Travel to Reunion Island – Episode 889

categories: africa travel, europe travel

Travel to Reunion Island - What to do on Reunion Island (Podcast) - Amateur Traveler

Hear about travel to Reunion Island, an outpost of France in the Indian Ocean as the Amateur Traveler talks to Collin McFadden about his recent trip to this adventure travel paradise.

Why should you travel to Reunion Island?

Colin says:

“Reunion is, I would say, first off, an adventure destination. It is not a place to go for beaches and just hanging out mostly because they don’t have beaches per se, there are a few, but it is a volcano, very much like the Hawaiian Islands. It is a place to go for hiking, biking, climbing, canyoning, paragliding you name it, you will find folks doing it on Reunion Island.”

“I would say also it is a really interesting cultural mix in that it is France. It’s not a colony of France. It is a district of France and was uninhabited prior to the French showing up and then reflects 18th, 19th, and 20th century French history and French trading patterns. It’s a real mix of French vibes, East African vibes, and South Asian vibes.”

Reunion is located in the Indian Ocean, about 600 kilometers east of Madagascar, and southwest of Mauritius.

During his two-week stay on the island, Collin found it remarkably easy to navigate, with well-maintained roads and manageable distances between attractions. He recommends selecting a home base—be it a cozy Airbnb or a luxurious hotel—and planning excursions from there, given the island’s compact size and accessibility.

Arriving at the capital city, Saint-Denis, Collin found echoes of New Orleans in its French-inspired architecture—a familiar touch that eased him into his Reunion adventure. While Saint-Denis offered a glimpse into urban life, most travelers, including Collin, gravitate towards the island’s natural wonders.

From exhilarating helicopter rides over volcanic craters to heart-pounding paragliding experiences, Collin advises prioritizing weather-dependent activities early in the itinerary. With Reunion Island’s fickle climate, flexibility is key to ensuring you don’t miss out on bucket-list adventures.

Traveling further inland, Collin explored Bourg-Murat, home to the Volcano Museum—a fascinating delve into the island’s geological history. Here, he learned about the tectonic forces shaping Reunion Island and its ongoing volcanic activity, offering a deeper appreciation for the island’s dramatic landscapes.

No visit to Reunion Island would be complete without chasing waterfalls and embarking on epic hikes. Collin recommends Piton de la Fournaise, an otherworldly landscape shaped by recent volcanic eruptions.

For those seeking a more adventurous challenge, Collin ventured into the mountains with expert guides, scaling cliffs and exploring hidden gems like the Kélonia sea turtle sanctuary at Colonia. Here, he encountered rehabilitated sea turtles and gained insights into conservation efforts on the island.

For low-cost flight options to Reunion Island check out the new French Bee airline. Most visitors will arrive from Paris, but the island also has low-cost flights to Mauritius, the Seychelles, and Mayotte Island into Madagascar.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is the weather. Reunion Island experiences a tropical climate, which means there are distinct wet and dry seasons. The best time to visit is during the dry season, which typically runs from May to November. During this time, you can expect pleasant weather with less rainfall, making outdoor activities more enjoyable.

However, even during the wet season, which spans from December to April, you can still have a great time exploring the island. Just be prepared for occasional rain showers, especially in the afternoons.

If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination that offers both adventure and relaxation, consider adding Reunion Island to your travel bucket list. 



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Show Notes

Why Should I Visit?
Saint-Denis, Réunion
Pitons, cirques and remparts of Reunion Island
Réunion Tourism
Les Gorges du Bras de la Plaine
Flight Paragliding in Reunion
Kélonia, the sea turtle observatory
Mascarin Jardin Botanique
Vieux Pressoir (Le) (Saint-leu)
Réunion Creole
Cité du Volcan (La) (Plaine Des Cafres (la), Le Tampon)
Grand Bassin (Le Tampon)
Piton de la Fournaise
Canyoning in the Reunion island
3 Salazes classic ridge
Cirque de Mafate Reunion Island
Reunion Island


on Travel to Tokyo Japan – Episode 880

Hi Chris,

Hope you’re doing well 🙂

I feel compelled to get in touch to let you know how much I enjoyed your January episode on Tokyo with the Nerd Tourist.

I stumbled on your podcast last year and it has been such a helpful resource in planning my five and a half week trip to Japan and South Korea (which I’m on right now!). However, as a nerd that dabbles in many disciplines, I find some nerdy interests are considered less legitimate than others (for example, there’s a lot of information in Western guidebooks if you’re a history buff, but not for anime and manga fans, even though they are huge phenomenon in Japan).

It was really refreshing (and helpful!) to hear from Matt, and I appreciate you putting yourself outside of your comfort zone as someone who is less familiar with that side of nerd culture! Although the not-Mario karts are definitely a toe-in.

I also wanted to pass on a few restaurant recommendations to those travelling Japan who are vegetarian/vegan or just aiming to avoid seafood!

– Vegan Ramen Uzu (on site at TeamLabs Planets)
– Marbre Vegan, famous for their strawberry tarts, right across from Shinjuku Gyoen Gardens
– Hamanoya Parlour (omnivore spot with a vegan menu – turns into a drag bar at night)

– Mercy Vegan Factory, where I had the best vegan fried ‘chicken’ I’ve had in my life
– Green Earth, where I had the best tempeh rice bowl I’ve had in my life
– Oko, for those who want to get a try of takoyaki without the seafood or animal products. Was so delicious I almost cried
– Oko Fun Bar, sister to Oko, who sell veg friendly okonomiyaki. I haven’t actually haven’t been yet as the que was sooo long (but I then found Oko, so it worked out!), but on the balance of probabilities, I’m guessing they’ll be good!

All the best,


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Travel to Reunion Island - What to do on Reunion Island (Podcast) - Amateur Traveler #reunion #africa #france #adventure #travel #vacation #trip #holiday #volcanon Travel to Reunion Island - What to do on Reunion Island (Podcast) - Amateur Traveler #reunion #africa #france #adventure #travel #vacation #trip #holiday #volcanon

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

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