Religious fervor is an important aspect of life in this town. All Reunion natives know the story of Mario, the young slave who got saved by a little ebony figure of the virgin Mary during his escape to freedom.This statuette is now represented by the Black Virgin. She is the protector of the oppressed and she is celebrated every first of May by people coming from all corners of the island. You will find her behind the Church of The River of Rain. This neighborhood is also famous for the cellar of highly controversial 18th century island character Mrs Desbassyns.
Marco Ah-Kiem’s Sculptothèque (Sculpture library) will amaze you with its giant stone sculptures. This incredible artist is carving Reunion’s History in stone. An absolute must!
Microlights and helicopters take off from Sainte-Marie every day. The experience is simply thrilling for everyone, including businessmen who wish to treat themselves to an early morning flight over the island. Care to try?”
Still up high but with your feet firmly planted in the ground, you can discover the Piton Fougères path” with a gorgeous hike that will reveal breathtaking views on the Salazie, Piton des Neiges and Gros Morne summits.
The bicycle path of Sainte-Marie’s ocean front is well loved by all people from Reunion. It stretches between the Marina and the “Ravine des chèvres”. Some children will choose to run it, others to skate it, bike it, scooter it or for the less adventurous, simply stroll it at a nice slow pace. For lunch, a picnic at “Bois Madame” is an absolute must.
Every weekend, the fishing harbour and the marina are packed with a joyful mix of fishermen, yachtsmen, tourists and local ocean lovers. Cafes and restaurants are available there as well as a unique view on airplanes taking off and flying a few meters off the boats’ masts.