When newcomers look at the blue, calm waters of Moorea beach for the first time, they instantly understand why it was given such an exotic name. As it is located inside a shallow bay surrounded by rocks, this place is ideal for snorkeling. It is also perfect for beginners, who will discover multiple sea environments (sandy areas, posidonia meadows, rocks…) and spot a decent variety of fish and invertebrate species in less than 6ft of water.
Moorea beach is located along Ajaccio bay’s north shore. If driving, take the coastal road leaving from Ajaccio towards Parata point, where the boats to Sanguinaires Islands leave. It is a thirty-minute drive (10 km) from the city center if traffic conditions are good. You will arrive at a parking lot overlooking the beach. Buses also serve this touristic coastline, famous for its succession of rocky coves and pristine beaches closing on turquoise waters. Stop at “Moorea Plage”. From the bus stop and the parking lot, stairway will lead you down to the beach in a couple of minutes.
Putting your gear on and entering the water just in front of the Moorea restaurant is the best way to access both advised snorkel areas, which are located at opposite sides of the beach.
The exploration area covers two rocky sections located at each extremity of the beach. As the whole coastline offers good snorkeling, those who want more will have the opportunity to extend their session to the east or to the west of the area shown on the map.
Moorea Beach boasts calm, shallow waters sheltered from the waves. The sandy seabed lowers so slowly that one can still walk dozens of meters from the shoreline. As a consequence, this spot is perfect for beginners and for snorkeling with children.
Sandy areas, rocks and Posidonia meadows alternate on the seabed. Sandy areas are not of much interest, even if mullets or saddled seabream can sometimes be spotted there. Swim all the way to one of the beach extremities and come close to the rocks. Small two-banded sea bream, young rainbow wrasse and even a few East Atlantic peacock wrasse often visit this place. Try to spot sabella on the rocks: those tubes (10 to 20 cm long) topped with a feathery crown conceal a worm. A few sea urchins and anemones are also set on the rocks.
Posidonia meadows are relatively small on this spot. The most important ones are located just in front of the Moorea restaurant (see the dark patches on the map above). Schools of fry (sometimes a thousand big) gather in this shallow, sheltered environment. Sargo, juvenile wrasse and a few damselfish also commonly visit these areas.
Moorea beach is not located in a protected area and recreational fishing is authorized in the region. Consequently, the spot generally does not teem with fish and most fish observed are small or juvenile.
The Moorea restaurant is set directly on the beach. Saint-Jean is another restaurant located nearby, at the other side of the road. Many hotels, restaurants and snacks gather along the coastal road, but most only open during summer.
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.
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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