They’re no less beautiful now than when they were first discovered - except today, of course, you can stay at world class resorts, on the edge of superb, castaway lagoons.
You’ll begin with Tahiti – favoured by Gaugin – with its colourful town of Papeete. You’ll then take a short hop over to Moorea to discover a nirvana of forests, meadows, tropical flowers and fruit trees. Your French Polynesia Classic trip culminates on the staggeringly beautiful island of Bora Bora, with its incomparable beaches, lagoons and countryside.
From Tahiti’s main airport you’ll have a very short distance to travel to reach the island’s most prestigious resort, standing on the edge of a blissful lagoon. Exactly the sort of scene you picture in your mind’s eye when you think of a Crusoe-style tropical beach. Yet you’re only minutes away from the restaurants, shops, markets and nightlife of Papeete. Explore deeper into Tahiti’s interior and you’ll discover monumental mountains covered in dark green forests with plunging valleys, sparkling streams and cascading waterfalls.
Stay: Two nights at the Intercontinental Resort
A short hop takes you to neighbouring Moorea – another volcanic island that has been completely colonised by deep forests, coastal meadows, exotic flowers and shrubs, swaying palms and tropical fruit trees. The fragrance of flowers lingers everywhere. You’ll be staying on the edge of a beautiful lagoon that looks out towards Tahiti – in a resort with two restaurants, a fabulous swimming pool, spa, Jacuzzi, tennis and water sports.
Stay: Three nights at the Hilton Moorea.
Paul Gaugin was inspired by the clarity of the light and the striking colours of Tahiti, but he would have been overwhelmed by the intensity of the colours of Bora Bora. The blues of the sea, varying with the depth of the water, range from soft turquoise and aquamarine all the way to cobalt and the deepest ultramarine. The fringing sand is pure white, or pale gold and the island’s indigenous plants are a riot of colour contrasting with the dense greens and olives of the surrounding vegetation. This must surely be one of the most picturesque islands in the world. And you will have plenty of time to marvel at two crowning citadels – natural monuments sculpted in jagged basalt – its scimitar-shaped lagoon and its motus; palm-tufted sandy islets standing in the ocean.
Stay: Seven nights at the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort on the stunning lagoon of Motu Tevairoa.
Bora Bora – Tahiti – Home
Today you travel back to Tahiti to connect with your return flight home.