Tahiti. The word evokes visions of an island paradise. With 118 islands and Atolls that comprise this ideal South Pacific destination, the islands of Bora Bora, Moorea, Taha’a and beyond continue to seduce travellers in search of a tranquil escape. With islands boasting high, rugged mountain peaks, coral reefs, white sand, palm-fringed beaches, turquoise blue lagoons and emerald green Waters, this island paradise has something for everyone. Easier to travel to than most imagine, Tahiti’s Faa’a International Airport is only an eight-hour flight from Los Angeles with daily, nonstop flights.
Officially known as French Polynesia, the 118 Islands and atolls are scattered across five far-flung archipelagos and cover over 1.5 million square miles of the South Pacific.
The most visited of the archipelagos is the Society Islands — home to Bora Bora, Moorea, and Taha’a and the largest island in French Polynesia, Tahiti. The Society Islands are a group of high, tropical lush islands encircled by coral reefs — offering beautiful azure blue and turquoise lagoons.
Once you arrive in French Polynesia, all guests are greeted with Tahiti’s traditional Tiare flower. This fragrant gardenia is seen regularly throughout the islands. Tradition holds that, if taken, women and men wear a flower behind their left ear (same side as one’s heart), whereas if they are single, they wear it behind the right ear.
After going through immigration and customs — visitors will exit the terminal into an open-air area where all tourists are greeted upon arrival with a welcome lei and then taken to their accommodating resort or escorted to the inter-island carrier, Air Tahiti, for direct connections to the outer islands. Air Tahiti services over 40 landing strips throughout the five archipelago’s of French Polynesia with 11 turboprop aircraft. The island of Moorea is less than 10 minutes from Tahiti, while the most visited island of Bora Bora is a 45-minute flight.
Moorea is set on a perfect lagoon and has been chosen by many painters, artists and writers as its charm immediately enchants visitors. It offers white sand beaches tucked away in flowered gardens and a good choice of accommodation and activities.
Huahine is certainly one of the most sensual islands and a haven for tranquillity. Offering white sand beaches, luminous blue lagoon and lush hills the island epitomises Polynesian beauty.
Raiatea is just a 40 minute flight from Tahiti and is known as the cradle of Polynesian culture. The island is Polynesia’s second economic centre and is an important nautical base hosting many sailboats. One of the characteristics of Raiatea is mount Temehani and is the only place in the world where a special flower grows called tiare Apethahi. The island shares its lagoon with its sister island Tahaa.
Tahaa is just 20 minutes away from Raiateas airport by boat. Also called the vanilla island due to the amount of vanilla produced. Tahaa’s vast lagoon is dotted with many “motu” which are sandy islets on which to play Robinson Crusoe between dives.
Bora Bora is known as the pearl of the Pacific and has one of the world’s most beautiful lagoons. The lagoon offers some of the best dives in the world set against the sparkling blue of the Pacific Ocean. Bora Bora is a romantic island offering quiet and privacy with some of the best hotels with luxurious overwater bungalows.
Tuamotu Islands include Rangiroa, Manihi, Fakarava and Tikehau and offer some of the scuba diving in the world discover angel fish, manta rays, hammerhead sharks and barracudas to name just a few.
Tahiti and its islands are famously known as one of the world’s leading dream wedding and honeymoon destinations. The seclusion and beauty of each island seem to embrace each couple with a passionate ambience and an unforgettable experience.