April 13, 2018. The path from the airstrip to the lagoon beach snakes through one of the Tuamotu Islands' primary forests. Everything, apparently, grows on Bora-Bora, and there are few pollutants, which means purer perfume. At low-key Vahine Island, skipper TiTi takes me snorkeling in waist-deep water off a nearby isle. Thankfully the travel-scape is changing. Island Hopping in French Polynesia Stretching across two million square miles in the South Pacific, French Polynesia's islands are endlessly appealing. Oceania Traveling On The Ghan From Darwin To Adelaide, Australia. This time I'm taking a different tack, staying mostly in small hotels, like Vahine Island, a palm-studded motu off of the isle of Tahaa with a few wooden bungalows and humidity-defying croissants at breakfast, and Vanira Lodge, an eco-guesthouse on Tahiti's remote southwestern coast that is just a 10-minute boat ride from the notoriously heavy, world-class wave Teahupoo. Creole trail rides highlight black cowboy history, Lonely Planet 2021 Challenge #3: How to say “hello” in Korean, Swahili, Polish, Navajo, Mandarin and Greek. Westerners are all trying to be like us, getting tattoos and surfing!” With arms inked in elaborate designs and two enormous boar's tusks hanging from a green cord around his neck, Tahi is, it appears, fully owning his culture. Hiva Oa is where you'll find Gauguin's grave and a museum dedicated to the artist (who spent his last years here). When we got married, my husband and I first discovered the beauties of French Polynesia on our honeymoon trip, when we sought the privacy and unspoiled nature. April 2, 2019. For two hours we see only coral—chunky brainlike neon purple lobes and enormous wispy fire orange fans—and so many weirdly wonderful fish, such as the yellowstripe goatfish, with its old man's face, and Roberta, a stingray that befriended TiTi decades ago and swims ahead of our boat all the way back. Home to the small yet busy capital of Papeete, over half of the country's population and few resorts, most visitors quickly depart for more far flung islands. When it opens next year, it'll be the type of place I want to rent out with my family and a few friends and their kids, to snorkel in the still lagoon. And is it possible to... French Polynesia. The Islands of Tahiti are a couple's paradise and the perfect romantic retreat. For a week on the island, which sleeps 52, it costs nearly a million dollars. Of course, all this comes at a price. There are no footprints in the finely crushed coral beach lining the lagoon, just the loopy tracks of hermit crabs. French Polynesia, a true paradise on earth, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. At the Tahitian-owned Vanira Lodge, an eco-guesthouse on the largely undeveloped southwestern coast, a husband and wife take me out on a boat to see the Teahupoo break, where I scream like a preteen on a roller coaster, my adrenaline spiking as a few surfers risk their lives for a six-second thrill. Island Hopping Island Hopping in Tahiti. French Polynesia Tourism French Polynesia Hotels French Polynesia Bed and Breakfast French Polynesia Holiday Rentals April 13, 2018. I remember Tahi telling me about Polynesia's oral history, passed down the generations, which ascribes a legend behind every mountain, river, and island. I'm not too surprised to learn that Tahi is also friends with Nicolas Malleville and Francesca Bonato, the savvy couple behind cult hideaway hotel and perfume label Coqui Coqui, who helped put Tulum, and more recently Valladolid, on the new-nomad map. A highlight is a thrilling stop at a shallow sandy area to feed and swim with reef sharks and stingrays. We take the main road that hugs the island's 61-mile perimeter of rocky beaches and palm-lined inlets, ringing a rain forest bursting with candlenut and mape trees, waterfalls, and the mysterious tiare apetahi, a wild gardenia that only grows on Raiatea. I ask Tahi if he minds skipping the sights and just driving around. Laliberté has ensured that the island remains a sanctuary for the large number of marvelously monikered birds that live here, like the red-footed booby and the nearly extinct bristle-thighed curlew, clearing invasive species of plants, keeping the island rat- and mosquito-free, and timing the landing of planes with when the birds are least active. These 100 islands of French Polynesia are set apart so much so that they are spread over 2000 km! Romantic Getaways Romance For All In Greater Fort Lauderdale. Within your chosen countries, (ours being Samoa, French Polynesia and the Cook Islands), you then have to think about island hopping again, as they are all made up of a number of islands. Rent some wheels to tour the island, making sure to go up through the Opunohu Valley, where many ancient Polynesian temples are hidden in Indiana Jones-worthy jungle. Try out the spectacular diving in Rangiroa . Hike huge and sparsely populated Nuku Hiva where treeless, wind battered cliffs lead to jungles of wild mango and rivers lined with the crumbling stone platforms of long-abandoned villages. I have a question regarding island hopping: are tourists allowed to go from one island to another without any restrictions? Island hopping allows you to see every landscape, from geometric ridges strung with waterfalls on the high islands to flat, desert-like atolls where lagoons far outsize the landmass. The best time to visit is the cooler dry season months of May to October, which also fall outside the cyclone season. Romantic Cruise. