On the southwestern corner of the island of Réunion is the small coastal resort of L’Étang-Salé les Bains. Its major highlight is its curving volcanic-sand beach framed by palm trees. Relax beneath the shade of the gently swaying palms and enjoy a rejuvenating swim in the enticing ocean. Watch as fishermen arrive with their day’s catch and spot luxury boats at the small port. Bring your camera and take postcard-worthy shots of the sun setting over the Indian Ocean.
L’Étang-Salé les Bains is a popular surf spot. See experienced surfers, kite-surfers and windsurfers perform tricks in the rolling waves. The clear waters are also good for snorkeling and spotting a variety of exotic fish. Ask at the resort’s tourist office about equipment rentals and tours. Sharks are known to inhabit the water so heed the warnings of locals.
Walk to Le Gouffre de l'Étang-Salé, an impressive rock formation at the southern edge of the beach. Gaze in awe as waves crash onto the rocks and spill down a long corridor.
Behind the northern edge of the beach is the resort’s commercial center, where you’ll find camping grounds and hotels. Dine at restaurants that serve fresh seafood and dishes blending French and Creole traditions. Enjoy some family-friendly entertainment at AkOatys, a waterpark home to slides, pools and a surf simulator.
Spend an afternoon at Croc Parc, a wildlife reserve and amusement park. Get up-close with and learn about the breeding process of crocodiles. Have fun on a miniature golf course and a children’s playground. Alternatively, play a round of 18 holes at Golf Club de Bourbon.
If you are feeling adventurous then join a canyoning trip and discover Réunion’s magnificent landscapes. Piton des Neiges is a great place to do this and is less than a 1-hour drive away.
L’Étang-Salé les Bains is about a 1-hour drive from Saint-Denis, the capital of Réunion. Getting to the resort is easiest via car, which gives you the freedom to visit other areas of the island. Be sure to visit nearby Saint-Louis, from where a scenic road zigzags through the magnificent Cirque de Cilaos.