1. Reunion Island is actually France
Reunion Island is actually part of France, people speak french and the money used there is Euro. The plugs are European and you drive on the right side of the road.
2. It's a small Island but you cannot drive across it in one day
Reunion Island is technically small around 60km wide only however you need to take in consideration that the island is not flat at all. You have huge mountain chains (the circuses) and a volcano, the elevation is also important which makes the roads very sinuous. The distance is short but the time it takes you to drive it is long. For that reason I recommend sleeping in different spots to explore the neighbourhood of your hotel/guest house and move to a different side of the island and settle there. Booking in on place for the whole holiday is a bad idea, you are going to spend the whole time on the road and will be exhausted. On top of it driving up and down the mountainous roads at night is not easy if you are not used to it.
3. Beware of change of weather
You have many elevation variation on the island you could be at 0m by the beach and drive up to 2000m up within the next hour. That means you are subject to huge weather change wether its temperature drop or rain or fog and extreme sun. Be prepared to face any weather grab warm clothes, hats, sunglasses, waterproof jacket. The island can also get very windy for a few days on one side and quiet on the other. The best is to plan your visits on the weather to get the most of it.
4. You can enjoy extreme and nature sports
Craving nature?! Reunion is perfect for you, weather you love hiking, surfing, paragliding, wind/kyte-surfing, taking a helicopter tour everything is possible! The whole island has something to offer! If you wish to fly in helicopter we recommend using the company Corail we loved our experience with them.
5. There is an active volcano on the island
The Piton de la Fournaise is an active volcano situated on the south east part of the Island. You can drive and hike up depending on the specialists recommendations. There no guaranty you can 100% access it or fly over it in helicopter for obvious safety reasons. The surrounding are lunar and drastically change the landscape from a lush rain forest to a deserted volcanic ash road. If the circumstances allow it visiting the volcano is a must on your trip!
6. There are a lot a religion representation
Reunion island has a sad history of slavery for cane sugar industry. After the abolition of slavery the populations living on the island remained and therfore it's a very mixed island with a lot of different ethicities and religions from Christian, muslim, buddhist to hindu you will find temples, pagodas mosque and churches all around the island and they are all next to each other. There is a fantastic religious tolerance on this island and everyone is used to live together with different faiths.
7. Beware of the sharks
You are in the south of the Indian ocean and a particularity of Reunion is that the island is famous for the sharks. You need to look for a green flag to go swim or surf and it is updated many times a day. Unfortunately due to the over fishing in the deep water in this part of the ocean the food has become scarce and the sharks are getting closer to the coast line to eat. Depending on the wind and waves the water can turn into a perfect hunt condition for the sharks to mistake humans for prays. So avoid incidents and check the conditions of the beach before jumping in water.
8. Some of the most amazing villages are high up in altitude
The cities have all the modernity but the authentic villages are situated up in the mountains and will bring you into a fairytale environment. You can experience the Creole culture up the mountains. You will find colourful houses, authentic cuisine and warm welcome 🙏
9. You have incredible hikes to take and big trails
Reunion Island is famous for the trails you can take in the mountains and around the Island. There are so many options you can take day trips or plan to go deeper in the circuses for many days
10. You can find different landscape within a few minutes of drive
Because the Island is so various you can in the same day go to the beach and then end up in the jungle or around the volcano. There are many activities to do but the good thing is you can enjoy everything at your own rhythm. You have the ability to have a chill day by the beach or active sport in the same day.
All the photos in this blog post are edited with my Reunion presets!