Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
This spot has been added by
Last updated on April 4, 2021
Grande Anse is a lush beach bordered by coconut palms, which marks the beginning of Réunion’s “Sud Sauvage”. Here, the coast has no lagoon and is battered by the swell. However, a rocky pool has been set up south of the beach, allowing bathing in complete safety. Relatively small and shallow, the pool nevertheless hides a rich and colorful underwater life. Butterflyfish, surgeonfish, giant clams and morays, in particular, are easy to spot here.
Grande Anse beach is located in Petite-Île, on the south coast of Réunion Island. The beach is well signposted from the main road. From Saint-Pierre and Saint-Joseph, allow around 15 minutes by car to reach the site.
A large car park has been set up along the beach, but it quickly fills up on weekends and during school holidays. Once on the beach, you will easily see the pool, slightly to the left.
We suggest you get in the water at the foot of the small wall that separates the beach and the pool. Choose a place where there are not too many rocks. Do not get in the water if there is too much swell or waves in the basin.
In Grande Anse, snorkeling is only possible in the natural pool which has been set up south of the beach, protected by rocks. Elsewhere, swimming is far too dangerous, both because of the sea conditions (the ocean is rough on the south coast of the island) and the risk of shark attacks.
The pool measures approximately 120m long and 35m wide. The depth does not exceed 5ft/1.50m. Despite this very small size, it hosts an unsuspected and fascinating little underwater world.
Near the shore, you’ll snorkel above a bare reef flat (↕2-3ft/0.5-1m), on which surgeonfish and butterflyfish graze small algae. After about ten meters, you’ll begin to discover a multitude of very preserved coral (especially branching coral).
In places, they are home to giant clams. It is here, around the reefs, that you can see many species of fish. Damselfish, goatfish, raccoon butterflyfish, trumpetfish, Vanikoro sweeper, and wrasse are very easy to see. Moray eels also hide in the reef.
Near the rocks, visibility is often poorer as the waves create “clouds” of bubbles in the basin when they break.
There are several snack bars along the beach, which offer snacks and sandwiches. The Palm Hotel & Spa***** overlooks the beach of Grande Anse.
These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Rocky pool with rocks and tropical fish
Free shore access
Shallow lagoon with coral and reef fish
Free shore access
Shallow lagoon with coral, clams, turtles and reef fish
Shallow lagoon with branching coral and colorful fish