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.

Reunion island self drive

from £2450 per person
This two-week Reunion driving tour combines the active volcano, Piton de la Fournaise, breathtaking scenery and picturesque mountain towns in the three Cirques, with a beach holiday where you can dive, surf, play golf, windsurf and paraglide. The itinerary is completely flexible - you can start on the coast and end in the mountains and spend more or less time in each place. It's a wonderful island and one of our favourite places for a self-drive holiday.

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 as the flight between the two islands is just 45 minutes. We provide you with a hire car so you can explore at your own pace. You stay in stylish boutique hotels on a B&B basis. There are hikes to suit all levels and 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 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.

Reunion is a French department so from 1 January 2021 you can visit Reunion for up to 90 days in any 180 day period without a visa as a tourist.  For further information see 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.