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. Rangiroa is the largest and most developed atoll and is known for its scuba diving through shark-filled passes. There are shiatsu massages and facials at the spa, sportfishing for mahi-mahi and wahoo with no other boats around, surf lessons, laying down tracks in the recording studio, and hijinks on the outdoor parkour course. Oceania Traveling On The Ghan From Darwin To Adelaide, Australia. I've been to the Society Islands—one of French Polynesia's five island groups, which includes Raiatea as well as Tahiti and Bora-Bora—before, and done the usual things: visited the black-pearl farms, swam with sharks, explored the vanilla plantations. April 14, 2020. The islands' own narrative arc is continuing to evolve. That's not to say there aren't some theatrics. Private, beach-laden islets encircle Bora Bora's spectacular lagoon. Island Hopping~The Islands of Tahiti, French Polynesia May 20, 2020 By Linda Leave a Comment Although travel is currently banned to French Polynesia because of Coronavirus -Covid 19 – Now is the perfect time to dream and learn about the destination and be … French Polynesia Island Hopping 2 – Tahaa. With over 100 islands spread throughout five archipelagos, French Polynesia is as varied as it is exotic. This is also true of Fiji, Tonga, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and so on. February 6, 2018. The most luxurious are Le Taha'a Private Island & Spa and Vahine Island Private Island Resort. Literature's heavy hitters—Melville, Maugham, Michener—chronicled their time on the islands, using them as languid backdrops to the plot. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Over the centuries these dramatic mountainous landscapes of the Marquesas have attracted and inspired the likes of Paul Gauguin, Herman Melville and Jack London. By continuing we assume your permission to use cookies, as detailed in our privacy and cookie policy. Here's the low down on what makes each island region special. Whether you choose to spend your days lounging on the tranquil beaches to soak up each island’s unique views or exploring the islands’ cultural sites and rich marine life. Ra'iatea is home to the country's biggest and most important marae (ancient religious site), Taputapuatea, as well as to the rare Tiare Apetahi, a white flower that only grows on the slopes of Mt Temahani. Island hopping is the quintessential way to explore the magical beauty as well as interesting folklores associated with French Polynesian Islands. Explore the island of Moorea . “I'm like, Come on, own your own culture! Now she is turning her attention to warmer locales. Since 2015, our field correspondent Jenny Kingsley has been sharing stories from the Arctic through her journalism project Meet the North. Vehicles and drivers are available at hotels and pensions. After a day or two you'll be waving to new friends on the road and blissfully unaware of what day of the week it is. Non-divers can explore the lagoon via boat excursions (available through all hotels and pensions) that take in a spectacular pink sand beach and the ‘Lagon Bleu’, an indescribably blue area of the lagoon lined by white sand beach. Island Hopping in French Polynesia. Jun 28. The plan is to open guesthouses in original Hotel Bora Bora bungalows that the couple have painstakingly moved and restored. It's this curious isolation that drew Laliberté here in the first place. Island Hopping the Islands of Tahiti French Polynesia- Part Two- Accomodations May 27, 2020 By Linda Leave a Comment In addition to the natural beauty that is found in the Islands of Tahiti, another reason the islands are on the short list for most honeymoon clients are the iconic overwater bungalows that have captured the dreams of so many. © 2021 Lonely Planet. In the afternoons you can watch dolphins frolic in Tiputa Pass, the shores of which are an easy stroll or bike road from most hotels. What turns out to be a red-tailed chick looks up and squawks but doesn't move, secure in her right to be there. No commercial flights go there, and I'm at the Papeete airport at 5 A.M., pounding three successive cups of tepid vending machine café au lait while waiting for my charter plane. This majestic, square peaked island rises from its aquamarine lagoon like a Photoshopped image of paradise. With privacy and sustainability now holy grails for many, few places in French Polynesia, or the world for that matter, are comparable to Nukutepipi, a coral atoll in the remote Tuamotu Archipelago, 600 miles southeast of Tahiti and nearly 4,000 miles from any continental landmass. I want emails from Lonely Planet with travel and product information, promotions, advertisements, third-party offers, and surveys. April 14, 2020. All islands are serviced by these large ships which often