Indian Ocean Cruise 2015/16 - Reunion

We just had 1 day on the island and had decided to hire a car rather than take one of the expensive MSC tours. Unfortunately there were only 2 buses to take passengers not from the ship to immigration at the port entrance which meant that there was a long queue so it took us an hour to get off the ship and onto a bus! Immigration was very straightforward and our Avis hire car (pre-booked via the internet) was waiting for us in the car park.

Reunion is a volcanic island with 1 active volcano in the SE of the island. The interior is very mountainous and only 1 tar road crosses it.

Arriving at La Posession, the main port on Reunion.

I'd done some research about Reunion and decided to visit Hell-Bourg, a mountain village which had lots of good reviews. We took another couple, Mark and Maya, who didn't want to book a MSC trip, with us and set off.


To get to Hell-Bourg we had to take the coast road,passing through the capital, St Denis, and after Saint Andre take a narrow winding road up into the mountains. It took us nearly 2hours to cover the 67km from La Possession to Hell-Bourg.

Reunion is part of France so they drive on the right which took a bit of getting used to, especially on the narrow twisting mountain roads.

The coast road between St Dennis and La Possesion has cliffs on one side and the sea on the other.

Much of this mountain road had a deep rainwater ditch on one side - and often no barrier......

There are only a couple of places to stop before the village of Salize where we were able to get Euros from an ATM.

Where the road crosses the river there's a cafe with good views up and down the valley. We were lucky with the weather (January is in their rainy season) and it was mostly clear as we drove up the mountain road to Hell-Bourg.

Near the cafe is a small chapel.

There's a small pull-off by the road where you can get out to look at these waterfalls.

We arrived in Hell-Bourg just before 11.30am only to discover that the Maison Folie Museum closed at 11.30 and didn't open until 2pm - typical French hours! If we hadn't had to queue to get off the ship we would have been fine. To add insult to injury nearly all the restaurants were closed for the Christmas/New Year holidays - and then it started to drizzle.....

All the internet reviews that I read said that Hell-Bourg once won the best kept French village. We had a walk along some of the streets, they were interesting but I'd say that we've seen a lot prettier villages in France.



Hell-Bourg was disappointing however the views of the mountains made up for it.

Once we left the mountain the weather improved so on the way back to the ship we stopped at a pebbly beach to the east of St Denis.

We left Reunion at 5pm and passed the north west coast.


On board.




top of page

We passed the capital, St Denis,on our way to Mauritius.