Trip to Reunion Island – Episode 889

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Traveling to Reunion - What to do in Reunion (Podcast) - Amateur Traveler

Discover Reunion Island, an outpost of France in the Indian Ocean, as the amateur traveler talks to Collin McFadden about his recent trip to this adventure travel paradise.

Why go to Reunion?

Colin says:

“Reunion is, I would say, above all an adventure destination. It’s not a place to go for beaches and just hang out because they don’t have beaches per se, there are a few, but it’s a volcano, very similar to the Hawaiian Islands . It’s a place to go hiking, cycling, climbing, canyoning, paragliding, etc., you’ll find people doing it in Réunion.

“I would also say it’s a really interesting cultural mix in that it’s France. It is not a colony of France. It is a district of France and was uninhabited before the arrival of the French and reflects French history of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries and French business patterns. It’s a real mix of French vibes, East African vibes and South Asian vibes.

Réunion is located in the Indian Ocean, approximately 600 kilometers east of Madagascar and southwest of Mauritius.

During his two-week stay on the island, Collin found it remarkably easy to navigate, with well-maintained roads and manageable distances between attractions. He recommends choosing a home base, whether it’s somewhere comfortable Airbnb or a luxury hotel – and plan excursions from there, given the island’s compact size and accessibility.

Arriving in the capital, Saint-Denis, Collin found echoes of New Orleans in its French-inspired architecture – a familiar touch that eased his Reunion adventure. While Saint-Denis offers a glimpse of city life, most travelers, including Collin, are drawn to the island’s natural wonders.

From exhilarating helicopter rides over volcanic craters to thrilling paragliding experiences, Collin advises prioritizing weather-dependent activities at the start of the itinerary. With Reunion Island’s capricious climate, flexibility is key to not missing the adventures on your bucket list.

Traveling further inland, Collin explored Bourg-Murat, home to the Volcano Museum, a fascinating dive into the island’s geological history. Here he discovered the tectonic forces that shape Réunion Island and its ongoing volcanic activity, providing a deeper appreciation of the island’s spectacular landscapes.

No visit to Reunion Island would be complete without chasing waterfalls and embarking on epic hikes. Collin recommends Piton de la Fournaise, an otherworldly landscape shaped by recent volcanic eruptions.

For those looking for a more adventurous challenge, Collin ventured into the mountains with expert guides, scaling cliffs and exploring hidden gems like the Kelonia sea ​​turtle sanctuary in Colonia. Here he met rehabilitated sea turtles and gained insight into the conservation efforts being carried out on the island.

For cheap flight options to Reunion Island, check out new airline French Bee. Most visitors will arrive from Paris, but the island also offers low-cost flights to Mauritius, the Seychelles and the island of Mayotte to Madagascar.

However, one thing to keep in mind is the weather. Reunion Island experiences a tropical climate, meaning there are distinct wet and dry seasons. The best time to visit is the dry season, which generally runs from May to November. During this time, you can expect pleasant weather with less precipitation, which will make outdoor activities more enjoyable.

However, even during the rainy season, which runs from December to April, you can still have a great time exploring the island. Just be prepared for occasional rain showers, especially in the afternoon.

If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination that offers both adventure and relaxation, consider adding Reunion Island to your travel list.


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Show notes

Why should I visit?
Saint-Denis, Reunion
Pitons, cirques and ramparts of Reunion Island
Tourism Reunion
The Bras de la Plaine Gorges
Paragliding flight in Reunion
Kélonia, the sea turtle observatory
Mascarin Botanical Garden
Old Press (Le) (Saint-leu)
Réunion Creole
City of the Volcano (La) (Plaine Des Cafres (la), Le Tampon)
Grand Bassin (Le Tampon)
Piton de la Fournaise
Canyoning in Reunion
3 Salazes classic ridge
Cirque de Mafate Reunion Island
Reunion Island


on Trip to Tokyo Japan – Episode 880

Hi Chris,

I hope you are well ????

I feel compelled to reach out to tell you how much I enjoyed your January Tokyo episode with the Nerd Tourist.

I came across your podcast last year and it was a very helpful resource in planning my five and a half week trip to Japan and South Korea (which I’m currently on!). However, as a nerd who dabbles in many disciplines, I find that some nerdy interests are considered less legitimate than others (for example, there’s a lot of information in Western guidebooks if you’re an enthusiast of story, but not for fans of anime and manga, even if they are a huge phenomenon in Japan).

It was really refreshing (and helpful!) to hear from Matt, and I appreciate you putting yourself outside of your comfort zone as someone less familiar with this aspect of nerd culture! Although non-Mario karts are definitely up to the task.

I also wanted to pass along some restaurant recommendations for those traveling to Japan who are vegetarian/vegan or just want to avoid seafood!

– Vegan Ramen Uzu (on site at TeamLabs Planets)
– Marble Vegan, famous for its strawberry tartlets, just opposite Shinjuku Gyoen Gardens
– Hamanoya Parlor (omnivore spot with a vegan menu – transforms into a drag bar in the evening)

– Mercy Vegan Factory, where I had the best vegan fried “chicken” of my life
– Green Earth, where I had the best bowl of tempeh rice of my life
– Oko, for those who want to try takoyaki without seafood or animal products. It was so delicious I almost cried
– Oko Fun Bar, sister of Oko, which sells vegetarian okonomiyaki. I actually haven’t been there yet because the line was so long (but then I found Oko, so it worked out!), but on the balance of probabilities I guess they’ll be good!

All my wishes,


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