The capital, Saint-Denis, is the primary entry point to Reunion Island. Visit the Museum of Natural History, browse through the offerings of the Grand Market, and stroll along the Parc du Colorado. If you're a beach lover, stay in Saint-Pierre for the sea, estate gardens, and rum distillery whilst nature fans should not miss Cilaos for its amazing hiking trails and volcanoes. Saint-Leu is a fishing port on the west coast of the island, known for surfing and paragliding, but also home to the aquarium of Kelonia and the Salt Museum. The volcanic area of Salazie is where you can find the renowned Piton des Neiges, a volcanic landmark riddled with several hiking trails whilst the resort town of Saint-Gilles has lively bars and restaurants concentrated around the Plage des Roches Noires beach.
Reunion Island is a magical place for outdoors adventurers. Hiking is the favourite activity of visitors with the famous active volcano, Piton de la Fournaise, a must-visit for climbers and walkers alike. Hike up to the viewpoint of the Balcon du Dolomieu and look down at the bottom of the caldera. Adrenaline seekers can paraglide over the splendid bay and lagoons of Saint-Leu. Guests on holidays to Reunion Island also love canyoning, the island boasting of at least 70 equipped canyons and 131km of courses. Those who want to take it easy can hang out on the Plage de Boucan Canot, where you can sunbathe, swim, snorkel, surf, or scuba dive. The waters around Reunion Island feature sharks and other amazing marine life, which you can discover on an organised scuba diving trip. Back on land, you'll discover fantastic attractions such as the Musee des Musiques et Instruments de l’Ocean Indien, showcasing hundreds of musical instruments from Africa, India, and China. Make time for a visit to Sucrerie de Bois-Rouge, a sugar refinery north of St. Andre.
Reunion Island's landscape is diverse, composed of striking mountains, amazing calderas, lots of greenery, cascading waterfalls, canyons, and black/white sandy beaches. Coral reefs are mostly found on the west coast. The island is also home to two volcanoes: the inactive Piton des Neiges and the active Piton de la Fournaise. The slopes of both mountains are covered with lush forest. Reunion Island was settled by the Portuguese in the early 16th-century, but remained a French colony throughout its history except for a brief British occupation. The culture on the island is a blend of European, African, Indian, and Chinese influences and these traditions are reflected in the way food is prepared. Inhabited villages, cities, and cultivated land are concentrated along the coast.
Access to the island is by air or sea. The two international airports are in Saint-Denis and Saint-Pierre whilst those arriving by sea, on ferries, cruise ships, or yachts, dock at the Pointe-des-Galets. A ferry crossing from Mauritius to Reunion Island lasts 12 hours. The minimum age to rent a car in Reunion Island is 21 years and you must have already been in possession of a licence for at least a year. Unless otherwise indicated, the general speed limits are 50km/h on urban roads, 90km/h on rural roads, and 110km/h on motorways. People on the island drive on the right side of the road and overtake from the left lane, if permitted. The blood-alcohol content (BAC) limit is 50mg per 100ml of blood. Seatbelts are mandatory and it is forbidden to use a mobile phone whilst driving except for hands-free sets. Although the roads are easy to navigate, some stretches are narrow and have tight turns.