Beach in Raivavae

Motu Piscine

Raivavae’s stunning lagoon, brimming with marine life and ringed by ironwood-covered motu, is one of the treasures of the South Pacific. Motu Piscine (Motu Swimming Pool; Motu Vaiamanu) is the best-known motu,...

Archaeological Site in Tubuai

Marae Raitoro, Haunarei & Harii

More than 200 marae have been found in Tubuai and the few that have been cleared are among the most fascinating in the country. Raitoru and Haunarei Marae are two connected marae that were for birthing and...

International in Tubuai

Mara’ai – Le Spot

Run by French Hervé and his Tahitian wife Ina, Mara'ai – Le Spot is the only independent restaurant on Tubuai. With a sand floor and a palm-frond roof, this is a cool and rustic place for a drink or a relaxed...

Tahitian in Mangareva

Snack Jojo

It’s hardly haute cuisine at this modest joint, but the fine choice of sandwiches (from 400 CFP) alongside the mainstream Tahitian dishes provide easy midday or evening fuel. The owners also rent a spacious,...

Archaeological Site in Raivavae


The only remaining tiki (carved humanlike statue) on the island stands in a private garden just to the west of the village of Mahanatoa. About 1m in height, it has highly stylised hands and chest as well as...

Arts & Crafts in The Gambier Archipelago

Centre Educatif de Développement

To check out Mangareva’s famous mother-of-pearl carvings, head to this venture, just downhill to the left from the intersection above Cathédrale Saint-Michel, where you can watch students as they engrave shells....

Island in The Gambier Archipelago


Taravai had a population of 2000 when the missionaries arrived, but today only about five people live here. The 1868 Église Saint-Gabriel (Church of St Gabriel), with its gorgeous shell decoration, is well...

Island in The Gambier Archipelago


Aukena has reminders of the missionary period, including the hexagonal lookout tower, still used as a landmark, the former seminary and the lime kiln. The white-sand beach leading to the tower is one of the...

Cathedral in Mangareva

Cathédrale Saint-Michel

Fully restored in 2011, the imposing Cathedral of St Michael was built between 1839 and 1848 and was Laval’s most ambitious project. It makes a colourful scene on Sunday morning, when it is bursting at the seams...

Ruins in Mangareva

Couvent Rouru

The eerily beautiful remains of Rouru Convent, which once housed 60 nuns, stands south of the cemetery and is quickly becoming engulfed by weeds. It’s said that Laval hid the entire female population of the...

Island in The Gambier Archipelago


Akamaru was the first island to be visited by Laval, and his majestic 1841 Église Nôtre-Dame-de-la-Paix (Our Lady of Peace Church) still stands on the sparsely inhabited island. Groups from Mangareva occasionally...

Island in The Gambier Archipelago

Motu Tauna

Picture this: there’s a white-sand beach lapped by turquoise waters, palm trees leaning over the shore, and great snorkelling options. This deserted islet is certainly Mangareva's most idyllic spot. All pensions...

Beach in Rurutu

Te One Roa

Beach bums in search of a place to wallow will make a beeline for this picture-perfect, white-sand beach on the western coast. Here the lagoon is deep enough for a proper swim. There's no sign – it's about 200m...

Cave in Rurutu

Ana Tane Uapoto

On the eastern outskirts of the village of Moerai, near Arei Point, you'll find this large roadside cavern with stalactites and stalagmites. Traditionally this cave was used to salt (for preservation) and divide...

Archaeological Site in Raivavae

Marae Pomaovao

Across the road from the airport, this marae (traditional sacred site) features a large paved platform and a massive upright stone standing more than 2m high. According to legend, this stone was used to measure...

Archaeological Site in Tubuai


At Vaitauarii are the remains of a site dedicated to tattooing Tubuai royalty. Until 2007 it was believed that the ancient Tubuai people were not tattooed, but now this site and shell tattoo combs found on the...

Tahitian in Rurutu

Snack Piareare

The decor is nonexistent at this no-frills eatery hidden behind a gate right across from the boat quay in Moerai, but the food is seriously good. The menu is limited to a couple of daily specials, but they’re...

Cave in Rurutu

Ana Aeo

This cave, with its massive, oozy-looking stalactites and stalagmites, is the most stunning on the island. It’s 500m north of the Teautamatea pension; there’s a signposted track going to the right that leads to...

Archaeological Site in Raivavae

Marae Pua Pua Tiare

This well-maintained marae can be found about 1km from the Vaiuru entrance of the cross-island road (ask for directions as it’s not easy to find). It features large upright stones that enclose a paved area.

Tahitian in Mangareva

Chez Teava

This is Rikitea's best spot for lunch or dinner. Local ingredients and freshly caught seafood are the staples of the simple menu. Voluminous sandwiches (from 200 CFP) too. Near the cathedral.