Places to take a helicopter tour on Reunion Island

hélicoptère La Réunion

Would you like to take a helicopter tour of Reunion Island? Not sure which experience to choose? Follow the guide!

Reunion Island is a true paradise on Earth, with an extraordinary natural heritage. From the water’s edge to the mountain tops, Réunion Island is full of surprises!

Its unique character and natural diversity make it an ideal place to spend a vacation and recharge your batteries. Today, we’d like to introduce you to an unusual activity that’s literally off the beaten track…

In fact, this activity takes place in the sky: we suggest you take a helicopter tour of Reunion Island! But how do you go about it? What’s there to see? Which alternative to choose? We tell you all about it here!

The best activity: a helicopter tour of Reunion Island

hélicoptère La Réunion

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Johannes Kraak

  • 💰 F rom €250 per person, available all year round
  • 👍 Activity highlights: Flight over Reunion’s most beautiful natural wonders

Information you need to know

Before boarding a helicopter, there are a few important things to know. First of all, avoid drinking too much alcohol the night before the flight. The body has a memory capacity that could cost you your enjoyment of the activity. So avoid drinking too much the evening before departure, to make the most of the sensations of a helicopter flight.

Secondly, it goes without saying that you should have a minimum level of vertigo, as even the most sensitive people can suffer from vertigo aboard a helicopter. Unlike paragliding, you have a frame of reference that your body will consider to be terrestrial (the floor of the machine). To make the most of your experience, don’t hesitate to take medication to combat motion sickness. You’ll be all the more at ease!

Helicopter flights can last from 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the service you choose. Of course, a longer trip means a higher price. Please understand that when you pay for a helicopter tour on Reunion Island, you are contributing to the company’s overheads. In this case, the activity we propose lasts 45 minutes, during which the pilot will be there to guide you and explain what you’ll be flying over.

The course of the activity

Déroulement de l'activité

Photo credit: Shutterstock – ellfoto

Taking a helicopter tour of Reunion Island is a chance you’ve got to take, because it doesn’t happen every day! You’ll be amazed to discover the incredible richness of this isolated land. The wild colors of the rugged terrain combine to create a magnificent picture, with the endless turquoise sea surrounding it all. From the helicopter, you’ll be able to observe the island’s many points of interest. Not least its cirques.

The cirques are imposing geological formations, huge hollows in the heart of the island. There are three of them: Mafate, Salazie and Cilaos. Together, they meet at a single point, the roof of Réunion Island: the Piton des Neiges (3,071 meters above sea level). Truly impressive, flying over them in a helicopter is a real privilege. If it’s common to walk around them, as there are plenty of hiking trails, getting up high gives them a whole new dimension.

Through the helicopter’s windows, you’ll discover the heights of Mafate, still very wild compared to Salazie and Cilaos, both heavily populated cirques. However, the dominant color is still green, punctuated by red, yellow and blue dots (in other words, the dwellings). From Hell-Bourg (Salazie) to Îlet-à-Cordes (Cilaos) via La Glacière (Mafate), take the time to see and marvel.

Throughout your helicopter flight, your pilot will introduce you to the island, pointing out its wonders and revealing a few of its little secrets. In addition to the three cirques you’ll be flying over, you’ll also be able to see Reunion’s lagoon, the Piton des Neiges, the Maïdo and even the Piton de la Fournaise… A grandiose spectacle in prospect!

The alternative: flying over a volcano (sleeping… or not!)

hélicoptère La Réunion

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Zamir Popat

  • 💰 F rom €170 per person, available all year round
  • 👍 Activity highlights: Opportunity to see the volcano in full eruption.

The course of the activity

Like the previous activity, a helicopter flight over the Piton de la Fournaise volcano is an incredible experience, because it’s so rare in a lifetime. All the more so as you may have the opportunity to fly over the volcano in full activity. It erupts frequently, at least once a year in the last decade and up to 5 times in 2018! Some of these eruptions last just a few hours, while others last several hundred days! In 1972, for example, the volcano erupted for 228 days, even forming a lava lake…

Suffice to say, it’s not at rest, and you’ve got a potential chance of seeing the bowels of the Earth propelled into the air. In any case, the Piton de la Fournaise will reveal itself to you. As will the numerous flows that have deformed the landscape over time. Did you know that these flows increase the surface area of the island a little more each time they reach the ocean?

During this helicopter flight, you’ll see more than just Piton de la Fournaise, despite its incredible attractiveness. You’ll also get to see its surroundings, such as the Plaine des Sables, where many hikers begin their trek towards the volcano. But you’ll also see the Rivière des Remparts and the Rivière de l’Est, which flow into the Indian Ocean. Throughout the flight, the pilot will give you a passionate introduction to the different landscapes you’ll be flying over.

Helicopter tour of Reunion Island: our tips

To ensure the success of your helicopter flight on Reunion Island, it’s best to take note of the following information:

  • On the big day, wear casual clothes and closed-toe sports shoes so that you’re comfortable throughout the flight;
  • Don’t hesitate to share your fears or weaknesses with the pilot. He will be able to reassure you and adapt the flight to your needs;
  • Finally, remember that helicopters are highly dependent on weather conditions. In the event of rain, wind or storm, your flight may be cancelled! So, if you can, choose a date early in your vacation so you can reschedule.

And, of course, don’t forget the most important thing of all: enjoy yourself! A helicopter tour is a truly timeless vacation experience…