6 Reasons to Go to Tahiti
Featured destinations: Tahiti, Papeete
Published 31 May 2017
Twinkling blue lagoons, emerald green mountains and bright white sands come together to create the island of Tahiti, the largest of the 118 islets that make up French Polynesia in the South Pacific. Although Tahiti is primarily a place to relax and do very little, there are outdoorsy adventures to be found in its rugged interior, while its waters are home to plentiful marine life. As if you need any more persuading, here are six reasons to go to Tahiti:
The resorts are amazing
Tahiti is home to many hotels and resorts, most of which are found near or on its beaches. Many feature the now legendary overwater bungalows, rooms built on stilts over the ocean, allowing you to swim straight from your bed. Many international hotel groups have properties here, such as InterContinental, Sofitel and Le Meridien (pictured), which is a tropical haven surrounded by a shimmering lagoon and botanical gardens, and boasting the South Pacific’s largest sand-bottom swimming pool.
You can truly get away from it all
If you’re looking to get far away from the stresses of modern life, relax in the sun and do absolutely nothing on holiday, then Tahiti is the place for you. You could easily fill a week doing little more than lazing on the fine white sands, ordering the occasional cocktail and cooling off with the odd swim in the pool or the ocean. Most hotels include transfers and have a choice of restaurants too, so there’s no worries about how to get around or what to eat; you can simply lay back and take it easy.
There’s plenty of sealife
Diving and snorkelling are very popular activities here in Tahiti. Dive beneath the surface of the ocean and you’ll find all sorts of marine life, from turtles and sharks to dolphins, clown fish and manta rays. If diving’s not your thing you can choose to don a helmet and walk along the seafloor or, if you don’t want to get wet at all, some overwater bungalows and hotel restaurants feature glass floors, so you can gaze at the fish over dinner.
Papeete’s pretty cool
Papeete is the capital of Tahiti and French Polynesia. But banish all visions of Paris or Berlin, Papeete is a rather functional little place with a population of just 25,000.That said, it has a lively harbour brimming with waterside restaurants, markets and boutiques, with all sorts of Polynesian and Asian flavours available to try and locally made handicrafts to buy. The Jardins de Paofai are worth a look too for their green lawns and shady trees, as is the Notre Dame Cathedral with its striking bright yellow façade.
Paddle boarding is a great way to get around
Stand-up paddle boarding seems to be all the rage these days, with everyone from Jennifer Aniston to Julia Roberts having a go. The good news is: paddle boarding isn’t too strenuous and anyone try it, with Tahiti’s calm, warm seas being an ideal spot to learn. Set off on a paddle-baording tour to soak up the coastal scenery, or perhaps head to the Air France Paddle Festival, held in April in Punaauia, to see the professionals in action.
The forested interior is filled with adventure
If all that doing nothing is starting to drag, or you’ve overindulged at dinner and need to wear it off, then Tahiti’s forested interior offers activities aplenty. Hire a guide and explore the Hitiaa Lava Tubes, join a 4x4 tour to Lake Vaihiria or go canyoning in the Papenoo Valley. If that’s all a bit much there are plenty of hikes to be found, including the 2-day climb to the top of 2,066m Mount Aorai or various treks in the Fautaua Velley near Papeete.
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