signs, speaking French, free data roaming and paying in Euro, hurray! The island is mostly visited by French people, but partly due to the effect that Instagram has on tourism, this is rapidly changing. Only a handful of Instagram influencers have been to La Réunion so far and I was happy to be one of the first. Now I’m sharing my experiences to make your trip in La Réunion even more awesome. Having explored every corner of the island, I present you the 13 most instagrammable places in La Réunion! Today in part 3: the best viewpoints of the island!
PART 3: BEST VIEWPOINTS IN LA REUNION + 2 BONUS TIPS
Belvedere de Bois Court
Belvedère de Bois Court is one of the best viewpoints on the entire island of La Réunion, deeming it extremely instagrammable. And the best part is, the road towards it is surprisingly accessible. The viewpoint is located just behind the last houses of the village of Bois Court offering stunning views of the valley and the village down below. That village is only accessible on foot or by helicopter. From Belvedere de Bois Court, you can even catch a glimp of the Voile de la Mariée near Grand Bassin, a beautiful waterfall all the way down in the valley. You can get closer, but the challenging hike takes a couple of hours and you’ll most likely want to stay overnight in the village. My time was limited so I sticked with the amazing view I had from Belvedere de Bois Court.
There’s a freight elevator that’s going from the viewpoint down towards the village 600m below. I image locals from the village down below putting a small note inside the elevator box saying; send us some o’ that good good, and then the people from the market of Bois Court send them some delicious Dodo beers back.
Fenêtre des Makes
Another great viewpoint is Fenêtre des Makes! From here you can see the highest peaks of the island, including the Piton des Neiges (3,070 m) and the Grand Bénare (2,898m), and the different islets that make up the circus: Îlet à Cordes, Bras Sec, Palmier Rouge and of course Cilaos.
What’s remarkable about this viewpoint is that the viewpoint itself is located at an impressive altitude of 2.200m! The road climbing from Saint Paul to Maïdo goes through a forest of highland tamarin which is a popular area for family picnics. The road towards Le Maïdo is a real driver’s road. Once there, you’ll be rewarded with mind-blowingly beautiful views over Cirque de Mafate.
This viewpoint I highly recommend! Several hiking trails start from the car park, and they go in a loop, making it an ideal half-day hiking trip. Beware that there are a few – easy – ladder sections on this hike so it’s not recommended to bring pets with you. If you don’t want to do the loop, it’s only a 20 minute walk to the main viewpoint. There’s a kiosk and panoramic table there with information about your surroundings. On a good day, you’ll have a great view over the cirque de mafate and you’ll see as far as Piton des Neiges!
BONUS TIP 1: skip Cilaos
There’s a village called Cilaos in the middle of one of Reunion’s 3 cirques or large volcanic craters. The village is not particularly more beautiful than other villages such as Salazie for example, and the road towards is not particularly more scenic. That road is called Route du 400 virages, the road with the 400 corners. While this is true, every other road to every other viewpoint or attraction on La Réunion has just as much corners and is just as much fun to drive! And besides, you can’t take a good picture of the entire village of Cilaos if you’re… inside the village. The best pictures from Cilaos are made from the Fenetre des Makes viewpoint.
BONUS TIP 2: skip Foret de Belouve
Most instagrammers went here, but don’t be fooled! Just because they went doesn’t mean you should too. To get there you have to be near Bras des Calumets, a village roughly in the middle of the N3, which is the road crossing the interior of the island. From there, the road towards Foret de Belouve is a 20km-long dead-end road, going basically nowhere but the forest. You’ll come across many other forests on the way to other attractions on the island, so there’s no need to specifically go to Foret de Belouve.
Re-read part 1 and part 2 here!
This trip was facilitated by the tourism board of La Réunion but opinions remain my own. I chose my own accommodation. The first part of my trip I stayed in Villa Delisle, a charming hotel in Saint-Pierre. The rest of the trip I spent in Ness by D-Ocean, a brand-new 4-star property in La Saline-Les-Bains.belvedere de bois court, best viewpoints in la reunion, cap noir, cilaos, fenêtre des makes, foret de belouve, le maïdo, most instagrammable places in la reunion, most instagrammable spots in la reunion, roche verre bouteille, what to do in la reunion, what to see on la reunion