A renowned area for whale watching
The Chapel of Our Lady of Lourdes was built in 1898 by Catholic missionaries who landed in Lifou in 1858 to evangelize the people. It is a listed building.
It is located in Easo which means in the local language (Drehu) "fire smoke", in tribute to the whaling era that came to light fires on the site to burn and melt fat from the fruit of their fishing to extract the oil.
Moreover during the cool season (July to September), we can if we're lucky, see from the top of the promontory, the humpback whales that come to breed nearby.
Nestled in the hills, it offers fantastic views
The chapel has the distinction of having been built on top of the hill surrounded by lush vegetation, which gives it an absolutely ideal panorama. From above, it dominates Sandalwood Bay where cruise passengers disembark and the Jinek Bay, true underwater reserve today, the view is absolutely breath-taking.
Access to the monument by a small steep path but well enough equipped to allow easily climb to the summit. The trip is part of the visit as reveals at each new step, a point of view of the panorama that awaits us once arrived.
With a simple architecture, the white chapel is topped by a statue of the Virgin to identify it from a distance. The interior, consisting of a summary altar is decorated with colorful artificial flowers. The building and the well present outside have been renovated in 2012.
Every year on 8 December, the chapel is highlighted in the procession celebrating Our Lady of Lourdes.
Behind the small hut in front of the church is a cave that you can visit with a lamp by asking a villager to accompany you.
To complete the visit, go through the small path 300 meters from the chapel to access Jinek Bay, an underwater treasure of life. Since the wooden platform, you can take the steps down to the water to enjoy a small dive in this place considered a natural aquarium as its wildlife diversity is important.