Have you ever heard of La Réunion? It is the most distant European island – it is close to Madagascar. It’s an exotic hideaway and a great destinations for families with babies or toddlers!
1. Explore “Mini Hawaii”
This magical island will already remind you of Hawaii when you approach it by plane. Mountains that protrude from the ocean, covered by lush jungle and waterfalls. What a paradise! If you were always dreaming of visiting Hawaii this is the best alternative!
2. Feel safe in Africa
La Réunion is part of the African continent but administratively it belongs to France. So it probably is the safest part of Africa!
3. Get good medical care and infrastructure
One of France’ best hospitals is on this remote island. So you don’t have to lower your sights in terms of medical care of your kids! It is the exact same standard as in France. We went to a physician to get a regular toddler check-up and follow-up vaccination. Everything was easy and uncomplicated.
As the island gets a lot of European support, the infrastructure is very good. The streets are great, it’s clean and you can drink the tap water.
3. Travel cheaper
Spending some time in this paradise won’t burst your budget! There are some good priced Airbnb options and the food is not expensive either. We spent 78 USD per night for accomodationon on average. Keep in mind that outside of Saint Denis you will need a rental car as public transport is very limited.
4. Relax at great beaches for babies and toddlers
These are our favorite ones:
This is the best beach for babies and toddlers! It’s a stunning beach surrounded by palm trees. There is a large lawn under the palm trees. So you don’t need to bring any sun protection. The waves are big and it’s not allowed to swim. Yet, you’ll find a calm rock pool which is perfect for dipping in with a baby or toddler. There are also toilets and three low-key restaurants.
La Saline les Bains
The water is calm and shallow here as a surrounding coral reef protects it. You’ll love the powder white sand and the turquoise water! There aren’t many trees to protect you from the sun. But the beach cafes offer some beach chairs and umbrellas, e.g. the Copacabana or the Planch Alizé. Don’t worry, there are only a few of them and it’s not overcrowded.
Although this beach is well known among tourists we found it quite convenient. At the southern end you’ll find rocks that provide some shade. Here, it also gets quite tranquil. At the very center of the beach it gets busy with lots of restaurants. Also, here are some trees that make a perfect escape from the sun. It’s a beach with small waves that has a shark-protective net. If you want your baby or toddler to enjoy a bit of salty water go to the rock pool at the northern end of the beach.
5. See the world’s second tallest waterfall and many more
Believe me, the world’s second tallest waterfall really is… TALL! And that’s one of thousands other waterfalls on this special island. I am a waterfall addict. But never in my life have I seen so many waterfalls! They are everywhere. This is definitely an unforgettable exotic experience.
6. Admire picturesque architecture in Saint Denis
Saint Denis is great for walking – no car or public transport needed. I love these kind of decent size cities that are perfect for strolling through the streets! Enjoy a beautiful mix of wooden colonial style buildings and French monumental architecture.
7. Get lost in the highlands
Outdoor addicts will love this place. The highlands are breathtaking, as are the roads! There are three mountainous regions. Cirque de Cilaos, Cirque de Salazie and Cirque de Mafate. The first one is the most beautiful one but it also is more difficult to access. Cirque de Salazie is quite close to Saint Denis and offers waterfalls all around. Besides, you should be aware that even the “easy” hiking routes are quite difficult. They are doable with a baby or toddler in a carrier but you should be a fit person. Otherwise just relax in the cute villages and enjoy the views!