Useful information : When to go, Getting around...
When to go
Reunion island is depicted by two distinct seasons. The most pleasant, from April to October is the mild, dry season, with very cold nights in the mountainous Hauts region. This is the peak hiking period. You will have to get up early though because the sky clouds over from midday. It is also the height of the sporting calendar, with the Piton des Neiges cross-country run in May and the Grand Raid in October, where runners go through three cirques.
The temperatures then rise and from November to March, the climate becomes hot and humid. The Hauts region is swamped in cloud, so the holidaymakers tend to stick to the beaches. December is when the Freedom Festival commemorates the abolition of slavery with shows, festivals and concerts throughout the island. Not to be missed!
Cyclones can hit the island from January to March. This period is best avoided, particularly as it is also the school summer holidays (late December to early February) and the beaches and paths are packed.
Formalities and useful addresses
Reunion Tourism Board – http://en.reunion.fr
Money and budget
Banks are generally open Mon-Fri 8am-12.30pm and 2-4pm. Open non-stop in the major cities.
Most of the major international credit cards are accepted within the island. ATMs, called gabiers by the locals, are numerous in the town-centres but rarer in the villages of the Hauts region.
Car rental for 1 week (category A): £200/€220.
Bicycle rental for 1 half-day: £13/€15.
Services of a guide for a 1-day trek (per person): £30-40/€35-45.
1 week in a country cottage: £250-700/€280-800.
1 night for 2 in a B&B: £40-65/€45-75/.
1 double room in a hotel: £60-130/€70-150 depending on the category.
1 meal in a good restaurant: £25-45/€27-45.
1 museum entrance: £4.50-8/€5-9.
Health and safety
Sea Rescue Services – [TEL] 0262 53 41 31.
Mountain Rescue Services – [TEL] 0262 930 930.
Current is 220V so American travellers will need an AC adapter. Some holiday cottages use solar power, be sure to call ahead about the voltage.
In addition to regular French public holidays, December 20 – Fèt Kaf (abolition of slavery in Reunion)
Most post offices are open Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, and Sat 8-12pm. Closed between 12pm and 2pm in small towns and villages.
Roland-Garros Reunion International Airport – www.reunion.aeroport.fr/en