Reunion Mini Guide
Who Travels to Reunion?
For the greater part it tends to be French tourists who want an alternative to Martinique or New Caledonia. It’s very easy for the French to access the island and you’ll find that most of the travellers you encounter are French. The island is trying to widen its appeal though and with quick and easy access from the UK to Paris, Reunion is beginning to attract UK tourists too.
So how do I get There?
If you’re travelling from the UK or any other parts of Europe you’ll first need to get to Paris Orly or Paris Charles de Gaulle airports and then catch the twice weekly plane direct to Reunion. An alternative is to take the slightly longer route to Marseille and fly on from there. Reunion’s airport is located on the north coast of the island and has good access to the resorts of the west coast via the highway that circumnavigates the island.
What is There to See and Do on Reunion?
The answer is plenty! There are beautiful white sandy beached all along the west coast and inland you have soaring volcanic peaks often skirted with cloud. A rainforest of sorts clings to the lower slopes of the volcanoes allowing the adventurous to go seeking the flora and fauna of this unique environment.
Hiking is very popular on the island with the Cilaos region the most spectacular. Le Piton des Neiges is everyone’s ideal of a must climb and by staying overnight, completing the last three kilometres before dawn, you’ll experience a beautiful sunrise. The towns and villages of Reunion are also very pretty and fascinating to explore. You’ll be able to pick up some nice souvenirs in many of them too.
Car hire in Reunion is a cheap way to cover the hundred square miles of the beautiful island. You can choose from many different types of vehicle depending on your intentions but the most adventurous who decide to leave the circular route that links the towns of the island will need a 4x4 for the forest and mountain trails. If you like driving you’ll love the route of 420 bends as it is known locally. A modern well-constructed road, it winds through the mountains testing the skill of the driver and the quality of the car, something you’ll be assured of when you hire a car from one of the leading car hire companies in Reunion.
- Reunion was originally called the Ile Bourbon after the French noble family
- The island is east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean but the nearest land is Mauritius, 120 miles to the north
- It’s a department of France and the furthest distant member of the European Union
- The island has a population of 800,000
- Its currency, as part of Europe, is the euro
Should you hire a car in Reunion?
Reunion surprisingly lacks the popularity of its Indian Ocean neighbours despite it being really easy to get to from France and, via short connecting flights, from the UK.
Hiring a car in Reunion from the airport when you arrive is the best way to explore at your own pace. See more that Reunion has to offer from your own private rental car and leave the tour buses and organised trips to the less adventurous.