Mauritius' wilder rugged neighbour

Reunion is part of the EU! A French overseas department lying off the east coast of Africa.  Everyone speaks French and the local currency is the Euro but Reunion is an exotic island with spectacular scenery.  The mountains at its heart are volcanic in origin and a major attraction for hikers.  In fact Reunion has so many activities that it is the perfect destination for more active travellers.  Highlights include:

  • Dormant and active volcanoes with majestic peaks that create a series of amphitheatres with great trekking
  • Thermal springs and waterfalls.
  • Golden beaches and volcanic black beaches.
  • Hiking, canyoning, paragliding, mountain biking, scuba diving and surfing.
  • Creole villages.

Walking in Reunion

Reunion island has more than 900km of marked trails for hikers, for both beginners and those with more experience. They cover a diverse and breathtakingly beautiful landscape: dense rainforest in the east; savannah or sugar cane fields in the west, and volcanic lunar landscapes. Its volcanic peaks and craters are classified as a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site. Its most famous hiking trail leads all the way to the majestic Piton de la Fournaise 2,632m above sea level.  It’s a five hour walk there and back to the craters, passing through the rainforest and lunar landscapes of Plaine des Sables. The highest point of Reunion is Piton des Neiges. If you are very fit and experienced you can make the round trip in a day but most people choose to overnight in the Piton des Neiges Gîte and rise early to finish the climb. There are a number of beautiful walks in the Cirque de Salazie – either day or multi-day.  And many many other walks.  

A popular trip is to spend a couple of days relaxing on the coast after arrival, head to the centre for a three or four day walking tour of the cirques and then spend another few days on the coast or in town. There are some fabulous and luxurious hotels on the coast. Accommodation on the walking trails varies from boutique hotels from which you can do day walks to simple refuges and bed and breakfasts on the walking routes in tiny villages.  

Good maps and guidebooks are available and the trails are well marked.  Some of the trails are loops.  Others are one way but there is good public transport or taxis to help you.  

Whether you want to do a full walking tour for a week or two, or a trip with just a few days spent walking on day walks or overnight trips, Reunion makes for a fabulous destination and Shearwater Travel can help you find the perfect combination.   

  • Flying time: 11 hours from Paris
  • Best time of year to travel: Year round except January and February
  • Time difference: + 4 hours
  • Currency: Euro
  • Best time for walking May to November

Ideas for a trip to Reunion

Here are some ideas for trips to Reunion all of which can be adapted for you and we are always happy to create a bespoke trip from scratch.

Walking tour of Reunion

from £1980 per person
This nine-day Reunion outdoor adventure combines hiking through three spectacularly beautiful natural amphitheatres – the remains of long since dormant volcanic craters – with time to chill on Reunion's west coast sand beaches at Gilles-les-Bain. A good level of fitness is required for the walking and as it's an unaccompanied trip it is more suitable for experienced hikers. We can arrange a qualified mountain guide for you, at additional cost, which will greatly enhance your enjoyment if you are fairly new to hiking.

Two week stay in first class and luxury hotels with walking opportunities

from £2400 per person
Spend two weeks on Reunion on this flexible itinerary covering beach and mountains and places in-between. You will stay in three first class or luxury hotels and with a hire car can choose whether to relax in the hotel and take advantage of facilities, see local sights or do day walks in the area around the hotel. First you will stay in the Diana Dea Lodge outside St Anne from where you can visit Hell-Bourg, walk trails from there and also walk in the Bebour forest. A few days in a first class hotel in Cilaos will also provide many walking opportunities whilst staying in a lovely Creole town. Finally some relaxation time on the north west coast near St Gilles and the beautiful sandy beaches where activities abound.

Reunion & Mauritius combined

from £2499 per person
The ruggedly beautiful mountain scenery of La Reunion and the golden sand beaches of Mauritius are two dream destinations that can easily be combined to make a twin-centre Indian Ocean holiday. The flight between the two islands is just 45 minutes, making the transfer a relaxed affair. We provide you with a hire car as the roads are well-maintained, the scenery breathtaking and you can explore at your own pace. You stay in stylish boutique hotels on a B&B basis and there are hikes to suit all levels. A trip to the volcano, Piton de la Fournaise, is a must. Mauritius by contrast is all about the beach and you will stay in a hotel with just about every conceivable water sport on offer (many of which are included in the price) as well as horse riding at the on-site equestrian centre, golf and big game fishing. This is an ideal itinerary for those looking for a wide range of activities with the freedom to plan your own time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions that haven't been answered here? Send your questions to and we'll try our best to help.

As a French department, Reunion is part of the EU. There are currently no visa requirements for UK citizens but this may change with Brexit.  Visit the FCO Reunion pages for latest advice.

There are no particular health requirements for Reunion but check the NHS Fit for Travel pages for more advice.

To reach Reunion you will have to fly via Mauritius (usually with Air Mauritius) or with Air France via Paris.  

The climate in Reunion is sub-tropical with a dry season from May to October.  During the dry season temperatures are between 20 and 25 degrees centigrade. In November to March the weather becomes more humid.  January and February are best avoided due to the possibility of cyclones. Temperatures will be a few degrees lower when walking in the interior.  

Want to find out more?

Let us know what you're looking for and we'll tailor your dream holiday for you.