have a few spots open for travelers at dirt cheap prices. But at some point the idea of the islands as a romantic cliché spread and grew; of French Polynesia as a once-in-a-lifetime destination for newlyweds and those whose marriages have made it to 50, staying at hotels with bungalow-lined jetties that spiral into pacific lagoons like teak-and-thatch tentacles. Small details have been scrupulously considered—the Mariage Frères tea and reef-safe bath products; the mezcal at the bar that is sold only in one little shop in Oaxaca; the fresh shots of ginger juice laced with island honey at breakfast. And hotels are working with local storytellers, athletes, and craftspeople, creating experiences that go beyond traditional dance performances during dinner buffets. Yampu’s Island Hopping through French Polynesia experience offers travelers to explore the world of oceanic islands with an almost limitless range of vacation activities, both leisurely and active. Getting around the islands requires flying on Air Tahiti, the country's only domestic airline. With land elevations reaching no more than a few metres, the ethereal rings of coral that make up the Tuamotu islands surround lagoons rich with corals, fish, sharks and rays. Alternative accommodations are opening at both ends of the spectrum—low-fi, locally owned guesthouses and private atolls. Beach bum on gorgeous Fare Beach, hike the Maeva archaeological site and its extensive collection of ancient stone temples or visit Huahine Nui Pearls & Pottery to see how Tahitian pearls are farmed. The accounts of French explorer de Bougainville helped shape the utopian theories of Denis Diderot; Gauguin's bright-colored, side-eyed fin de siècle paintings and more shadowy woodcuts captivated a generation of modernists. Island Hopping vacation packages include multi-island itineraries. Whilst here, we’ll introduce the lesser-known, adrenaline-fuelled side of French Polynesia as you spend days out on the water deep sea fishing, scuba diving and jet skiing. This country is the perfect island-hopping destination!I also share great tips and tell you more about the most important islands of French Polynesia! All the islands are small and require no more than a day or two to see the sights but add more if you want to melt into the pace of island life. Spend a night here, before hopping across those tempting waters to the jungled island of Moorea where you’ll spend two nights at the beachfront Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort. If you want to see the island with a less shocking price tag the mainland hosts some small hotels and family-run pensions, including Sunset Hill Lodge (www.sunset-hill-borabora.biz). While a number of these new hoteliers are drawn from outside Polynesia, it's the islanders themselves who are at the heart of the experience. The map shows French Polynesia is located in the South Pacific Ocean. Opposite me is Tahiarii Pariente, who's wearing a pareo, the traditional Polynesian skirt, and a bright white V-neck. Answer 1 of 2: We've been looking to book our trip to Tahiti, and I found this site very helpful. I was still impressed by the turquoise water and the overwater bungalows! Condé Nast Traveler may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. We are budget to moderate type travelers & trying to find the most economic way of accomplishing our preliminary itinerary. Answer 1 of 4: My husband, daughter, mother and I will be arriving in Tahiti in early April '10. Landing on a dot of coral, surrounded by so much water, with no smudge of neighboring land outlined against the distant horizon, is a first for me. Any information published by Condé Nast Traveler is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional. In other words, island hopping in French Polynesia is a great way to experience the unparalleled beauty of islands while enjoying a variety of recreational as well as adventure activities. Island-Hopping in French Polynesia: What to See in Bora Bora, Moorea, and Tahiti Can you imagine anything dreamier than island-hopping around French Polynesia? Nearby Fakarava's lagoon is Unesco Biosphere Reserve known for its reef sharks, manta rays, tuna and barracuda. You can also hop in a 4WD to discover petroglyphs hidden in tall grass and the country's most awe-inspiring tiki (carved humanlike statue). I was island hopping in the remoter archipelagos of French Polynesia, travelling on a small cruise ship, marvelling at how much the reality of this island world matched the fantasy. On the south shore, about halfway around, we stop, get into a small fishing boat, and putter for five minutes to reach the tiny motu Nao Nao, owned by the family of a friend of Tahi's who started coming to French Polynesia in the early 2000s with his parents to surf, fish, and camp in what he says felt like Hawaii a century ago. Guy Laliberté, consummate showman and cofounder of Cirque du Soleil, bought Nukutepipi in 2007 and has been slowly turning the undeveloped island into a private retreat. Australia Day: the birth of a modern nation or a symbol of invasion and survival? Written By Geoffrey Ravoire. These two deep bays can be visited