Resplendent Reunion

This little known gem of the Indian Ocean is an island of true contrasts. The intriguing island may be a mere speck in the ocean, but it offers much to be discovered – from an active volcano to miles of sandy beaches, with majestic mountains and lush forests in between. 

Those looking for peace and quiet will find it relaxing on the welcoming beaches, while adrenaline seekers can explore everything from hiking the unique cirques to canyoning the many waterfalls, or scuba diving and surfing the crystal clear waters. 

Reunion Island
Reunion Island

The Interior

Formed by the Salazies Mountain (an extinct volcano) in the west and the Grand Brule Mountain in the east, the island’s rugged interior boasts lava-covered mountains, ‘natural amphitheatres’ known as cirques, lush, green forests with abundant wildlife, and a myriad of spectacular waterfalls. 


Cities and villages have sprung up along the coastal lowlands of Reunion since the French first settled on the island in 1642. Today, visitors can enjoy beautiful beaches offering plenty of opportunities for watersports on the west coast; scuba diving in St-Gilles-les-Bains; surfing in St Leu; and traditional Creole houses in St Paul. In the northernmost coastal capital of St Denis, you can find striking island architecture, art galleries, beautifully manicured gardens, and a range of festive restaurants offering up Creole cuisine. In the East Coast towns, visitors can explore fields of sugar cane and vanilla, lush vegetation, and plenty of waterfalls.

Reunion Road
Reunion Island Cirques


The topography of this volcanic island is unique and striking, with three natural formations called ‘cirques’ that formed as the inside of the volcano that gave birth to the island, and have since been further shaped by centuries of erosion. These natural amphitheatres (Salazie, Cilaos and Mafate) each offer unique attractions for intrepid explorers – from canyoning and hiking to mountain biking. 


Piton Des Neiges 

Piton des Neiges is the highest point on the island, soaring to 3 070 metres. Located in the north central region of Reunion, it is the most dominant geological feature of the island. Inactive for about 20 000 years, the old, eroded volcano is a highlight for hikers the globe over. On the lower slopes is a biological reserve boasting over 200 varieties of plants and many species of animals. 

Piton De La Fournaise

One of the world’s most active volcanoes, Piton de la Fournaise is located in the southeast corner of Reunion Island. It erupted for the first time about 50 000 years ago. The eruptions were first recorded in 1640, and it has erupted nearly 180 times since then (with the last being in 2004). Visitors need not worry, though – it is consistently monitored by scientists and government surveillance to ensure that an evacuation of residents and guests is not required! Many locals offer guided walking tours and rides to Piton de la Fournaise, which has become one of Reunion’s most popular tourist attractions. 

Piton de la Fournaise
A Reunion Island Beach

Towns & Villages

St Leu is the island’s top surfing location. Hellbourg has been named “most beautiful French village”, for good reason. Surrounded by mountains on three sides, St-Denis is the capital, and the largest city on the island. Another of Reunion’s larger cities, Cilaos has long been known as a popular spa resort destination. Last but certainly not least, St Gilles les Bain – with its beautiful stretching beaches – is the island’s premiere sunbathing destination. 


Between May and November, when the weather is generally dry and cool. It does start to get hot and rainy from November, and this lasts until April. The island is known for its torrential rainfall, and it’s best to avoid monsoon season. 

While there are shuttle services, buses and taxis available across the island, many visitors prefer the freedom of a hire car. 4x4s, motorbikes and bicycles are available for difficult-to-reach areas like hiking trails and waterfalls. 

Fly to Roland Garros airport from Paris Orly, Charles de Gaulle and Marseilles airports. From there, you can take a rental car or taxi to your hotel or set off to explore the island!

Reunion Island Waterfall