The Island of Love

Lush, laid-back Moorea makes the perfect extension to a Tahiti holiday. Although it is popular as a day-trip destination from nearby Papeete, it really deserves a longer stay because there are plenty of secrets to discover. The second-largest island in the Windward group of the Society Islands, Moorea has managed to hold on to much of its peaceful lifestyle and offers an ambience of easy-going elegance. Surrounded by a spectacular, translucent green lagoon shielding a wealth of wonderful coral reefs brimming with tropical fish, it showcases some sensational snorkelling sites in its warm, sheltered waters.

The island itself is just as picturesque, with vibrantly coloured hibiscus and groves of coconut palms winding along the roadside. Lush, dense rainforest lines the foreground of the rugged volcanic peaks, and the interior of the island is dotted with pineapple plantations and fragrant vanilla farms.

Historical marae, sacred meeting places, provide a tantalising peek into tribal culture, while the high-class resorts ensure visitors have access to every imaginable convenience. There is a choice of spectacular five-star offerings, like the Sofitel and the Hilton, complete with overwater bungalows and indulgent day spas, and there are also more affordable, boutique options, such as Hotel Les Tipaniers.

Insiders' Tips

  • Magical Views: Enjoy a breathtaking panoramic perspective of the lagoons and reefs from far atop Magic Mountain or Le Belvedere Lookout.
  • Tahitian Cultured Pearls: Shop for Tahiti's famous black pearls. Cokours range from deep black to shimmering greens, bronze and pink.
  • Tuck into an Island Feast: Enjoy authentic Tahitian foods and evening entertainment at a ma'a Tahiti feast every Sunday, where your meal is cooked in an earthen-oven.
  • Gaze from Toatea Lookout: A breathtaking panoramic perspective of the island-studded tropical waters.
  • Join a Shark-Feeding Dive at Tiki: See some of the most spectacular sea-life up close at this world-famous spot.
  • Take a Tour of the Lagoon: Explore the hidden spots of the lagoon on a motorised canoe.

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