12 Outdoor Activities To Do On Reunion Island

Check out our selection of 12 activities to do on Reunion Island – one of the most beautiful places on earth for outdoor sports!

Located in the heart of the Indian Ocean, Reunion Island is a land of sumptuous landscapes, exotic vegetation, and beautiful sandy beaches. Reunion Island has quite a varied landscapes- volcanic mountains, ideal for canyoning and speleology, and jungles full of flora, ideal for long hikes. The beautiful blue waters of Reunion Island would delight any diver or paraglider.

The island itself is structured around one of the most active volcanoes in the world, Piton de la Fournaise. Lava flows, mountain passes, and numerous craters add to the wild beauty of Reunion. This extremely varied geography makes the island a paradise tailored to all thrill-seekers, with more than a dozen extreme activities all located in close proximity due to the small size of the island.

The many canyons formed by volcanic activity and heavy rains in the center of the island form breathtaking landscapes, and a canyoning descent is a must-do for visitors to Reunion. Another way to enjoy the unique scenery is by taking to the skies through parachuting or paragliding, both amazing ways to appreciate the beauty of the island and its coasts. Furthermore, since 2010 Reunion Island and its volcanoes, peaks, cirques, and ramparts have been part of UNESCO World Heritage.

Canyoning

Covering an area of ​​only 2,512 km / 2 in the middle of the Indian Ocean, canyoning on the Reunion Island is ideal, as the island is full of spots perfectly tailored to this practice. There are no less than 70 equipped canyons, 131 kilometers of course, and a vertical elevation gain of 28,000 meters to keep you busy on. One of the main advantages of this spot that canyoning is accessible all year long in Réunion, with water temperatures varying from 10 to 14 ° C in the winter and 18 to 20 ° C in the summer.

The average price for canyoning in Reunion island can be anywhere between 50 and 80 euros, depending on the location. If you don’t know enough about the activity of canyoning, check out our complete guide on canyoning. Our article on the top 6 spots to go canyoning in Reunion island will give you a better idea before you make your choice.

canyoning in Reunion island

Helicopter tours

Being on a helicopter tour over Reunion Island feels like you’re in the climax scene of Jurassic Park, evading dinosaurs overlooking volcanic mountains and dense tropical forests! Although this is one of the most passive activities to do on Reunion Island, it is breathtaking.

  • Flying over Cirques and Volcanoes: This helicopter tour will take you over the cirque of Cilaos, the cirque of Mafate, and the cirque of Salazie, you’ll discover breathtaking ramparts and enter the chasm of the Trou de Fer. You will also fly above the Piton des Neiges, the Maïdo, the Voile de la Mariée, and the primary forest of Bélouve. The total flight time will be around 45 minutes and will cost you around 250 euros. For further booking information, including information on how to get there, click the provided link above.
  • Bras de la Plaine: Your helicopter tour will begin from Pierrefonds airport from where you will fly over the Bras de la Plaine and then to the small village of Grand Bassin to discover its magnificent waterfall. Then you will head for the gîte of the Paradisiaque islet, a place hidden in the hollow of the mountains. Going for this helicopter tour is preferable in a group, as it will cost you way less – around 850 euros (approx.) for the entire group.

If you’d like to check out all our helicopter tour activities on the Reunion Island, please click the link provided.

helicopter tour over reunion island

Paragliding

Among the many activities to do on Reunion Island, how about one where you could experience the beautiful island from a height? Come discover the Saint-Leu region with a variety of paragliding options, be surprised by its turquoise water lagoons, and the unique vegetation seen from the air. Finally, to finish the adventure, you’ll touch your feet back to the ground on a beautiful sandy beach.

While selecting, the two options you will have will be a maximum of 2 hours of activity time or half-a-day (which includes a trek). The first option is way cheaper, costing participants around 70-80 euros, whereas the paragliding and trekking options are between 200 and 350 euros. If you’d like to read more about the top 10 paragliding spots in Africa, please click the provided link.

Regarding the parachute jump, we recommend the excellent Bourbon club, the only skydiving center on the island of Reunion with different training sessions and flights over the volcanoes of the island.

paragliding in reunion island

Microlight Aviation Flight

What better way to discover the island and take in the view than in a lightweight 1 or 2 seater fixed-wing aircraft! Microlight aviation on Reunion island allows you to fly south for a coastal journey that’ll lead you to the Premiere Francais Cave in Cape Marianne, then, after crossing the Ducap Lahoussaye savanna, explore the Saint-Gilles-les-Bains in search of dolphins, turtles, and humpback whales. The flight is also tailored to give you a memorable panoramic view of the Salazie and Cilaos craters. Climb even higher to the Maïdo for a spectacular and unforgettable overview before a descent through the forests and then to the Trou lagoons where you’ll embark a safari around Saint-Gilles-les-Bains looking for the marine mammals that populate the waters of the island. Finally, end the flight with a spectacular detour through the Hermitage pass to round out a day you’re likely never to forget.

microlight aviation flight in reunion island

Caving

Climb the famous Piton de la Fournaise on Reunion Island and visit the lava tunnels with a mountain guide specialized in volcanology. Come experience an unforgettable trip and discover the main attractions of the volcano, its summit with its craters plummeting down to more than 300 meters in-depth, as well as the 1998 tunnel and its large solidified lava stalactites and stalagmites. Lose yourself in an unknown dimension, discover new horizons, and become an explorer by diving into the hidden world of these lava tunnels. 

