A must-see for Gauguin and Brel devotees is the Calvaire Cemetery, perched on a hill overlooking Atuona. You will find this frangipani-filled graveyard an appropriately colourful place for Paul Gauguin’s tomb. While most of the tombs are marked with white crosses, Gauguin’s is a simple round stone with his name painted in white. Right behind, a replica of his statue Oviri (meaning ‘wild’) stands guard.
Jacques Brel’s grave is a bit below, near the access steps, on the left. The gravestone, lovingly planted with flowers, is adorned with a medallion depicting the singer with his companion, Madly.
To get there, head north on the road just east of the gendarmerie (police station). Continue for about 600m until you reach a fork in the road and follow the sign to the cemetery 100m further on. It takes about 20 minutes on foot.