Best time to travel:
- The climate is tropical with two main seasons. Between October and March, the summer is very rainy and subject to hurricanes, with average temperatures of 28°C.
- Winter lasts from April to September; it is cooler and drier with temperatures of around 20°C.
- May and June are the best time to enjoy your travel as you avoid the tourist influx and the wettest season.
Reunion is a small French island, located in the Indian Ocean, south west of Mauritius and is less than a four hour flight from South Africa. Reunion is is a perfect destination for nature and adventure lovers.This little piece of France is 39 miles long and 28 miles wide.Jutting out of the ocean and cloaked in green, Réunion is also a mini Hawaii with astounding geographical diversity. Within an hour or two, the landscape morphs from lava fields to lush primary forest, from jagged peaks to sprawling coastal cities. The West is Réunion’s Riviera, a long string of beach suburbs and resorts towns. Piton de la Fournaise is one of the world’s most accessible active volcanoes. No visit would be complete without exploring at least one of the three vast amphitheaters (Cirques) of Cilaos, Salazie and Mafate.
Trekking, canyoning, horse riding, big game fishing, mountain and quad biking, snorkeling, surfing, kayaking, helicopter flights and paragliding are all sports to be enjoyed in this haven for outdoor enthusiasts. But it’s not all about nature, landscapes and adrenaline – Réunion has its cultural gems as well, with stunning Creole architecture in cute-as-can-be villages, as well as colourful religious buildings and festivals. Reunion is a tapestry of culture, a multicultural society composed of people originally from France, Mozambique, India, China, Madagascar, and the Comores. This blend of cultures creates a truly unique tapestry to be enjoyed by visitors to the island. The best way to explore Reunion is to hire a car and do a self-drive itinerary. You will leave the island proclaiming to the world that La Renion le gadiamb (‘Réunion is lovely’, in Creole).
Areas to visit include:
- Piton de la Fournaise – an experience no visitor should miss. Visit the lunar landscape of this grumbling monster by helicopter or hike into the volcano along the path from Pas de Bellecombe where you can leave your car. Also see the lava flows on the east coast near the tiny settlement of Tremblet.
- Saint Gilles Les Bains – Reunions seaside resort where you will find and array of hotels, vibey restaurants and bars and the islands prettiest sand white beach Boucan Canot
- Saint-Leu – further down the west coast is Saint-Leu which is a surfers paradise. The west coast towns are renowned for their nightlife.
- The Three Cirques – . Converge at the islands highest peak, the 3 069m Pton des Neiges
- Cirques de Cilaos – . Drier than Mafate, and known for its thermal springs and local wine making industry. Mountain bikers up for a challenge will enjoy the road from the coast up to Cilaos.
- Cirque de Salazie Stay at Reunions famed mountain retreat. Relais des Cimes. Salazie is well known for its scenery.
- La Plaine– des-Palmistes and Bebour-Belouvre Forest. La Plaine-des-Palmistes is one of the islands most beautiful towns especially with the burst of colour of spring and summer flowers.
- The Wild South – in between the sea and mountain lie Petite Ile Saint Joseph and Saint Philippe. Visit Caheb perfume workshop and the Perfume and Spice Garden near Saint Philippe which has a variety of medicinal, ruit bearing and fragrant plants.