Wild, lined with big waves for surfers, teeming with dream hotels… Overview of the islands not to be missed when passing through Tahiti. / Tahiti Islands
At the other end of the planet, it takes nearly 24 hours of flight to reach French Polynesia. Constellations of islands more paradisiac than the others, it can seem dizzying to know by which port to approach it. The opportunity to discover our 5 favorite spots.
Seen from the sky, this paradisiacal archipelago looks like a long tongue of white sand, dotted with palm trees and surrounded by water so clear that it feels like snorkeling without even having to put on a mask or dive in it. On site, there are no 5-star hotels, no show, the luxury lies there in the beauty of the lagoon and this Robinson atmosphere which allows us to forget, during a stay, our urban life and the stress that goes with. (the 11h jet lag also plays a part). Installed in a guest house on the beach, like the Havaiki Lodge, travelers discover an architectural mix made up of small fishing huts that open onto pontoons, colorful churches decorated with shells and a handful of villas. contemporaries constituting the secondary residences of a certain Tahitian intelligentsia. Anchored in the local terroir, the island excels in virgin coconut and tamanu oil (with soothing virtues for the skin). But the main activity remains scuba diving. To be done armed with bottles or in snorkeling version, we go there, by boat, to the southern tip, to admire the multicolored fish, corals, turtles, sharks… Before having lunch on the virgin islet of Teahatea Beach (famous for the pink color of its sand), marinated fish, coconut and fresh pineapple.
Located 40 minutes by plane from Tahiti, Huahine is one of the most confidential islands of French Polynesia. Wild and hilly, the locals have fun identifying the voluptuous body of a pregnant woman lying on her back when they admire its rocky mountains climbed with vegetation. Consisting of two islets connected by a lagoon, the best is still to put your suitcases there on a catamaran, to explore it by sea. On board, the possibilities are wide. You can also go diving, discovering the marine fauna, or moor along uninhabited virgin islands. And on land, hikes are organized on the Matairea Hill and we also visit vanilla plantations, just to bring back pods as souvenirs.
In search of the ultimate wave, surfers have a knack for finding rare spots in total connection with the ocean. Off the radar, Teahupoo shines at the top of the list of eldorados of the genre, as popular as it is difficult to experience. Due to its unique position, between the lagoon and the open sea, its waves are known to be as curved as they are powerful. Amateurs abstain, only the best surfers meet there to compete in international tournaments or to train for this purpose. On land, the atmosphere is rather low key, with an anthology of lodges and restaurants right on the water.
Newlyweds love it, seasoned travelers evoke it with bright eyes, Tetiaroa is one of those heavenly destinations that make everyone dream. Owned by Marlon Brando, it was transformed into a resort with a vocation as luxurious as it is eco-friendly in July 2014. Bordered by the turquoise waters of the Pacific, the place naturally named The Brando is divided into 35 villas with one to three bedrooms, a fine restaurant with fusion and Polynesian flavors or even a spa installed in the islet where the former royal family indulged in their beauty rites.
Impossible to fly to Tahiti to stop over, even for a brief moment, in Papeete. Capital of French Polynesia, the island brings together locals and travelers passing through, to discover a historic city center, where to stroll through the markets (with more or less typical stalls), sip Tahitian beers with a view of the bay or explore the heart of the archipelago. Very green, there is an impressive mesh of jungle and vertiginous waterfalls, whose landscapes could make us believe in a imitation of Jurassic Park.
How to get to Tahiti?
Located at the other end of the planet, it takes twice 12 hours of flight, from Paris, to reach French Polynesia. A great specialist in the journey, the company Air Tahiti Nui is still the safest bet to reach its islands. Especially if you opt for the Poerava Business class, where you receive, as soon as you arrive on board, a Tiare flower before taking your place on plush turquoise armchairs. Renowned for its unparalleled flexibility and its premium options in an intimate and spacious setting, you can enjoy a myriad of films, dinners and lunches accompanied by good wines, but also and above all by a benevolent service. Completely upgraded, the hours go by faster.