What’s not to love about France? With its culture, its passion and its beauty, it’s true that France is on almost everyone’s bucket list. But, for us, South Africans, travelling to France also means a long and expensive plane trip and a tedious visa application process…
So, what if we tell you that we can bring you to France in under 4 hours and that you won’t even need to apply for a visa! Air Austral can bring you an ultimate French experience from the cuisine to the culture and the language right on your doorstep, either in Reunion Island or in Mauritius… The experience starts on the flight…
“Bonjour Madame, Monsieur. Bienvenue à bord Air Austral!” To get you into the French holiday mood straight away, you will be welcomed by a friendly French crew onto the plane.
Of course, we know that one of the reasons France is so popular is its food. So, enjoy an assortment of gourmet canapés prepared by an Air Austral chef accompanied by a bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne or a lovely French wine.
If you really want to immerse yourself completely in the French culture, why not watch one of the French movies on the flight’s entertainment channel? Mauritius – a copy of French heaven
Author Mark Twain wrote that ‘Heaven was copied after Mauritius’. Although he was undoubtedly referring to the sun soaked palm-fringed beaches, Mauritius is also a copy of heaven for the true Francophiles amongst us. And the good news is that Air Austral now offers you seamless connections twice weekly on Thursdays and Sundays.
The Champs Elysées in Paris is so ‘last year’ for your holiday shopping. For an authentic French experience, head to the old Central Market in Port Louis where you’ll find a swirl of colour and smells. You’ll be able to practice your best French as you chat to the traders about their beautiful wares and try to get the best price for your spices or fruit.
Immerse yourself into the exotic French culture on the island as you stroll along the local neighborhood or enjoy a freshly baked croissant in a local café. The only difference with France? The Mauritians are a lot more laid-back than the Parisians… and dare we say it: a lot less rude. Reunion – The France of the Indian Ocean
If you want to experience French flair combined with a tropical laid-back lifestyle, Reunion Island is the place to be. Part of the European Union, all the locals are French citizens, French is the official language and the currency is the Euro. The only difference with France? You don’t need to apply for a Schengen visa if you’re coming from South Africa…
In Reunion Island, you’ll truly feel you’ve entered ‘tropical’ France. The infrastructure, the signs, the cars and the buildings are all typically French, and even the shops carry French brands. But, the weather is sunny and beautiful.
The food in Reunion is truly unique and has incorporated many influences aside from the French influence. You will still find the charcuterie, gratins and the flavours from stewed meats from France, but it has been combined with the spices from India and the roots from Africa. Instead of Steak Tarture and French Fries, you’ll find soft crab cakes with orange and pink grapefruit and flamed trout with vanilla sauce on the menu.
Not to worry though, the food has the same stamp of quality as it has in France. Restaurants will be labelled Restaurateur de France, Restaurant de Tourisme or Qualité Tourisme Réunion.