Travel to Saint-Paul – Reunion’s Largest Natural Harbour
A rapidly expanding and ‘local’ town, Saint-Paul is home to Reunion’s largest natural harbour, Saint-Paul Bay. It was here that the first inhabitants of the island landed in 1646 and, according to legend, chose to settle in the ‘Grotte des Premiers Francais’. Nowadays the bay offers sheltered anchorage and a black sandy beach, whilst the town hosts a lively local market.
Although the town of Saint-Paul is not one of the major places of interest on Reunion it does have some attractions for travellers staying in the beach resorts south of the town, or for those just passing through. Friday and Saturday in town are market days – with traders from around the island converging to sell their produce. The diversity of locally grown fruit and vegetables is particularly impressive, as well as the range of Malagasy craftwork on sale.
Two other interesting sights are located at the southern end of town. The caves of the first French settlers, known locally as ‘Grotte des Premiers Francais’, are just off the N1 highway. On the other side of the highway, close to the ocean, is the very well maintained ‘Cimetiere Marin’, a Maritime Cemetery.
- Visit the colourful weekly market, one of the best local markets on Reunion
- Search for the grave of ‘La Buse’, an infamous pirate, in the Maritime Cemetery