Reunion is a French territory located in the middle of the Indian Ocean just east of Madagascar. Initially discovered by the Portuguese in 1513, it was not settled until the 17th century when the French began inhabiting the island and brought along a mixture of other cultures. It was an important stop on the East Indies trading route up until the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, which caused the island to plummet in popularity. These days, however, Reunion operates as a tourist location, and has a distinctly tropical feel to it. The distinct mixture of Indian, African, Chinese and French cultures combined for an absolutely unique experience that you won't find anywhere else in the world.
From the peaks of the Cirque de Mafate, Cilaos, and Salazie, to the rugged valleys like the Grand Bassin, or the forests along Le Maido with its lush foliage and massive sugar-cane fields and the surfing at St-Leu, the place is a tropical paradise with a wide range of geography that will appeal to all types of travelers. However, despite the fact that this is a French territory and relies primarily on tourism for its income, you won't find any luxury accommodations in Reunion. Instead, it almost feels as though a little chunk of French countryside was literally plucked out of the heartland of France and deposited in the middle of the Indian Ocean, and then populated with a variety of cultures from the surrounding countries.
Make no doubt about it, Reunion has some of the most amazing scenery on the planet. There are vast lava fields stretching down from the mountains, plenty of lush tropical forests, and the western edge of the island is home almost a Riviera-type experience, with resort towns and beach villages. This is the perfect place to have a romantic getaway with your significant other because there aren't a lot of crowds, and you can choose between lounging on pristine beaches, hiking up some of the most majestic mountains ever seen, or trekking through tropical forests and. All in all, a perfect island getaway.