Located on the south-east tip of Réunion, the municipality of Saint-Philippe is indisputably worth a detour thanks to its natural treasures and relaxed way of life.
The famous Cape Méchant, set in the heart of the magnificent Wild South, indeed has plenty to appeal to lovers of marine landscapes, with its jagged basalt coast lashed by mighty waves… This very well-landscaped tourist site dotted with paths and kiosks delights walkers as well as picnickers. Not far from there, towards the village of Saint-Philippe, you can take a rest at the site of the Puits des Anglais well in Le Baril, a very pleasant spot for relaxing with its natural swimming pool, lawn shaded by screwpine trees, picnic tables and barbecues. Built in the 19th century at the request of the Réunion scientist Joseph Hubert, the well that still stands there today was used to collect the fresh water that ran down the slopes of the volcano, before mains water was introduced… Nearby, when the sea swell is strong, you can see the Souffleur d'Arbonne and its impressive water jet.
Lovers of forest walks can take the Mare Longue botanical path, a beautiful route through the primary tropical forest. At Mare Longue, plant enthusiasts can also enjoy the delightful perfume and spice garden on the volcanic flow which is around 800 years old. A haven of peace offering an ideal place to relax, with over 1,500 species of plants, trees and flowers, ranging from geranium to vetiver, through ylang-ylang, cardamom, vanilla and clove.
Located in the South East of the Reunion Department, Saint-Philippe has about 5,000 inhabitants spread over 153 km². This municipality remains the coastal village best protected by time. Between fishing and the weaving of vacoas, the village has one of the most beautiful tropical forests of the South.
Saint-Philippe is part of the label "Villages Créoles" which offers visitors the discovery of the authentic Reunion, that rhythmated by the mixed culture, shared riches and preserved nature. You will enjoy a warm welcome characteristic of these villages, in which you will have the chance to meet and share with the locals. You will be received in quality dwellings, while enjoying the traditional cuisine crafted to the creole soul. All this is done with a concern for responsible tourism.
The coasts of Saint-Philippe are characteristic of the South Wild: green vegetation and abrupt volcanic coastal coastlines shaped by the incessant broom of the waves.
Saint-Philippe, destination "Parfum de basalte", offers exceptional sites linked to the history: The Well of the English presents remains dating from the XIXe century. Designed of cut stone and erected between 1813 and 1822, this well was probably dug to collect fresh water running down the slopes of the Volcano. The inhabitants drew water from it, not so long ago, before the arrival of running water. On this site, a swimming pool with sea water and a large green area are suitable for relaxation and picnics.
The Arabic well, dug entirely in the lava, without any trace of masonry, which has been the subject of numerous legends as to the date of its construction, deserves to be dwelt to absorb the history of this location.
Natural sites revealing the charms of the South Wild will be proposed to you: the point of Basse Valley, more commonly called Cap Méchant, will allow you to admire a point of view on this wild coast during a good picnic.
You will have the opportunity to discover the fauna and the flora of Reunion thanks to the organized botanical trail of the forest of Mare Longue.
You will also be able to visit an extraordinary garden of 3 hectares in the heart of the forest of Mare-Longue, discovering perfumes, spices and the incredible richness of the natural heritage of the Great South of Reunion Island, germinated on a volcanic flow of 800 Years in the garden of perfumes and spices.
In the pleasant setting of an old Creole residence built around 1850, you will relive the history of Saint-Philippe and the past of Reunion Island at the Eco-museum Au Bon Roi Louis. But also in respect of tradition and know-how, with artisans who will share with you a convivial moment around the weaving of the vacoas through the workshop of initiation.
Do not forget to pass by the Route des Laves, witness of the intense volcanic activity of Reunion. The volcano is ubiquitous at Saint-Philippe, from the basaltic slopes to the black cliffs of the coast. Indeed, La Fournaise offers a magic show at this place. One can admire the lava flows which descend the slope during eruptions. The visitor can not remain insensitive to the scene of the exceptional encounter between this lava and the sea. The ancient chilled volcanic flows present a magnificent landscape and confirm the past volcanic activities.
Walks and guided tours will be proposed to discover the charms of this place of the South Wild.
For more information, contact the Maison du Tourisme du Sud Sauvage: Tel. : +33 2 62 37 37 11 - Fax: +33 2 62 37 37 15 - Email: email@example.com
The festival of the Vacoas and the Palmiste, in August, is the opportunity to taste a local cuisine based on palm and vacoas which is the main source of cooked food in Saint-Philippe.
The Festival de la Mer, in November, promotes coastal and marine activities.