on lagoon excursions with operators such as Moorea Boat Tours (www.mooreaboattours.com), which also head to fringing white sand islets for snorkelling, sunbathing and a picnic. Answer 1 of 4: My husband, daughter, mother and I will be arriving in Tahiti in early April '10. Take a tour of the most impressive archaeological sites with Jocelyne Henua Enana Tours (www.marquisesvoyages.com). February 6, 2018. Oceania Discovering Perth, Australia. FOR TWO HOURS WE SEE ONLY CORAL, WONDERFUL GOATFISH, AND ROBERTA, A FRIENDLY STINGRAY. April 2, 2019. Between the lush rainforests, sugar-white beaches, turquoise lagoons, and those ubiquitous overwater bungalows, it’s the definition of paradise on Earth. Oceania Discovering Perth, Australia. The Tahitian-born architect Alain Fleurot, who is developing the motu, is there to show us around three fare (pronounced far-ray, Tahitian for “house”) that are almost finished, built out of the cleared aito—a local ironwood that can stand up to the triple threat of water, salt, and wind—and sun-bleached coral, patiently hand-puzzled together to form support columns. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Your California Privacy Rights. Island Hopping: French Polynesia. The wood has been left untreated so the structures continue to weather and form patinas; window frames and red cedar roofs blend into the shadows of the surrounding primary forest. In 2017 they opened a boutique, perfumery, and spa on the island's quiet Matira beach, miles from the cruise port of Vaitape. Into the sea with a big-wave surfer or free diver, for example, or getting inked by a tattoo artist: After all, the monochrome art form, which appeared in place of writing on the islands, still has deep social significance. The most outlandishly luxurious resorts on these islets include the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora and the St Regis Resort. Ad Choices. With just over a hundred islands and atolls in the Islands of Tahiti, island hopping is a must; choose between Moorea with its dramatic landscapes or Bora Bora with its secluded beaches and crystal-clear waters. Dive into crystal clear waters in search of radiant coral and rainbow-streaked schools of fish. Discover sharks and manta rays, humpback whales and sea turtles. Samoa is the easiest (and therefore cheapest) to travel. Romantic Getaways Romance For All In Greater Fort Lauderdale. Island Hopping in French Polynesia Jenny Kingsley | Lindblad | 2 Min Read. It's a Saturday afternoon in July and I'm sharing plates of tangy green papaya salad and tuna crudo, washed down with the local Hinano beer, at Fish & Blue, which feels more like a quirky boutique in Bridgehampton, with its distressed whitewashed furniture, outdoor chandelier, and giant Buddha head, than a tables-in-the-sand restaurant on the island of Raiatea. All rights reserved. By Rebecca Misne r Less tourist infrastructure, plenty of beaches and a picture perfect waterfront village make Huahine the best island for those looking for warm Polynesian bliss without the hype. To visit these sites you'll need to rent a car or take a tour (offered at all hotels and pensions). At the top of this valley is the Belvedere viewpoint which lets you look over unfathomably sharp cut ridges to the Cooks and Opunohu bays. For now, the character of the hotel lives on in the boutique. This article was published in February 2013 and updated in April 2013. We are hoping to spend 3 weeks in Australia and then maybe 4 nights at Cook Islands and tahitit. Where is French Polynesia located? It shows the different passes, which islands are included, their costs, and allowable baggage. Getting Around Samoa. Getting to Papeete, French Polynesia's capital and the location of its only international airport, is faster, cheaper, and more accessible. Island hopping. French Polynesia, a peppering of volcanic islands across two million square miles of the South Pacific Ocean, occupies a certain place in our collective imagination, and has long served as a sort of Edenic foil to our modernizing, mechanizing world. The shores of Nukutepipi, a small atoll in French Polynesia, Our most popular newsletter for destination inspiration, travel tips, trip itineraries, and everything else you need to be an expert traveler in this beautiful world. When in French Polynesia you really only option to go between the islands (presuming you don't want a cruise) is to fly on Air Tahiti.This is the interisland airline which is different from Air Tahiti Nui which is the international airline.The Air Tahiti website lists their air pass which allows you, for one cost, to fly between the islands. Known as the ‘Sacred’ and ‘Vanilla’ Islands respectively, Ra'iatea and Taha'a share a common lagoon but are otherwise quite different. I'm not too sure what I was expecting from the man who has helped redefine modern-day spectacle, but the bungalows and villas, all of which open onto the beach, are wonderfully understated. As a self-described cultural life coach who founded his own adventure-tourism outfit, Polynesian Escape, he's on speed dial for intrepid guests who want to hike up Bora-Bora's Mt. “We're born storytellers,” he says. Stretching across two million square miles in the South Pacific, French Polynesia's islands are endlessly appealing. “And it's the only place on earth I can crank my sound system as loud as I want and not piss off the neighbors.”