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La Possession, Reunion

Tall, verdant Reunion is the sort of tropical island Central Casting would send if a director were looking for the perfect island paradise. Steep volcanic peaks covered with lush forest are ringed by sugary white beaches in an achingly blue sea. It is also an overseas department of France, which only adds to its glamour, although its inclusion in the Eurozone seems almost laughable due to its location in the Indian Ocean. La Possession on the island’s northeastern coast occupies an enviably horizontal wedge between steep peaks, and gives access to ships. Visitors may spot the commune’s coat of arms, a silver dodo bird topped by a pair of foreboding axes. Interesting sites include the dramatic cirques (dormant volcanic craters with fairytale villages in them) and plantations dedicated to essential perfume oils and spices such as cinnamon, vanilla and cloves. In the town, and antique engine beside the the defunct railway station and the ruined lazarette of the fortification are atmospheric backdrops for photographs.