The crew of the H.M.S. Bounty mutinied to remain on Tahitis sandy shores. Artist Paul Gauguin abandoned his family to paint paradise there. Actor Marlon Brando was so entranced by Tahitis beauty and mystery that he bought his own private French Polynesian island.
Tahiti and her islands, especially Moorea and Bora Bora, truly are a magical tropical place for a honeymoon or romantic getaway. Nowhere in the world are the colors more vibrant, the waters of the Pacific warmer, or the people friendlier. Just mentioning the names of those faraway islands conjures images of breathtaking blue-green lagoons, tropical flowers in brilliant colors, and graceful palm trees.
Where is Tahiti?Located in the South Pacific Ocean, halfway between the continents of Australia and South America, Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora are part of the Society Islands, one of the island groups that constitute French Polynesia.
The islands are located below Hawaii and south of the Equator. Tahiti, the best-known island and home of French Polynesias capital city, Papeete, is about 4,000 miles southeast of Los Angeles and 3,800 miles northeast of Sydney.
Tahiti HoneymoonHoneymoon couples discover that Tahiti combines two very different cultures. While it is famous for its distinctive Polynesian culture, it is also very French.
Residents speak French, restaurants serve French cuisine along with Polynesian specialties, and hotels incorporate the refinements of the best European hotels. This intriguing mixture of tropical island culture and French sophistication makes a honeymoon in Tahiti unique.
Another unforgettable aspect of a Tahiti honeymoon is the warmth of the people. French Polynesians are proud of their islands and eager to share them with visitors. Expect to be greeted with a smile and a warm Ia orana (hello). Residents speak French and Tahitian, and most people in tourism speak English.
Upon arriving at most resort hotels, couples on a Tahiti honeymoon are presented with a refreshing glass of pineapple juice, a fragrant tiare (gardenia) or flower garland, and a cool towel. Guests check in while sitting comfortably in the lobby, not standing in line. And tipping, while appreciated, is never required.
Which Islands Should Be Included on a Tahiti Honeymoon?Tahiti
Tahiti, the largest island, is usually the point of entry for visitors arriving by plane. Papeete is a charming mixture of tropical island informality and French savoire faire. While sipping French wine at an outdoor café, visitors will see people as chic as the style-conscious Parisians strolling alongside exotic-looking Polynesians in brightly-colored pareos (sarongs).
Moorea, 11 miles northwest, is a half-hour ferry ride on the high-speed Aremiti Catamaran or another ferry line. The 53-square-mile island is breathtakingly beautiful, with dramatic green mountain peaks jutting up in the middle of the lush island. Less developed than Tahiti, it is home to several luxurious resort hotels and more modest pensions.
Author James Michener pronounced Bora Bora the most beautiful place in the world. It is even quieter than the other two islands, with a few elegant resorts overlooking the clear turquoise waters of the lagoon.
Other French Polynesian Islands
While Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora are the most popular destinations for honeymooners, the other Society Islands, including Raiatea and Tahaa, Huahine, and Rangiroa also offer visitors beauty, adventure, and romance. Smaller and less developed, they provide an even greater chance to get away from it all while enjoying the comforts of modern resorts.
Traveling to Tahiti
Air Tahiti Nui flies direct from Los Angeles to Papeete. While the flight is long, Air Tahiti Nui makes the journey pleasant.
Travelers receive a gardenia, a cool towel, ear plugs and other items before takeoff. Each seat has a personal video screen with six movies, and wine and alcoholic drinks are complimentary. Air Tahiti Nui also flies to Tahiti from Los Angeles
Air New Zealand, Air France, and Hawaiian Airlines also offer service to Tahiti.
Getting Around in French Polynesia
Ferries travel regularly between Tahiti and Moorea. The half-hour trip on the Aremiti Catamaran is surprisingly luxurious. In addition to comfortable seats, the ferry has a café that serves French specialties like café au lait and croissants.