THE BEST BEACHES ON REUNION ISLAND – A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE

From volcanic black sand beaches to coral white sand – La Réunion has many amazing beaches!

Most beaches on Reunion Island can be found on the west coast around Saint-Gilles les Bains. But you shouldn’t miss out on the beaches in the South – the “Sud Sauvage”! The West and South host a coral reef which is stretching along the coast forming several shallow lagoons which invite with crystal clear water and exceptional snorkeling options. The marine life is very rich and can easily be discovered. There is more than 1000 different species of fish and 200 different types of corals. Beaches around Saint-Gilles les Bains and north of it such as Boucan Canot offer all year long a decent swell which is perfect for surfing, while the South close to Saint-Pierre with good wind conditions is a kitesurfing paradise. The best picnic spots can be found further South at Grande Anse.

Plage de Grand Anse in the Sud Sauvage of Reunion Island

Just check where to find the beaches on this interactive map.
The following list is organised form North to South.

 

 

Plage de Boucan Canot

One of the most famous beaches on the island with a good swell for surfing and bodyboarding. There are many restaurants and bars along the promenade next to the beach, as well as several good hotels close by. Offers volleyball nets and due to its length invites for a walk along the beach. Palm trees and the many bars are making the perfect holiday vibe.

Sand: white coral sand
Swimming: yes – part of ZoneX, a protect area by nets
Water: open water -> yearlong swell for surfing
Best for: surfing, bodyboarding, playing in the waves, relaxed beach day, volleyball, bars, restaurants

Boucan Canot - a long white sand beach on Reunion Island - La Réunion

Surfers and powerful waves at Boucan Canot

The powerful waves of Boucan Canot - Reunion Island

 

Plage des Roches Noires

Another surf spot on the island. Directly located in Saint-Gilles les Bains, Roches Noires is perfect for a quick surf session or to enjoy the sun for a bit. The protected area (ZoneX) offers one zone for surfing and bodyboarding and one part which is for swimming and those who just want to relax at the beach. Close by you find several restaurants and bars as well as surf shops which rent equipment.

Sand: white coral sand
Swimming: yes – part of ZoneX, a protect area by nets
Water: open water -> yearlong swell for surfing
Best for: surfing, bodyboarding, bars, restaurants, “quick beach stop”

Roches Noires, beach in Saint Gilles - Reunion Island / La Réunion

Roches Noires, beach in Saint Gilles - Reunion Island / La Réunion

Surfer in Roches Noires, beach in Saint Gilles - Reunion Island / La Réunion

 

Plage des Brisants

A long beach in the South entrance of St-Gilles les Bains. Here you can’t swim since its not part of the lagoon neither part of the ZoneX and still it is one of our favorite beaches. It’s a big white sand beach which is stretching all the way down along the coast until the lagoon area of L’Hermitage. This beach has a cool vibe with many people doing sports or coming to relax at the beach bar Sauvage, which is the ideal spot for a sunset drink after work or after a long day exploring the island. The wide beach with perfect sand invites especially on weekends many people to have lunch in “Sauvage” which is the only but very nice beach bar/restaurant in Plage des Brisants. It’s a famous location for practicing beach tennis or volleyball and is hosting beach tennis events as well as surfing events from time to time.

Sand: white coral sand
Swimming: no
Water: open water -> yearlong swell for surfing, BUT surf is only allowed at certain events when the area is being supervised
Best for: sunset, tanning, beach tennis, meeting people, beach-bar, restaurant, after work drinks, events

Brisant Plage Reunion Island - La Réunion

Brisant Plage Reunion Island - La Réunion

Brisant Plage Reunion Island - La Réunion

Plage de L’Hermitage

Part of the big lagoon on the west coast, L’Hermitage is offering crystal clear water which is very shallow. Perfect for kids and for snorkeling. With many “filao” trees until close to the water you can easily find some shadow. Also a good spot for nice picnics! Close by are many hotels which is why this beach might be the most touristy one. 

Sand: white coral sand
Swimming: yes – part of the lagoon
Water: lagoon -> shallow crystal clear water, no waves
Best for: kids, bathing, snorkeling, picnic, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking

Plage de L'Hermitage on Reunion Island / La Réunion

Plage de L'Hermitage on Reunion Island / La Réunion

Plage de L'Hermitage on Reunion Island / La Réunion

La Salines-les-Bains

Look for Planch’Alizé which is our favorite spot along this beach.
Its a nice spot next to a beach-restaurant (Planch’Alizé) which provides stand up paddles, kayaks and further equipment for rent. You can easily find some shadow by the trees and with the restaurant close by you can enjoy an ice cream, lunch or a drink, while having a break from doing water sports.

Sand: white coral sand
Swimming: yes – part of the lagoon
Water: lagoon -> shallow cristal clear water, no waves
Best for: kids, bathing, snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking

Planch'Alize plage Reunion Island - la Reunion

Planch'Alizé Reunion Island - La Réunion

La Saline les Bains on Reunion Island / La Réunion

Plage de Trou d’eau

This beach in the South of the big lagoon is offering lots of water sports such as kayaking (there are transparent kayaks which are awesome for observing the marine life), paddle boarding or kitesurfing (as further South you go the better the winds for kitesurfing). At Trou d’eau you have two beach restaurants which are perfect for watching the sunset and enjoying some food after a day at the beach.

