This was our ‘local’ beach, just down the street from our accommodations, and featured multiple beach bars. Eric tried snorkeling on our first day but the combination of shallow water and waves meant his only souvenir was a scraped up knee. :( We walked along the beach a few times for sunset and boy was it a popular spot. On our last day we killed three hours here before we boarded our ferry and I was thankful for the shade!
Bicycle Ride to Anse Fourmis and Anse Gaulettes
We cycled to the end of the path on the eastern side of the island, passing many pretty beaches and guest houses on the way. The granite boulders were very scenic but not many places were safe for swimming due to the waves and currents. On the way back, we found a shady spot to put down a towel and sip my premixed rum punch. Large boulders made for some great photos and we found a few beautiful intact seashells. It was about 5 miles round trip from our hotel, some ups and downs but very manageable.
Bicycle Ride and Hike to Grand Anse, Petite Anse, and Anse Cocos
The trip to the end of the road on the south side was a little over 3 miles each way from our place, plus another 30 minute hike to Cocos Beach. Unfortunately, I sunburned the backs of my legs pretty badly snorkeling the day before, so I skipped this ride/hike to rest and heal.
Eric’s notes: The bike ride through town was busy but level. After you turn off toward the beach the road began to climb several small hills, with very green jungle to either side. The last hill was steepest, I knew it would be hard to climb on return. Since I had started early I was one of the first bikes in the bike parking area at Grand Anse. Once on foot you can take a trail through the woods (in the shade) or cross the beach itself, then climb the short, steep path to Petite Anse. There are nice views but no shade on either beach and the sun is coming right at you before 9am. I pushed on to Cocos Beach – a long, bright beach, with a swimming lagoon at the far end. On this part of the beach there are very few shade spots, so even though I was early, I got the last shady spot to the side of a large rock.
The lagoon was calmer than the bay, but quite small. Snorkeling was best by the far rock where the waves were breaking, but you needed to watch the current that was going out. There were a lot of fish, and surprisingly some coral too. For my first trip (9:30am) I was the only one out, but for the second trip the waves were higher and more people were stirring up water. Shade was growing small, so around 11am I packed everything up for the long journey back.