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The Indian Ocean’s hidden gem

The idyllic island of Réunion may be a mere speck on the map, but what it lacks in size it easily makes up for with its bountiful Creole character and beauty.

 

Top holidays in Réunion

Culture and history

French immigrants colonized the island in the 17th century, but today there’s a well-integrated mix of Chinese, Indian, African and Malagasy cultures. Christianity is the islanders’ main religion, with Roman Catholic and Muslim minorities.

The food produced on the island has benefitted from this rich cultural mix and you’ll find French, Creole and Indian dishes widely available. Chillies are an especially popular ingredient here – you have been warned!

Currency

Euro

Passports and visas

You’ll need a passport valid for the duration of your stay, but British nationals don’t require a visa.

Visit GOV.UK for more advice on passports and visas.

Timezone

Réunion is four hours ahead of GMT.

Electricity

Sockets usually take small round two-pin plugs so an adaptor is required for most electrical appliances; please bring one with you, as they are not widely available locally. Mains voltage is mostly 230 volts AC, 50 Hz.

Language

French

Tipping

If you’re happy with the service you’ve received, restaurant staff will appreciate a tip of around 10%.

Climate

Réunion experiences two distinct seasons: a hot, rainy summer from December to April and a cool, dry winter from late April to October. The east coast is considerably wetter than the west, with most rainfall occurring above the mountains on the east coast – around the northern and eastern slopes of the volcano. The cyclone season is roughly between December and March.

Temperatures on the coast average 22°C during winter and 27°C in summer, with temperatures of between 11°C and 18°C typical in the mountains.

Health

As health information can change at any time, we’d advise you to consult your GP at least 12 weeks before departure.

Country-specific information and advice on possible health risks is also published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre and the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office provides important health and safety information for British nationals travelling abroad.

Population and size

The island, which lies to the east of Madagascar, is densely populated with around 865,000 inhabitants in an area of approximately 2,500 square kilometres.