Regional Adventures: La Reunion, France
La Reunion is an island to the Southwest (about 120 miles) of Mauritius and East of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. It is a region of , an integral part of, and shares the same status as France.
It is the outermost region of the European Union and is part of the Eurozone despite its remote location away from mainland Europe.
The island is 63 kilometres (39 mi) long; 45 kilometres (28 mi) wide; and covers 2,512 square kilometres (970 sq mi). It is similar to the island Hawaii as both are located above hotspots in the Earth’s crust. (Source: Wikipedia)
Sugar was once the primary agricultural product and export but now it is mostly tourism that supports the economy here.
The population of La Reunion is of mixed ethnicity ranging from Europe, Africa, India, China, and Malagasy. There are no indigenous people here because this was originally a deserted island before it was discovered. The population here was at close to 800,000 as of 2008. French is the official language here with Reunion Creole spoken by a large portion of the population as well.
The scenery here is beautiful from its white sand beaches to the mountain scenery. There are many hiking trails in Le Reunion where you can check out the beautiful views while getting some fresh air and sunshine. There are plenty of waterfalls to see as well as the active volcano, piton de la Fournaise (Furnace Peak), that resides here.
La Cascade de Bras-Rouge is a nice place to hike to where many people have a picnic and enjoy the views of the red water which is that way because of the Iron Oxide that naturally occurs there. The hike there has beautiful greenery and flowers as well as thermal pools nearby.
Among the islands most beautiful architecture is the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges and the Père Boiteau. Here’s what Wikitravel.org had to say about it. “The nave and chancel are noteworthy, and the woodwork is all the work of craftsmen from Rivière-Saint-Louis. The most illustrious figure at the church was the father Paul Boiteau, who arrived there in 1927, and died in 1947. A mystical ascetic, he was very close to the poor. He is buried in front of the church, and is remembered for the good deeds he granted unto his followers. The church can be seen from afar, so finding your way there should not be a problem.”
Here’s a great video from the tourism department of La Reunion that does a beautiful job of showing the wonders of La Reunion. Enjoy!