"Reunion Island - France's Paradise" Top 5 Page for this destination Reunion by mikelisaanna

Reunion Travel Guide: 142 reviews and 288 photos

Reunion Island is a volcanic island located a few hundred kilometers east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. It is one of the most spectacular places on earth, with an active volcano on its southern end, and three dramatic 1000-meter deep circular canyons (called cirques) in its middle. The three cirques (the Cirque de Mafate, Cirque de Salazie, and Cirque de Cilaos) have been eroded over the millenia into amazing landscapes with sharp ridges and winding canyons unlike anything else that we have ever seen.

While its interior is extremely rugged, the outer edge of Reunion is full of small towns and beaches. As a result, it combines the best of both worlds. It has great scenery for driving and hiking, while also having good beaches to relax on at the end of the day.

We stayed in St. Gilles-les-Bains, a beach resort town on the western coast. It was a great location, because it was convenient to some of the most scenic drives on the island, including the roads to Le Maido and Cilaos. The area also had some good restaurants, which served a mixture of French and creole cooking.

Reunion's people were friendly. They are a mixture of French, African, and Indian, which makes for some interesting food and culture. The official language of the island is French, although the locals also speak a patois that we could not understand.

Reunion is officially a part of France, similar to the way Hawaii is part of the US, even though it is thousands of miles away in an ocean. Over 95% of the tourists to Reunion are French, with most of the rest being from French speaking countries such as Belgium. In the entire week that we were there, we only met one other family that were not native French speakers (they were from Spain). Our high school and university French got quite a workout, as many people on Reunion do not speak any English.

We had a great time visiting Reunion and definitely want to go back and see more of it.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Amazing scenery, plenty of beaches, good food
  • Cons:You need to be able to speak French
  • In a nutshell:One of the most spectacular places in the world
  • Last visit to Reunion: Jul 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (20)

Comments (6)

  • riorich55's Profile Photo
    Feb 7, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Wow, this does look like a cool place.

  • annwag's Profile Photo
    Sep 21, 2010 at 4:55 AM

    Great review Reunion. It is very helpful before my visiting the island. Thanks!

  • starship's Profile Photo
    Apr 20, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    Excellent page with lots of useful information and great photos! There is much more to do & see here than I knew!

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Sep 28, 2009 at 10:05 AM

    The Turtle, mountain views, church, and beaches are looks absolutely beautiful. Nice page!

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Sep 11, 2009 at 3:47 PM

    What a beautiful place! The mountains, sea and French speaking too. SL :)

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Sep 1, 2009 at 2:23 AM

    wow this place looks awesome! I want to visit here! Thanks for the pics and excellent write up.

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