This wildly beautiful and rugged volcanic island (with a very active volcano), was uninhabited when discovered by the Portuguese in the early 16th century. In 1643 it was claimed by the French. They named it Bourbon and established their first colony here in 1662. In the years that followed, slaves from Africa were imported to work the sugar plantations.
The island was renamed Reunion in 1793, and it remained a French colony, except for a brief British occupation from 1810 to 1815. Over time, French immigration, supplemented by influxes of Africans, Chinese, Malays, and Malabar Indians, gave the island its ethnic mix. The island’s economy is dominated by the sugarcane industry, and its main exports include sugar, seafood, rum, and vanilla. Tourism, especially from Europe, is a significant economic factor.
Following a previous Gold award in 2012, Reunion Island Tourism (IRT) has once again bagged this prestigious prize for their innovative application “Reunion Island” which has turned out to be a hit among visitors to the island as well as those exploring on their computer, tablet, and smartphone screens. Reunion Island Tourism was chosen from among 5 finalists and came out on top, largely attributed to being seen as “the most popular destination app.” Over and above the vote of the jury, which, of course, determined the winner, more than 143,000 users also voted the same way – a resounding vote of confidence among travellers to this French tropical Indian Ocean island.
Welcome to Réunion; an island where the air is pure, and spectacular natural scenery is everywhere. With over 1,000 kilometres of paths running through mountains, jungle and open spaces, both amateurs and pros will feel at home. The island will take you as close to Mother Earth as possible, where journeys are made on foot, on horseback and even by bike. A mountain biker’s paradise, the island has dozens of trails winding through sumptuous scenery, offering moments of freedom, intense sensations, and unforgettable descents from the mountaintops to the seashore.
Reunion is well known for the diversity of its population, and the island’s tasty and delicious fare reflects this. Its cuisine was born in the 17th century, and its origins are as varied and mixed as the customs and people of India, Madagascar, China, Africa and France who settled in Reunion. It’s unique blend of flavours with a hint of chilli had no trouble taking root in the tropical climate. The use of varied ingredients such as turmeric, masala, tomatoes, and leafy green vegetables have led to very colourful food.