Reunion is an East African an island in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar. The island is an overseas territory of France and an integral part of the French Republic. The capital city is Saint Denis.
The climate in reunion is marine tropical. The average temperature in summer (from November to April) is +25°C - +30°C and in winter (from May to October), the temperature varies from +17°C to +23°C. The best time for travelling to reunion is from September to November and from April to June.
The official language of Reunion is French.
The total population is 828.581. The majority of the population are the Catholics. Some communities practice Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam.
Those who love to relax on a beach should visit the resort Saint Gilles les Ban with its white sandy beaches and 20-kilometre lagoon. Between the resort and the rocks, there is a chain of amazing waterfalls and beautiful water basins which are a good alternative to the beaches near the ocean.
For active tourists, there is everything they need for surfing, diving, hand gliding, and fishing. The best places for water sports are the cities Saint Pierre, Le Port, and Grand Tomband.
If you are interested in the architecture, visit Saint-Denis and Saint Paul.
Ecological tourism and hiking are very popular on the island. The tourists have a chance to see unique tropical nature. The most popular routes run across the Silao Valley, the Mafatih Valley, and the Salazi Valley. If you are adventurous enough, you can go to the volcano crater.
Event tourism is becoming more and more popular. Many festivals take place on the island. The tourists can participate in the Sega Festival. This is a dance performance, which lasts for several days. The tourists will be impressed by the Malabar Fest, this event is devoted to the Spirit of Fire.
The local night clubs offer lively parties and fun night entertainments.
February is a month of sales in the shops in Reunion which lasts for about 6 weeks. This period is especially busy on the Silao market where the tourists can buy cute gifts.
There are no direct flights between CIS and Reunion. The travellers have to take a transit flight with a stop in France. Air France, Air Austral, and Corsairfly offer such routes. The most convenient route with an attractive price is with a transfer in Paris.
The tourists who made up their mind to travel to Reunion can get to Saint-Denis by cruise ship or by ferry from Louis Port in Mauritius.
The CIS citizens must obtain a visa to get to Reunion. They should submit the documents to the Embassy of France. If the Russians have a permanent residence in France or a valid Schengen visa they do not have to get a visa of Reunion. The Europeans can travel to Reunion visa-free.
Normally, it takes about 10 days to process the documents.
A short-term visa is given for the period the tourists are planning to stay on the island, but not more than for 30 days.
The tourists cannot apply for a visa online.
According to the Customs legislation of France, the tourists can import the following things duty-free:
- alcohol and tobacco;
- perfume according to the limits per person;
- tea, coffee (100 g per each person);
- personal belongings (the total cost must not exceed 430 Euros).
The import and export of any currency aren't limited, however, the sum exceeding 10.000 Euro (or the same amount in any other currency) must be declared. All imported vegetables, fruits, and plants are subject to Customs inspection.
It is prohibited to export from Reunion:
- legally protected animals and plants;
- any leather products;
- goods made of animals’ bones and birds’ feathers;
- corals if a tourist does not have a sales receipt.
The cuisine of Reunion is considered to be one of the most delicious of all the countries in the Indian Ocean. It absorbed cooking traditions of the European countries, India, China, and Madagascar. The typical characteristic of the national cuisine is the use of herbs and spices.
In Reunion, you will be offered a hallmark sauce Rougaille. It is prepared from tomatoes, lemons, pistachio, and garlic.
We recommend trying the pork and fruit casserole, Bouchon (pork with bananas wrapped in rice dough) and smoked meats Boukan. On special occasions, the locals roast wasps’ larvae with curry sauce.
If you love poultry, treat yourself with chicken roast served with boiled unsalted rice and exotic fruits.
In Reunion, there is a great choice of seafood dishes: Tamil-style tuna with curry sauce, prawns with onion and garlic, Madagascar-style trout with clove, French-style garlic, Indian-style squid with ginger, roasted lobster with coconut flesh and air-dried shrimps with Rougaille sauce.
The national drink in Reunion is cane sugar rum. The locals make punch, liquor, and cocktails in the base of the rum.
A local beer brand Fisher and Dodo is also very popular on the island.
There are no traditional European desserts in Reunion. The tourists will be served fresh and sugared pineapples, passionfruit, Paw-Paw, mango, and guava.
The currency in reunion is Euro, however, you can pay with US dollars as well.
The tourists can exchange the currency at banks, in hotels, exchange offices or at the airport. Be aware, that the commission for exchange transactions in Reunion are very high. We recommend having traveller’s checks in Euros or taking cash. Visa, Mastercard, and Maestro credit cards are willingly accepted.
In Reunion, the tax-free system is valid and the tourists can refund the VAT.
Details of interest
Customs and traditions in Reunion
The citizens of the island respect their traditions which were greatly influenced by the traditions of many countries. Pagan rituals devoted to the Spirit of Fire and Hindu celebrations such as Malabar and Kavadi harmoniously exist in Reunion.
Sightseeing in Reunion
- Sous Le Vent and the beaches in Saint Gilles, Saint Paul, and Saint Pierre are ideal for kitesurfing, windsurfing, snorkelling, and diving. The tourists will enjoy the beach holidays and the coastline with white, yellow, and black sand. The coral reefs along the western coast of Reunion is a protected territory, but the tourists are allowed to dive here.
- In the capital city Saint-Denis, the tourists can visit the Natural History Museum, the Picture Gallery of Leon Dierx, see the temples and mosques. Embrace the essence of an exquisite aroma of tropical flowers in the Botanical Gardens at Saint-Denis.
- Hiking towards the active volcano on La Fournaise will be an unforgettable experience. Nez de Boeuf opens an amazing view over the Riviere des Remparts, Plaine des Sable, and Belle Combe.
- In Reunion, there are developed trekking routes. Over 600 kilometres of the island are covered with walkway suitable for trekking and biking. Take an interesting trip to Grand-Ile.
- The tourists will be impressed by a trip to the mountain valleys Silao, Mafatih, and Salazi. The most beautiful is the Salazi valley with its wonderful waterfall Le Voile de la Mariee near Hell-Bourg.
Souvenirs in Reunion
In Reunion, the tourists buy handmade embroidery, souvenirs figurines and wooden masks decorated with seashells. Of course, rum is a very popular gift in Reunion.