Right in the heart of the Indian Ocean, 800 km east of Madagascar, Reunion Island, together with Mauritius and Rodrigues, forms the Archipelago of Mascarenes. Reunion is like a mountain resting on the surface of the Indian Ocean, just like the Piton des Neiges, rising to 3,069 meters.
With an active volcano, the famous Piton de la Fournaise which wakes up periodically, gives you the opportunity to admire the magnificence of the lava flow in total safety. Obviously the most striking is that you are on a tropical island in the Indian Ocean, where it’s 30 degrees during the month of December, and this place so strangely distant is still a part of France.
The language, the currency, the highway code (and gendarmes who monitor): everything is authentic and 100% French, and if you took a direct flight from the city of Paris, you won’t even need your passport (identity card is sufficient). This is same for most European countries.
Landing in Reunion Island
Due to the thermal shock, the first step is to remove all the layers of unneeded clothes and get into your shirt. What a pleasure to walk and enjoy the warmth of the sun! Do not forget that hiring a car is what you should do as to be able to explore the island and enjoy everything it has to offer for a wonderful and complete holiday.
Finding accommodation close to the sea is no big deal. When you’ve found your hotel in Reunion, sit back on your terrace and relax to the sound of the waves. When you feel like you want to do something, head for the beach! And if you are wondering what you would do on Reunion Island, we have some advice for you.
The magnificence of circuses
The day after our arrival, we decided to offer us a little tour of the island by helicopter, just to identify well locations. And that is truly magical: the Reunion Island is a volcanic island, and is very mountainous in the center: it climbs very quickly and in a short drive, you can switch from sea level to over 800 meters altitude. There are 3 circuses that have their peculiarities and yet have in common to be sublime.
Summer in winter
Obviously, given the summer temperatures and bright sunshine (at least on the West Coast), the island of Reunion is the perfect place to practice sports or just fun activities: hiking, diving, paragliding, boating, surfing, island tour, visiting distilleries (with tasting), beach and relaxation, the list is long and you should take full advantage of this wonderful destination!
The volcano and its lava flows
Obviously, visiting the volcano is a must in Reunion, as this is one of the few still active volcanoes in the world and it is not dangerous at all: if on eruption, its lava flows slowly towards the coast, leaving ample time to evacuate all persons on its way. The Piton de la Fournaise has had well-publicized eruptions in recent years that have left huge lava flows in the southeastern part of the island. This has surely contributed to a small extension of the island’s area.
Reunion: A Unique place to be
Reunion is a beautiful island, which combines both the beauty and fun of a tropical sea and volcanic mountains. The island also enjoys a warm and sunny climate all year round. The fact that it is an overseas department of France allow locals to benefit both from a tropical environment while speaking their native language and benefiting from similar currency, institutions and level of equipment that you are used to in your country (including medical care). Furthermore, regional culture is still strong and different from those that may be in Europe, but of course, lovers of radical changes of scenery should rather go to Africa or Asia. Reunion is near Madagascar, Mauritius and South Africa, it may nevertheless constitute a good base for exploring the country.
In any case if you are looking for an island paradise combining sublime scenery and wildlife with whatever you are used to in France and for many sports activities, while having a time difference that does not tear your head, Reunion should seduce you and make you want to return with its unparalleled charm.
Hidden gems of Reunion Island
An island of true contrasts, the French department of Reunion is yet unknown to many world travelers. This unique island in the Indian Ocean is yet one of the most fascinating places on the planet.
Less famous than its neighbor Mauritius or the British islands of the Seychelles, the tiny island of Réunion seems drowned in the Indian Ocean, overshadowed by Madagascar. The French know the island well, but there are in fact few of them who have visited the island of the Indian Ocean. Here are ten activities to be that you should not miss while being on the island of Reunion:
– Enjoy the splendor of the Three circuses;
– Take some altitude to enjoy panoramic views of the island;
– Be active, Reunion island just waiting to be explored on foot, by bicycle or by car. The thrill seekers will be served by the many canyons.
– Taste the creole specialties based curry and try the local rum.
– In St. Paul, enjoy the amazing displays of goods along the beach;
– Discover an active volcano: a visit to the Piton de la Fournaise is needed as well as a visit of the Grand-Brûlé route to admire the lava flows.
– Do not miss the various markets on the island.
– Relax on the most popular beaches of the island: Saint-Gilles and Boucan Canot.
– Soak up the local life in Creole villages such as Hell-Bourg, Entre-Deux or Les Makes.
– Put on your scuba gear to go to the discovery of colorful fish and beautiful coral carpet.
– Take a boat to accompany the local dolphins or whales.
– Finally, do not forget to enjoy!
Have fun in Reunion island!