Lush Reunion: Traverse surreal landscapes, sample Creole cuisine on French island

Traverse surreal volcanic landscapes and savour flavourful Creole cuisine on the French island off the coast of Africa

The jungle clings to the towering cliffs like a 1,000m vertical garden shining with tropical flowers, a sprinkling of pink, yellow and purple jewels among the emerald foliage.

As we round a bend, a skein of whitewater appears, tumbling more than 600m to the forest floor, showering the surrounding palms and ferns like rain. This could be Eden, I think. If not for the perfectly paved road winding up the valley past the occasional wooden bungalow and car, it will be easy to mistake this place - Salazie, a lush caldera on the French island of Reunion - for virgin territory.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 04, 2018, with the headline 'Lush Reunion'. Print Edition | Subscribe