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A tropical Departement of France, Réunion is very different from neighbouring Mauritius and is perfect for those who prefer to be slightly more active on holiday.

The French influence predominates in language and some excellent restaurants. The coast is more rugged than elsewhere in the Indian Ocean, with fewer protected coves for snorkelling and swimming, but the geography of the island allows for excellent paragliding, as well as surfing, water-skiing and sailing. The scenery is spectacular.

Three long-extinct craters (cirques) provide an extraordinary mix of the sub tropical and the alpine. Sheer cliffs plunge into dense forests, cascading waterfalls abound and snow-covered peaks tower over little towns nestling on the gentler slopes of the crater floors.

To the south east of the island, there is a dramatic change of scene. The active volcano, Le Piton de la Fornaise, provides a fascinating spectacle of moonscapes and lava fields and a heart stopping helicopter flight into the cirques and (weather permitting) over the active volcano is just not to be missed

Le Boucan Canot, Reunion

Just half an hours drive from the airport, this 4* hotel is built facing a beautiful cove, on a white sandy beach. The rooms are built in accordance with traditional Creole architecture and each has a terrace or balcony with a sea view. The hotel tends...

Le Vieux Cep, Reunion

A small property of just 20 rooms with Creole architecture and a pleasant, relaxing atmosphere. Excellent restaurant serving local specialities.

Les Villas du Lagon, Reunion

A new and well-designed hotel on the beach, set in spacious gardens. Facilties include a fitness centre, tennis courts and a sailing club. Not far from the helipad from which dramatic flights into the Cirques depart.

Villas du Lagon, Reunion

This lovely resort hotel is one of the best on the island. Excellent sports facilities, wonderful large pool and 600m of beachfront with very good snorkelling.

Cirque de Salazie

This is the greenest of the three cirques. 100ft waterfalls cascade down gorges and cliffs to lush valleys below. You may wish to visit the hot springs, the viewpoint at Le Point du jour or the forest of Bélouve, with its silver tamarind trees. Other...