The very word 'Tahiti' evokes the
mystique of one of the most remote and romantic island destinations in the
An island hopping escape to even a few
of the 118 islands and atolls in this South Pacific paradise is not only the
ultimate escape from northern winters, Tahiti is the trip of a lifetime. (Top image credit: Chris McLennan/Tahiti Tourism).
Picture your arrival, welcomed by
Tahitian music and fragrant Tiare flowers… and use these highlights of some of the key islands to start
planning your island hopping fantasy escape:
They call the island of Tahiti 'The
Queen of the Pacific'. It's the
largest and most populated island, and is the starting point for travelers, who
fly into the capital city Papeete. Don't miss Marae Arahurahu, an ancient
Tahitian outdoor temple, or, in the centre of town, the market with tropical
produce and fresh local fish and Tahitian arts and crafts, including the
biggest selection of pareus (sarongs) in the country. Outside the city, Tahiti boasts
spectacular scenery: lush green peaks tower over cascading waterfalls and
rippling pools in the interior, and black- and white-sand beaches and turquoise
lagoons at the sea.
Moorea is a mere
11 miles across the Sea of the Moon from Tahiti. If that doesn't already sound like a fairytale, consider
Moorea's nickname: 'The Magical Island'.
It is even said to be the inspiration for the mythical island of Bali
Hai. You've seen it in the movies, from Mutiny on the Bounty to Love Affair. But film can never do full justice to
the dramatic beauty of the island.
Make sure you go to Belvedere Lookout, with its breathtaking views of
Moorea’s twin bays, Cook’s and Opunohu. Look on Moorea's hillsides for its
signature produce, pineapples, and visit a local distillery to sample exotic
liqueurs from pineapple, mango, coconut, vanilla and other Tahitian flavors.
another magical nickname: the 'Garden of Eden'. Huahine is 110 miles northwest of Tahiti,
and actually consists of two islands joined by a bridge. Its main town, Maeva, means 'welcome'
in Tahitian! Drive into the hills for spectacular views over white-sand beaches
and brilliant turquoise lagoons, and visit restored Tahitian marae (temples),
centuries-old stone fish traps, and plantations of melons, vanilla, coffee,
taro, mango, and flowers. Do you surf? There are world-class waves at Avamoa
Pass, and the world’s largest outrigger canoe race begins here each October.
Photo Credit: Chris McLennan/ Tahiti Tourism
Bora Bora is a tiny
island with a big reputation. 'The
Romantic Island' has been called the most beautiful island in the world. It's
only 18 miles around, circled by a necklace of coral. Lush mountains provide a
dramatic backdrop for the indescribable turquoise, lapis and aquamarine of the famous,
sheltered lagoon. Bora Bora is home to world-class resorts and quaint continental
restaurants, where celebrity A-listers vacation in luxurious seclusion.
Tuamotu Atolls are the largest of the Polynesian archipelagos, Tahiti’s 'Strand
of Pearls' with 76 islands and atolls spread over more than 7500 square miles.
Four of these atolls – Rangiroa, Manihi, Tikehau, Fakarava – offer world-class
scuba diving, horseback riding, shark feeding and deep-sea fishing. In
addition, the ecosystem in the Fakarava atoll
is a UNESCO biosphere reserve. And Manihi
is 'the Pearl Island', the site of the first of many pearl farms that have made
Tahiti famous for prized, cultivated black pearls.
Start your Trip!
Entertainment Group Inc or Rights Holder. All rights reserved. You are welcome
to share this material from this page, but it may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten or redistributed.