Reunion Island joins UNESCO World Heritage

  • © ATOUT FRANCE/PHOVOIR

    © ATOUT FRANCE/PHOVOIR

  • © ATOUT FRANCE/PHOVOIR

    © ATOUT FRANCE/PHOVOIR

Reunion Island joins UNESCO World Heritage RN3 St Pierre re

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Copyright:
- E. VIRIN
- CARAYOL
- S. GELABERT

 

Reunion Island joins UNESCO World Heritage

 Since 1st of August 2010, La Réunion’s “Peaks, Cirques and Ramparts” have become the common global property of mankind.

A unique land where mountain merges with the sea, where the wild landscapes offer imposing scenery, where 30% of the land has remained intact since its discovery, Reunion Island confirms its status as an exceptional holiday destination of incomparable riches.

Today, La Réunion joins the other destinations already designated by the prestigious UNESCO label, where the common goal is to “protect natural and cultural sites of universal exceptional importance against the threat of a rapidly evolving world”.

  

La Réunion national park

Covering a single area of 2500km2, Reunion Island’s exceptional natural beauty will fill you with wonder.  The island is a volcanic mountain resting in the ocean, rising to an altitude of 3070 meters.

The generous climate has transformed the mountain into a marvelous Garden of Eden with numerous forests among which a few remain original and unspoiled.  This exceptional natural heritage has ensured that over 40% of the land has been classed as pertaining to the National Park.

The island’s national park makes it France’s 9th national park: rich in biodiversity and in landscapes which consist of over 300 endemic plant species with unique fauna and an active volcano.

The objective is to preserve the exceptional natural and cultural heritage of the highlands alongside tourism developments and sustainability in particular.

 

The Roche-Écrite reserve in the heart of the National Park

To the north of the Island, in the Roche-Écrite reserve (area of 3635 hectares) hides a bird any visitor would absolutely fall in love with: the Tuit-tuit. This bird is certainly unique in the world and can only be found in either Roche-Écrite or in the Plaine des Chicots. There are only some twenty couples remaining! The rangers for the national park’s heritage invite you to follow in the “footsteps” of the birds along the forest paths.

  

The national and natural marine reserve 

La Réunion is equally blessed with a natural national marine reserve which extends over 35km2 and includes 80% of the island’s coral reefs.

Discover: 

1/ The Ermitage underwater path

On the island’s west coast, the coral reef is home to remarkable biodiversity. All of the living organisms help maintain the natural balance of a complex ecosystem and the role behind this underwater trail is to awaken the public’s senses towards the danger the environment is faced with and to help to adopt responsibility towards the environment. The guided tour of the beautiful and fragile coral reef is free and the visitors are equipped for the pre-prepared route with flippers, masks and snorkels to discover the stunning underwater characteristics of Reunion Island’s coral reef.

2/ Humpbacked whales arrive for the warm waters along Reunion Island’s coastline between June and October to reproduce and take it easy for a while. It is therefore possible to spot them in the open sea and with a bit of luck witness their unique dance routines.

                                                   

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