Questions & Answers
All the answers to travelers’ questions
Where is Reunion Island located?
Situated in the Indian Ocean, just above the Tropic of Capricorn, between "big island" Madagascar and "sister island" Mauritius, Reunion Island belongs to the Mascarene Islands. 500 miles from the east coast of Madagascar, 130 miles from the south-west of Mauritius and 5700 miles from Paris, it has been a French overseas department since 1946. Its capital is Saint-Denis, a town situated in the north of the island. Compared to Europe, Reunion Island appears to be on the other side of the world… and yet, it is so close... Here, all worries are forgotten, everything is done for the traveler! Reunion Island… or going around the world on just one island.
How to get to Reunion Island?
More than 6000 miles away from the major European cities, "La Réunion" is an island at the end of the world, offering you a change of environment with all the access possibilities of a European territory in the Indian Ocean. Every week, more than twenty direct flights ensure the connection between Metropolitan France and Reunion Island. Traveling from Europe, the airline companies that are regularly serving Metropolitan France from major European towns can offer rates for the whole trip to passengers to Reunion Island. Finally, a number of airlines are flying from Europe to the other islands in the Indian Ocean (Comoros, Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles), from where it is possible to reach Reunion Island via interregional connections.
How long is the flight?
The average duration of a flight, usually overnight, takes around 11 hours. The passengers are offered an excellent comfort: dinner or lunch, breakfast, snacks, but also a whole range of films and games. Nearly enough time for a night’s sleep and there you are, under the sun of Reunion Island.
Will I be able to recover from the jet lag?
Thanks to the small time difference (GMT+4), there are no adaptation problems at all both ways.
- +3 hours from 25/10/14 to 28/03/15
- +2 hours from 29/03/15 to 29/10/16
What is the best time to go?Located in the Southern Hemisphere, the island enjoys a tropical climate, tempered by the proximity of the Indian Ocean. The warmth and sunshine are present the whole year. Each region possesses its own microclimate. The seasons are "inverted" in comparison with the Northern Hemisphere. The coast of the island always holds a hot or mild temperature. The austral summer, from November to April, has an average temperature of 30°C! This is the hot and humid season. At altitude, the temperature can drop by ten degrees. This is the ideal period to indulge in diving or wild water activities such as canyoning. The austral winter from May to October is the cool season. At altitude, the temperature plummets significantly, while at the coast and especially the beach area (West), the water is still around 25°C. Note that as of June, and this for four months, one can behold the dance of the humpback whale near the coast of the island!
The entrance formalities?French citizens or inhabitants of the European Union: identity card or valid passport. Citizens of foreign countries: valid passport, visa if necessary, and a return ticket or continuation of the journey.
Do I need vaccinations before traveling?Just like traveling to any tropical location, precautionary steps ought to be taken such as the use of cream or anti mosquito spray. (These products are available locally at any pharmacy or parapharmacy). Passengers coming from endemic countries need a vaccination against yellow fever and cholera. There is no malaria on Reunion Island.
Who is allowed to dive?Scuba diving can be practised from the age of six to old age, provided that the physical condition is good. To engage in this activity, a medical certificate is strongly recommended but not obligatory, except for medical contraindications such as asthma (particularly exercise-induced asthma), epilepsy, lung diseases, ear or sinus infections, cardiovascular disorders.
The underwater world can also be explored simply by mask, snorkel and fins. At "l’Hermitage", the underwater trail of "Parc Marin" can be visited wearing this equipment. This allows an original exploration, guided and free, of the lagoon ecosystem.
What is the best period for fishing?From January to March: best period to fish for marlin.
From April to May: big yellowfin tuna, dorado, wahoo, sailfish, shark, bonito, big marlins passing.
From June to August: shark, yellowfin tuna, dorado, bonito
From September to December: dorado, wahoo, yellowfin tuna, sailfish, shark, bonito, big marlins passing.
Why is the white foreigner called a "Zoreil" on the island?
"Tandrimo soufigni, tandrimo soufigni!" That’s what the Malagasy "brown" (runaway slaves) said when the slave hunters reached their camps on higher ground. It meant "beware of your ears!". The white foreigner that arrived, cut off the ear of every black person he had killed, to count how many were dead. Today, this term refers, with a friendly connotation, to a tourist or someone who is not from Reunion Island. There are other versions on the origin of this name.
What is the driest and warmest place on the island?
Saint-Leu. The town of Saint-Leu spreads along the coastline and reaches an altitude of 5250 feet. It has an average summer temperature of 28.2°C and 23°C in the winter: merely 5 degrees of difference between the two seasons. There is 138 mm of rainfall in the summer and 6 mm in the winter. 3300 out of 4380 possible hours of sunshine are measured in this town, which is makes it the warmest place in terms of duration. In fact, in the towns of "le Port" and "Saint-Pierre", peaks of 36°C are recorded more often than in Saint-Leu, but over shorter periods.
What is the lowest temperature during winter?
Minus 3 degrees Celsius can be registered early in the morning.
Why did they name it Reunion Island?
During a meeting in 1793, whose purpose was to find a new name for the island of Bourbon (former name of the island), the Minister of War at the time, Mr. Beurnonville, proposes the name "Jemmapes", in memory of the French victory against the Austrians, November 6th, 1792. Mr. Gaspard Monge, Minister of the Navy, in turn suggests a Masonic and revolutionary name: Reunion Island. This name is a reminder of the surprising meeting of the sans-culottes from Marseille with the guards of the Tuileries Palace, who preferred to lower their weapons to fraternise with the revolutionaries, August 10th, 1792. This is the name that was chosen.
Which is the best season for flowers and fruit?
The summer, particularly from October to January. Each month however has its specificities, the month of May for example, is the time for guavas, a fruit embellishing the hiking trails.
What is the ideal length of a journey?
A lifetime… if not, 3 weeks should suffice to visit a reasonable amount of the curiosities on the island. 2 weeks is a minimum.
What is the highest peak on Reunion Island?
"Le piton des Neiges" rises to 10000 feet.
What is the cyclone season?
The cyclone season runs from December to March. It corresponds to the summer on the island.
Where are the beaches located on Reunion Island?
They are situated along the length of the West Coast (from "Boucan-Canot" to Saint-Leu) and in the South (Saint-Pierre, Manapany,…).
What is the best time for hiking?
The between-seasons (from May to June and from September to October) are especially recommended: it is not too hot, it is less likely to rain and it is possible to add a swim in the rivers to your hike or end the day at sea. Winter however (June-August), is also appropriate, provided that you bring wool for the cool nights.
How many seasons does Reunion Island have?
Two distinct seasons exist, winter and summer, although the difference is rather tenuous: a little more rain and heat in the summer (October to April). These seasons are reversed with respect to Metropolitan France. The between-seasons (May and September) are particularly pleasant, neither too hot nor cold. They do not bring any significant change that could justify the title of "season".
How many hours of flight from Paris to Reunion Island?
11 hours, if the flight is direct. (More info on the flights and airlines).
What is the time difference with France?
+ 2 hours compared to the French summertime (March to September)
+ 3 hours compared to the French wintertime (September to March)
Who is responsible for services sold via this website?
The site "www.reunion.fr" offers a marketplace allowing the user to sign contracts directly with producers, according to the terms and conditions thereof. The sale ends with the booking page of the producer who takes full responsibility for the deal. This service is offered by the "IRT" in order to facilitate the preparation of your stay. Thus, the Region and its partner "Ile de la Réunion Tourisme" serve purely as technical intermediaries.