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Reunion Island official tourism website, organize your vacations to the ultimate experience island, book your stay, accommodations, your leisure activities, your.
Table of contents
It is an island, but it's appeal comes less from sandy beaches than from mountain paths and formidable landscapes. Its distance from Mauritius is Miles Kilometers. The Portuguese discovered the uninhabited island in From the 17th to the 19th centuries, French immigration supplemented by influxes of Africans, Chinese, Malagasy, and Malabar Indians gave the island its ethnic mix. The opening of the Suez Canal in cost the island its importance as a stopover on the East Indies trade route.
Today, the population of Reunion is widely varied in terms of ethnic origin, which each group inheriting its respective traditions. However, it is not part of the Schengen Area, hence Reunion has its own immigration policy. All other nationalities require a visa, which can be obtained from a French embassy or consulate. Ensure that you are applying for a Reunion visa - French and Schengen visas are not valid for travel to Reunion. The vast majority of intercontinental flights arriving at Reunion come from France, with a handful of other airports through the Indian Ocean. Airlines flying to Reunion are the following:.
As Pierrefonds is a small airport, and seems to have a lot of staff, you can expect a thorough security interrogation and bag search on your way in and out of the country.
Reunion Island - a French tropical island
It can be much cheaper to fly into ZSE airport. However, unless you have business in the South, it is best to avoid Pierrefonds as an arrival point because it is quite a small airport very far from the main tourist hubs like Saint-Denis one-hour drive and Saint-Gilles 35 minutes drive. It will cost you between Euros by taxi to get from this airport to your hotel in the North and there is no guarantee you will be able to find one waiting outside: So factor airport transfer costs into your budget when deciding which airport to use.
You can hire a car directly from the airport arrivals lounge which is also the departure lounge! Upon departure you may leave your rental car keys at the help desk of the airport, provided you make the necessary arrangements with the car hire company in advance. Pierrefonds is also a hub for plane and helicopter tours of the Island, and it's quite likely you will end up here if you book a flyover of the Volcano, for example. It is often said that Reunion has more than its fair share of cars, and it's true.
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At certain times, the road networks can become jam-packed with vehicles, but in order to overcome this, all a visitor needs to know is when to travel and how to travel. The national road route nationale which goes round the island is double-laned for each direction in many places. The rest of the roads are usually tarmacked, with one lane in each direction.
Intercity bus travel around the island is served by Car Jaune "Yellow Bus", buses are easily recognizable by their yellow color. There are 13 lines. Apart from these buses there are also local buses. Most of lines operate between 6AM and 6PM. You can get schedules and details on their official website . Click on "Plans et tarifs" for a map of the network.
There is one main road around the island 74km of it is four-lane and another road from Saint-Pierre to Saint-Benoit route des plaines through the interior of the island. Due to the high number of cars, traffic jams often occur so you should avoid travelling during peak times. The four-lane highway between La Possession and Saint-Denis, known as the route du littoral , runs between an unstable cliff and the sea.
Expect traffic jams in such circumstances. Do not underestimate driving times, even if the island seems small. The main roads, especially on the west coast, tend to jam; so do the streets of Saint Denis. The roads in the interior are mountain roads, some with many turns and steep slopes.
Reunion Island has almost one thousand kilometers of hiking trails, with an astonishing variety of landscapes for an island. The cirques , plains and volcano have been classified as a French national natural park. The best hikes are probably in the Mafate cirque and on the volcano see Piton de la Fournaise.
The exceptionnal Mafate circus has no roads, and about inhabitants. Some helicopter and airplane companies specialize in guided tours by air around the island and throughout the nearby islands. These depart very early in the morning in order to avoid clouds and fog at altitude.
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They are reasonably priced, and will refer to other companies on other islands as needed. Mafate is a popular destination. An alternative is to walk in Mafate , without marked-out footpaths.
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This can be accessed from Saint-Louis by the road of bends route aux virages. About halfway along, be sure to stop and appreciate the views, above a sheer drop of metres. It is possible to get here by helicopter from St-Denis or St-Giles as well. The main villages are Salazie the administrative centre , Hell-Bourg a pretty, flowery village and Grand-Ilet.
