Our travel specialist Kirsten Woolley answers some of the questions we are most frequently asked about a holiday in Reunion. For more information call her on 0207 666 1250 or email her if you'd like to start planning a trip.
Why go on holiday in Reunion?
I was enchanted by Reunion and its many contrasting landscapes, from its lush forests-clad mountains, barren volcanic moonscapes to its black volcanic and golden sand beaches. The extraordinary central volcanic peak, the Piton de Neiges, dominates the island and its claimed that the volcano can be seen from Mauritius on a clear day.
How do we get there?
There are two options, either travelling on Air France via Charles De Gaulle with an inter-airport change between Orly or fly directly on Air Mauritius, to Mauritius and take a short, easy connecting flight on to St Denis. These scheduled flights operate on certain days of the week. If you fly on Air Mauritius, you can then combine a stay on this island as well at the end of your trip.
How do we travel around the country?
The most popular way of travelling around the country is by self-drive as this gives you the freedom and flexibility to explore the different regions of the island. The roads are in good condition although they become narrower in the remoter areas. You drive on the right , as you would in France. Alternatively, you can hire an expert guide for the day which is great fun as you learn a lot at the same time. We can recommend our favourites.
If there were one thing I shouldn’t miss, what would you recommend?
La Reunion is a great holiday destination if you enjoy the outdoors. There are some very pleasant French style bars and attractive beaches on the West Coast but the island is mostly about the spectacular mountain scenery. A short hike on the verdant slopes of one of the cirques or a hike to the volcanic cone - Piton de la Fournaise – really allows you to immerse yourself in the island's dramatic landscapes. For those who love adrenalin sports I would suggest a day canyonning, parasailing or whitewater rafting - we can help arrange this for you. I would also highly recommend a helicopter ride if budget permits, which gives you the chance to take in the extraordinary vistas of the island. You can read more about this in our Reunion blog.
Is English widely spoken?
French is the main language, with Creole as the second choice. Some English is spoken but the road signs and information will all be in French. It’s useful if you do have the rudiments of even school level French.
Are the hotels in similar to those in Mauritius?
The accommodation in Reunion tends to be simpler than in Mauritius. The top hotels tend to be smaller and whilst often very stylishly designed, the level of facilities is not quite the same as its neighbour. Many of the properties in the mountains are three-star gites ( guesthouses) but they are comfortable, clean and friendly. Breakfast is included and is often a sumptuous affair!
What is the local cuisine like?
The local cuisine blends influences from Africa, India, China, and Europe. As an island the cuisine includes a wide variety of local fish. If you prefer more western-style food, you can find this in both gourmet and fast food establishments across the island. There are also a wide variety of local fruits, vegetables, herbs and other ingredients not usually found in French mainland cuisine such as Manioc, Mangue (mango), Goyavier (guava), Chevaquines (dried shrimp), Baba-figue (banana flowers which are stuffed and fried), Songe, and Ti-jacques (jack fruit).
Do I need to get any vaccinations ahead of travel and/or malaria tablets?
Reunion doesn’t require any vaccinations or malaria precautions – just remember to drink lots of water as its tropical!
I am pregnant, can I travel to the Reunion Island?
There are no reasons why you shouldn’t travel, but you should always consult your local GP for travel advice.
If you'd like to start planning your trip, ring our team on 0207 666 1250 or email Kirsten.