More about Reunion

Lush tropical forests, cascading waterfalls, high calderas and volcanoes - that's just the interior of this varied island destination that is fringed by a coastline that is just as diverse.

Reunion Island is a 4 hour flight away from Johannesburg. Lying in the Indian Ocean, it is close to Mauritius. Reunion is a territory of France, so it has a good set of roads and infrastructure. You can expect to hear a lot of French and to drive on the right hand side of the road. Fortunately, visas aren't required for South Africans.

Read on to get a glimpse of where to visit. You can easily combine them all in a week's visit, either on a self-drive, or guided tour. Also be sure to have a look at this blog post, as well as this one that has information to help you plan for a trip to Reunion.

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The Coast

You can circimnavigate all of this island's coastline. Most people will arrive at the capital, Saint Denis, in the north of the island. Going clockwise, there are a number of small towns along the coast, some with interesting detours. The north coast is mostly non-swimming, rugged shoreline. The east coast has some rocky beaches, as well as solidified lava flows that reach the coast and which are worth having a look at. The southern and western coasts are best for swimming and snorkelling. Swimming is officially only allowed at designated beaches (that have shark nets). Snorkelling is recommended at the lagoons at Saint Pierre and Saint Gilles. Most of our suggested itinearies include these towns. If you just want a beach holiday, you can't go wrong with our luxury option or ask us for something similar.


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The Cirques

There are three main volcanic calderas (these volcanos are long extinct) - Salazie, Cilaos and Mafate - that form the interior of the island. The first two are easily accesible by car and are worth a drive. There are a number of hikes of varying length that straddle the valley and mountains, and it is also popular with adventure seekers. Mafate is accessible by foot only and is popular for overnight hikes. Our Reunion Explored and Reunion Discovery itineraries include at least one Cirque, or ask us to tailor one for you.


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The Volcanoes and The Plains

Piton de la Fournaise is the volcano on the east of the island and still creates a spectacle every now and then. It's worth a visit (in the morning), and there are some interesting hikes in the national park that surrounds it. Piton Neiges is the tallest peak in the Indian Ocean, and forms a stunning backdrop to many island views. Neiges is long extinct.

To get to Piton de la Fournaise early in the morning, it makes sense to spend the prior evening in one of the Plains towns. The Plains are typical countryside, and have more limited accommodation and food options.




For more about Reunion, read our blog at: Here are some featured blog entries:

Reunion Island - Part 1

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Reunion is diverse in many ways. For a small island, it features a variety of scenic landscapes, mostly formed by aeons of volcanic activity. We hired a car and spent a week circumnavigating the island. Read more...


Reunion Island - Part 2

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We explored the varied coastline on Reunion Island. From the rugged north coast to the volcanic beaches on the east coast, down to the coral lagoons and sandy beaches elsewhere. Read more...


Reunion Island - Planning a trip

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Everything you need to know to help you plan for your trip to Reunion Island. From getting there and around to where to stay and what to eat and pack. Read more...