Sail on the lagoon in a traditional pirogue
The pirogues that Polynesians have been sailing on the Pacific for centuries looks great! Called "va'a" in Maori, they owe their stability to the outrigger connected to the hull by two wooden arms. We embark in complete safety to sail on the lagoon with its calm waters and its almost supernatural shades of blue. Head for a motu: exotic picnic and constant swimming. You can almost feel the breath of Mana, the sacred force that inhabits everything in Polynesia, enveloping you with its beneficial energy.
Dive into an ocean of beauty in Fakarava
All diving enthusiasts dream of Fakarava, of immersing themselves in this paradise lagoon of the Tuamotu archipelago, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. On the surface, islets powdered with white sand dance around the atoll, on an ocean of almost hypnotic shades of blue.
Underwater, thousands of multicoloured fish dart and weave their way between majestic coral heads. Close by, hundreds of sharks are in sight. In Maori, Fakarava means "beautiful", but there is a lack of superlatives to describe these unique seabeds.
More comfortable on land? Discover peaceful little villages, bougainvillea-lined roads and bright coral churches... You're in paradise.
Surfing like a Tahitian on the Teahupo'o wave
Why don't you give it a try? Surfing is part of the heritage of Tahiti and its islands. The Polynesians learn to ride the wave from childhood. If you can't do as well as they do, you can learn to surf anywhere in the archipelago.
Whether you are a beginner, an amateur or an expert, there is a spot for every level. The legendary Teahupo'o wave will delight seasoned surfers. In big swells, the rollers can take off at more than 4 metres. For more modest tubes, the calm of Papeno'o Bay is ideal for getting started.
Visit the pearl farms of Manihi
How are Polynesian black pearls made into beautiful rings and earrings? To find out, head for Manihi Atoll, in the Tuamotu archipelago, renowned throughout the world for its oysters and pearl farming. It was in the crystal-clear waters of this enchanting lagoon that the first Polynesian pearl farm was established in 1965. Several of them can be visited today, revealing the secrets of the ocean's pearly jewels, fashioned in a setting of beauty.
Crossing history and time at Venus Point
A black sand beach in Tahiti... You would almost be surprised unless you remember that the island's spectacular terrain is volcanic. At Pointe Venus, the most northerly cape on the island, you can get a change of scenery in this exotic setting bathed in emerald water and dominated by a 150-year-old lighthouse, the first one built in the South Pacific. It is here, in Matavai Bay, a few miles from Papeete, that the Bounty and many other ships anchored. It was also here that Captain Cook, the discoverer of Tahiti, observed the planet Venus passing in front of the sun one fine day in 1769.
Hiking from waterfall to waterfall in the Fara'ura Valley
What if, after dreamy swims in the lagoon, you were to gain altitude?
In Tahiti, the largest island in the archipelago, hiking is a must to immerse yourself in an ocean of greenery. The majestic peaks of Mount Orohena (2,241 m) and Mount Aorai (2,066 m), the chiselled crown of the Diadem (1,321 m) dominate a lush landscape carved out by deep river valleys.
The most gorgeous route? Certainly, the one in the Fara'ura valley, which climbs from waterfall to waterfall, from natural pool to limpid basin, up to a dizzying 180 m high waterfall. Walking, canyoning, bivouacking... Yes, all this is also possible in Tahiti and its islands!
Taste raw fish Tahitian style
Polynesians fish by hand, with a small net, with a harpoon, by boat... Often, even passionately! In Tahiti and its islands, fish is the main and favourite dish. Raw, sprinkled with lemon and coconut milk, it is the national dish. But you will have the opportunity to try many other recipes in the restaurant trailers found on all islands. How about Fāfaru, tuna fillets marinated in a broth of sea water and pressed shrimp heads?
Staying in a faré in the middle of nature
Tahiti and her islands are full of extraordinary hotels with bungalows on stilts where you sleep as if levitating above the turquoise lagoon. There's no need to resist the temptation! But for more authenticity and to meet the locals and share their daily life and traditions, you can also stay in small family-run hotels. In these family-run guesthouses, often set up in a faré, the traditional Polynesian home, bonds are forged with the hosts. Meals are taken together; excursions and activities are made to measure in the surrounding nature or on the lagoon... But how beautiful life is!
Offsetting carbon emissions
Travelling to the ends of the earth has an ecological cost that airlines are increasingly considering with initiatives that we can only welcome.
For example, Air Tahiti Nui are offering their passengers the opportunity to calculate the carbon emissions linked to their long journey and to offset them voluntarily. The former is associated with Yann Arthus-Bertrand's Good Planet Foundation. Since June 2021, the second is linked to the CarbonClick platform and offers the possibility of supporting certified positive impact projects such as the reforestation of a native forest in New Zealand or the creation of an indigenous forest ecosystem in Scotland.