The Weekly Getaway: an Escape to Paradise, the French Polynesian Way
Despite its growing popularity and its timeless appeal, the islands in French Polynesia remain unspoiled gems worth a lengthy vacation. In fact, the dedication of the local people to preserve their natural wealth paired with the rise in luxurious accommodation options and improved connectivity all help maintain the same “zen” vibe they embody.
No matter which island you choose to visit, or if you decide to enjoy some island-hopping, chances are that you won’t cross them off your bucket list at all – you will yearn to come back even before you go home, for their eternal charm and serenity will make them the closest we’ll ever get to paradise on Earth.
Majestic volcano peaks dot the skyline of this humble island, while the honey-hued sand melts into the coastal azure of the South Pacific. Moorea is a small island of massive contradictions visible in its untamed landscape even though it’s only a ten-minute flight away from Papeete and also easily reachable by a ferry.
Considering its diverse beauty, Moorea can keep many travelers happy – from the versed adventure enthusiast who craves a challenging hike into the rainforest all the way to the just married couple welcoming the refreshing beach cocktails. Snorkeling and diving are also very popular, so brace yourself for some of the most vibrant coral reefs you’ve ever seen!
With a reputation of romance, Bora Bora is the South Pacific sweetheart for sweethearts and among the dreamiest islands your own imagination couldn’t conjure up. No, the images you see online do not do it justice, as the fragrant turquoise waters paired with the exotic flowers that bloom on the island cannot be captured by mere images.
The lagoon alone is more than enough to keep you occupied for an entire vacation of lounging, while the palm-dotted beaches are not just Insta-worthy but a pure personification of all things heavenly.
The largest and perhaps the most popular island of the French Polynesian bunch, Tahiti is the crown jewel of the archipelago. The picturesque setting of the island keeps visitors flying in from all over the globe, but it also boasts a uniquely vivid city scene thanks to its capital, Papeete. The city is worth staying in a few nights, while the resorts of the island will not be any less enchanting than those found on its sibling islands.
The best way to reach this highly popular destination is by looking into various Tahiti flights that can take as little as eight hours from Sydney – which is surprisingly brief compared to the level of seclusion you’ll feel as soon as you land. The island is well-connected, which makes it easy for eager globetrotters to flock to its breathtaking coast.
● The Moorea Dolphin Center – A unique, life-changing experience that’s not reserved for the youngsters only, but for the Peter Pans among you as well. Not only will you get the chance to feed and swim with these gentle giants, but you’ll also contribute to the preservation of the local marine life by simply paying for the entrance fee.
● See Mount Otemanu in Bora Bora – Located in the very center of the island, this majestic volcano peak can be reached not only by hiking, although it’s by far the best way to experience it, but also via a 4x4 tour, or even a boat tour.
● Immerse yourself in Tahiti’s Vaipahi Gardens – As if the entire island isn’t magical enough, this little slice of verdure will be a perfect way to spend some time admiring the local plant life. Expect scenic ponds, a romantic waterfall and colorful flowers all around.
● Over-water bungalows at Moorea’s Hilton – The ultimate resort experience of luxury paired with simplicity, your stay in this beachside hotel will be more than exotic and relaxing. Make sure to use the complimentary snorkeling equipment and visit the local exotic fish swimming right under your toes!
● Enjoy the dramatic mountain view from Intercontinental Le Moana – This gem is the perfect combination of culture and seclusion, as the very location along the reef makes it an isolated piece of beauty in Bora Bora. Not only does it boast equally splendid bungalows as its sibling Moorea, but the view of Mount Otemanu makes it an even more extraordinary experience.
● Bask in the Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort & Spa – Nestled in the embrace of Matavai Bay, this elegant resort is tantalizingly close to the city of Papeete, and so close to the beach that you’ll simply step outside your room and be greeted by the sound of the ocean.
● Hang out with the locals at Moorea’s Painapo – A very affordable place with delicious local cuisine on offer, providing an unparalleled local experience. Chat with the residents to make sure you visit when there’s some live music and roasted coconuts served!
● Have your honeymoon meal at the Villa Mahana – This is one of Bora Bora’s finest romantic restaurants every couple should have on their must-visit list. With only seven couples served, you’ll enjoy an intimate atmosphere and a beautiful setting together with a delicious meal.
● Dine at Blue Banana when in Tahiti – If you’re a foodie at heart, make sure to try their raw tuna with coconut milk or another seafood spectacle and you’ll understand why this particular spot is so popular among the locals!