Let’s talk paradise.
Imagine this: You’re lying on a beach of powder-soft sand, palm trees swaying overhead. The view from your towel is of a sparkling cerulean lagoon with verdant green peaks rising dramatically from its depths.
Your home for the night sits neatly amongst it all, one of a sting of bungalows that decorate the lagoon. Later, if you so desire, you can while away the afternoon intermittently spending your time between two places: 1) draped across a lounge chair on your deck, and 2) descending the ladder attached to your deck to take yet another dip in the azure waters that are constantly calling your name.
That is French Polynesia, the epitome of paradise.
Here are the 3 Best Islands in Paradise where you can experience it.
Think those travel brochures for Bora Bora were Photoshopped beyond recognition?
They weren’t. Bora Bora really is that gorgeous. And it’s even more impressive in person.
Once you’ve gotten over the insane beauty of this island take your time to explore and really take it all in.
Spend a day cruising the lagoon while being serenaded by a ukulele-yielding local. Their smiles and enthusiasm for the island are contagious. Or, slow things down and rent a kayak to explore the lagoon on your own.
There’s a rich underwater world beckoning to be explored. You’ll make friends with sea turtles, sting rays, and even the odd seahorse.
The lush peaks that dominate the island’s interior are well worth exploring. Mt Pahia is a fantastic hike if you’re looking for a challenge. The view of the surrounding lagoon from the top is second to none.
If utter relaxation is the order of the day you can do this here too. There are no rules, you’re in Bora Bora and island time is all that matters here.
One thing is certain. You are guaranteed to leave Bora Bora utterly enamoured.
Lagoon, check. Stunning mountain backdrop, check. Long stretches of pristine white sand, check and check.
There’s not a lot that Moorea doesn’t offer. The fact that it does so in such an attractive fashion means you’ll be smitten from the moment you set eyes on the island.
Perhaps the most easily accessible island after Tahiti, the island is a mere 30 minutes by ferry from Papeete, Moorea is as available as paradise comes.
Like Bora Bora, the lagoon here will likely dominate most of your time.
On dry land you can explore the tiny villages that are scattered around the island. Exploring the island by bicycle is a fun, and cheap, way to get around. Be sure to stop at the fruit stalls along the way for some fantastic local produce served with a smile.
Head further inland and you’ll be rewarded with hidden waterfalls, hikes through lush jungle, and quite possibly the best lookout in the Pacific, Belvedere Lookout.
A hidden gem among gems, Huahine is the south Pacific paradise almost no one has heard of.
Known as the ‘Garden Island’ for the overly lush tropical jungle that blankets the island, Huahine is as blossoming as they come. Fruit plantations thrive here and tropical plants flourish in wild scapes around the island.
This island sees far fewer tourist that its more popular neighbour, Bora Bora. And thankfully so. Tradition here is rich and authentic; the smiling and more-than-welcoming locals are there to prove it.
This island paradise comes with the requisite lagoon and stunning green peaks of the region, but the rich cultural aspect is the real draw. Wander this humble island and you’ll discover a number of sacred temples – Huahine is home to the largest concentration in French Polynesia – that have remained nestled in thick vegetation for centuries.
The island was once home to Tahitian royalty and is considered to be the location where Polynesian culture began.