Sand: white coral sand
Swimming: yes – part of the lagoon
Water: lagoon -> shallow cristal clear water, no waves
Best for: kids, bathing, snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding, transparent kayaking, kitesurfing

Trou d'eau, Reunion Island. Perfect for stand-up paddling or kayaking

Trou d'eau, Reunion Island. Perfect for stand-up paddling or kayaking

Trou d'eau, Reunion Island. Perfect for stand-up paddling or kayaking

Plage de l’Étang-Salé

Further in the South you can find this black volcanic sand beach, which used to be a famous surf spot and crowded on the weekends. Here unfortunately, you can only find a small protected area (in front of the first-aid post) in which you are still allowed to go in the water. However this long black beach has a magical vibe and many locals come here to play volleyball, for slacklining or other sports. The many palm trees and “filao” trees are providing a lot of shadow to set up a volleyball field. A beach which shouldn’t be missed on a visit to Reunion!

Sand: black volcanic sand
Swimming: no/yes – only allowed in a small protected and watched area
Water: open water with big waves
Best for: volleyball, slacklining and other sport activities, picnic, “playing in the waves” – in the small protected area kids will still find a lot of fun

LÉtang-Salé - volcanic black sand beach on Reunion Island

LÉtang-Salé - volcanic black sand beach on Reunion Island

LÉtang-Salé - volcanic black sand beach on Reunion Island

Plage de la Gendarmerie

Perfect conditions for kitesurfing. Shallow lagoon area with good winds.

Sand: sand/rocks
Swimming: no
Water: lagoon area, but not for swimming
Best for: kitesurfing

Plage de la Gendarmerie by St Pierre on Reunion Island - La Réunion

Plage de Saint-Pierre

The beach is directly located in front of the city center, with some green area and water games for kids. The water is quite shallow here and offers perfect conditions for snorkeling. Most of the time there is a fresh breeze which is nice when its getting really hot in summer.  

Sand: white sand
Swimming: yes – part of a lagoon
Water: lagoon -> shallow cristal clear water, no waves
Best for: kids, snorkeling, hot summer days

St Pierre beach on Reunion Island - La Réunion

Plage de Terre-Sainte

In the small cute fisher village of Terre Sainte, close to the city center of Saint-Pierre, you can also find a small beach which is perfect for a short beach break. Combining this with a nice lunch in one of the fish restaurants and a stroll through the colourful streets full of urban art – a perfect Sunday escape. Check here our article about Terre Sainte and its street art.

Sand: white sand
Swimming: yes – protected by stone formations
Water: shallow water, no waves
Best for: beach break, young kids, in combination with exploring Terre Sainte

Plage de Terre Sainte on Reunion island - La Réunion

Plage de Terre Sainte on Reunion island - La Réunion

Plage de Terre Sainte on Reunion island - La Réunion

Plage de Grande Anse

A beautiful beach located in a bay in the “wild South” with lots of palm trees and grass areas. One of our favourite beaches which is perfect for slacklining, picnics and to relax in the shadow of the palm trees. The scenary of this place is simply amazing! Unfortunately, there is only a small protected area (natural pool) where you can swim. So this beach is more for sports, relaxed picnics or walks along the water.

Sand: white coral sand
Swimming: no/yes – small protected area/natural pool
Water: open water
Best for: picnic, slacklining, sports in general, walks, relaxed days, postcard scenery 

Plage de Grand Anse on Reunion Island - La Réunion

Plage de Grand Anse on Reunion Island - La Réunion

Plage de Grand Anse in the Sud Sauvage of Reunion Island

Even though you can’t really swim at this beach, our favourite is still Grande Anse in the South of the island. With all these coconut trees and green areas close to the beach it invites for a relaxed day with friends. Slacklining, playing volleyball under the palm trees and a picnic in perfect scenery is guaranteeing for a perfect day.

More pictures of Boucan Canot

Boucan Canot - a long white sand beach on Reunion Island - La Réunion

Boucan Canot - a long white sand beach on Reunion Island - La Réunion

More pictures of Roches Noires

Surfer in Roches Noires, beach in Saint Gilles - Reunion Island / La Réunion

Surfer in Roches Noires, beach in Saint Gilles - Reunion Island / La Réunion

More pictures of Plage des Brisants

Brisant Plage Reunion Island - La Réunion

Brisant Plage Reunion Island - La Réunion

Brisant Plage Reunion Island - La Réunion

Brisant Plage Reunion Island - La Réunion

Brisant Plage Reunion Island - La Réunion

More pictures of L’Hermitage

Plage de L'Hermitage on Reunion Island / La Réunion

Plage de L'Hermitage on Reunion Island / La Réunion

More pictures of L’Étang-Salé

LÉtang-Salé - volcanic black sand beach on Reunion Island

LÉtang-Salé - volcanic black sand beach on Reunion Island

LÉtang-Salé - volcanic black sand beach on Reunion Island

LÉtang-Salé - volcanic black sand beach on Reunion Island

LÉtang-Salé - volcanic black sand beach on Reunion Island

More pictures of our favourite beach Grande Anse

Plage de Grand Anse on Reunion Island - La Réunion

Plage de Grand Anse on Reunion Island - La Réunion

Plage de Grand Anse on Reunion Island - La Réunion

Plage de Grand Anse on Reunion Island - La Réunion

Looking for more information on Reunion?
Find here our Fact Sheet to Reunion Island and Our top things to do
To understand in more depth the situation with the sharks check here our article – written out of the perspective of a local

 


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