On a world map, Reunion Island is a tiny rock in the middle of the Indian Ocean. This petite French island remains unknown to many travellers as most are drawn the famed golden beaches of Mauritius sitting just above. However, Reunion has so much to offer to sharp travellers savvy enough to visit this speck of an island.
You will, without any doubt, enjoy a true feeling of discovery and idyllic isolation. This beautiful piece of land, rising to a maximum of 3070m above sea level, is surrounded by the warm tropical waters of the Indian Ocean. It is THE ideal destination for those who want to use their annual leave for adrenaline rushes rather than sun burn, Reunion is the perfect destination for intrepid adventurers. With over 1,000 km of trails taking you through the island’s geographical diversity, the looming mountains and dramatic landscape is the perfect venue for walking and hiking fans.
The amalgam of Chinese, Indian and African cultures with a rich French Creole heritage creates a unique atmosphere and a delicious cuisine. Throw in the gorgeous beaches of the west coast surrounded by tropical coral reefs and cascading waterfalls into pristine natural rock pools and you have the perfect alternative island hideaway. Meet a total area of 2512 square kilometers of colorful landscape: With its tropical forests, volcanic mountains and its array of culture, this is the perfect place for a vacation. We advise you to visit before the masses catch on to Reunion’s magic… Have a small glance of the island here…
Map of Reunion
Reunion Island is one of the Mascarene Islands, which also includes the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues. The island is in the southern hemisphere and is over 9,000 km away from the French Metropolis. Blessed by Mother Nature with a generous climate, the island offers a sunny weather practically all throughout the year.
When to visit Reunion?
Lying in the southern hemisphere, Reunion enjoys a tropical climate with two seasons.
Also known as the dry season, winter is the ideal time to indulge in hiking since the land is perfectly practicable. During this season which spans over May to October, the temperature is 4-18 ° C in heights and 19 to 26 ° C in coastal regions.
This season lasts from November to April with rainfall generally between January to March. It is also the cyclonic season. The temperature is generally high and can rise up to and above 30 ° C in the coastal regions. Temperatures, high up, are much cooler than the coastal regions.
Some useful phrases in Creole Reunion
Although the official language of Reunion is French, most of the population speaks Réunionese Creole which is the mother tongue of the island. As Réunionese Creole is used all over the island, here are some examples of short sentences and phrases that might prove useful to you:
• Bonzour: Hello!
• Aou: Toi
• Amoin: Me
• A li: Him
• Koman ilé? How are you?
• Koman le va: How are you?
•Mon cœur l’a chaviré: I fell in love
• Bat un karé: Have a stroll
• Na dimoune: Anybody there?
• Koi fe? : What’s up?
• In Zoreil: A Metropolitan!
• Ou sa vi reste ? : Where do you live?
• Té oui ma fille: If I tell you
• Manzel: Miss
• Poukwé: Why
• Mi aime a ou: I love you
• Riskap: Maybe
• Son zamal y monte: He is going insane
• Mi Sava lakaz: I’m going home
• Nar arvi: We will meet again
What you should not miss on Reunion Island?
With omnipresent nature, the island offers endless natural wealth to all its visitors- and for those nature lovers, you will definitely be conquered. From water sports to mountain climbing, the intense island never lacks adventurous activities.
Réunion is an island with exceptional canyoning sites. The island has an international reputation for canyoning through his famous canyons: Fleur Jaune, Bras Rouge in Cilaos and Trou Blanc in Salazie.
Make room for masks, snorkels and fins in your suitcase and get ready to enjoy the 200km of coastline surrounding the island awaiting you. The water is crystal clear and warm all throughout the year meaning you won’t miss the nice condition since they are recurrent.
If you think that scuba diving is too sporty for you, Reunion Island’s beaches offer an ideal setting to relax.
ULM Island Tour
From above, more than 3000 meters high, Reunion is simply stunning. Sit back in the craft and enjoy a magnificent sunrise and the lush natural peaks of the island.
National Parks in Reunion
The peaks and circus of the island were classified as World Heritage by UNESCO in 2010. The park covers an area of 100 000 ha, approximately 40% of the island. There are subtropical rainforests and heathlands forming a mosaic of ecosystems and landscapes of remarkable characteristic.
The Local Cuisine
Réunionese cuisine is as mixed as the population. Creole dishes are the result of a tasty blend of French, Indian and Chinese cuisine. The “curry”, national dish of Reunion, is served in most restaurants of the coast, in the hotels on the island and the residences.
The Piton de la Fournaise
Reunion Island boasts one of the world’s most active volcanoes, the Piton de la Fournaise which has erupted 180 times since records began in 1640. The Piton de la Fournaise is a truly phenomenal demonstration of the power of nature. Trek the 13km to the volcano rim to view the dramatic lunar landscape, devoid of vegetation but filled with the striking colours of burnt umber, smoky topaz and jet black.
A relatively easy walk but one you need to be prepared for, the views of the volcano and the panoramic scenes of the island is definitely worth the legwork. No trip to Reunion would be complete without a close up look of Furnace Peak. Hiking the volcano is simply unique. You will discover landscapes of raw nature and beautiful panorama.
Some Tips for you before hanging out around the volcano:
• Wear proper clothes; you will be climbing more than 2700 meters.
• The earlier you start the visit the better.
• Bring water, food, and vitamins (fruit, protein bar and chocolates), this hike is more than a health stroll.
• Mobile communications is not at its best around the volcano.
For citizens of the European Union, just a valid identity card valid is. A passport will be needed if you plan to visit the Sister Islands, Mauritius or Seychelles.
Reunion island uses the Euro as currency which will pose almost no problem at all for visitors from across the world.
Credit cards accepted
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
You will be covered as in France, but it is advisable to check with your carrier first.
Shopping In Reunion
Most shops are closed on Sunday.
Most supermarkets are open from 9:00AM to 8:00PM, Monday to Saturday. Some of them are open on Sunday morning.
You can find traditional objects in some shops but it’s often easier and cheaper to go to a market (marché). The market in Saint-Paul is famous and you’ll also find fruits and vegetables: it gathers on Friday morning and afternoon and on Saturday morning. It’s a good place to buy African traditional objects, such as Oware (an abstract strategy game of Akan origin).
The tap water is drinkable.
There is no malaria in Reunion and no vaccine is needed.
Have fun in the Intense Island- Reunion Island!