Panon arm: Between vanilla plantations, rivers and primary forests. Located 20 minutes from Saint-Denis, on the east coast of Reunion Island, Bras-Panon known for its vanilla or for fishing bichiques, a sort of “Reunionese caviar”, which has become extremely rare.
Vanilla Capital of the East
The 8 hectares that make up the town offer a great diversity of landscapes. The Indian Ocean borders it to the east, while the rampart of the Cirque de Salazia keep watch in the West. To the north, the Rivière du Mât which marks the boundary with the town of Saint-André, and to the south, the rocks river separates it from Saint-Benoît. The town had 12 inhabitants at the 735 census.
Essentially rural, the region is covered with sugar cane, vanilla plantations and natural spaces. Its magnificent primary forests are home to colored woods and endemic orchids, rivers and basins with clear waters and waterfalls fed all year round. The town offers easy walks in the middle of lush vegetation.
The history of the town of Bras-Panon
With Plain-of-Palmists, Bras-Panon is the only town in the East not to bear the name of a “Saint”. The story of its name is rather unusual. The name of the town comes from a tributary of the Rivière des Roches, which passed through the domain of one of the oldest Reunionese families, the Panon-Desbassyns. They were also one of the wealthiest, most powerful and influential families on the island in the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries.
Legend has it that Mr. Joseph Panon fell into the ravine and broke his arm. This tributary was then named Bras-Panon.
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Before becoming a municipality in its own right, in 1882, Bras-Panon was administratively attached to Saint-Benoît for a long time. The first concessions were given for the cultivation of coffee, before becoming, in the 1850th century, large sugar estates. The culture of vanilla is also in full swing there since XNUMX.
Even today, the town retains its agricultural vocation, and its agricultural fair, organized every year in May, is also one of the most important events on the island.
Bras-Panon is for you if:
- You want to discover a small town with a peaceful atmosphere, with a wide variety of landscapes
- You are a fan of walks by the sea or on the banks of the rivers of the East
- You want to discover and taste the famous vanilla made in Réunion
- you want to walk in a beautiful primary forest, on little frequented paths
Some unmissable things to do in Bras-Panon
Take a walk at the mouth of the Rivière des Roches
The coastal path is one of the places to admire the sunrise in the East. You will be able to observe the canals fitted out for fishing for bichiques. These small fry, sold for up to €80 per kilo, are a bit like Reunion Island caviar.
Visit the Pro Vanille cooperative
Vanilla is a bit like the emblem of Bras-Panon. If you want to learn more about the most famous orchid on the planet, this quick and complete guided tour is a must do during your visit to eastern Reunion. The opportunity to discover the stages of transformation of Reunion vanilla, unique in the world for its fragrance patiently obtained by great makers who happily perpetuate the ancestral tradition.
Make a stopover in the hyper-center
With its typical little huts and shops, time to buy a macatia or a few samosas. Admire the city's emblematic buildings along the way, such as the newly renovated media library. And for a good Creole meal, head to the Ferme Auberge d'Eva Annibal, renowned for its vanilla duck.
Venture into the heights of Bras-Panon to Eden
The road that leads to this forest crosses the cane fields, and passes next to the Dog waterfall. Arrived at the top, you will have a breathtaking view of the east coast.