The Sandy Beaches of the Island

Return to: Coastal Zones / Tourism

The island has a number of coral sand beaches that make the success of the local tourism industry and provides much needed leisure activities to the population.

A few beaches are shown on this web page.

Mon Choisy Public Beach

Mon Choisy

(fig 1)

The Mon Choisy public beach is one of the longest of the island and is certainly a very beautiful beach. It is found in the north west of the island and is much visited by the local population, specially during week ends, and by tourists. The sandy strip is very wide at places and between the coastal road and the beach itself there are hundreds of casuarina trees that provide shade and also help in minimising erosion.

La Preneuse Public beach

(fig 2) (fig 3)

This delightful public beach is found at Riviere Noire, on the west coast. It is about 200 metres long and has a very wide sandy strip. Amenities such as public toilets, kiosks and benches are provided for. As virtually all public beaches round the coast there is an affluence of visitors at week ends.

From fig.2 (northward view) and fig. 3 (southward view), the reader can just about see that just beyond the limits of the public beach on both sides there begin rows of bungalows that stretch out on both sides for very long distances. In fact, for at least two to three kilometres on either side, the La Preneuse public beach is virtually the only bit whereby the public has easy access. Though it is true that the public has the right of way along the coast line and hence may enjoy the beaches found in front of bungalows, the lack of parking spaces and lack of direct access from the road to the beaches result in the public being largely concentrated on public beaches. This is exactly the case at La Preneuse.

It is regrettable that the majority (the public) is being confined, unwittingly, to a few public beaches whereas the minority (the bungalow owners on State land by the way) enjoys vast stretches of beaches. It is a situation that leads occasionally to conflict as members of the public at times do drift away from the public beaches and head for the beaches in front of bungalows to the dismay (!!!) of their owners. This situation will have to be resolved, one day or the other, by the authorities which after all hold the cards as the State is the sole proprietor of land round the coastal trip found between the high water mark and up to a distance of 81 metres inland. This strip of State land is known locally as Pas Geometriques.

At La Preneuse, just behind the public beach is found a Martello Tower (see fig. 4 ).

Martello Tower

(fig 4)
Martello Towers were built by the British during the 1813-1835 period for defensive purposes. This tower has been restored by Friends of the Environment in 1993 and is destined to be opened to the public as a museum.

Last Update: 10th of February 1999