A trip to French Polynesia would be incomplete without venturing beyond Tahiti and Moorea. Magnificent, secret islands, nestled in the heart of the most beautiful lagoons on the planet, await your visit. You will find incredible wildlife, especially underwater, and come face to face with the soul of Polynesian culture. By plane to save time and fly over the atolls or by boat to discover the water, it’s up to you how you will reach these corners of paradise.
Dive in Rangiroa
The second largest atoll in the world is best known to diving enthusiasts. Whales, manta rays, dolphins and sharks are seen in an endless ballet in the turquoise waters of the Tuamotu archipelago. Whether you are an experienced Cousteau or a beginner in snorkeling, you will be seduced by this aquatic Eden. You can also taste a unique wine in Rangiroa: the coral wine.
Vibrate in Raiatea
This island, which would have been the first to be populated in Polynesia, still keeps the trace of priceless archaeological treasures. The marae of Taputapuatea is the most sacred site in Polynesia and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2017. In Raiatea, you will move between ancient craters and breathtaking waterfalls. The Apetahi tiare flower has found here a unique land to bloom. You can take a pirogue ride on Faʻaroa, the only navigable river in Polynesia, or let the trade winds swell your sails idyllically.
Get some height in Maupiti
From the top of its 381 meters, Mount Teurafaatiu will offer you a 360 degree view on the shallow lagoon where manta rays are evolving. In the distance, you will see Bora-Bora. There is an air of the end of the world around here. Maupiti is an adorable little island located 315 kilometers from Tahiti, and can be visited by bike or canoe. In fact, the canoe of Hiro, a legendary Polynesian character, is docked on the island.
Relax in Huahine
Only a 35-minute flight from Tahiti, Huahine offers the authenticity of French Polynesia. The island is untouched by mass tourism and it is possible to live like a local in one of the eight scattered villages. A bridge spans the lagoon to connect the two parts of the island. Coral gardens follow white sand beaches. Underwater, the reefs seduce divers; on land, the lush forests invite exploration. We greet the sacred eels in the village of Fā’ie before tasting melons and bananas and letting ourselves be intoxicated by the scent of vanilla. One word of order: take your time to discover the archeological sites and to be told the story of the queens of the island.