The Portuguese were the first Europeans to land on Réunion in 1513, but France took over the colonial power in 1640. The island achieved some prosperity in the 18th century as it was on important shipping routes between Europe and Asia. Sugar plantations, on which African slaves worked, were another important industry. Réunion was a French colony until 1946 when it became a French overseas territory. French culture defines much of daily life, but there are also African, Indian and Chinese influences that add to a wonderful tropical mix. Although the brilliant turquoise waters around Réunion are exceptionally beautiful, the numerous species of sharks that live here make them unsuitable for swimming or other water sports. The main reason why tourists are drawn to Reunion is its stunningly beautiful trekking routes over mountainous terrain.
Arriving by plane
According to top-medical-schools, there are no non-stop flights from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Air Austral (UU), the national airline of Reunion Island, Air France (AF), Corsair (SS) and French Bee (BF) fly daily non-stop from Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly to Saint-Denis de Reunion . Tickets for the French Bee flights are also offered by Air Caraïbes (TX). There are feeder flights to Paris with Lufthansa (LH) from Munich and Frankfurt/M., with Austrian Airlines (OS) from Vienna and with Swiss (LX) from Zurich; Air France (AF) also offers feeder flights to Paris from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Air Austral (UU) connects Mauritius with La Réunion several times a day.
Frankfurt/M. – St. Denis: 14 hours; Vienna – St. Denis: 18 hours 10 minutes; Zurich – St. Denis: 15 hours 25 minutes (each with at least 1 stopover; the travel time varies depending on the length of the stay or any airport change in Paris).
Arrival by car
Toll: There are no toll roads. Documents: The national driving license is sufficient.
Arrival by ship
The main port, Pointe-des-Galets, is visited by numerous cruise ships.
Providers such as Cunard, AIDA, Phoenix and Hapag Lloyd start their cruises with a stopover in La Réunion in German ports such as Hamburg or Bremerhaven. Coming from other European ports, cruise ships from MSC and Costa, among others, dock in La Réunion.
Traveling by plane
Flight companies such as Helilagon and Corail offer helicopter sightseeing flights over the island.
Traveling by car/bus
A ring road encircles the entire island along the coast. A road runs southwest through the interior of the island between the coastal towns of Saint-Benoît and Saint-Pierre. In addition, various often extremely winding roads branch off the coastal road into the interior of the island. Tolls: There are no toll roads on La Réunion. Gas stations are sufficiently available.
Right-hand traffic/left-hand traffic
Condition of the roads
The roads are generally very well developed and maintained. Most roads are paved.
The road network includes highways connecting the major cities and country roads leading to the interior of the island.
Rental cars are available at the airport and in the larger cities. Drivers must be at least 21 years old to rent a car.
Taxis are available in the cities but very expensive.
Bicycles and motorbikes can be rented in the cities and often also in larger hotel complexes.
The bus connections are excellent. There are city buses that mainly run in Saint-Denis and the yellow buses, so-called cars jaunes, that connect the cities with each other. Buses are very comfortable on La Réunion.
Traffic regulations: – alcohol limit: 0.5 ‰; – seatbelt obligation; – Telephoning is only permitted with a hands-free device. Speed limits: – in built-up areas: 50 km/h; – on rural roads: 90 km/h; – on motorways: 110 km/h. Otherwise, the same traffic regulations apply as in France.
The ADAC foreign emergency call offers ADAC members and holders of ADAC foreign health and accident insurance comprehensive assistance in the event of vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, loss of documents and money, and medical emergencies. The emergency number is available around the clock; in the event of damage to the vehicle: Tel. +49 (0)89 22 22 22, in the event of illness: +49 (0)89 76 76 76. In the event of breakdowns or accidents with the rental car, the car rental company should be contacted first.
The national driving license is valid.
Locally on the way by train
There are no trains on La Réunion.
Traveling by ship
Various shipping companies operate coastal traffic around the island. Boats can also be rented in numerous ports.