Must-see attractions in French Polynesia

  • Temple de Paofai

    Pape'ete

    Although the Catholic cathedral is placed squarely in the town centre, Tahiti remains predominantly Protestant, a lasting legacy of the LMS missionaries…

  • Joe Dassin Beach

    Ra'iatea & Taha'a

    On Taha’a, if you’re willing to take a bit of a walk you can get to deserted Joe Dassin Beach, on the southwest side of the island, a 15-minute walk along…

  • Paeke

    Nuku Hiva

    Most tours stop in Taipivai to visit the Paeke archaeological site, which lies on a hillside at the exit of the village on the way to Hatiheu (the path…

  • Faie

    Huahine

    The coast road turns inland beside narrow Faie Bay to the village of Faie. Huahine’s famous blue-eyed eels can be seen in the river just over the bridge –…

  • Marae Anini

    Huahine

    Right on the southern tip of Huahine Iti, Marae Anini was a community marae made of massive coral blocks. The comparatively recent construction was…

  • Ta’ahiamanu Beach

    Mo'orea

    At last, a public beach! Ta’ahiamanu (Mareto) Beach is one of the few public access beaches on the island. This narrow stretch of white sand is a popular…

  • Pointe du Taharaa – One Tree Hill

    Pape'ete

    At the top of the hill at around PK8, pull off to the lagoon side of the road and park in the lot that once belonged to Tahiti’s very upmarket Hyatt…

  • Motu Piscine

    French Polynesia

    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 …

  • Magical Mountain

    Mo'orea

    At PK21, a cement road veers inland and makes a very steep climb to a lookout called ‘Magical Mountain’, at a height of 209m. It's an arduous, 45-minute…

  • Tetamanu

    Fakarava

    A handful of inhabitants also live in Tetamanu village, a tiny settlement on the edge of Tumakohua Pass, which is as backwater as backwater gets (despite…

  • Vaitape

    Bora Bora

    The island’s main settlement, Vaitape is not the most evocative town, but it's a great place to do a bit of shopping, take care of banking needs and just…

  • Temae Beach

    Mo'orea

    The best beach on the east coast, and the widest perhaps in all of French Polynesia, stretches from Teavaro round to the airport. The Sofitel Ia Ora…

  • Marae Raitoro, Haunarei & Harii

    French Polynesia

    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…

  • Fish Traps

    Huahine

    Beside the bridge coming off Motu Ovarei are a number of V-shaped fish traps, made from rocks. They have been here for centuries and some are still in use…

  • Lake Fauna Nui

    Huahine

    About 2km north of Fare, the main sealed road runs along the inland side of Lake Fauna Nui. It’s also possible to turn off to the airport and take the…

  • Tombeau du Roi Pomare V

    Pape'ete

    In Arue, on the water’s edge, signposted and just a short detour off the coastal road, is the tomb of the last of the Pomare family. The Tomb of Pomare V…

  • Jardins de Paofai

    Pape'ete

    This is the main walking area along the waterfront, where you’ll find paved walking paths that meander past blooming planter boxes and the occasional tree…

  • Marae Manunu

    Huahine

    Marae Manunu stands on the motu, across the bridge from the main Maeva complex. The massive structure is 2m high, 40m long and nearly 7m wide. It features…

  • Papetoai

    Mo'orea

    A busy little village with a few shops and services, Papetoai was established as the Pacific headquarters of the London Missionary Society (LMS) in 1811…

  • Teahupoo

    Tahiti

    Teahupoo is world famous among surfing circles for its monster wave. Until the early 2000s, the Teahupoo wave was only known to local surfers. It now…

  • Coastal Defence Guns

    Bora Bora

    Faanui Bay was the site of the US military base during WWII. At the southwestern end of the bay, a steep and often muddy track climbs up to an old WWII…

  • Hokatu

    The Marquesas

    Tiny and scenic Hokatu, about 3km east of Hane, lies in a sheltered bay edged with a pebble beach pounded by azure seas with direct views of imposing,…

  • Lagoonarium

    Tahiti

    Just outside Pape’ete’s urban sprawl, the Lagoonarium is a pleasant tourist trap with a meshed-in area of lagoon with a modest underwater viewing room; it…

  • Robert Wan Musée de la Perle

    Pape'ete

    This pearl museum was created by pearl magnate Robert Wan with aims of luring visitors into his glamorous shop. It’s a worthwhile, small and modern museum…

  • Mataiea

    Around Tahiti Nui

    Between 1891 and 1893, Paul Gauguin lived in Mataiea where he produced works including Two Women on the Beach, Woman with a Mango and Ia Orana Maria –…

  • Tiki

    French Polynesia

    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…

  • Musée de la Perle

    Pape'ete

    This pearl museum was created by pearl magnate Robert Wan with aims of luring visitors into his glamorous shop. It’s a worthwhile, small and modern museum…

  • Île d’Eden

    The Tuamotus

    Île d’Eden is not a traditional tourist site per se, but a working farm operated by a handful of families belonging to the Church of the New Testament…

  • Coastal Defence Guns

    Bora Bora

    Up a small hill on the eastern coast, a track peels off to the east and leads to two massive WWII coastal guns and a concrete bunker that were left by the…

  • Musée de Tahiti et des Îles

    Around Tahiti Nui

    Only 15km from Pape’ete along the west coast, this excellent museum, in Puna’auia, is divided into four sections: geography and natural history; pre…

  • Tefarerii

    Huahine

    From Maroe, the coast road skirts across the mouths of a number of shallow inlets, looking across to Motu Murimahora, before coming to Tefarerii (House of…

  • Maison Blanche

    Mo'orea

    In Maharepa, you can't miss this early-20th-century building on the mountain side of the road. It's a fine example of a fare vanira, a plantation house…

  • Motu Tresor

    Huahine

    On the airport road, what's even more impressive than this collection of more than 500 French Polynesian shells is the fascinating tour (in English or…

  • Tetahuna

    The Marquesas

    At the far end of the village, make a beeline for this grandiose tohua, which hosted numerous dance and cultural performances during the Marquesas Arts…

  • Marae Arahurahu

    Around Tahiti Nui

    Whether or not you believe in the powers of the tiki (sacred statue), it’s hard to deny there is an amazing energy radiating from Marae Arahurahu in the…

  • Plage de Taharuu

    Around Tahiti Nui

    Everybody loves Plage de Taharuu – locals taking the kids for a swim, tourists on day trips from Pape’ete and surfers catching some great waves. This…

  • Arahoho Blowhole

    Around Tahiti Nui

    When the swell is big enough, huge sprays of water shoot out from the trou du souffleur (blowhole) in a little park by the road just after the tunnel at…

  • Huahine Nui Pearls & Pottery

    Huahine

    This little pearl shop is located on a pearl farm in the middle of the lagoon and also features the work of the founder, renowned potter Peter Owen. From…

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