Time zoneGMT +4. Add +3h from Paris in winter (end of October to end of March) and +2h in summer.
- About 11 hours from Paris with direct flight(it’s more convenient to choose a night flight to gain one extra day)
- 45 minutes from Mauritius (4 flights each day)
- Regular direct flights from Paris to Reunion with AIR FRANCE, AIR AUSTRAL, CORSAIR.
- Flight via Mauritius with AIR MAURITIUS or AIR AUSTRAL
IdentificationPassport or ID card for French and EU residents. For other nationalities a visa is required. Visa exemption for Chinese and Indian tourists for a stay of less than 15 days. Horizon Reunion has the agreement to delivers free vouchers for VISA exemption if the clients book its holidays (at least accommodations in Reunion Island : hotels, guesthouses, etc.) thanks to our local Travel Agency.
Dialing code+ 262 (not +33) if you call from outside France . To contact a local phone please dial 00 262 262 XX XX XX. To contact a mobile phone, please dial 00 262 692 XX XX XX.
ElectricityCurrent of 220/240 volts at 50 hertz. Wall sockets take plugs with two pins like those used in mainland France
A few facts about Reunion Island
- Surface area : covers 2,512 square kilometers (970 sq mi). Located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar (900 kms) and about 200 kilometres (120 mi) southwest of Mauritius, the nearest island.
- Population : 840 000 inhabitants
- Currency : Euro
- Status : an overseas department of France since March 1946
- Religions : The predominant religion is Roman Catholism with Hinduism, Islam, Chinese folk religion and Buddhism also represented, among others. Reunion is reputed to be a model of tolerance where all communities live harmoniously.
- Highest point : Piton des Neiges : ( 3070 m)
- In 2010 its Peaks, Volcanos and Cirques (40%of the territory) were designated by as a UNESCO protected natural site and a World Heritage.
Climate and seasonsReunion benefits from a tropical climate softened by the breezes of the Indian Ocean. The sun shines down all year round, especially in the north, west and south of the island. The wide variety of microclimates in Reunion means that one can be soaking up the sunshine by the sea in the morning and be up taking in the cool mountain air in the afternoon, and all this without having to travel far to do so.
Compared to the northern hemisphere, the seasons are the other way round in the south. However, any notions of winter and summer are relative in the tropics. The year is divided up into two long periods: the warm and humid season, from December to April, and the fresher and drier season which runs from May to November.
The Austral Summer (January to March)
The Austral summer reaches its peak in January and February, with daily temperatures around 30 °C to 35°C by the coast. Rain showers come in short, but heavy patches. This is also the season for risk of tropical storms, which hit the island on average once a year and generally last 3 days to a week. This time of year is when the lush vegetation and cascading waterfalls are at their most impressive. The water temperature in the lagoon varies around 26-29°
The Austral Winter (June to September)
The Austral Winter comes in July and August, with slightly fresher temperatures (around 22-25° by the Indian Ocean) – however, even at night the hardships of winter by the coast rarely drop lower than 20°! The water temperature in the lagoon varies around 22-24°.
Apart from one or two exceptions, the trees do not lose their leaves and plant species tend to flower at different periods throughout the year. However, beware if you’re heading up into the mountains: the drop in temperature can come as a shock. The Austral Winter is the period of whales watching!
Offseason (April-May and October-December)
Because they are neither too hot nor too humid, the two periods between these seasons (April – May and October – November) are particularly pleasant times to visit. November and December are our favorite months when flamboyant trees are booming and when we can eat all those delicious exotic fruit like mangoes and litchis.
What to pack in your luggageBring light clothes, but don’t forget a warm jumper or fleece depending on the season, and a good anorak if you’re planning on trekking in the mountains, spending the night at altitude or getting up to see the sunrise at the Piton des Neiges or at the Volcano at dawn...
Indispensable : sunhat or cap, sunglasses, sun cream, swimsuit (topless sunbathing is allowed on the beaches) trainers or hiking boots. If you are keen on swimming don’t forget your snorkels and fins( you can also buy them on the island in Decathlon shops for example) .The seabed of the lagoon will make your snorkeling unforgettable. Just 20 meters off the beach, the corals and colorful exotic fish will make you feel like in a tropical aquarium !
Recommended : loose-fitting clothing which covers arms and legs to avoid mosquito bites as the austral summer nights fall.( Take mosquito repellents especially in the Summer season)
HealthThere are no specific health risks in Reunion. No vaccinations are necessary before coming, except for those passengers flying in from a country currently affected by cholera or yellow fever. There is no malaria in Reunion, but it’s still advised to protect yourself well from mosquito bites.The advanced medical and pharmaceutical network means that it’s easy to get your hands on all kinds of medicine and hygiene products.
Protect your children from the sun, especially on the beach and up in the mountains (sun cream, long-sleeved t-shirts and headgear).
A few useful phone numbers :Weather forecast : Tel: 32 50
Cyclone updates : Tel: 08 97 65 01 01
European Emergency number : 112
Police : 17
Fire services : 18
Ambulance and emergency : 15
All-night pharmacies : +262 262 90 60 44
Coastguard : +262 262 43 43 43
To be informed about the state of the hiking trails, visit the ONF (National Forest office) website