For some, the ideal holiday involves sunshine, a pool, a good book, and not much else. For others, even mentioning the word ‘holiday’ has them conjuring up ideas on the site of their next mountain bike ride, scenic skydive, or thrilling underwater encounter.
The Islands of Tahiti offer the safety and seclusion of a remote location with everything you need for a blissful tropical escape. This naturally beautiful destination skips mass tourism in favour of sheltered beaches, remote archipelagos, and idyllic isolation where the only footsteps you’re likely to see on the beach are your own.
With 118 islands to choose from it can be hard to decide which one to visit first. To make your decision easier, we’ve come up with a list highlighting seven must-see Tahiti islands. From honeymoon hotspots like Bora Bora to remote off-the-beaten track islands you’ve probably never heard of, there’s never been a better time to kick start your holiday dreaming and discover Tahiti’s charms.
Huahine is only a 40-minute flight from the main island of Tahiti but feels like a world away. Often referred to as the ‘Bora Bora of old’, this sleepy destination invites visitors to slip off their shoes and explore the island’s secluded coves and tropical waters. Small villages offer a warm welcome to the handful of tourists who come here to step back in time.
If you want a picture postcard photo of the best of French Polynesia, this is the place to take it. With swaying palm trees, superb snorkelling, sweet pink pineapples and a thriving artist community, Moorea is a feast for the mind, body and soul. Add waterfalls, an impossibly blue lagoon and lush mountains and you’ve got a dream destination for island lovers.
Considered the cradle of Polynesian civilisation and the most sacred of all of Tahiti’s islands, you would never guess peaceful Raiatea is the second largest island in French Polynesia. Travellers come here to explore the high mountain peaks, picturesque bays, superb scenery, sandy motus, volcano craters, beaches, and waterfalls at this idyllic spot.
Interacting with the 2,500 or so local residents is the best way to appreciate the laid back charms of this lush volcanic island. Feast on the pineapple, wild basil and lychees which are grown here and marvel at the stalactites and stalagmites that wrap around the coral reef. Ttifaifai, traditional patchwork blankets featuring exotic patterns, make for a unique and very special souvenir. During whale season, it’s possible to snorkel with these gentle giants.
Papeete is the capital of Tahiti and the gateway to the stunning islands that make up French Polynesia and the Society Islands. The best tours venture out of the city to take in the mountainous scenery, mist cloaked valleys, and towering waterfalls around the island. Papeete’s bustling market offers delicious food and an authentic look at modern life.
The beauty of Hiva Oa in the Marquesas Islands captured the eye of artist Paul Gauguin. Art lovers come here to pay homage to Gauguin and explore the small museum and replica of his house and visit his grave at Calvaire cemetery. Hiva Oa also has notable archaeological sites including me’ae in Puama’u which has the largest tiki statue of The Islands of Tahiti.
Bora Bora is even more beautiful than the holiday brochures make out. Romantics come here to revel in the island’s turquoise waters, coral reefs, sandy motus, and high end resorts. Scuba diving and snorkelling tours are the major drawcard but you could easily spend an entire day simply soaking up the sun and the gorgeous view from your balcony.