The 3 gems of French Polynesia
Tahiti is the main island where the international airport is located, as well as the small capital Papeete. Whilst it is not as paradisiac as its sister island, it is certainly worth a stay or a day visit. Tahiti and Moorea are in a nutshell and it is very easy to visit one another for a day with the ferries.
Moorea, known as the small sister island, has a world reputation for its magnificent lagoon, its sharp-edged peaks, and the beauty of its beaches and stunning bays. It is the perfect place for the laid back tropical life style.
Bora Bora no longer needs an introduction, it is well known for having “the most beautiful lagoon in the world”. It is further away in the Leeward Islands and the only way to get there is by plane from Tahiti or Moorea.
Tahiti Island… the new Cythere
Tahiti: enchanting, magnificent, cultural
Former name: Otahiti
Encounter: Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia, it offers a good balance between the pleasures of the lagoon, breath-taking inland scenery in the Volcanos’ caldeira and the handicraft shopping in its capital city Papeete.
At a glance: It is the largest and the most populated island in French Polynesia. Even if Tahiti is not the tourists’ favorite island, it is very interesting to visit. Its impressive volcanic formations are perfect for hiking or 4WD excursions, and to discover waterfalls deeply buried in thick vegetation. Its lagoon make all level diving activities possible, its surfing spots are known worldwide such as the famous Teahupoo wave. The numerous handicraft markets and exotic shops offer an extraordinary abundance of traditional cultural memories.
How to get there: By plane : The Faaa-Papeete international airport (code PPT) is the hub for air transportation to get to from abroad as well as to fly to the nearby islands. By boat: The port of Papeete is the focal point of all sea traffic, whether international or to Moorea by ferries.
Vacation Rentals in Tahiti: There are many Vacation Rentals in private properties in Tahiti, mostly ranging from splendid hillside Villas with pools and striking views to downtown apartments in the capital city. Some Vacation Rentals are also located in the Southern peninsula called “Tahiti iti”, quite secluded but more authentic than the busy North.
Moorea Island… the sister island
Moorea: Magic, friendly, fascinating
Pronounciation: “Mo-o-Re-A”. Former name: Eimeo
Encounter: The Sister Island is located right in front of Tahiti, but it has only about 20,000 inhabitants, this is why Moorea often looks like a small village. Moorea benefits from a splendid 50 km2 lagoon completely surrounding the island, with two major bays of Cook and Opunohu, on the North coast, giving a particularly fascinating charm. Its beaches are among the most beautiful and best maintained in French Polynesia. With its turquoise color lagoon and its gorgeous high peaks scenery and enchanted backdrop, it provides a true heaven for relaxation.
At a glance: Moorea is the ideal destination for an unforgettable holiday. A wide range of activities are available for adults and kids alike, such as discovering the amazing underwater of the lagoon corals, a great variety of fishes, or activities on the lagoon: boating , sailing, surfing , kitesurfing , glass bottom boat, encountering with dolphins and whales…. or hiking trails or quad bikes in the island’s majestic mountains.
How to get there: By boat: Many fast ferries shuttle back and forth between Tahiti and the port of Vaiare in Moorea several times a day (45min trip on average). By plane: aboard Air Tahiti flights, some of them stop in Moorea before continuing to the Leeward Islands (Raiatea, Huahine, Bora Bora, etc).
Vacation Rentals in Moorea: This is in Moorea where you will find the largest number of Vacation Rentals in private properties throughout French Polynesia. There are indeed many Villas and houses for rent for every kind of budget, from beach Villas in idyllic surroundings to hillside homes with sumptuous views. It is the ideal island to live like the locals, take an easy pace, shop in the local stores, and open your eyes and minds to new experiences.
Bora Bora Island… the South Seas Pearl
Bora Bora: mythical, idyllic, immense lagoon
Often called: “Bora” by the locals. Former name: Vavau
Encounter: Bora Bora has the reputation of being the jewel of the South Seas. It is true that its immense lagoon takes the breath away of all its visitors.
At a glance: Bora Bora no longer needs an introduction, it is well known for having “the most beautiful lagoon in the world” and it is probably true. In Bora Bora, you will quickly get the feeling that everything is oriented toward tourism. This mythical destination remains a mandatory detour, even if its authenticity tends to fade away with time. The lagoon is king and allows all kind of water activities: diving, encounter with manta rays, and of course sailing, sub-marine, kitesurfing, name it they do it!
How to get there: No ferry to get there, but several daily flights connect the island to Tahiti or Moorea, often non-stop or sometimes with a stop in Raiatea or Huahine. Since Bora Bora airport is located on an islet (Motu Mute), a free shuttle catamaran service brings you in 15 minutes to the dock of Vaitape, the island’s main village.
Vacation Rentals in Bora Bora: There are many hotels in Bora Bora (did anyone say too many!?) and the island has long been invested by major hotel and resorts chains. Vacation Rentals in private properties are scarce, but there are a few (!) including some directly provided by hotels resorts or guest houses on their grounds.