The good news is that caving is not at all heavy on the pocket with an average price of 50 euros per person for most variants of the activity. We understand that caving is not the most conventional activity and there will be a lot of first-timers. Therefore, it is better to equip yourself by reading our article on the complete guide on caving.

Caving in Reunion Island

Downhill mountain biking

Located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Reunion Island for downhill mountain biking is ideal as it sits at an altitude of 3000 meters. The island is full of extraordinary places to practice this exhilarating activity and Mount Maïdo is certainly the most beautiful corner of the island (if not one of the most beautiful in the world) for an unforgettable descent. Begin your excursion at an altitude of 2200 meters at Mafate, a huge crater that can only be accessed on foot or by bike. Then, cross the Cryptomerias forest where the adventure will really begin, and tackle a few technical passages in the Tamarins forest, taking a few well-deserved timeouts to admire the spectacular view of the volcanoes After leaving the forest, experience the sensation of the sky and the Indian Ocean becoming one… a truly sublime sight to behold. 

The price range for mountain biking is between 10 and 100 euros, depending on factors such as difficulty level, location, and provider. Click the link mentioned above to understand which of the mountain biking activities suit you best.

mountain biking in reunion island

Trekking

The island of Reunion is particularly famous for the beauty of its landscapes making trekking on Reunion island a dream activity. Dramatically shifting from volcanoes to forests and canyons to ramparts. Picture yourself walking to the top of the Piton de la Fournaise, the highest point of the island, or the extinct volcano. Make the most of an ascent on the roof of the Indian Ocean and a rare opportunity to experience a sunrise at 3070m above sea level with breathtaking views. There are dozens of potential hikes in Reunion with fantastic panorama views always guaranteed.

Trekking in reunion island

Rafting

Thrill-seekers, adventurers, and lovers of whitewater, this activity is for you. Rafting, as we are sure you know, takes place in an extremely stable inflatable boat on a tumultuous river, each raft is kitted out with a crew of 4 to 7 people to navigate the watercraft safely through the waterways. Jump aboard with a certified instructor on these large boats for a memorable descent in an exceptional environment. Rafting in Reunion island usually takes place on the Rivière des Marsouins on Coco Islet, the only river on the island large enough to practice rafting comfortably. Ride these freshwater currents with family and friends and experience thrills, bumps, and splashes on your water-bound journey through this great island.

rafting reunion island

Longboarding Downhill

This isn’t an activity that can be practiced officially with supervised courses, but that’s part of the fun and is why a downhill longboarding is a sport that deserves its place in our selection. Carved out with its volcanic paths and steep slopes, Reunion is a great place for downhill skateboarding, a practice that’s loaded with danger and excitement due to the tight turns in the roads, but even if it’s just for the view, it’s well worth a look. Skating on these downhill mountain roads, from a very high altitude, is an extreme and intense activity only suited to the brave, experienced (and slightly crazy) thrill-seekers of the world!

Scuba diving

We have already talked about it above but scuba diving on Reunion island is an experience that you’ll really have to try because it will stay with you forever. Outdoor activities on Reunion Island show you that the richness of the fauna and flora in Reunion is unique, and every dive is expertly supervised to avoid any risk. Come and discover the crystal clear waters and incredible underwater diversity of Reunion, where you can explore the coral reefs, caves, wrecks,, and if you’re lucky, tuna, whales, and dolphins! In addition to diving with oxygen tanks, it’s also possible to learn freediving, giving you the chance to admire the underwater depths of the ocean with your own breath. The volcanic rock is covered with live coral, a wide variety of coral fauna, and the beautiful nudibranch mollusks.

scubadiving in reunion island

Wakeboarding

Not short of activities to do in the water, Reunion also offers you the opportunity to do wakeboarding at Colosse Wake Park, the only cable system in Reunion Island. This activity is open for all those aged from 6 and above and is a perfect blend of physical ability and fun that’s guaranteed to provide maximum thrills. Wakeboarding in this park consists of being towed around by a cable while standing on your board and cruising around in total (shark-free) security. So, come on down and test your balance and carves with this fun-filled water sport!

wakeboarding in reunion island

We will avoid talking about the famous surf spots that are currently forbidden to enter due to the tragic shark attacks that have plagued this splendid island in recent years. Even if the biggest names in French surfing come from this beautiful island, surfing, body boarding, SUP and water sports are not really allowed on Reunion. Until the authorities find a solution, access to the ocean is prohibited.

Nevertheless, most activities to do on Reunion Island are available and let you discover its wild beauty and extreme activities with family and friends.