What you should know

Hawaii‘s size: All the inhabited islands cover 65000 sq. miles.

Hawaii‘s climate: Hawaii‘s climate is very pleasant - all the year round the temperatures lie between 70 and 80° F. The temperature of the sea is more or less 22°F during the whole year. On Big Island you can swim in the sea and ski in the mountains on the same day in winter. It is understood that the temperatures on the mountains which are between 6,500 and 13,000ft high are much lower than on the beach. If you are planning to hike in the mountain regions you should think of warm and waterproof clothing especially in the centre of Kauai where there is more rainfall than in the rest of the world.

Currency: US dollars

Credit cards: they are accepted everywhere, also travellers‘ cheques are o.k.

Advisable times for visiting Hawaii: As to the climate there is no time which would be unpleasant, although you have to be prepared for short tropical showers - especially in the late afternoon. But the best time is between the middle of April to the end of June, the second best from September to October. In July and August there are lots of tourists and from November to March affluent people from North America, Japan and Europe want to avoid the cold in their countries -so they live in Hawaii.

Conditions of entering the state: the same conditions apply which are valid for the USA: you need a German/European passport and a visa depending on how long you intend to stay. Since 9/11 checks have become very strict and time consuming. No plants or fresh food are allowed into the country.

How to get there: there are very few direct flights with stopovers. Book a flight to Canada or the USA and change planes.

How to get from one island to another: island hopping is inexpensive. There are hardly any regular ferries because the sea usually is too rough. Only in smooth waters between Maui and Molokai and between Maui and Lanai there are ferries.

How to get around the islands: you can forget about public transport except in Honolulu. Rent a car! You cannot reach many sights if you don‘t rent a car. Taxis are very expensive. If you want to mainly stay in Honolulu you had better go on municipal buses. The streets are hopelessly jammed and you won‘t find a place to park.

Traffic rules: There are strict speed limits: between 25 and 35 miles per hour on roads, 40 to 55 miles per hour on highways. You must not park in front of hydrants, at spaces marked red or in areas closed during rush hours. The police will get you and your money! Fines for offenders are high and cars are towed away. Not only drunk driving is forbidden but also transportation of alcoholic beverages in your car is liable to prosecution. You can only transport alcohol in unopened bottles in the locked boot of your car. It is good to know that many of the seemingly harmless exotic cocktails contain a considerable amount of alcohol - most of the time rum.

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