As hard as it may be to wrap one's head around, Reunion Island, located just east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, remains an administrative region of France, and as such constitutes a part of the European Union and the Eurozone (albeit its most remote part). Speaking the island's official language - French - may prove handy when traveling around, but many locals do speak some English as well (Reunion Creole is used in most day-to-day communication). The Island was first settled over 300 years ago by natives of France, Africa and Madagascar. New pieces have been added to eclectic mosaic of ethnicities and cultures that is Reunion, all put together to create an inviting combination of elegant French and flavourful Creole cuisine, serene beaches and steep mountain ranges (harbouring the still active Piton de la Fournaise volcano), stylish shopping streets reminiscent of those in mainland France and busy local markets. Trips to Reunion are best-planned well in advance - unlike its immediate resort neighbour of Mauritius, the island does not boast a plethora accommodation options, so these are advised to be booked in advance.