|Considering the size of Reunion this island has quite a variety of landscapes and is a popular hiking destination. The island measures 63 kilometres by 45 kilometres and is volcanic. Travellers should note that because this is an overseas territory of France, Reunion is part of the EU, uses the Euro for currency and has French as the official language.
Hiking in Reunion
As mentioned Reunion is a popular hiking destination, and with nearly 1000 kilometres of hiking trails it’s easy to see why! Parts of the island can be reached on foot which are inaccessible by car or vehicle, again adding to the popularity of hiking because you can see parts of Reunion that others usually wouldn’t.
Cirque de Mafate is one of the areas inaccessible to all but those who are hiking, or have come by helicopter! This is a caldera which was formed when the volcano collapsed. Interestingly people do live here – there is one village and a few hamlets, where people live off the grid. Several have started opening their doors to hikers and offering gite services.
The other two calderas on Reunion are Salazie and Cilaos, both of which are also popular hiking spots.
The capital and largest city of Reunion is Saint Denis, situated in the far north of the island. The city has some attractive architecture, and attractions include the seafront park, Le Barachois; the art gallery and museum, Leon Dierx Museum; the public gardens and natural history museum, called Jardin de l’Etat; and La Roche Ecrite, situated about 15 kilometres south of the city, this summit has great views back over Saint-Denis.
Saint-Paul and Saint-Gilles
The second largest city in Reunion is Saint-Paul, in the far west of the island, whilst a little way off is Saint-Gilles where you’ll find a nice port and marina, and Reunion’s great white, sandy beaches. Alternatively there’s a volcanic black sand beach at the small town of Etang-Sale on the west coast.