Not your average tropical island is the best way to describe Reunion. An island of many contrasts, the French governed island of Reunion is unknown to many of the world’s travelers. This unique island in the middle of the Indian Ocean is simply one of the most intriguing spots on earth. Known for it’s adventure orientated exploration holidays, it’s not uncommon for people to stay at least two weeks.
- The island is 63 kilometres long, 45 kilometres wide, convering 2,512 square kilometres. One of the youngest islands in the world.
- It is still highly mountainous with volcanic activity still happening today. One of its volcanoes, Piton de la Fournaise, over 2,631 metres above sea, is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. The Piton des Neiges volcano is the highest point on the island at 3,070 metres above sea level and is extinct.
- The first settlers arrived from France in the 17th century to an uninhabited island, accompanied by servants from Madagascar.
- Being a small island, there are only nine native species of mammals. In the forested areas you can find rare rusa deers and hares, among others.
- Extreme sports and outdoor enthusiasts will rejoice as almost every activity is catered for. From land activities that include hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing to water based activities like kite surfing and Stand Up Paddle Boarding. You name it, Reunion has it.
TOP 5 REUNION HIGHLIGHTS
- VOLCANOES Piton des Neiges is the most dominant geographical feature on the island and visible from just about everywhere at 3070 metres above sea level. Currently extinct it offers numerous hiking trails to reach its summit. It’s sister volcano, Piton de la Fournaise is still very much active and best viewed from the sky on scenic helicopter flights.
- ST DENIS Reunions vibrant capital city located at the most northerly tip of the island and surrounded on three sides by mountains. Not only is it full of many cultural sites and museums, but little shops and casual bistro restaurants. With so many cultures in the diverse population, every taste is catered for.
- CIRQUE DE MAFATE Completely surrounded by mountains, the only way to access the area is by foot or helicopter. Completely off the electrical grid, residents of the small village of La Nouvelle are completely reliant of solar power and generators to live. The area and surrund forests are popular with hikers.
- ST GILLES LES BAINS No trip to a tropical island would be complete without at least one day relaxing at the beach. Here you’ll find one of the few public beaches on the island with beautiful golden sand and safe swimming water. Dotted along the almost 20 km stretch is numerous restaurants and bars.
- EXTREME SPORTS Skydiving, white river rafting, paragliding, jet-skiing, the list is endless. Making Reunion the ultimate adventure sports island.
TIPS FOR TRAVELING REUNION
CURRENCY As a French governed territory, the Euro is the only form of currency accepted on the island. Credit cards are widely accepted and ATM’s are numerous.
CLIMATE Reunion has a tropical climate softened by the breezes of the Indian Ocean. The sun shines all year round. There is little difference between day and night temperatures. The island gets most of its rain between October and March.
WHAT TO PACK With it’s warm climate, summer clothes and costumes should make up the bulk of your packing list. With the land excursions on the island numerous and varied, specialist equipment pertaining to your chosen sporting preference makes sense. Comfortable walking shoes, a hat and sun tan lotion go without saying. Smart casual clothes for dining in the evenings is sometimes required.
PEAK HOLIDAY SEASON April to October in Reunion is considered the best time to travel. This is when there is the least amount of rain and day time temperatures are a little cooler.