The eastern side of the caldera is carpeted in lush greenery through which slice a multitude of waterfalls. The area can be reached by crossing the river on a suspended footbridge, and by continuing alongside fields of watercress and chayotes a green, pear-shaped fruit.
The hosts are nice people and, after a traditional rum-based fruit punch, a simple meal will take your mind off your exhaustion from the climb. At the crack of dawn at around 3: Walk by torchlight along marked-out paths leading to the summit, where the sunrise will leave an indelible mark upon your memory. Words cannot begin to explain the magnificence of this experience.
Reunion - Wikitravel
About four-fifths of the population is Roman Catholic. Cane is grown on most of the cultivable land, though vanilla bean and some fruits and vegetables, tobacco, and geraniums for perfume are also produced. About a dozen big estates with milling facilities produce the bulk of the cane crop. Unemployment continues to be a problem. A few paved roads connect the main towns on the island. Le Port can handle large ships through artificial port facilities. An international airport is located near Saint-Denis. African slaves were imported to work in first coffee and then sugar plantations; with the abolition of slavery in , indentured labourers from mainland Southeast Asia , India, and Eastern Africa were brought in.
Persistent social and economic unrest, fueled by the widening gap between the rich and the poor and by high rates of unemployment, periodically erupted into demonstrations and violence during the s and s. Rioting in February left 11 people dead, and in demonstrations were held against proposed civil service reforms.
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Please note that our editors may make some formatting changes or correct spelling or grammatical errors, and may also contact you if any clarifications are needed. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: Origins of the term. Offshore, part of the west coast is characterised by a coral reef system. The last is accessible only on foot or by helicopter. The three cirques, forming a kind of three-leafed clover shape, are visible in the central north west of the image.
Piton de la Fournaise, in the south east, is covered by cloud. Lava flow emitted in by the Piton de la Fournaise. The weather is cool and dry from May to November, but hot and rainy from November to April. Precipitation levels vary greatly within the island, with the east being much wetter than the west. They are often equipped with barbecues, amenities, and parking spaces.
La Plage des Brisants is a well-known surfing spot, with many athletic and leisurely activities taking place. Each November, a film festival is also organised in La Plage des Brisants. Movies are projected on a large screen in front of a crowd. Beaches at Boucan Canot are surrounded by a stretch of restaurants that particularly cater to tourists. This occurs when lava contacts water, it cools rapidly and shatters into sand and fragmented debris of various size. Much of the debris is small enough to be considered sand.
Restaurants along Boucan Canot beach . Much of the west coast is ringed by coral reef which harbours, among other animals, sea urchins , conger eels , and parrot fish. Sea turtles and dolphins also inhabit the coastal waters. Lalande also said 45 bull sharks and 45 tiger sharks would be culled , in addition to the 20 already killed as part of scientific research into the illness ciguatera.
A Humpback whale off St-Gilles. The first Bourbon roses were discovered on the island in Local names for these are Yabs, Cafres , Malbars and Chinois.
There are no indigenous people on the island, as it was originally deserted. Also, some people of Vietnamese ancestry live on the island, though they are very few in number. Tamils are the largest group among the Indian community. Creoles a name given to those born on the island, regardless of ethnic origins make up the majority of the population.
Groups that are not Creole include people recently arrived from Metropolitan France known as zoreilles and those from Mayotte and the Comoros. Religious Intelligence estimates Christians to be Most large towns have a Hindu temple and a mosque. Creole is used informally and orally in some administration offices whereas the official language of any administration office as well as education is French.
There are significant number of speakers of Indian languages mostly Tamil , Gujarati and Urdu. Arabic is taught in mosques and spoken by a small community of Muslims. English is a compulsory second language as part of the French school curriculum, [ citation needed ] but as in mainland France, English fluency is rare. German and Spanish are offered as a third language. Cantonese , Arabic , Tamil is also taught as an optional language in some schools.
Famous break St Leu has been host to several world surfing championship competitions. As of , four different races compose the Grand Raid: The first private local radio station, Radio Freedom, was introduced in They broadcast daily content about weather and local services.
Tourism is now an important source of income. GDP sector composition in contribution of each sector to the total gross value added: Rum distillation is a sugar-based process that contributes to the island's economy. A " Product of France ", it is shipped to Europe for bottling, then shipped to consumers around the world. The epidemic has since been eradicated. See the History section for more details.