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Mascarene Islands are an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar. The archipelago consists mainly of the islands Mauritius, Reunion and Rodrigues. The archipelago is named after the islands' notice, the Portuguese admiral Pedro de Mascarenhas.

Mauritius was formed 8-10 million years ago, and is geographically one of the oldest remaining islands in the group. It was discovered in the 10th century by the Arabs and was first named Dina Harobi, but the first permanent settlement was by the Dutch in 1638. It was seized by France in 1715, remained in control of it until the British took over in 1810. Mauritius became independent in 1968.

Rodrigues was formed at about the same time as the reunion. It was first discovered by the Arabs, but named after the Portuguese navigator Diogo Rodrigues. It was under Dutch control in 1601 and settled by the French in 1691. Britain took possession of Rodrigues in 1809. When Mauritius became independent in 1968, Rodrigues strongly endorsed it. Rodrigues is still an autonomous region of Mauritius.

Reunion Island was first discovered by the Arabs then by the Portuguese, who called the Santa Apolónia. It was then occupied by the French as part of Mauritius. It was first inhabited by French mutineers who arrived on the island between 1646 and 1669. It got its current name in 1793. From 1810 to 1815 it was held by the British, before they returned to France. Réunion became an overseas department of France in 1946

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