Le Barachois is one of the city’s best viewpoints and lies within Saint-Denis’ historic heartland. Gaze out to sea and take photos of the waterfront vista of palm trees and tropical foliage. See the statue of one of France’s historic seafaring figures and stroll past the battery of antique cannons. Bring a picnic to enjoy on the park benches or simply rest awhile and enjoy the views.
Stroll along the paved pathway and look out across the water. The small bay, known as Le Barachois, is bounded by cliffs on its western side and formerly served as a small harbor for merchant ships. The name “Barachois” refers to this particular type of coastal lagoon. Make your way to the statue of Bertrand François Mahé de La Bourdonnais, who was governor of Reunion for 3 months in the 18th century.
Wander to the Pointe des Jardins and check out the collection of cannons. You’ll also find a statue dedicated to the Réunion aviator Roland Garros here. This area is popular with visitors and newlyweds, who capture photographs of themselves with a stunning backdrop of blazing sunset light. Visit the square in the evening to see the views of the sun sinking into the Indian Ocean. Bring a picnic or some drinks and enjoy the atmosphere.
Toward the east of the area is a bowling alley and a swimming pool that has been transformed into a bar, both of which date back to 1959. Admire the modernist architecture of the buildings. If you visit during the Christmas period, be sure to visit the Christmas markets that pop up near the Rue de Paris.
Le Barachois is located on Saint-Denis’ northernmost tip and is a short walk from the historic district. It is approximately a 10-minute drive from the center of town. The area is open daily for free.