Visit Saint Paul in Reunion
Saint-Paul, a municipality located on the northwest coast of Réunion, is a hidden gem that offers visitors many leisure and sightseeing opportunities. The area is protected from the strong winds and waves of the sea and boasts some of the most beautiful beaches on the island. Boucan Canot, L'Ermitage, and Saline-les-Bains are just a few examples of the many beaches that offer fine sand and crystal clear waters, perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
For sports enthusiasts, a wide range of water sports activities are available, such as sea kayaking, sailing, and snorkelling. The Saint-Paul wharf is a must-visit spot and offers a stunning view of the bay and the Indian Ocean. Strolling along the charming Place du Général de Gaulle in the city centre is also a great way to unwind. Here, you can admire the elegant façade of the city hall and relax near the fountain in the shade of the trees and palms.
If you're in the area over the weekend, see Saint-Paul's famous open-air market on the seafront esplanade, held every Friday and Saturday morning. It's one of Réunion's most picturesque markets and offers an array of local fruits and vegetables, spices, chilli peppers, honey, and crafts. Be sure to try the delicious chilli pepper sweets, samosas, and other Creole specialities available there.
Joggers and walkers will enjoy a trip to the Saint-Paul pond, a protected area and listed National Nature Reserve. The national forest also offers a pleasant fitness trail for running or walking along the sea.
At the southern exit from the city, towards Saint-Gilles-les-Bains, lies the Saint-Paul marine cemetery, a picturesque site and a listed historic monument. Established next to the ocean along a beautiful black sand beach, this unique place contains the graves of famous people like the poet Leconte de Lisle, the painter Arthur Grimaud, or the pirate Olivier Levasseur, aka La Buse (The Buzzard). Opposite the cemetery, on the other side of the main road, you can enjoy a delightful picnic in the Premiers Français cave park. This cavern now closed to the public, is where the island's first French settlers are thought to have found refuge.