LAST UPDATED: 18th September 2014 at 10:25am

Beach in the seychelles or Maldives still not taking your fancy? Then hotfoot it from SA to the lesser-known (but no-less-special) Réunion Island.


Discovered by the French, and now home to a diverse blend of cultures, it's often compared to Hawaii, due to its verdant flora, fantastic surf, volcanic landscapes and tumbling waterfalls. This colonial-style hotel is the only five-star resort on Réunion. Its villas are Creole-inspired, with turquoise accents that reflect the lagoon beyond. The beach restaurant is well placed to view migrating whales in the winter months.


For the more adventurous, deep-sea-fishing trips can be arranged. There is a fitness centre on site, as well as a spa treatment room, and massages can be enjoyed in discreet garden gazebos, too. As evening falls, sink into a comfy beanbag with a box of homemade popcorn to watch films on a screen stretched between two palm trees.

WOW FACTOR A day trip to the lunar landscape of Piton de la Fournaise, a live volcano, is not to be missed. Take a jumper - it gets very cold 2,500m above sea level.

GO A double room costs from £142


LAST UPDATED: 8th December 2013 at 2:18pm

With its French signage and boulangeries, Mauritius's ruggedly sexy neighbour La Réunion is resolutely Gallic - but with a tropical twist.

Alongside the palm-fringed beaches and clear blue waters there's a much wilder heart: dramatic canyons, forests, tumbling waterfalls and gorges, and taking centre stage the 300,000-year-old Piton de la Fournaise volcano.

The five-star resort looks onto a coral-laced lagoon brimming with tropical fish, and the 164 rooms deliver low-key and eco-conscious luxury.

Shaded lawns with white villas lead to a sandy beach with our favourite of the three restaurants, La Plage.

Tuck into fresh fish or Creole curry followed by pineapple carpaccio, then sit under the stars at the alfresco cinema.

WOW FACTOR: Take a helicopter ride that soars across dramatic canyons and cirques (the hotel will arrange this for you, or visit

FLIGHT TIME: 10 hours.

GO: Book with Turquoise Holidays; call 01494 678 400 or visit for more details or email