Fossilised coral formations, Rangiroa atoll, Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia (overseas territory of the French Republic).

Getty Images/DeAgostini

Île aux Récifs

Top choice in Rangiroa

South of the atoll, an hour by boat from Avatoru, Île aux Récifs is an area dotted with raised feo (coral outcrops), weathered shapes chiselled by erosion into petrified silhouettes on the exterior reef. They stretch for several hundred metres, with basins and channels that make superb natural swimming pools. There’s a good hoa (shallow channel) for swimming and a picturesque coconut grove by the beach. You'll need to take a boat tour from Avatoru to get to Île aux Récifs.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Rangiroa attractions

1. Tiputa

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2. Gauguin’s Pearl

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There are free tours (in English) of the pearl farm next to the boutique. They include a pearl-grafting demonstration. Call for free pick-up.

3. Avatoru

19.86 MILES

Avatoru won’t leap to the top of your list of preferred villages in French Polynesia, but its location, right by Avatoru Pass and the lagoon, is stunning…

4. Lagon Bleu

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5. Vin de Tahiti

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Vin de Tahiti has a 6-hectare vineyard planted on a palm-fringed motu about 10 minutes by boat from Avatoru village. This is the only atoll vineyard in…