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La Réunion

General Information

La Réunion is a french overseas department and belongs to the European Union. The island in the Indian Ocean offers a wide variety of landscapes and activities. Like many isolated islands, La Réunion tells of a volcanic origin. The snow-free Piton des Neiges (snow peak) is considered one of the largest volcanoes in the world. In contrast to the still active volcano Piton de la Fournaise, the Piton des Neiges was extinct about 12,000 years ago. Those looking for a change from beach and sea will discover rugged valleys and grandiose waterfalls on their way up to the volcano. But there is also much to discover in the sea: On an underwater plateau off the west coast of the island, humpback whales with their calves and large schools of dolphins are among the animals we find during the south winter.

Climatically the island captivates with pleasant temperatures, which move between 24 and 28 degrees Celsius during the day in the whale season. The water temperature reaches about 23 degrees. Even for more temperature-sensitive guests this is quite pleasant with a thin wetsuit.

Our accommodation is located in the wind-protected west of the island directly at the sea. Set slightly in front of the surrounding buildings, there is a wonderful view of the beaches on both sides of the hotel. The marina, which we use as a starting point for our whale tours, is less than ten minutes away by car. With a bit of luck, you can catch a glimpse of the sea mammals already from the hotel. Always keep your eyes open.

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Whales in La Réunion

The highlight of our trip to La Réunion is definitely the sighting of humpback whales. Every year during the Antarctic winter season (June to October), they swim from Antarctica to the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean to mate and give birth to their calves. During up to eight tours, we keep an eye out for the marine mammals. The encounter with mother and calf is particularly impressive. Curious and playful, the young approach the little strangers. But the eye of the huge mother is always on alert.You can find out how to swim with whales stress-free under “The Experience”.

In addition, we often discover large schools of dolphins (mostly spinner dolphins and bottlenose dolphins). More rarely we meet other whale species like pilot whales, southern right whales or false killer whales. Although the dolphins are not as massive as the humpback whales, this handicap is easily compensated by their playfulness and creates unforgettable experiences!

For the search of the sea creatures, we alternate between a luxurious catamaran or a faster, more agile motorboat.

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Accommodation

During your time with Moby Dick Tours you will stay in the well-established Hotel Boucan Canot, directly on one of the most beautiful beaches of the island in the immediate vicinity of St. Gilles. The marina of St. Gilles also serves as a starting point for boat trips to the open sea. The hotel reminds of the style of the Florida Keys and impresses with excellent quality, friendly service and fantastic food. The stylishly furnished rooms are only a few meters away from the waves.

The hotel offers direct beach access. There is also a comfortable lawn with a pool and a small private beach. Within walking distance there is a car-free zone with some bars and restaurants where you can end the day with a cocktail and stories about the day on the ocean.

You can enjoy the rich breakfast buffet with a great view of the ocean. The menu of the hotel restaurant is rich and offers local Creole as well as international dishes. Of course, excellent fresh fish is offered, but meat and vegetarian dishes are also recommended. We also dine in some selected restaurants to complete the culinary experience.

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Other Activities

In addition to whale watching and swimming with whales, La Réunion offers an incredible range of activities. Most of the time we are busy interacting with the gigantic marine mammals, but there is enough time left for the beauties of the island. To explore the fascinating surroundings of the extinct volcano Piton des Neiges, you will take part in one of the world’s most spectacular helicopter flights. The helicopter pilots are true masters of the air. The flight takes you along steep rock faces and narrow gorges, providing a perfect view of inaccessible natural beauty such as the Trou de Fer waterfalls. Discover how intense erosion over thousands of years has created a unique landscape around the mountains.

Other excursion destinations are the Piton de Maïdo with its spectacular view of one of the three Cirques (valley basins created by erosion), the Creole village Hell-Bourg – one of the “most beautiful villages in France” – the capital Saint Denis and the still active volcano Piton de la Fournaise. Moby Dick Tours are happy to advise you on individual excursions such as paragliding flights or exploring the lava caves and help you organizing.

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