Tahiti - French Polynesia: what to do, what to see…

Follow Paul Gauguin to the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The five archipelagoes of French Polynesia contain 118 islands - 76 of them inhabited - and just as many landscapes, from volcanoes to coral reefs. The Society Islands, the Marquesas Islands, the Austral Islands, Tuamotu and Gambier: enough to inspire the most demanding traveller! Surfing, swimming, hiking, diving... But where to begin?

WHAT TO SEE

The Taipivai Waterfall on Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Archipelago

Nuku Hiva, second island by its size with 205 miles of coastline, does not lack of attractions: grandiose landscapes, fairy waterfalls (including Hakaui, the 3rd highest waterfall in the world), canyon, natural pools, majestic valleys, countless archaeological remains. Must see, by boat, on foot or on horseback!

The beach of Pointe Venus

North of Tahiti, Pointe Venus is named after Captain Cook, who went there to observe the passage of Venus in front of the sun in 1769. With its sublime black sand beach and lighthouse, the site has become today a must for any stay in Tahiti.

The lagoon of Bora Bora

It's hard not to fall in love with Bora Bora. The coral reef that serves as a backdrop to the lagoon of the island of Bora Bora earned him the nickname "Pearl of the Pacific". It is the most visited island of French Polynesia, because you do not come to French Polynesia without stopping in Bora Bora ...

The pink sand of Fakarava

Accessible only by boat, the pink sandbanks of Fakarava are located at the end of the atoll, facing Tetamanu. Curiosities of incredible beauty, the sandbars that decline shades of roses are frequented by tourists and residents of Fakarava who come to bathe and picnic on Sunday.

Rangiroa, reef island in the Tuamotu

In Rangiroa, the second largest atoll in the world, the land and the sea are in osmosis. Over this necklace of islands in the Pacific Ocean, whales, manta rays, dolphins and sharks present an incredible spectacle. On land, the villages of Avatoru and Tiputa bear witness to slices of life in the South Pacific.

The Rurutu Caves in the Austral Islands Archipelago

The cliffs and caves of the Austral Islands are legendary places. Former burial sites, they are now used as points of observation for humpback whales. Cetaceans get together each year off the Austral Islands from August to October to give birth. The colorful and picturesque villages are also to discover.

Maupiti in the Society Islands

Located 195 miles north-west of Tahiti and 25 miles west of Bora Bora, Maupiti is a tiny (7 miles long) island, isolated and authentic, which attracts at first glance, between its magnificent landscapes, white sand beaches, legendary peaks ...

Manihi pearl farms in the Tuamotu Islands

Far from the modern world, Manihi is the cradle of the first pearl farm in Tahiti since 1965. The lagoon is still home to many farms whose visit is a unique experience. It includes the work and the time needed to create the precious jewels.

The beaches of Tikehau in the Tuamotu Islands

The lagoon is encircled by a series of motu of white and pink sand, forming a natural swimming pool opened on the Tuheiava pass. Divers will be captivated by the beauty and abundance of marine life: eagle rays, schools of barracudas and tunas, gray sharks, sea turtles and dolphins ...

The churches of Gambier Islands

The Gambier Islands are located 994 miles southeast of Tahiti. Center of Catholicism in Polynesia, there are a large number of churches and convents, remains of the 19th century. Some are still active, such as the Saint-Michel church in Rikitea where the altar is inlaid with iridescent mother-of-pearl.

Bora-Bora lagoon (External link)
The pink sand of Fakarava (External link)
Maupiti in the Society Islands (External link)

WHAT TO DO

Falling asleep with the waves in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora

Streams of blue and green velvet lined with perfect beaches are home to schools of colorful fish in coral gardens. This is the enchanting setting for travelers from the deck of the overwater bungalow of a luxury hotel. Bora Bora, the most beautiful island in the world? ...

Let yourself be enchanted by the sensuality of Huahine, one of the best kept secrets of Polynesia

Only 40 minutes by plane from Tahiti, Huahine immediately enchanting, between lush forests and picturesque villages. There are only eight villages scattered around the island; it is one of the best kept secrets of the archipelago of Tahiti and its islands. One can live there like a local, to the rhythm of Polynesia of old ...

Chiner at the Papeete market

The Capital Market is certainly one of the best places to experience Polynesian authenticity. "Mapuru a Paraïta" is the center of attraction of the city, animation is perpetual opening hours, every day from 6 AM to 6PM. The opportunity to stock up on local crafts such as tiare flower-flavored monoi oil or mother-of-pearl jewelry, and savor tropical fruits.

Meet rays and dolphins during an incredible dive in the Marquesas

These islands are a paradise for divers of all levels who discover a rich marine fauna, with an impressive number of gray sharks, hammerhead sharks and even tiger sharks ... But also dolphins, manta rays and vast schools of fish. The funds are intact because this off-the-beaten-track destination attracts a limited number of divers.

Play Robinson Crusoe at Tikehau

Here, the 500 or so Tahitians from generations of fishermen live from seafood on this island, which they call "the home of a quiet world". Enough to germinate the desire to play the Robinsons of the 21st century ...

Spend an entire day on the beach in Bora Bora

For frequent travelers, Matira Beach in Bora Bora is one of the ten most beautiful beaches in the world (Conde Nast Traveler ranking). Note that the beach is public, and there is no need to stay in a 5-star resort to rest in the sun ...

To gather on the sacred site Marae de Taputapuatea registered with the patrimony of Unesco

On the sacred island of Raiatea, the open temple of Taputapuātea represents a thousand years of traditions of Mao'hi culture. Political, ceremonial, funeral and religious center, it is dedicated to the god Oro; it is "the place where the world of the living crosses the world of the ancestors and the gods" ...

Live the holidays of July, Heiva i Tahiti, which celebrate the traditional Polynesian culture

A good way to soak up the Polynesian traditions is to attend the festivities of Heiva i Tahiti that take place in July for 100 years. Tahiti welcomes the singers and dancers of the different islands who adorn themselves with their most beautiful headdresses for singing contests, musics, dances and sports contests (javelin throwing, stone lifting, pirogue racing, ...). A must!

To follow in the footsteps of the first missionaries to Gambier Islands

Mangareva is renowned for its 19th century religious heritage built in coral. The newly converted missionaries and islanders built hundreds of religious buildings between 1840 and 1970. They can be visited on the Rikitea, Akamaru, Aukena and Taravai islands of the Gambier Archipelago.

Watch whales at the front row in Rurutu in the Austral Islands

The cliffs and caves of the Austral Islands are legendary places. These ancient funerary sites offer an ideal viewpoint to watch the humpback whales, who come to the Austral Islands from August to October of each year to give birth in the incredibly clear waters of Rurutu. Rare!

Papeete market (External link)
Marae of Taputapuatea (External link)

Getting to Tahiti