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Reunion Travel Notes

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Réunion Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


Enjoy the allure of Réunion's volcanic landscapes and pristine beaches. Uncover hidden gems and plan an unforgettable getaway with our expert travel tips.

About Réunion

Réunion, located in the Indian Ocean's Mascarene Islands, is a French overseas department and popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches.

Réunion is the largest of the Mascarene island group in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar.

Volcanic in origin, the highest peak on the mountainous island of Réunion is Piton des Neiges (3,069m).

Travel Map Mapping Réunion

Map of Réunion

Map of Réunion

An island and French overseas department in the Indian Ocean, Réunion, is known for its impressive natural features, ecotourism, and adventure sports.

The capital and largest city of Réunion is Saint-Deni.

Réunion Overview

Réunion, officially known as the Department of Réunion, is an overseas department and region of France.Cuisine

Réunionese cuisine is a blend of French, African, Indian, and Chinese influences.

Dishes often include rice, curries, and spices.

Cultural Diversity

Réunion's population - a blend of people with French, African, Malagasy, Indian, and Chinese descent - reflects a rich cultural mix, due to historical migration patterns.

This diversity is evident in the island's cuisine, music, and festivals.


Part of the Mascarene Islands, Réunion is an island located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar and approximately 175 kilometers south-west of Mauritius.

Geological Features

The island is of volcanic origin, and its landscape is characterised by rugged mountains, deep ravines, and a volcanic plateau.

Piton de la Fournaise, one of the world's most active volcanoes, is located on Réunion.

Language and Currency

The official language of Réunion is French and, as an overseas department of France, bills are paid in the European currencey of Euros (EUR).

Piton de la Fournaise

This shield volcano is a major attraction on the island of Réunion.

Piton de la Fournaise has frequent eruptions, and visitors can hike to the crater to witness the lunar-like landscapes.

Piton des Neiges

An extinct volcano, Piton des Neiges is the highest peak on the island of Réunion.

It is part of Réunion National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Réunion National Park

Covering a significant portion of the island, Réunion National Park is home to diverse ecosystems, including rainforests, highland plains, and volcanic landscapes.

It is a haven for hikers and nature enthusiasts.

Visiting Réunion

Réunion is a unique destination that combines natural beauty, cultural diversity, and outdoor activities.

It's a popular spot for hiking, exploring volcanic landscapes, and experiencing a blend of French and Creole cultures.

Réunion Highlight

Travellers to Réunion often appreciate its scenic beauty and the opportunity to engage with a variety of cultural influences.

Adventure Activities

With its diverse landscapes, Réunion offers various outdoor activities such as hiking, canyoning, paragliding, and diving.


The island features beautiful beaches such as Boucan Canot's main beach, L'Hermitage and Plage des Roches Noires.

These beaches are known for their clear waters and are popular for swimming and water sports.

Additionally, Plage de Grande Anse, framed with basaltic cliffs, is a popular spot for beach lovers.

It's important to note that some areas may be affected by strong currents and sharks.


Réunion is known for its three cirques (natural amphitheaters): Cirque de Cilaos, Cirque de Mafate, and Cirque de Salazie.

Popular with hikers , these cirques offer stunning scenery, lush vegetation, and unique geological formations.

Saint-Paul Market

One of the most famous markets in Réunion, Saint-Paul Market offers a vibrant and colourful experience with stalls selling fresh produce, crafts, and local specialties.


Réunion is home to unique flora and fauna, including many endemic species.

The island's ecosystems range from coastal areas to mountainous regions, providing a variety of habitats for different species.

The Island of  Réunion

The island of Réunion was uninhabited when the Portuguese navigator, Pedro de Mascarenhas, discovered it during the early 16th century.

In 1643 the island was claimed by the French, who named it Bourbon. The first colony was established on the island in 1662, and slaves were brought from East Africa and Madagascar to work on the sugar plantations.

The island was renamed Réunion in 1793 and, after slavery was abolished 55 years later, contract workers were brought to the island from India and south-eastern Asia.

As an Overseas Department and Administrative Region of France, Réunion sends five deputies and three senators to the French National Assembly, and a football team plays in the French cup each year.


The capital of Réunion is on the northern coast; a port at the mouth of the Saint-Denis River.

Map of Saint-Denis

Map of Saint-Denis

The city was founded by the French in the late 17th century and developed as a port of call on trade routes between Europe and Asia.

Where to Stay in Saint-Denis

Hotel Le Juliette Dodu

Hotel Le Juliette Dodu

Hotel Le Juliette Dodu: 31 Rue Juliette Dodu, Saint-Denis, Réunion.

Located in a protected building (the childhood home of national heroine Juliette Dodu) with beautifully decorated facades, the hotel features an outdoor pool, hot tub and a library with seating areas.

Built like a small creole palace, in an historical monument of the East India Company, guests at Le Juliette enjoyed the great location, clean rooms and a satisfying breakfast.

Hotels in Saint-Denis.

Réunion Art and Music

Historical and fine art collections can be seen in the Leon-Dierx Museum, Saint-Denis.

Both Indian and Western popular music are heard on the islands, though an indigenous form of music, called Sega, exists; in both traditional and popular forms.

Sega was discouraged by the colonists, but it has regained popularity and is now considered the national music of the islands.

Réunion Maps and Travel Guides

Lonely Planet Mauritius, Reunion & Seychelles (Travel Guide) Mauritius: Rodrigues Réunion (Bradt Travel Guides)

Réunion Travel Guides - Réunion Maps.

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