In terms of its area, France is Europe's largest country. The fact that the Grande Nation is ahead in the European country ranking is due not least to its five overseas departments. One of the areas is the Île de la Réunion.
La Réunion is located between Madagascar and Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. With Mauritius and the island of Rodrigues, La Réunion is included in the Mascarene Islands.
France's paradise in the Indian Ocean
The oval volcanic island is located south of the 20th parallel. It is 2.512 km² in size and tourism experts like to call it one of the last paradises on earth. The diverse, overwhelming landscapes make the island appear fantastically beautiful. As far as the living conditions of the inhabitants are concerned, one feels transported to the southern regions of the motherland: traffic jams in the big cities, reliable local public transport, interesting shops, good bars, cafés and restaurants as well as practiced nature conservation and exemplary cleanliness included.
La Réunion - Overwhelming landscapes - Salazie waterfalls
In 2018, the island's population was around 856.000. About 150.000 people live in the island's capital, Saint Denis. Saint Paul, the second largest city, has 103.000 citizens.
Reunion Island - Saint Denis - The Old Town Hall
Europeans have inhabited Reunion Island since the middle of the 17th century. At first, French settlers practiced plantation farming on the island. The work was done by slaves. Their difficult fate only ended in 1848 with the abolition of slavery.
Reunion Island - Memorial to Indian Workers
Agriculture and tourism
Agriculture is still an indispensable industry on the island. The main agricultural products are cane sugar and rum, but fruits and spices (especially vanilla) are also grown. Another important industry is tourism. Hiking and sports holidays as well as diving tourism are particularly popular.
Reunion Island - Part of the island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
As expected, the official language is French. Creole is also traditionally spoken. The euro is used to pay on Reunion Island.
One of the most active volcanoes in the world
Vacationers and day guests of cruise ships see very different landscapes on the island, shaped by volcanic mountains. These volcanic landscapes have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010. They make up about 40 percent of the island's area. The highest point is the Piton des Neiges (3.070 meters). Another active volcano is the Piton de la Fournaise. It measures 2.631 meters and is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Dense cloud forest grows on the slopes of the volcanoes. From the heights, the guest can see volcanic plains, gorges with rivers, fields with vanilla and much more.
Reunion Island - The Sables volcanic plain
Reunion Island for cruise ship guests
The few cruise ships heading for La Réunion land in the industrial port of La Possession. For inexplicable reasons, however, the neighboring town of Le Port, which has 36.000 inhabitants, is named as the port location. La Possession has a tiny cruise center where taxi and collective taxi drivers offer their services.
La Réunion - The cruise terminal of La Possession
The shuttle bus to Le Port, about four kilometers away, also starts at the Cruise Center. From there, regular buses run along the north coast to the island's capital, Saint Denis. The distance is 21 kilometers. The island's bus network is well developed and inexpensive. Driving a taxi, apart from collective taxes, is very expensive.
Reunion Island - At the Le Port bus station
Reunion Island is well worth a visit. We report in our article what there is to see in the capital Saint Denis and in the interior of the island: Reunion Island sightseeing.
Update March 2021