Capital | St-Denis
Population | 755,171
Area | 2517 SQ KM
Official Language | French
Currency | Euro (EUR)
Time Zone | UTC +4
Best Time to Visit | May and June
Connecting with the Culture | Hiking the three extraordinary cirques, the active Piton de la Fournaise volcano, and Piton des Neiges— Réunion’s highest peak. Soaking up the breathtaking and varied scenery, from austere mountains to intriguing amphitheaters. Mixing in with the colourful cultural melting pot á la Réunionnais of Creoles, Europeans, Indians and Chinese. Feasting on the delicious diversity of food, from traditional Creole curries to haute cuisine franҫaise. Strolling down Le Barachois, a seafront park lined with cannons and cafés.
Read | Catherine Lavaux’s La Réunion: Du Battant des Lames au Sommet des Montagnes.
Listen | to Compagnie Creole, a Caribbean group originally from Réunion but now based in Paris.
Eat | carri poulpe (octopus curry) and, if you want to spice up your meal, add some rougaile (a spicy tomato, ginger and vegetable chutney).
Drink | rhum arrange (a mixture of rum, fruit juice, cane syrup and a blend of herbs and berries) or a bottle of French red wine.
In a Word | Bonjour (Hello)
Characteristics | Volcanoes; trekking; lush forests; band beaches; fantastic food; a French colony.
Surprises | Early settlers developed a taste for the apical bud of the palmist palm (unfortunately once the bud is removed, the palm dies); the Plaine-des-Palmistes, a green plateau filled with flowers, was stripped bare in a few generations; there are still people searching for the treasure of pirate Olivier Levasseur (or ‘La Buse’- the Buzzard) in Mauritius, the Seychelles and Réunion.