La Réunion from the air: the most amazing helicopter ride

La Réunion is a small French overseas department in Africa, east of Madagascar. Even though it’s a tropical island, the true beauty of this ‘petit paradis’ in the Indian Ocean isn’t its beaches. Deep in the heart of the island is where the magic happens and a great way to let yourself be enchanted, is from the air. I made this five minute film from a helicopter flight over the island. I warn you though: you’ll wish you were there…

Lush valleys mountain ranges in a thousand shades of green, small winding roads, rugged lava plains, hidden waterfalls and villages built on collapsed volcanic craters. La Réunion is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Having had the opportunity to see the island from a unique vantage point – from a helicopter window – is now in the top of my most amazing travel experiences.

Take off is in Saint-Gilles and from there you fly over a few of the island’s most spectacular sights, like the charming hidden villages of Mafate and Salazie that are built on the collapsed remains of an extinct volcano and only accessible by helicopter or by foot. Next up is the Trou de Fer or Iron hole with its eye dropping waterfalls and after that comes the crater of the Piton de la Fournaise volcano, the main reason why most people decide to hop on a helicopter in La Réunion (starts at 2:49). All in all it’s 45 minutes of gorgeous and ever-changing landscapes. And then there’s the pilot’s way of manoeuvring through the gorges, sliding over mountain peaks and circling around the volcano that makes it all the more incredible. Just, magical. (Our flight was the 45 minute ‘Tour de L’Ile’)

  • Sounds like a great break from the bleakness that is the northeastern US. Jealous!