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A French island with a population of less than a million, Reunion is a lesser explored but stunning tourist attraction for visitors from all over the world. Situated in the Indian Ocean, it lies to the east of Madagascar and is also close to Mauritius. This advantageous point means that it is ideal for a starting point to explore these other areas. However, it is also an excellent tourist attraction in its own right. Considered by the French to be closely linked to the overseas, it is one of twenty-six regions in France. Because of this blend of cultures, you are in for an unusual treat on a visit here and there is a great blend of Indian, African and Chinese influences as well as French.

St-Denis is the northernmost city in Reunion and should be the first port of call on any tourists’ itinterary. St Denis also has the best cuisine on the island. Hiring a car will enable you to effectively negotiate his fantastic landscape and explore the gorgeous fields and sprawling coastal cities. The West is widely considered Reunion’s Riviera, and is home to some fantastic stretches of beach. It offers some stunning cultural gems and Creole architecture coupled with some tremendous villages and religious buildings. The active volcano in the south of the island is well worth exploring and the mountainous scenery is simply breathtaking. Hiking is a popular recreational pursuit here, and you can also try scuba diving in the waters around the island. St Leu is the number one surfing area on the island and has the quintessential beach town atmosphere.

One of the best drives in the country is the RN5, which connects St Leu with Cilaos. Here, you will take in some snaking mountain roads which twist and turn up towards the amphitheatre – a fabulous insight into this culture.

Cities in Reunion