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International > The picture of the week > Réunion, the "Intense Island"

Picture of the week (No.10): Reunion, the Intense Island.                         Share

Each week (actually about 3 times a month), Willgoto selects here a nice picture. Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean is the topic of the tenth picture in this series. It is a dream destination particularly for all outdoor activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, canyoning, paragliding, and many more.

Reunion, the Intense Island
Reunion, the Intense Island in the Indian Ocean.

The country
. Reunion Island (in French, "La Réunion") lies in the southwest of the Indian Ocean. With Mauritius, Rodrigues, and a few smaller islands, it forms the Mascarene archipelago. Reunion Island is a Department (an administrative division) of France. The currency of the island is the euro and French is the official language, even if local people speak also Reunion creole. The economy of Reunion, once called Bourbon Island, developed in the XVIII century with the cultivation of coffee and, as from the XIX century, that of sugar cane. More recently tourism, with a million overnight stays per year, has become an important economic sector of the island.

The history of Reunion, especially the colonization by France and the importation of slaves and then of Chinese or Indian workers provided the island with a mixed and multicultural population.

Reunion Island is of volcanic origin. The Massif of Piton des neiges, a volcano which has not been in activity for more than 12,000 years, forms 60% of the surface of the island. It includes particularly Piton des neiges - a peak that is the highest point of the island (3.070 m above the level of the sea) -, several peaks of over 2,000 m, as well as three very large volcanic depressions, namely the calderas of Mafate, Salazie, and Cilaos. The rest of the island is formed by the massif of Piton de la Fournaise, the volcano of which is located in the southeast of the island. The Piton de la fournaise volcano (2,630 m) periodically erupts. The most recent eruption occurred during a week in mid-September 2016 and could be easily watched.

Reunion Island makes the headlines also due to the construction of a new coastal road of about 12 km between Saint-Denis (the administrative capital of the island) and La Possession. This new 6 lane road that goes through a long viaduct over the sea will replace the current road exposed to the scree from the high cliff that goes along it. It is criticized particularly because of its mammoth cost ("the most expensive road in the world").

Be sure to also see these splendid pictures from Reunion Island::


Piton de la Fournaise


Trekking


Waterfalls


Beaches

Holidays: Reunion Island offers tourists all the seaside holiday opportunities: lazing on the beach, boat trip, snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, fishing and many more. A large part of the western coast of the island is bordered by coral reefs. In order to preserve the biodiversity, a 35 km² marine nature reserve was created in 2007 over 40 km between the villages of St. Paul and Etang Salé. For a couple of years, the island has faced shark attacks mainly on surfers and bodyboarders (19 attacks, including seven fatal, since 2011). Caution and strict compliance with the security system are required when practicing water sports activities.

What makes the highlight of Reunion Island tourism and differentiates the island from the nearby Mauritius Island are all the other outdoor activities, like trekking, paragliding, hang gliding, canyoning and climbing. In particular as for hiking, Reunion offers countless opportunities ranging from short trips and hikes of a few hours to long-distance treks on footpaths up to 130 km. Mountain bike or horseback rides are also practiced in Reunion.

So, there are many opportunities to discover the magnificent landscapes and the rich flora of Reunion Island. The landscapes of the island are actually unique in the world, varied and contrasting. Since 2007, a large part (40%) of the territory of the island has been a national park. It is home to a wide variety of plants, many of which are endemic. The national park has been recognized as world heritage by UNESCO.

Holiday at Reunion is also an opportunity to enjoy the cultural heritage of the island, its traditions, its gastronomy and, in season, its delicious tropical fruits.

The announcement that the French low cost airline, French Blue, will offer flights between Paris and Reunion at competitive prices as from mid-September 2017 is likely to drive down the airfares to Réunion. With the slogan "Reunion, the Intense Island", the authorities of the island also seek to attract more tourists from other countries than France (currently three-quarters of the visitors come from continental France).

The climate of the island is favorable throughout the year, but the months from January to March are the hottest (more than 30 °) and the most humid season, with possible cyclones.

The author of the picture. Most of the pictures from Reunion Island posted in the Willgoto web site have been provided by the Committee of tourism of the island. See here all our pictures from Reunion Island.

See also:
Picture of the week 1: Bee hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world. It is endemic to Cuba.
Picture of the week 2: Pagoda of the Golden Rock in Myanmar. It is one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the world.
Picture of the week 3: Seychelles beach. Seychelles is a perfect destination for a dream holiday.
Picture of the week 4: Lemur of Madagascar (Coquerel's sifaka), an endangered species of primates, which, like all other species of lemurs, is endemic to Madagascar.
Picture of the week 5: World heritage in Cambodia. The temple of Banteay Srei, better known as 'Citadel of the women', in Cambodia is a jewel of Khmer art and a world heritage site.
Picture of the week 6: Bull shark and tiger shark. Both sharks are unfortunately known for fatal attacks on humans. However, experienced divers can approach them and swim with them.
Picture of the week 7: Firewalking in Mauritius. Walking barefoot over a bed of hot embers is an ancestral religious practice.
Picture of the week 8: The flower carpet of the Grand Place in Brussels. This carpet made up of about a million cut flowers is a tourist attraction that takes place every two years.
Picture of the week 9: Giant oceanic manta rays. Video and pictures. The giant oceanic manta ray is a particularly impressive ray that can be up to 7 meters wide and weigh up to two tons.
Picture of the week 11: Beaches of Cambodia. Sihanoukville and the small islands off that beach resort offer wonderful opportunities for beach holidays.

See  all our "Pictures of the week".


 

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Find here nice pictures from Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean. Réunion is a dream destination particularly for all outdoor activities, such as hiking, canyoning, paragliding, and many more.