Ra’iatea and Taha’a are encircled by a common lagoon, but the two islands couldn't be more different. Ra’iatea is high, imposing and fiercely independent, has the second biggest town in French Polynesia after Pape’ete and is considered by many to be the spiritual seat of the Polynesian Triangle. Taha’a, on the other hand, has graceful low hills, is famous for its sweet-scented vanilla and is arguably the quietest of the Society Islands. Both islands are ideal places to explore a mysterious and wild-feeling Polynesia.
The islands have few beaches but the reef is dotted with motu, secluded white-sand, palm-fringed, blue-lagoon islets. Within the vast lagoon itself is a never-ending aquarium perfect for diving, snorkelling, kayaking or just splashing around. On land, the mountains, particularly on Ra’iatea, make you want to hike off in search of breezy vistas, waterfalls and one of the world’s rarest flowers, the tiare apetahi.