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  • POPULATION 845,000
  • SIZE 970 square miles

The notion of an Indian Ocean island suggests turquoise lagoons, infinity pools and all-inclusive resorts. Well, Reunion is nothing like that. A piece of French soil detached from the mainland and 400 miles adrift off the coast of Madagascar, Reunion looks more like a wild island out of comic book fantasy, with smouldering volcanoes, thundering waterfalls and a jungle-clad, mountainous interior criss-crossed by hiking trails.

Réunion, France
Réunion, France

The king of all these trails is the five-hour slog up the Piton de la Fournaise – an active volcano that periodically sends smoke spiralling to the heavens and lava streaming towards the sea. In the intervals between eruptions, walkers can hike to the rim for views overlooking plains of volcanic ash and green foothills, with the Indian Ocean beyond.

  • GETTING THERE – Fly Air Asia from Singapore or Kuala Lumpur to Chennai, India first. Then fly Air Austral to Reunion.

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