Powder-soft sand, sky the colour of forget-me-nots, a kaleidoscope of coral and fish in sparkling azure lagoons blending seamlessly with verdant, forest-clad mountains: the 118 islands and atolls of Tahiti & Her Islands in the South Pacific epitomise the world’s idea of ‘paradise’. Get a true feel for this South Seas slice of heaven by combining a couple of islands on your Tahitian holiday… and to experience absolute indulgence, spend a few nights in an overwater bungalow.
Now ubiquitous in French Polynesia – and other parts of the world, notably the Maldives - the overwater bungalow was born in Moorea in the 1960s. Hotel Bora Bora took overwater luxury to the next level in the 70s - the idea caught on and the rest is history. Today, these thatched hideaways on stilts exude luxury from every perfect nook and cranny and command such mesmerising views that you’ll find it hard to leave your idyllic retreat.
Turquoise Holidays Top 5 Reasons To Visit Tahiti and Her Islands
1. Mix It Up - Combine at least two, possibly even three islands, to make the most of your stay in this magical part of the world. You’ll experience unique and varied landscapes, from lush, rugged mountains to low-lying coral atolls – all with amazing beaches and surrounded by turquoise lagoons… our favourites include Moorea, Bora Bora, Taha’a, Tikehau and Rangiroa.
2. Canoe breakfast – a traditional Polynesian canoe, laden with delicious breakfast treats, crosses the calm waters to your sanctuary on stilts where you indulge in the sunshine on your private overwater deck. This is a breakfast to remember!
3. Break the mould – the Society Islands and the Tuamotu Islands make for essential viewing, but break the mould and fly northeast to the mystical Marquesas Islands of Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa, a place where time stands still and natural wonders amaze even the most experienced travellers. For a journey to remember, board Aranui III and see parts of the world only accessible by boat!
4. Dinner at Bloody Mary’s – This is a ‘must’ for anyone visiting Bora Bora! Feel the sand between your toes, sit on coconut stools under a thatched roof and choose your fresh fish, seafood or meat from a tempting display before it’s cooked to perfection before your eyes.
5. Explore – If you can tear yourself away from lazing on your overwater deck, dipping into the azure lagoon and gazing at the awe-inspiring green peaks, it’s great fun to hire scooters and circumnavigate the islands of Moorea and Bora Bora. Not only will you see the islands in all their glory, you’ll also meet the wonderful locals!
More About Tahiti and Her Islands
Sculpted into existence as the result of centuries of volcanic erosion, Tahiti and Her Islands are made up of five archipelagos of varying ‘high’ and ‘low’ landscapes. The postcard greens and blues of the Society Islands form the main archipelago of French Polynesia and it is here that you will not only find the largest and best known island of French Polynesia - Tahiti - but you will also find the beautiful islands of Bora Bora, Moorea, Huahine and Tahaa whose lush mountainous landscapes are surrounded by the calm waters of an emerald lagoon. The coastlines are similarly stunning - some are smooth and regular whilst others are cut by deep and magnificent bays - Cook’s Bay in Moorea being one of the most famous.
The islands are protected from the ocean by a coral ring which forms a barrier reef - hence the existence of a lagoon where the lighter turquoise and emerald waters contrast with the darker blues of the ocean. Many of the region’s most idyllic resorts and retreats are located on smallw lying turquoise coral atolls of the Tuamotu Islands offer a lifestyle which the ‘Robiner sandy islets (motu) within the lagoons and these are accessible by a short boat ride. In complete contrast, the loson Crusoe’ in all of us can only dream about, whilst the spectacular peaks and valleys of the enchanting and mystical Marquesas Islands will prove a challenge to even the most hardened adventurer.
Brief History of Tahiti
We do, of course, owe today’s accurate charts of these incredible, wildly varying islands in the ‘South Seas’ to our very own Captain James Cook who marked their exact location with painstaking precision back in the 1700s. His famous and well documented voyages required many months at sea, but today, this same journey takes approximately 23 hours on a flight from London via Los Angeles - and from the moment you arrive, you will be greeted with the same warm, legendary Tahitian hospitality enjoyed by Cook and his men more than two centuries ago. You will be welcomed at the airport with cheerful songs and swathed in garlands of the national Tahitian flower, the tiare.
Getting Around Tahiti
The best means of transport between the islands is undoubtedly by plane using the local airline – Air Tahiti. Don’t expect to be able to see everything this region has to offer, but with such varied scenery and a range of activities including scuba diving, snorkelling, hiking and 4WD touring, not to mention ‘playing Robinson Crusoe’ on a deserted motu, we highly recommend that you combine one or two of the ‘high’ islands with a ‘low’ island experience – as this way, you will really make the most of your time in Tahiti and Her Islands. Cruising and sailing around the islands is also well worth considering. Tahitian and French are the official languages although English is spoken in most hotels and restaurants
Visit our Tahiti honeymoons page for full details about honeymoons here.