La Réunion, the majestic island of the Indian Ocean
In the Mascarene archipelago, Réunion Island, a former French colony previously called “Bourbon Island” covers 2,500 square kilometres and is a unique destination in the French overseas departments and territories.
Réunion, nicknamed “intense island”, is not a tropical island like any other because it offers travellers a composite of all that is best in the world. With over 40% of the island a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of the few destinations where one can experience so many sensations in a single trip.
Réunion abounds with fabulous coral reefs brimming with myriad colourful species. It is a paradise for snorkelers and diving aficionados. And there are other water sports aplenty, from surfing and canyoning to water skiing and deep sea fishing.
The distance between land and sea is but a step, so it's easy to discover the island's rich natural resources, its spectacular natural features, and tropical gardens abundant with extraordinary indigenous flora and fauna. Réunion has many treasures including three natural cirques shaped by the erosion of the Piton des Neiges, the highest peak in the Indian Ocean: the Cilaos mineral cirque, Mafate with its exhilarating wilderness and Salazie with its profusion of lush green. It is a timeless setting. Nature lovers are spellbound by the island's grandiose views, the many forest walks bursting with blooms, treks around the immensity of the cirque ramparts and the island's magnificent waterfalls. For an even greater thrill, take a helicopter flight over the island and discover its endless contrasts.
The landscape at the heart of the Piton de la Fournaise, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, is stupendous. During the rapid ascent to the crater, there is the lunar and desert-like Sand Plains to see as well as the Pas de Bellecombe mountain pass and vista.
The island is also an architectural heritage, a journey through time amongst the legendary Réunion monuments tracing the origins of Creole culture. And awaken your senses with the exoticism of Réunion cuisine, a colourful mix and blend of influences.
An exhilarating adventure awaits you in this open-air paradise. With its infinite charm, exotic sweetness, warm atmosphere, and lush nature, one is carried away by the magic of this unique island, which never ceases to amaze.