Tourist Information for Reunion
Discover one of the Indian Ocean's best kept secrets and be captivated by it's beautiful white sand beaches, lagoons, and diverse wildlife. The island of Reunion's culture is a blend of European, African, Indian, and Chinese, which richly influences the local food, music, and history.
This unique island, unknown to many travellers, is truly one of the most fascinating spots on earth. The west coast of Reunion is covered in 17 miles of warm inviting beaches, including St Gilles les Bain, the islands' premiere sunbathing destination. The sand at St Gilles les Bain is beautiful and golden (unlike many of the others that consist of the black volcanic kind) and has a 20km stretch of lagoon, attracting locals and tourists alike. On a fine day St Gilles is crowded, as are the bars and local restaurants, so you'll want to arrive early and plan ahead if your not staying at one of the local St Gilles les Bain resorts. The region is perfect for water activities such as diving, snorkeling or swimming, and is ideal for deep-sea fishing, with charter fishing boats departing from the marina on a regular basis.
Reunion is also known for it's active volcano on the south coast, Piton de la Fournaise. The volcano is monitored by experts incase of an eruption, but as a matter of fact, many of the locals offer guided walking tours and rides to Piton de la Fournaise. It is unquestionably the most popular tourist attraction on Reunion. There is also a helicopter tour available to those who want to experience this breathtaking volcano from the air.
In between the west and south coasts are lots of lush mountains and forests, and hiking Reunion's unique 'cirques' is another popular tourist activity. Its three cirques – Salazie, Cilaos, and Mafate – are all unique. The area is great for adventure seekers who want to hike the hundreds of kilometers of trails that pass through the cirques. Or, if a relaxing trek with stops to explore the enchanting mountain villages' sounds more like you, then this is available too.
If you love nature, Reunion Island's wide range of wildlife will captivate you. On an average hike you can expect to see a variety of native birds unique to the island, such as the Paille en Queue, Mascarene Swiftlet, Zebra Dove, or the White-tailed Tropicbird. There are also some more unusual and exotic mammals that can be spotted on Reunion Island, such as the brown Maki Lemur (from Madagascar), or the Panther Chameleon.
Highlights of Reunion
A diverse culture offering a great blend of different foods, music, and history.
A huge coastline of popular beaches perfect for relaxing, or for the more adventurous, a range of enticing water sports on the west coast.
St Denis, the northernmost coastal capital city is the ideal mecca for tourists, offering interesting architecture, art galleries, beautiful gardens, and a wide range of restaurants.
Piton de la Fournaise, the islands currently active volcano.
Le Piton des Nieges, the interiors highest point, standing a magnificent 3,069 meters tall.
The island's three cirques - offering not only amazing photo opportunities but a mixture of fun and adventure as well.
AVERAGE MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE (°C) – based on Mauritius
- Country Dialling Code:
- + 262
- When to Go:
- Thanks to its diverse history, Reunionese cuisine is a mix between different cultures: French, Indian, Chinese & African. Depending on the season, many tropical fruits (such as lychees, mangos, pineapples, bananas, and papayas) are available.
The cuisine is quite safe, but ask about some dishes to ensure they are not too spicy. The spice level is below that of most Indian cuisine.
Tap water is usually safe to drink. Public sources of water are unsafe if labelled with "Eau non potable" (Water not drinkable).
- National specialties:
- Cari and rougail are typical dishes, which are meat or fish cooked in a sauce and eaten with rice.
- Tipping is widely practiced and welcome. 10% is the usual amount, although the amount you give should depend on the personal preference.
- French (official), Creole widely used.
- Electricity on Reunion Island is 230 Volts at 50 Hertz. You will need a voltage converter if you have a device that does not accept this. Outlets in Reunion Island generally accept 1 type of plug, consisting of two round pins side by side. You may need a plug adapter if your appliance has a different shape.
- Shopping hints:
- Most shops are closed on Sunday. The majority of supermarkets are open Monday to Saturday 9am to 8pm with some open on a Sunday morning. Traditional objects are often easier to find and cheaper at the markets (marché). Saint-Paul is a famous market and you'll also find a good range of fruit and vegetables there – it's open on Friday morning and afternoon and on Saturday morning.