We went to Reunion Island in 2018 with my elderly parents and 2 year old daughter on a self-drive/self-catering holiday for 9 days.

Here are my Reunion Island travel tips:

  1. Rent the smallest possible car that will fit your luggage (gasp). We rented a Renault Trafic 9 seater mini bus… and it was a scary drive! The roads are quite narrow and most of the town and scenic routes have a ditch on the right (passenger side) and a barely there yellow line shoulder. Plus you get to drive a left hand drive… Take the super waiver damage cover because plant life most certainly will hang over the road when the road is at its narrowest with a car coming from the front.
  2. Eat where the locals eat. The food will be traditional Creole and the portions bigger for a lot less. Check out for the takeaways painted in the Dodo beer colours.
  3. Learn some French or install a translation app on your phone. A lot of the locals, including business owners and staff, do not speak English.
  4. Sundays and Mondays not all attractions are open- this also extends to restaurants. However, if all else fails, go to the beach. If you happen to stumble over some black sand and rocks on the beach it’s probably volcanic rock.
  5. If you want to swim and sit on a great beach… look for the beach route. The best beaches stretch from Plage des Brisants to Plage de Boucan Canot – around Saint-Gilles.
  6. Install Google Offline Maps for Reunion Island. These maps have all the roads and most attractions. Plus you don’t need to delete them when you get home because they expire. Get the steps here.

You may also be interested in reading my article How much does (it) cost on Reunion Island?


Susann is a travel, parenting, beauty and lifestyle blogger in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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