Reunion - Paradise Island
The island is 63 kilometres (39 miles) long, 45 kilometres (28 miles) wide, and covers 2,512 sq kilometers (970 sq miles).
Reunion island is the result of volcanic activity which begun around five million years ago. Lava erupted from a hot spot in the oceanic crust to form a huge cone rather like a worm cast. It is thought that the island eventually emerged from the sea around three million years ago and gradually, with successive eruptions and much erosion became the island that is still evolving today. Two million years later, the first volcanic mass, the Piton des Neiges, was created. Deep under the ocean the volcano forms an immense cone with a base of 200km and a total height of about 7000m. The island, being located above a hot-spot in the Earth's crust, is slowly, and imperceptibly, moving. It is made up of two distinct volcanoes - the Piton des Neiges (Snow Peak) which is now extinct and the younger and more active Piton de la Fournaise (Furnace Peak). The slopes of both volcanoes are heavily forests. Most of the island is rugged and mountainous with fertile lowlands along the coast.
The time in the Reunion Island is GMT + 4 hours.
The Reunion Island official language is French. We recommend you try to learn some simple French phrases and greetings as attempts to speak in the local language will always be appreciated and is all part of the fun.
From May to October is the winter season on Reunion Island and the climate is generally cooler and drier than other times of the year. This is the best season for trekking in the mountains. From November to April it is hotter and wetter. Daytime maximum temperatures at the coast at the time of any of our departures are likely to be around 22°C / 72°F to 26°C / 79°F. High on the mountains, temperatures will be pleasantly cool, averaging between 12°C / 54°F and 18°C / 64°F degrees centigrade. Early morning at the summit of Piton des Neiges, we might encounter frosty conditions.
The unit of currency in the Reunion Island is the Euro. For up to date exchange rates visit: www.xe.com
As the Reunion Island is part of France, it falls into the European Union. You should take some euros with you on your holiday. These are readily available at most banks. If you run out of euros, dollars and sterling can be exchanged once, although not every bank will provide this service. Credit and debit cards can be used in the larger cities and you will also be able to obtain currency at cash machines (ATM's) with a debit or credit card.
A valid passport is required with 6 months remaining validity at the time of travelling. Visas are not currently required by people from the UK or from European Union countries. We will provide up to date information on visas when you make your booking.
You should attend your own doctor and dentist for a check-up. Your doctor will have access to the most up to date information on the required vaccinations for the country you are visiting. In general we recommend vaccinations against the following: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid and Hepatitis ‘A'.
A very good online resource is the NHS travel website at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk
Additional Sources of Information
Mauritius, Reunion and Seychelles. Lonely Planet.
IGN Institute Geographique National. No. 152. La Reunion.
IGN TOP 25 1:25,000 scale: 4402 RT. Mafate and 4406 RT.Volcano.