When one mentions Tahiti, they’ll envision life on dreamy, secluded beaches, sharing space on the soft, white sand with palm trees and the odd errant coconut. French Polynesia or the Islands of Tahiti is a collection of 118 islands and situated halfway between Los Angeles, California, and Sydney, Australia. While each of the Islands of Tahiti has its own identity, they all complement one another. All the islands are postcard-worthy, with barrier coral reefs and blue lagoons. Each island allows a different kind of experience, so where you should go depends on what you wish to experience. To help you plan your visit here’s a guide to the best islands to visit in Tahiti.
List Of Islands In Tahiti You Must Visit
Tahiti is where the international flights land at Faa’a International Airport hence no matter which island you’re planning to visit this is where you will start your French Polynesian adventure. This island is the most developed in French Polynesia and its capital Papeete is vibrant and bustling. Make sure you have a stopover here and spend a day or two here it would be a wonderful experience. Tahiti is worth seeing, especially for its fine museums devoted to the painter Paul Gauguin, the writer James Norman Hall, and the islanders themselves. The island also has many secluded areas, but since more than 60 per cent of the country’s population lives on it, the rings roads connecting various villages can have slow-moving traffic.
Located just 20km west of Tahiti, is the island of Moorea. One of the best islands for snorkelling, thanks in large part to the nine ocean passes that draw cold water into the lagoon, the water here is water is rich in oxygen aiding the coral to grow brighter and more colorful than anywhere else. You can spot stingrays and blacktip reef sharks whose curiosity tends to make them gather around you as you jump into the lagoon. Moorea also has numerous white sand beaches, in comparison to the other Islands in Tahiti, where most of the beaches have black sand of the volcanic variety. The most realistically priced resorts are located here, making it a perfect choice for a serene experience of the Polynesian Islands without breaking the bank.
Probably the most popular island in French Polynesia and many travellers visit the islands of Tahiti with the intent of only visiting Bora-Bora. One of the world’s top honeymoon destinations with its secluded over-water bungalows and hidden beaches, Bora-Bora is more than just a postcard-worthy romantic escape. Actually a volcano, the island is set in a stunning lagoon surrounded by gleaming white sand beaches. Filled with marine life makes the lagoon a perfect place to don your snorkelling mask explore the waters. You can also spend the day exploring the main town of Viatape, where you can browse shops selling local wares and visit local bars and cafes as well.
Covered with dense tropical forests, as well as banana groves, watermelon fields, and coconut plantationsHuahine is rightfully known as the Garden Island. Huahine is two islands connected by a small bridge: Huahine Nui to the north and Huahine Iti to the south and is a 40-minute flight from Tahiti. Almost as beautiful as Moorea and Bora-Bora, the island only has a few hotels and barely any urban footprint enabling the island to maintain its Polynesian charm. Visitors have their pick of white sandy beaches, as well as the chance to dive and snorkel, kite surf, hike, and even explore one of the largest archaeological areas of French Polynesia, near the village of Maeva.
Also known as Pink Sand Island, Tikehau is a tiny island that consists of countless white and pink sand islets which make it a unique destination for a getaway. Aptly named as “peaceful landing” Tikehau is home to a lagoon formed by a ring of coral, making it an ideal home for marine life waiting to be explored on a dive trip. A boat can be taken to the middle of the lagoon to visit Motu Puarua at the northeastern end, Bird island a small islet, and a natural aviary for numerous colonies of nesting sea birds including the rare Blue Footed Booby.
Rangiroa is one of the largest atolls in the world and the largest in French Polynesia. Also known as the Endless Sky the atoll’s lagoon is a diver’s paradise and it’s so large that it could swallow the main island of Tahiti. This island has over 200 islets surrounding the lagoon and you can explore it on a secluded afternoon have a phenomenal snorkelling experience. Rangiroa also has a vineyard and winery and you can visit here to awaken your inner wine connoisseur. The Dominique Auroy Winery Located in the main village of Avatoru produces French Polynesia’s only wine label, Vin de Tahiti, and is a must-try.
Known as the Vanilla Island, Taha’a grows close to 80 per cent of all vanilla produced in French Polynesia. only accessible by a short boat ride from sister island Raiatea, you will have access to see how the fragrant spice is cultivated at the Vallee de la Vanille vanilla farm located here. Taha’a like many islands in French Polynesia offers the chance to snorkel in the calm, marine-rich waters. The island has a relaxed vibe and allows you to relax and stretch in its sandy beaches. You can also visit the Champon Pearl Farm, where Tahiti’s famous pearls are cultivated and harvested.
Known as the Sacred Island, Raiatea is the second largest island in French Polynesia. said to be the first Polynesian island to be populated Raiatea shares its lagoon with its sister island, so when you visit one you can include the other. The large lagoon located here is one of the best islands in French Polynesia for sailing, deep-sea fishing, and scuba diving. Here you can also visit Taputapuātea, a sacred meeting ground that has recently been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Dreamy Island Groups With Perfect Beaches And Beautiful Lagoons
With every island offering a unique experience, yet something that compliments each other island hopping in French Polynesia is special in every way. So make sure you visit a few of them to have a well-rounded vacation. The more islands you visit, the more varied, beautiful, and memorable your holiday will be. Do let us know of your island hopping experience in the comments below.