Vacation in Tahiti
Picture a vacation in Tahiti - balmy year-round temperatures, luxurious bungalows suspended over coral reefs, jagged green mountains jutting up from crystal clear, multi-hued lagoons, and enchanting white sand or black volcanic beaches. It’s no surprise that a Tahiti vacation is on a bucket list for many people, and a honeymoon in Tahiti is the dream of countless brides and grooms.
“Tahiti” is a common name for French Polynesia, a country comprised of the collective group of Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea and 115 other islands in the South Pacific. The country is sectioned into five main island groups - the Society Islands, the Tuamotus, the Marquesas, the Australs and the Gambier Archipelago.
Bora Bora, Tahiti and Moorea are the most popular vacation destinations of the country, but Rangiroa, Huahine, and Tikehau, while lesser known, offer a more intimate experience of exquisite island lodges.
French Polynesia’s largest island, Tahiti, is located in the Society Islands and is home to the country’s capital city, Papeete. This island is usually the point of entry for visitors arriving by plane. You can spend your entire vacation on Tahiti Island, or you can fly to Bora Bora, take a ferry to Moorea, or travel to one of the many other islands. There are a number of small planes and charter companies regularly flying from Tahiti to the rest of the Society Islands and beyond. Air Tahiti is the largest of them with the most regularly scheduled flights.
For many brides and grooms, a honeymoon in Tahiti is the ultimate dream. It’s hard to find a place where sunsets are more romantic, the waters of the Pacific warmer, or the ambience more relaxing. Combine all this with the luxurious accommodations offered by many of the elegant resorts in Tahiti, like the Tahiti Intercontinental, Hotel Saint Regis Bora Bora Resort, or Hotel Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, and you have yourself an unforgettable Tahiti honeymmon.
Adventures are plentiful in the Tahiti Islands, which are scattered over an area as big as Europe. You can cruise the alluring and mysterious Tuamotu Islands, where the breathtaking turquoise sea is home to flawless black pearls. You can travel to the ends of the earth, the Austral Islands, a place so remote centuries slide by without anyone batting an eye. Or you can also check out the Gambier Archipelago: an armchair destination for most, it’s also a must for wannabe National Geographic explorers.
Those seeking a little less swashbuckling and a lot more room service on their Tahiti vacation will delight in Bora Bora’s luxurious pampering and lush good looks, or in Maupiti’s picture-perfect views and old-fashioned French hospitality.
A unique blend of French and Polynesian heritage has resulted in the flourishing cultural setting of the region. The Marquesas Islands were the first to be settled by indigenous Polynesians in AD 300, followed by the Society Islands in AD 800. At that time, the Polynesians were organized into loose chieftainships.
European communication was established in 1521, when the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan first explored the Tuamotu Archipelago. The island groups were not officially united until the establishment of the French protectorate in 1889. Polynesians were granted French citizenship in 1946, when the islands’ status was changed to an overseas territory. The islands’ name was changed to Polynésie Française (French Polynesia) in 1957, and in 2004 French Polynesia became a full overseas collectivity of France.
Tahitians of the modern era still maintain strong ties to the traditions of their Maohi ancestors. This is evidenced by everything from the preserved splendor of open-air sanctuaries called marae, ancient stone structures that once served as the centers of power in early Polynesia, to the local artisans who have protected and passed down the techniques of their ancestors in weaving, quilting, wooden sculptures, drums, tattoos, and carvings. During your Tahiti vacation you will have the distinct opportunity to immerse yourself in the Tahitian culture which origin dates back over fifteen hundred years.
Those who vacation in Tahiti in July have the chance to attend the annual Heiva Festival, the most important event in Tahiti for the past 122 years. During this pure display of Polynesian festivity, Tahitians gather in Papeete from many islands to exhibit their crafts, compete in ancient sporting events, and recreate traditional and elaborate dance performances. The iconic Tahitian tamure dance is performed by grass-skirted dancers who shake their hips with blinding speed.
Whether you vacation in Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, you'll find that many hotels and resorts offer a multitude of varieties of cuisine as well as theme nights which include a Polynesian dance show along with a buffet as well as a live band. For seafood fans, dining will be one of the main highlights of their Tahiti vacation. Tuna, Mahi Mahi, prawns as well as more exotic parrotfish and barracuda will definitely satisfy your taste buds, and don't forget to try a traditional Tahitian dish, known in French as poisson cru and in Tahitian as ia ota.
After the sun goes down, there is still much to do and see in Tahiti. Depending on the kind of entertainment you enjoy, Tahiti offers a vibrant and varied nightlife. Here you can find everything from fine dining to colorful bars and noisy street clubs. Those who vacation in Tahiti will find the experience unparalleled, and not one they will soon forget.