Reunion is a French island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar and southwest of Mauritius, the nearest island. Little-known volcanic Réunion boasts the highest mountain in the Indian Ocean and one of the world's most active volcanoes. It is a cultural gem with stunning Creole architecture, blended with French, Indian, African and Chinese influences. Explore its lush interior and enjoy the stunning mountain scenery. Enjoy its spectacular 17 mile coastline, with incredibly clear waters for scuba diving and snorkeling. Go dolphin spotting and explore the Cirques (imposing natural amphitheatres created by erosion and volcanism) of Cilanos, Salazie and Mafate, and the active volcano Piton-de-la-Fournaise. Come, Reunion beckons.
Best time to visit: May to November
Influenced by India, China, France, Madagascar and the African mainland the local food is interesting and exotic. Common foods include Achards - pickled vegetables, Bonbons Piment - chilli dumplings and Chinese-style meat balls. Try specialties like Rougail - seafood with sauces, Cari - unique duck, eel and octopus curry with rice, Brèdes - a local vegetable like spinach, Cabri Massalé - a spicy goat dish. Drink Rhum arrangé – spiced white rum.
There are many shops and boutiques on Rue du Maréchal-Leclerc, Rue Jean-Chatel and Rue Juliette-Dodu in St Denis offering French products and local handicrafts of lace and embroidery, coral jewellery and basketwork. St Paul’s has a street market, every Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Buy woodcarvings, curios, locally produced wines and rum and vanilla.
Reunion Island has surprisingly good nightlife; it’s much more vibrant than you’d expect. Theatres, nightclubs, casinos, pubs, bars, cabarets and floor shows – name it and Réunion has it on offer. Local music groups put up live performances of reggae, segae and malogue.
Tourist Visa for Indian nationals is available for stays of up to 15 days. Buy an entire package tour (flight + accommodation) from TBi. TBi will then contact an incoming agency on Reunion Island with a license to request visa waivers.
Air Austral flies directly to Reunion Island from Chennai. Another option is to fly on Air Mauritius from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore & Chennai via Mauritius.
The east side of the island has a normal coast road. On the west side the highway connects from Saint-Denis to Saint-Pierre or as it is called the coastal road. An International driving license is required. Reunion Island has left hand side driving.
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