The big blue

  • © Laurent Beche / IRT

    © Laurent Beche / IRT

  • © Gabriel Barathieu / IRT

    © Gabriel Barathieu / IRT

  • © Laurent Beche / IRT

    © Laurent Beche / IRT

  • © Louise Canovas / IRT

    © Louise Canovas / IRT

  • © Laurent Beche / IRT

    © Laurent Beche / IRT

The big blue Saint Denis re

Warm water all year round, a protected stretch of water in the lagoon or in Saint-Paul bay: break out the wind-surfers!

Powerful trade winds whip up the ocean: make way for fun-boarders and kite-surfing enthusiasts! Incredible waves along the western and southern coast: a surfer’s paradise! The island has become a by-word in the world of surfing, thanks mainly to the "Saint-Leu leftie": consistent and powerful, this left-breaking wave often reaches 3 metres high, sometimes even 5 metres on certain days. It offers an infinite number of manoeuvres and provides a "tube" almost every time. A demanding wave, it is reserved for good surfers who manage to ride it for many seconds.

Saint-Leu has two other easier spots: La Cafrine and La Tortue. Other interesting spots can be found between Saint-Gilles and Saint-Pierre (Trois-Bassins, Roche-Noire, etc.). Some of these have regularly played host to national or international competitions.Beneath the waves the ocean belongs to the divers, those ramblers of the deep in a carnival-coloured world of coral and strange fish.A little further out to sea, sports fishermen are on the hunt for blue marlin, sailfish, dorado, yellow tuna, wahoo and bonito.Easily affordable, glass-bottom boats provide an effortless view into the under-water world of fish and coral. Dolphins almost systematically invite themselves along for the outing. From June to October, whales which have come up from the Antarctic can be seen frolicking in the sea, sometimes just a stone’s throw away from those other Indian Ocean visitors. The "Whale charter" sets out a number of rules on how to approach them and to maintain a respectful distance.

On the beach and in the water...

The realm of play for kids (in Creole, children are called "kids") begins on the beach and in the water, the quality of which is said to be excellent. In the shallow lagoon, a mask and snorkel are all you need in this enormous natural aquarium. Triggerfish, boxfish, trumpet fish, even clownfish provide a festival of colour and underwater magic. Booklets that will help put a name to these peculiar fish are sold in book shops. Guided tours with the St-Gilles Aquarium, the Ermitage underwater trail or the Kelonia turtle research centre in Saint Leu. Those who are very keen can try their hand at diving (must be at least 6 years old).

Reunion Island Aquarium in St-Gilles

Reunion Island’s Aquarium is home to 500 fishes including the kingfish or giant trevally, sharks, sea horses, lobsters, coral and much more, presented in a magical, educational and fun way. Web sites profiling the sea and Reunion Island highlight many articles on the observation and discovery of Reunion Island’s natural resources (sea, volcano, forest, astronomy).

Marine Turtle Observatory

Kélonia, in Saint-Leu, enables visitors to observe the natural habitats of the marine turtle in the form of a guided tour. Visitors must cross a beach in order to reach the site and so discover the various environments occupied by the turtle during its biological cycle and its perfect adaptation to the marine environment.

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