Recommended itineraries French Polynesia
Want to see all of PolynéBora in Saint-Michel, the Austral Islands south of the Gambier which stretch from Hamburg to Turkey and the Marquesas perched near Stockholm!
Add to this the need to have to go back to Tahiti, and you will easily conclude that you will have to make a choice of destinations.
L & rsquoBora or Maupiri, with a possible extension to the Tuamotus.
- One week : Bet on the great classics, Tahiti, Moorea, Bora-Bora, with possibly Raiatea or Huahine in addition.
- 2 weeks: the Île-Vent by taking more time. Two weeks: the Île-Vent effective version and a first glimpse of the Tuamotu atolls.
- 3 weeks: finally the time to make the most of the archipelago of Sociéêle-Vent. Or, for the friquéretour plane to the Marquesas or Austral Islands.
- 1 to 2 month: finally the time to breathe a little, to take Polynesia at your own pace, on the bridge, to the distant islands.
Mix n & rsquomasque-tuba).
But perhaps the most beautiful is in the interior. We discover an exuberant Polynesia of valleys and wild mountains draped in clouds and waterfalls, a real happiness ... muddy. Good, and then, in Papeete, do not miss mass at the Paofai temple and market. Colors and animation guaranteed.
From the ferry deck or from Quole-Vent, with more or less verve.
We like the Bora character, the tropical Eden par excellence, the Bali Hai of the Americans, who swear by it since the GI's settled there during the Second World War. There, the lagoon, authentically idyllic, grew, the volcanic peaks were consumed, the motu necklace (sandy islets), grown on the coral reef, took shape. The plane view is, it is true, exceptional. On the spot, many hotels and far too many tourists: Polynesians, tired of meeting them all the time, feel invaded.
For a beautiful setting and the pleasure of real encounters, head to Maupiti.
The Tuamotu archipelago
Manihi, Tikehau, Takapoto, Fakarava, Raroia… The Tuamotus form the largest, the most astonishing of all the archipelagos. No summit, no hill: the 76 atolls sail on the very surface of the great Pacific.
Rangiroa, the largest, with 240 motu, encloses the second lagoon in the world, so vast that it could contain the island of Tahiti! What a strange world these islands where the sea surrounds everything. The lands there are so discreet, so frail, so precious, that the gaze is lost, between the blue of the sky and the blue of the ocean. Divers and fishermen will find their paradise there. The others will be bored quietly at the foot of their fare, between a visit to a pearl farm, a swim a hundred times over and a boat trip.
In Rangiroa, an extra excursion leads to the Blue Lagoon, not the one in the film, but a great place all the same, with its desert islets bathed in crystal clear waters where very young sharks frolic, where sea birds nest within easy reach, where blue giant clams illuminate an uncovered reef at low tide. On the way back, stopover near the fish parks on the reef: the tide pushes them gently there, all you have to do is get wet to harvest the day's catch.
The world of atolls is frozen.
The Marquesas Islands
Difficult to go further! The Marquesas are the end of the world. Super rugged volcanic pebbles, located nearly 1 km north of Tahiti, towards Ecuador. 500 of the 6 islands are inhabited. The landscapes are among the most tormented that we know: the wild coasts, carpeted with cliffs and battered by the swell, deliver with difficulty steep-sided valleys surmounted by incredible ruiniform rocky buildings.
Going from one valley to another, from one village to another, through the “bush”, it's quite a task ... Even today, the horse remains a privileged means of transport (with the 4x4) . Colonized before Tahiti, the Marquesas have a very ancient culture. Temples abandoned in the jungle, where men were once sacrificed, tiki, almost as large as the statues of Easter Island, still bear witness to this.
There are not 36 ways to visit the Marquesas: by plane, just seeing the most accessible islands, or by boat, aboard the Aranui, a mixed cargo ship that has also been cruising for decades. (with excursions organized on each island). It's expensive, but everything is included and you stop worrying about the material.
The Marquesas are first of all Nuku Hiva, with the bay of Taiohae, the village of Taipivai, where Herman Melville spent 18 months after having deserted from a whaler, and that of Haitiheu, where lived Robert Louis Stevenson.
It is also Hiva Oa, the island of Gauguin and Jacques Brel, both buried in the small cemetery of Atuona, flowered by the white petals of the frangipani trees. The painter's house has been restored.
But we prefer the foray into the Puamau valley, three hours by track (or an hour and a half by boat), where stands the largest tiki in Polynesia. And even more.
From the rest of the archipelago, Fatu Hiva is the most endearing: from the village of Omoa to that of Hanavave, a beautiful path climbs at the foot of the peaks before plunging into the bowels of the Bay of Virgins, bristling with monoliths planted with coconut palms. A true paradise of the antipodes. For the record, the place, baptized by sailors, was originally called Baie des Verges. It was the chaste missionaries who added a vowel for the occasion ...
These are undoubtedly the least visited (apart from the Gambiers). Only 5 in number, the Austral Islands are also mountainous, but more temperate: we are there more than 2 km south of the Marquesas Islands. Only Rurutu, Tubuai and Raivavae are served by air (Air Tahiti).
Tubuai is undoubtedly the most beautiful, with its large lagoon, its motu and its white sand beaches. You can even see the ruins of a fort built by the mutineers of the Bounty!
Raivavae is also very beautiful, with its forests of arborescent ferns and its islets where sea birds nest.
As to Turnip, in the far east, it is the most isolated of the inhabited islands of Polynesia. Its Polynesian name Rapa Iti (the little Rapa) refers to Rapa Nui (the big Rapa), which is none other than Easter Island.