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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN St. Denis

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Réunion each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national holiday)

January 6: Epiphany (national event)

The visit of the Three Kings to the Baby Jesus is an occasion for various religious celebrations.

January or February: Chinese New Year (local event)

The Chinese New Year is celebrated in Réunion to mark the start of a new lunar year. Dragon parades and lion dances take place amid general merry-making.

May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)

June 21: Fête de la Musique (celebrated nationwide)

Also celebrated internationally as World Music Day, for this festival many free concerts featuring all types of music are held in the streets and at various venues around Réunion, with the revelry continuing late into the night.

July 14: Bastille Day (national holiday)

The storming of the Bastille, a pivotal episode of the French Revolution, is commemorated with a variety of events throughout Réunion. Highlights include parades, dances and fireworks, all in a festive atmosphere.

December 20: Abolition of Slavery Day (local holiday)

The abolition of slavery in Réunion on this day in 1848 is commemorated each year with a number of official ceremonies, cultural events and much music and dancing.

December 25: Christmas (national holiday)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN St. Denis

Réunion has a humid tropical climate overall. As a mountainous island, various regions experience a range of vastly different microclimates. For example, the eastern coast records high rainfall and is very exposed to trade winds blowing from east to west. In contrast, the western coast, which is protected by the relief, remains relatively dry. There are also considerable temperature differences: the weather can be quite warm along the ocean and relatively cool in the higher elevations.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 23/73 30/86 279/11.0 Good period to go Good period to go
February 23/73 30/86 351/13.8 Good period to go Good period to go
March 23/73 30/86 232/9.1 Good period to go Good period to go
April 22/72 30/86 154/6.1 Not the best period to go
May 20/68 27/81 98/3.9 Not the best period to go
June 19/66 26/79 77/3.0 Not the best period to go
July 18/64 25/77 58/2.3 Not the best period to go
August 18/64 25/77 58/2.3 Not the best period to go
September 18/64 25/77 50/2.0 Not the best period to go
October 19/66 27/81 43/1.7 Good period to go Good period to go
November 20/68 28/82 70/2.8 Good period to go Good period to go
December 22/72 29/84 188/7.4 Good period to go Good period to go
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Réunion Roland Garros Airport

Réunion's Roland Garros Airport is located about 9 kilometres (6 miles) east of Saint-Denis.

  • One terminal

Getting from the airport to Saint-Denis and back:
  • By car
    • The N2 road connects the airport to Saint-Denis.
    • There is a parking lot opposite the terminal with a capacity of 800 spaces (free for the first 20 minutes, EUR 1.50 for the first hour and EUR 35.00 for a day).
    • Several car rental companies have counters at the airport.
  • By bus
    • The T bus route connects the airport with the main bus station in Saint-Denis, every day of the week. The trip takes 15 minutes and the fare is EUR 5 each way.
  • By shuttle bus
    • A shuttle bus service links the airport to the Saint-Denis town hall. Buses run daily from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The fare is EUR 4 each way.
  • By taxi
    • Taxis are available at the ranks outside the terminal. The trip to the city centre costs about EUR 20 (EUR 30 at night).
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +262 (0)2 62 48 81 81
  • Website: http://www.reunion.aeroport.fr

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GETTING AROUND St. Denis

Getting around Réunion is very easy. The island has an efficient bus network serving all municipalities, including Saint-Denis, Saint-Pierre, Le Tampon, Saint-Benoît, Saint-Leu, Salazie, Saint-Paul and Saint-André. In addition, the island's roads are well maintained and make it possible to reach any point of interest by car or motorcycle.

By bus

Réunion's public bus network consists of 16 routes mainly offering connections between municipalities. The following routes are among those most useful for visitors:

  • Bus line A (Saint-Denis – Saint-Pierre)
  • Bus line A2 (Saint-Denis – Saint-Leu via Saint-Paul and Saint-Gilles-les-Bains.)
  • Bus line B1 (Saint-Leu – Saint-Pierre via les Bas).

A single ticket for costs between EUR 2 and EUR 6.

By taxi

Saint-Denis and most of the other larger towns have taxi ranks. Expect to pay around EUR 15-20 for a 5-kilometre (3-mile) trip during the day.

By bicycle

Using a bicycle to get around Réunion is not really recommended. Elevations rise rather abruptly as you head inland and traffic is always heavy on the coastal road, which lacks designated cycling paths.

By car and motorcycle

Cars and motorcycles are a convenient way to get around Réunion. The infrastructure is excellent and Réunion has a large number of secondary roads. Car rental agencies are very easy to find in all towns. Due to considerable competition, rates are not very expensive.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Réunion, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.

Regional tourism authorities in Réunion

The tourism authorities listed below offer practical information and useful recommendations specific to their regions (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

Office de Tourisme Intercommunal du Nord de La Réunion – Antenne de Saint-Denis

  • Address: Maison Carrère, 14 rue de Paris, 97400 Saint Denis
  • Telephone: +262 (0)2 62 41 83 00
  • Website: http://www.lebeaupays.com

Office de Tourisme Intercommunal du Nord de La Réunion – Antenne de Sainte-Suzanne

Bureau d'Accueil et d'Information de Saint-Leu

Office de Tourisme de Saint-Pierre

  • Address: 1 Capitainerie du Port de Plaisance Lislet Geoffroy, place Napoléon Hoareau, 97410 Saint Pierre
  • Telephone: 0 820 203 220 (cost of a local call)
  • Website: http://sud.reunion.fr

Office de Tourisme Intercommunal de l'Est de La Réunion – Antenne de Saint-André

  • Address: Maison Martin Valliamée, 1590 chemin du Centre, BP 91, 97440 Saint André
  • 97440 Saint-André
  • Telephone: +262(0)2 62 46 16 16
  • Website: http://sud.reunion.fr

Further information available online for visitors to Réunion

The official website maintained by the Comité Régional du Tourisme de La Réunion provides a wealth of information on all of the island's destinations.

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Medical information

Réunion counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Réunion. For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Réunion.

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Administrative formalities

The directory made available online by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in French only) includes addresses and contact details for all foreign embassies and consulates in France: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/le-ministere-et-son-reseau/annuaires-et-adresses-du-maedi/ambassades-et-consulats-etrangers-en-france

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic French phrases that will make your stay in Réunion a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Bonjour

Good evening: Bonsoir

Good-bye: Au revoir

Yes: Oui

No: Non

No, thank you: Non, merci

Thank you very much: Merci beaucoup

I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas.

Could you repeat that?: Pouvez-vous répéter ?

Please: S'il vous plaît.

What time is it?: Quelle heure est-il ?

Excuse me: Excusez-moi.

Airport: Aéroport

Train station: Gare

Taxi: Taxi

Hotel: Hôtel

Hospital: Hôpital

Bank: Banque

Telephone: Téléphone

I'm (…): Je suis (…).

I'm looking for (…): Je recherche (…).

How much is (…)?: Quel est le prix de (…) ?

Do you have (…)?: Avez-vous (…) ?

Where can I find (…)?: Où puis-je trouver (…) ?

Where can I buy (…)?: Où puis-je acheter (…) ?

I'd like (…): Je voudrais (…).

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Good to know

00 262
+ phone number without the 0
3 : 00
of time difference with
Dublin

BANKS

Usually open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
230 V / 50 Hz

Tipping
In Réunion like elsewhere in France, a service charge is always included in the bill. If you are particularly pleased with the service, you may certainly leave a few extra euros on the table. But this additional tip is neither expected nor necessary.