Saint-Paul is both the island's most popular tourist destination and its largest city. Its location on the island's western side makes it easy to fan out to discover the rest of the island. Saint-Paul is only 30 minutes from Saint-Pierre, a town located in the island's southernmost point and Saint-Denis, the capital of Reunion Island in its northernmost point. In addition, Saint-Paul has the best weather on the island with only a few days of rain per year. However, it should be noted that it can be very hot in summer (from October to March).
This loaction'smain attraction is that it has 4 of the 11 beaches where swimming is possible on Reunion Island. The beaches of Boucan Canot, Roches Noires, Saline and Ermitage are only 15 minutes from downtown Saint-Paul. In the town center, there is not only a beach but a long black-sand bay for a pleasant stroll at the end of the day. The town also has a pond, much bigger than Étang-Salé, with a lovely hike that leads to a water mill, the Tour des Roches. Kayaking with a group is a great way to discover local fauna and flora. More nature awaits—the Garden of Eden. This superb botanical garden is the home of more than 700 species!
The town of Saint-Pierre is also known as the site of "Maïdo", one of the island's highest summits offering a breathtaking view of the Cirque de Mafate. The site is the jumping-off point for a number of hikes. Be sure to go early in the morning as the clouds roll in quickly. There are so many things to do in the area, for example why not visit a local geranium distillery or a treetop adventure course or go tobogganing, horseback riding or biking. In short, some busy days await you!
Saint-Paul also has a rich cultural heritage. It was the first area to welcome inhabitants on the island. You can visit the grotte des Premiers Français (the cave of the First French) or the sailors' cemetery where its first inhabitants are buried. Today, Saint-Paul has a significant impact on the local economy. You'll enjoy discovering the quaint shops in the lively town center or strolling through the island's most famous beachfront market. In the evening, there is just so much to discover¬—Creole-style cuisine, fish, seafood while enjoying the view or perhaps you'd rather take in a film at the island's most beautiful cinema, the Multiplexe Ciné Cambaie.
If you have only one week to spend on the island, we strongly recommend staying in Saint-Paul. This town is bustling with activity and is the perfect spot for those wanting to discover the entire island!