. Discover the embodiment of paradise during your French Polynesia vacation, visiting the islands of unforgettable Bora Bora and secluded Tikehau. The cuisine of French Polynesia is a testament to its exotic luxe. “There's something really humbling about being at the total mercy of nature—you dig deeper here, you interact with people differently, your head clears,” Laliberté says. In July, the Heiva festival takes over the island with fast percussion performances, elaborate traditional costumes, shaking hips and sport, dance and singing competitions. Island Hopping: French Polynesia. “All the young kids are obsessed with America, dressing in Nike, listening to Bad Bunny,” he's telling me. No part of this site may be reproduced without our written permission. There's a collection of ornately carved antique hunting spears, and the insanely high observation platform, 88 steps up, which I climb to find a daybed and a 19th-century brass telescope for scanning the horizon for humpback whales. All international visitors arrive on Tahiti so your adventure will begin here. Dec 31, 2019 - Stretching across two million square miles in the South Pacific, French Polynesia's islands are endlessly appealing. Travel on cargo ships if you are flexible with your time. While Mo’orea is only a short flight or ferry ride from Tahiti, it's home to more of the things you expect on a tropical holiday: white beaches, luxe resorts and an intensely blue lagoon. They're minimal and modern, with high-end touches like the enormous unlacquered brass Vola showerheads in the bathrooms. Answer 1 of 7: Hi folks I just wondered if you can fly from Cook Islands to Tahiti? There are few places on Earth as beautifully natural as the islands of French Polynesia. Condé Nast Traveler does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. I researched intensively the Air Tahiti and ferries schedules, and I have come up with an itinerary that works with the flights. Island hopping holiday in Tahiti. Sleepy Taha'a is the vanilla capital of the country, but it also hosts a few elegant resorts on fringing islets that rival the glamour of Bora Bora. It's so dense that I nearly trip over a snow white, ridiculously downy puffball sitting in the middle of it. Bora Bora is possibly one of the most romantic places in the world . Otemanu or learn how to spearfish. Island Hopping on our French Polynesia Holiday by Guest Blogger | Roxana. While most of the island's lagoon has a sandy bottom, head out to the fringing reefs to sites such as Anau and Tapu and you'll be rewarded with dive sites renowned for lemon shark sightings and manta ray encounters. French Polynesia is not a single island but a collection of an archipelago comprising 100 islands. More recently, Elizabeth Gilbert, in The Signature of All Things, sends her protagonist, a young female botanist, from her life of science and structure in 19th-century Philadelphia to Tahiti in search of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. 7 Day Island Hopping | Islands of Tahiti. by Tony Huffman, Founder & Chairman. Much of the rattan furniture and woven wall hangings have been repurposed, along with a deep teak-rimmed claw-foot tub, from the storied, now-shuttered Hotel Bora Bora, whose 1960s tiki cool drew everyone from Cecil Beaton to Nicole Kidman before closing in 2011. And is it possible to... French Polynesia. In the boutique on a Tuesday morning, there's a lean, wind-whipped couple—midway through sailing their 50-foot Hinckley from New Zealand to California—browsing hats woven from faded pandanus fronds, kitten-soft suede travel totes, and sniffing potions including orange blossom-infused bath oil and grapefruit-sandalwood-vanilla and ylang ylang-coconut eau de parfums while Serge Gainsbourg growls over the speakers. Be a smarter traveler: Use Wendy’s WOW List to plan your next trip. This is where you'll find those world famous overwater bungalows where glass coffee tables let you peer into the fish-filled waters below and nightly buffet feasts are served by fiery torch light. It's a reverie induced by a sea that alchemizes from barely there cyan to an incandescent Uranian blue and then deep indigo; trees slung with martian green breadfruit and all-but-submerged coral atolls; and the perfume of jasmine, vanilla, and copra, cracked coconuts caramelizing in the tropical sun. 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Hopping: are tourists allowed to go from one island to another without any restrictions shark-filled passes arrive Tahiti. Of the Tuamotu islands ' own narrative arc is continuing to evolve, WONDERFUL GOATFISH, and,. In Tahiti in early April '10 moved from Mexico to Bora-Bora with their children! On our French Polynesia is located in the bathrooms, our field correspondent Jenny Kingsley | Lindblad | Min! Tahiti are a couple 's paradise and the perfect romantic retreat Henua Enana Tours ( www.marquisesvoyages.com ) brass!