How to prepare for your holidays in Reunion Island?

It’s that time of the year again to think about your next holiday destination ! If you are thinking about discovering Reunion island, below are our tips to help you prepare for your upcoming trip to Reunion island.

Geographic location

Reunion Island is a French overseas department, located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, 10 000 km away from mainland France. Standing as a quite unknown destination on a worldwide map, Reunion Island is a little gem, still preserved from mass tourism. On a  2512 square kilometers area, the island concentrates an incredible diversity of landscapes, between lagoons, beaches, plains, mountains and volcanoes.

Official languages

French and Creole Reunionese are the languages ​​commonly spoken in Reunion island. However, in most hotels and tourist accommodations, most of the staff speak both French and English. At Palm Hotel & Spa, in addition to German and Chinese, some staff members are also trained to be able to use sign language in order to provide the best welcome service to deaf and hearing impaired people .

Travel formalities for foreign nationals

Depending on your nationality, we recommend that you check directly with the French embassy if a visa is required or not if you wish to visit Reunion Island. Most of the citizens from European countries do not need a visa for stay not exceeding 3 months for touristic purposes. Indian and Chinese citizens no longer need a visa for a stay up to 15 days. (Special conditions apply) 

Currency

As a French overseas department, the currency used is the euro. Bank cards are widely accepted throughout the island. You will also easily ATM at airports, supermarkets, petrol stations, …

Water and electricity

The water is drinkable on the whole island. Regarding electricity, wall outlets are those provided for the two-pin plugs, type C or E. (Alternating current 220/240 V). 

Which airline to choose for your trip to Reunion island?

5 airlines fly to Reunion island from mainland France: Air France, Air Austral, Corsair, XL Airways and French Bee. Depending on your preferences and your budget, each company will take you to Reunion after a 11-hour long flight. In order to benefit from the cheapest rates, the purchase of your plane ticket in advance is highly recommended. 

When is the best time to travel to Reunion Island?

Throughout the year, Reunion island benefits from a tropical climate with gentle trade winds. As the island is located in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are reversed compared to European countries.

The austral summer runs from November to April with temperatures around 30 ° C on the coast. This is an ideal season for aquatic activities such as canyoning or rafting. You can also enjoy boat excursions or diving. Summer is also the time when you can admire flamboyant flowers and many exotic fruits on the market stalls. It is a hot and humid period. Between January and March, some cyclones can also occur in the Indian Ocean area. However, they do not necessarily hit Reunion island.

The austral winter extends from May to October, with temperatures around 25 ° C on the coasts of Reunion island. At nightfall, these temperatures can go down to 0 degrees in the highlands of the island. But this cooler season also has some advantages. From May to October, you may admire the whales migrating along the coasts of Reunion island. It is also the season of strawberry guavas, a small local red berry. The season is also ideal for hiking, since the trails are then drier. 

What to bring in your suitcase?

Due to mountainous area and the differences in temperatures between the coasts and the highest peaks of the island, your suitcase for Reunion Island must contain the following essentials : cap, swimsuit, sunscreen, sunglasses, long-sleeved clothes to protect you from mosquito bites, hiking boots, windbreaker, thick sweater (if you plan to stay in the highlands of the island) .

How long is recommended for a trip to Reunion island ? 

A week minimum is recommended in order to discover the beauties of Reunion island. However, two weeks will allow you to discover the many facets of this intense island.

Which transports to use in Reunion?

In order to allow you to visit the island at your own pace and according to your desires, renting a car is highly recommended. Several international car rental companies are available at Roland Garros airport in Saint-Denis. Remember to book your car in advance, especially during peak season (November to January, July to August).

Many buses also circulate all over the island. Although they can bring you from point A to point B, it will be difficult to visit several sites in one day only with the bus. The irregular frequencies of the buses in certain places do not make it possible to optimize your journey. 

Where to stay in Reunion island?

Most of the island’s attractions are located on the Southern and Western coasts of the island. In order to explore Reunion easily, we recommend a stay at PALM Hotel & Spa 5 *. Ideally located, just 10-minute away from Saint-Pierre at the gates of the Wild South, the luxury hotel offers an easy access to the various natural sites classified as World Heritage by UNESCO.

From the Southern coast, you may easily reach the Piton de La Fournaise, cirque of Cilaos, or discover the beauties and different attractions of the Wild South.

You will also have an easy access to several activities ideal for a family holidays if you are travelling with children. Activities located on the West Coast are also easily accessible from the hotel.

Which places to visit in Reunion island ?

A two-week trip to Reunion island will not be too much to discover the diversity of landscapes and attractions of the island! Below, here is a suggestion of places and activities.

The essential places:

  • The volcano of Piton de la Fournaise and the Plaine des Sables
  • Cirques of Cilaos, Salazie and Mafate
  • The picturesque landscapes of the Wild South
  • The black sand beach of l’Étang Salé
  • Waterfalls and natural pools such as the Langevin waterfall or Manapany Les Bains

Activities not to be missed:

  • A flight over the island by helicopter to admire the diversity of the landscapes
  • An underground expedition in the lava tubes
  • A boat excursion to go and see dolphins and whales
  • One or many hiking trails to choose among the hundreds of trails available
  • An introduction to canyoning at the Langevin waterfall
  • An agricultural tour followed by a local culinary experience accompanied by Philippe

Our concierge team is also able to help you tailor your stay according to your interests.

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