Tips for Reunion
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Oct 16, 2012 5:28 PM Last Post By: kinabalu
Oct 3, 2012 2:19 AM
Tips for ReunionHi Folks. Am off to Reunion in Nov. Noticed little choice of accommodation in LP. Is it possible to find accommod. a few days beforehand or should it be booked now, now? Anyone got any recommendations? I'd prefer (backpacker) dormitory style accomm, or something cheap.
Will I be able to get around the island by local transport?
Am into outdoor stuff. Which of the 3 Cirques is best for hiking? Any specific suggestions on hikes? Any not to miss activities?
Which of the towns is a good one to spend a couple of days in for a bit of night life / fun?
Anything I should watch out for, or is the island pretty safe & honest?
Will I be able to change Aussie dollars there? Good or bad rate?
Thanks for checking this out.
Oct 3, 2012 4:35 AM
November isn't school holiday period so you should be able to find accommodation at fairly short notice, but if you prefer to be on the safe side you could book now via http://www.reunion.fr or http://www.reunion-nature.com (note the English version of the latter site doesn't seem to be working). In mountain gîtes and some other places you should be able to get accommodation in a shared dormitory room for €15-18/night.
You can get around to most places using local transport, but you shouldn't be in hurry. See this link for the main bus lines: http://www.allonslareunion.com/en/reunion-vehicules/bus-networks.html.
Of the three cirques Mafate is the best for hiking (I'd go so far to say it's a hiker's paradise!), although interesting hikes can be done in Cilaos and Salazie too. Don't miss the volcano either!
St Gilles is where most of the night life (and beaches) are. Accommodation of course is more expensive there than in the mountains.
The island is fairly safe, but as with anywhere be careful of your belongings; don't do anything you wouldn't do at home.
There's no bureau de change at the airport (yet), you'll have to get to St Denis to change your money, during business hours only (see http://www.pointcash-reunion.com & http://www.reunion.fr/en/modules/fiche-etablissement/etablissement/3227-point-cash-agence-de-saint-denis.html). Personally I think it's easiest to get Euros out of the cash machine when you arrive at the airport.
Edited by: champacs
Oct 3, 2012 7:53 PM
2champacs said it all !
I'd add that there are a few guest houses in St Denis and St Pierre where you can try find some cheap rooms. Now remember that Reunion is France ! I think that you will have to show a booked accommodation at the airport, so better book a room for a day or two for the immigration officers...
Oct 7, 2012 4:27 AM
3Thank you both Champacs & LR for your helpful advice. I have one more question if either of you have the time. What temperatures should I expect while hiking out in the Cirques. Would the temps drop below zero at all? Night temps around 10 deg? Day temps between 12 - 20 deg? Thanks guys.
By the way, are you both from Mauritius?
Oct 8, 2012 3:06 AM
4Temperatures in November in the Cirques - day time can be ≈25° (take sunscreen), night time I'd be surprised if it was below 15°C, definitely shouldn't be lower than 10° or 12°. Remember you have altitude differences even within the cirques - in Mafate for example Marla is at 1600m, Aurere is only about 900m.
The coldest place you'd be likely to come across is if you hike to the Piton Des Neiges, the gîte is at 2400m.
Reunion only gets ≈0°C temps in 'winter' (generally August), at night at the volcano or the Piton des Neiges.
P.S. Nope nothing to do with Mauritius. I'm British and I've spent 18 years on Reunion since 1990.
Oct 14, 2012 5:34 PM
6Thanks for your feed back regarding the temps, Champacs. Am intrigued to learn that you've been on Réunion for so long. It must be some kind of paradise. Can I pic your brain for more info.....? I want to stay in a couple of villages or cirques & do day hikes. (Circular ones would be great). Want to swim in rivers & enjoy the mountains & valleys. Thank you for your time.
Oct 15, 2012 12:04 AM
7Mafate is the best cirque for hiking, but if you stay in the cirques of Salazie (Hellbourg or Grand Ilet villages) and/or Cilaos there's plenty of great day hikes to do too.
Reunion has its paradisiacal side, but like many islands when you live there, there's a lot of insularity, and I don't just mean geographical. We recently spent 3 years living in Asia, so that helps put things into perspective.
Oct 16, 2012 5:28 PM
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