A surprisingly interesting piece of France, transplanted into the middle of the Indian Ocean; Réunion Island provides a varied experience from a cultural, wildlife and adventure point of view.
A medical conference in the middle of the Indian Ocean…why not?
Réunion Island can provide the perfect environment; from 5-star resorts with beachside location, multiple restaurants and conference facilities; to small French villages hidden into the craters of long extinct volcanoes.
We arrived on the island for a seven-day (small group) medical conference, not really sure what to expect. Our accommodation was great, Réunion Island being an French overseas territory. The resort included five restaurants, tennis courts and plenty of recreational areas. The beachfront location allowed for a choice of swimming in the sea or a very refreshing dip in one of the pools.
For the free time outside the conference, or for family of delegates, the two extinct volcano craters were a real surprise – both from the point of view of natural beauty and cultural heritage.
The scenic drives into the craters would occasionally go under waterfalls, some with very ‘exotic’ names.
For the more adventurous in the group; fishing, hiking and paragliding were a favourite pastime. The two extinct craters provide a multitude of extremely scenic walking tracks, some with an overview of the volcanically-active part of the island.
Families and the less adventurous would have the option of visiting the turtle sanctuary, whale watching, or a swim in one of the local water holes.
How to get there:
Flights to Réunion are from Mauritius, via Air Mauritius. There are direct flights to continental France that allow the inclusion of Réunion Island on an around-the-world ticket.
Euros. Credit card facilities are widely available.
Best time to go:
Avoid the wet season (December to February), as Réunion Island registers the highest level of rainfall ever recorded. Best time of the year to visit is September and October.
Choice of accommodation:
For the best accommodation and most facilities, choose one of the beachfront 5-star resorts. For an off-the-beaten-track experience with local creole flavour, opt for a small Bed and Breakfast in one of the two inland extinct volcanic craters – this option allows for easy access to some of most scenic walking tracks in the world.
Press play to watch our video summary of Réunion Island:
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