The name French Polynesia alone provides an infinite source of inspiration for daydreaming, let alone a visit to its enchanting islands with turquoise waters, picturesque shores, diverse inland and unique cultures unblemished by the rest of the world.
If you are looking for a perfect destination to escape the hectic tempo of your urban life and restore your energy, then these islands are the hidden nooks you need. Read on to discover the intricacies of the most desirable locations and take your pick as you start packing for your dream getaway.
Let’s begin with a classic – an island of well-known luxury and hedonistic pleasures to awaken all of your senses, Bora Bora is among the top choices of some of the world’s most versed travellers, and for a good reason. It is the island of honeymoons, romantic spur-of-the-moment trips, as well as anniversary vacations, making it a perfect romantic destination for two.
Lying on its seductive white beaches with your toes caressed by the ocean’s warm, translucent waves and a nod away from a refreshing cocktail is the epitome of time spent on Bora Bora. However, for the more active among you, there’s a plethora of versatile activities to choose from: perhaps a hike to Mount Otemanu, a stroll through village Temanuata, a boat ride in the Blue Lagoon, or a taste of Bora Bora’s famous Poisson Cru, tuna marinated in lime and coconut.
A little less known name among the French Polynesian islands, Moorea is no less alluring in its pristine natural wonders, volcanic mountains and stunning beaches. It is yet another dream-like destination for those who seek refuge from the concrete city jungle, and its reputation as the world’s most beautiful unheard of island is well-deserved.
Although it’s a place that inspires some of the most gorgeous photography you could find, those images cannot match its actual beauty that can only be experienced in person, soaking in that magical atmosphere. Snorkelers will be happy to discover one of the most colourful coral reefs teeming with marine life, while the inland offers an equally impressive selection of hiking tours, dolphin watching and sunsets that will take your breath away.
Perhaps the most well-known of all Pacific islands, Tahiti is the personification of untamed beauty. Home to the only town that merely resembles our regular definition of a city, Papeete is its capital and the liveliest location on the island, filled with restaurants, markets, and cultural events. However, the main allure of this island lies in its rugged shores, midland meadows and mountains, as well as its black sand beaches.
Its local population allows for a greater diversity in restaurants, resorts and guesthouses, so the island allows a visit even to those on a tighter budget. If you travel in July, you can catch a glimpse of their famous dance festival Heiva, while numerous archaeological and historical sites are more than enough to occupy even the most curious minds who seek versatile discoveries and a taste of a new, exotic culture.
Yet another less known name, this tiny but magical atoll will put you under its spell as soon as you lay eyes on its pink beaches, secluded nooks and mesmerizing lagoon waters. What you’ve imagined in your dreams as your ideal vacation destination cannot come close to the pristine wilderness and friendly locale of this island.
Spend your days in the coconut-laden Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort only a few steps away from the ocean’s warm embrace, a relaxing spa treatment and a dip in the lagoon to befriend some of their exotic species such as the elusive manta ray. Time seems to have stopped in this isolated little atoll, so all of your worries will perish as you immerse yourself in the murmur of the ocean and the song of the local birds.
The second largest island next to Tahiti, Raiatea is no less dazzling in its charm. Its melodious name deservedly stands for “faraway heaven”, and its unparalleled grace does not disappoint. In addition to its rich cultural and religious heritage of ancient temples such as Taputapuatea in the southeast, you can still visit and admire, the island is considered the original birthplace of Polynesia, which makes it sacred in the eyes of the locals.
For true adventurers, the rainforest engulfing the river Faaroa is a perfect exploration opportunity via a canoe or on foot for the bravest, or enjoy a safari jeep ride through the jungle for an equally intimate but less strenuous experience. However, if you dare venture onto Mount Temehani, you might come across one of Raiatea’s most sacred treasures, its delicate Tiare Apetahi flower indigenous only to this island.
French Polynesia is synonymous with romantic journeys, mysterious beauty and pure bliss, luring you for at least a week-long escape from your urban life. The inviting culture of each and every island will ensure that your trip will be enriched with serenity, reflection and a new appreciation for Mother Nature’s ingenuity, and your adventure will leave you deeply in love with these islands’ immortal spirit.