Reunion Island is a charming French island waiting to be discovered in the Indian Ocean. Here are 10 reasons why you’ll fall in love instantly with this island. Pack your bags for a trip full of surprises. By Shikha Pushpan
Reunion Island is a place of unparalleled diversity.
African, Asian, European—Reunion Island’s former occupants have had a great influence on the local Creole culture. Inspired by the island’s colourful history, this seamless amalgamation of cultures is found in the place’s distinct art, gastronomy and local language. When you’re here, you’ll find experiences that offer the best of all three worlds – food, culture, and art at the same time.
2. Almost 40% of the island is classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are a few things that money can’t buy, and this includes a destination’s natural treasure trove of flora and fauna. In Reunion Island, the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Pitons, cirques and remparts coincide with the core zone of La Reunion National Park, which makes up for 40% of the island. If you’re a traveller looking for quietude amidst nature, there is no better destination than Reunion Island to head to right now!
3. The outdoor activities here beat mainstream adventure destinations.
Looking for a trip that satiates your need to be in the outdoors? This oceanic tropical island is a revelation when it comes to exploring outdoor and adventure activities. If you’re a hard-core thrill-seeker, try parachute jumping, paragliding or take a trip to the sulphurous slopes of one of the most active volcanoes in the world. If you’re someone who likes to absorb the surrounding wilderness at your own pace, take a hike in the Mafate crater, accessible only on foot where you are totally at one with nature or visit the turtle sanctuary.
4. Watersports is just another way of life here.
Beach bums, listen up! And this is the icing on the cake: You don’t have to be a swimmer to enjoy the warm waters of the Indian Ocean here. The long coastline of the Island has a wide range of activities—snorkelling, scuba diving, yachting, kayaking, paddle boarding, aquatic hiking, river-rafting among the others. Feeling more adventurous? Sign up for encounters with whales a little off the island’s coast. Need we say more?
5. You can hike up an active volcano.
This one’s a must-do if you’re at Reunion Island, which is home to one of the world’s most active and accessible volcanoes, Piton de la Fournaise. You might get lucky and be witness to a spectacular show of nature when the volcano spews lava and ash in the air. While hiking up to the crater is an ethereal experience, soft-adventurers can take in the lunar-like landscape with a walk up to the base of the volcano as well.
7. The museums are a powerhouse of information about the island’s history.
Museum of Decorative Arts of the Indian Ocean
If you’re in the mood to opt for a trip that is imbued in history, then tap into the place’s pulse with a visit to the various museums—City of the Volcano, Stella Matutina Museum, Museum of Decorative Arts of the Indian Ocean (Madoi), and Villele Museum of History—they all give you a soulful insight into the local Creole culture.
8. The island’s dance and music scene is contagious.
What’s not to love about a destination that enjoys music, dance, and lets you be a part of it! Inspired by its vibrant culture, the Reunionese clearly know how to have a good time. Join the locals as they revel in their local dance forms, Maloya and Séga. While the former is a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity with an African vibe to it, the latter is more upbeat and European in its rhythm and instrumentation.
9. The island’s ethnic gastronomy is every gourmand’s dream
Are you an adventurous gourmand and open to experimenting with distinct flavours? With a gastronomy shaped by ancestors from three continents, Reunion Island is every gourmet traveller’s dream come true. Start with a traditional Creole meal, comprising rice, maize pulses, rougaille, leafy vegetables, pickles, salads, and chilli, before treating yourself with the local drink, the inimitable sugarcane rum. And what we love the most? The heavy influence of Asian ingredients in the cuisine that’s bound to generate some curiosity as far as your taste buds are concerned.
9. The island is home to amazing natural springs.
If you’re planning a trip to Reunion Island, don’t forget to include some serious R&R in your itinerary. The island is blessed with natural springs, and the best place to enjoy this is at the Cilaos mountain crater, where iron-rich natural mineral water feed the island’s natural spa. If you’re more inclined towards luxury spas, try the PALM Hotel & Spa and AKOYA Hotel & Spa that offer customised treatments.
10. The island is a dreamy wedding & honeymoon destination.
Let’s be honest. When you’re dreaming of a fairy-tale wedding, you’d rather head to a destination that’s unique, beautiful, and offers you the privacy you desire. So why not head to one that inspires awe and interest?
With a stunning coastline and transparent waters, only few places can match the beautiful natural setting at Reunion Island. Whether you’re planning an intimate beach wedding or a more magnificent banquet wedding, look no further. If you’re travelling with your partner, rest assured the two of you will get complete privacy in the many lagoons and virgin waterfalls.
Feeling inspired by the host of experiences that you can enjoy at Reunion Island? All you need to do is take a direct flight from Chennai to Reunion Island. Air Austral is the only airline that operates non-stop flights. The good news is that Indian nationals do not need a visa for stays up to 15 days in Reunion Island.
CURRENCY: As a French overseas territory, the currency of Reunion Island is Euro.
CLIMATE: Reunion Island enjoys tropical climate. Summer falls between November and April with an average temperature of 30° Celsius, while winter stretches from May to October with the average temperature at 20° Celsius. If you’re hiking up a volcano, be prepared to experience temperature as low as 4° Celsius.
To find out more about Reunion Island, click here.