From EDM to film festivals and racing events, the idyllic island of Reunion is brimming with thrilling experiences through the year. Add a splash of excitement to your travels by planning an adrenaline-fuelled trip to this French overseas department. By Pallavi Mehra
1. Sakifo Musik Festival
Picture your favourite artists performing on the edge of the glittering Indian Ocean while the sun sets in the horizon. Every June, in the coastal town of Saint-Pierre, international and local artists perform pop, rock, electro, blues and funk. While the 2019 lineup will be announced closer to the festival, the 2018 edition included artists such as M.I.A., Fakear, and Roméo Elvis amongst others.
2. Electropicales Festival
Skip the conventional music festivals for a more underground experience at Electropicales in Saint-Denis, the capital city of Reunion. It happens every year in May. While Carl Craig was the headline act of 2018, the festival is expected to grow much bigger this time with an exclusive setting and magnanimous stage. Watch out for the world’s biggest DJs in 2019!
3. Leu Tempo Festival
If you’re more into performing arts, then this festival in Saint-Leu comes highly recommended for you. Every year in May, over 120 stage performances, including plays, circus acts, street theatre, and puppet shows are performed during this four-day extravaganza. Some of the shows to look forward to at the festival include Togo (Afuma), Netherlands (Evidences Inconnues) and Madagascar (Zarazao ) amongst others.
4. Zot Movie Festival
This extreme sports, short film-festival that takes place on October 13 every year is like none other. At the event, over 15 short films showcasing daring adventures, extreme sports and over-the-top performances are shown on a big screen, on the idyllic Cap Homard Beach. The open-air event attracts hundreds of thrill-seekers and movie buffs for its inspiring collection of movies and relaxed ambience.
5. The Grand Raid
Labeled the ‘Madmen’s Diagonal’, Grand Raid is the tenth and last stage of the Ultra-Trail World Tour, and is considered to be one of the most difficult races in the world. The Grand Raid trail takes place annually in October, and runs across the entire island of Reunion, for about 160 kilometres, with a change in altitude of over 9,000 metres. For all you adventure-lovers, it cannot get better than this!
6. Golf Mercedes
If a slower pace is more your style, the La Reunion Golf Mercedes Open, that takes place in November every year, is the ideal choice for you. Unwind and soak in the lush green scenery while you watch the best golfers in the world play to win the Double Professional French Open, Mercedes Benz Amateur Trophy and the title of the best golfer in France.
You will feel like you’re in an action movie when you’re racing on a mountain bike across the island. This electrifying race takes place in December and is not recommended for the faint-hearted. It is a downhill marathon that begins nearly 2,200 meters above sea level and ends at the edge of the ocean. Now, that is setting major #racegoals.
8. Paragliding World Cup
Every October, Reunion Island hosts a pre-Paragliding World Cup event. The best paragliders from around the world fly above the stunning landscapes, creating postcard moments. If you’re not a trained paraglider, you can still enjoy aerial views of the island during a paragliding tour. First-timers are recommended to take off from Saint-Leu or the nearby St. Paul, and make their landings on the golden sand beach of Kelonia.
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