The true house of God
Warm and friendly, the Polynesian islands invite you to share and discover the best they have to offer: landscapes, culture, gastronomy, traditions and, above all, breathtaking sea beds.
Throughout your journey, you will discover ever more surprising landscapes and an ever richer fauna. Immersion in the Polynesian culture is also one of the essentials of the trip.
Laurent Chevassut is a “Tiaré” agent, he is certified as a destination specialist by the Tahiti Tourist Office and has been to Tahiti many times. He will be able to tell you all about it with passion!
Did you know that?
Each Polynesian island has its own specificities in terms of diving. Don’t hesitate to talk with us to find the island that best suits you according to your level.
We have tested for you !
The Polynesian wedding: a true romantic ceremony on the beach in total intimacy, to the song of the Yukulele !
More original than Vegas, strong emotions guaranteed, but always without commitment!
A romantic destination par excellence, you might want to have this moment engraved on your skin with a Polynesian tattoo.
Be careful to plan 2 nights on Papeete at the end of the trip because a real Polynesian tattoo can take time. It is also sometimes necessary to reserve 1 year in advance according to the availability of the tattoo artist.
The Marquesan tattoo is the reflection of your personality and your history created by passionate artists. The tattooist therefore needs to know you before creating his work on the skin.
The Société Islands
Tahiti means “paradise at the end of the world” . Enough to make you dream just by its name! Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia, and it is also the most lively.
Its capital, Papeete, has world-class hotels, SPAs, refined and unique restaurants, nightclubs, vibrant markets, museums, pearl shops and boutiques. However, in the interior of the island, mountains, mystical valleys, clear rivers and impressive waterfalls abound.
Indeed, most of the island’s inhabitants live close to the coast, leaving the interior of the island almost untouched and authentic.
Explore Tahiti, its black sandy beaches on the east coast, its white sandy beaches on the west coast, its diving, beginner and legendary surfing spots, its mountain peaks, lush valleys or its historic sites.
Whatever you choose, the island will reveal all its beauty and charm.
A beautiful excursion to do: “the great crossing” which consists in crossing the island in 4x4s from one side to the other via a mountain pass. A guaranteed change of scenery!
Not to be missed: dinner “aux roulottes” on the port, itinerant restaurants where you can taste the local specialities. Meet all the Tahitian families who go out in the evening, it’s the best way to make friends.
Considered a sacred place by the Tahitians, Tetiaroa Atoll is a haven for birds, sea turtles and all kinds of marine life.
Prepare to be amazed by its national reserve for seabirds, frigate birds, brown boobies, red-stranded phaeton, crested grebe and other petrels. All only 15 minutes from Tahiti!
Marlon Brando had made it his earthly paradise after the filming of “Mutiny on the Bounty”. Today it is a magnificent luxury hotel full of charm.
and for more information about The Brando in Tetiaroa, follow this link : https://terres-sauvages.ch/en/experiences-2/premium/the-brando-tetiaroa-french-polynesia/
Moorea is one of the most memorable places in French Polynesia, its beauty will remain forever engraved in your memory.
Its blue lagoon, its peaceful meadows, its waterfalls, its cliffs overgrown with ferns… And of course its black sand beaches and all the underwater fauna they shelter!
Moorea is a paradise for divers who fall in love with its varied coral ecosystem and the many colourful mixes offered by its underwater life. Whether scuba diving or snorkeling, you can meet grey rays, sharks, sea turtles in a transparent lagoon sparkling with its wonderful blue shades.
On the mountain side, you can observe the lagoon from eight volcanic peaks, once centres of magnificent craters and now transformed into a lush valley.
The island is the ideal place for hiking, horse riding, quad biking or 4×4 exploration.
Often referred to as “the mystical island”, Huahine is a subtle blend of landscapes, life and typical Polynesian atmosphere. It is one of Tahiti’s best-kept secrets, a place where you can live like a local.
The deep, crystalline lagoon surrounds the two islands that make up Huahine, while beautiful bays and white sandy beaches add magic to the unique atmosphere. Relatively untouched by the developments of modern society, Huahine offers the slowest and most tranquil way of life in the Polynesia of yesteryear.
It is also one of the few places where you can see traditional Tahitian fish traps still in use, the famous sacred blue-eyed eels or some sacred marshes well hidden in the heart of the forest.
Not to be missed is the “Poé” excursion, which will take you (by car or boat) to visit his island to the rhythm of Tahitian songs. An immersion full of charm which ends at the inhabitant’s home to learn the local cuisine such as the famous vanilla sauce.
The island of Raiatea is considered the cradle of Polynesian culture.
The island is home to spectacular archaeological treasures that tell the epic story of a civilization and culture unique in the world. As the first Polynesian island to be populated, Raiatea is home to the most spectacular and oldest international Marae in the Polynesian triangle.
Taputapuatea was the venue for inaugural ceremonies, political alliances and international meetings.
Be careful, the Marae can be visited on its own, but we advise you to take a guided tour that will allow you to really understand this more than exciting culture!
For sports enthusiasts, Raiatea is a real sailing paradise, with excellent sailing conditions.
Nature lovers will not be outdone, as the island is also home to a vast fauna and flora, including various flowers, such as the ‘Apetahi tiara on Mount Temehani, a unique flower in the world that has become the symbol of Raiatea.
It is also on this island that you will be able to take a pirogue ride on the only navigable river in French Polynesia, in the heart of a dense tropical forest where purple, bamboo and maple trees live side by side.
Our favorite accommodation
There is a small opportunity on this island which is just a stone’s throw from the UNESCO listed Marae of Taputapuatea called the OPOA BEACH. This small 3-star hotel is full of charm and offers beautiful white wooden bungalows facing the turquoise sea. You are welcomed as if you were at home in a refined décor, and the cuisine is renowned throughout the archipelago. The proposed excursions will take you through the history between Tahaa and Raiatea, sharing the life of the authentic Polynesians. We loved it !
Time seems to have stopped in Taha’a. Travelling along the island’s trails, travellers discover unspoiled vegetation. Take advantage of your visit to Taha’a to discover the secrets of vanilla and its natural environment!
An authentic know-how that is acquired over time and requires a great deal of experience…
Bora Bora is a volcano sitting on one of the most beautiful lagoons in the world, with infinite shades of blue from the purest to the deepest.
The numerous motu’s line up with their magnificent white sandy beaches and palm trees framing the lagoon where a crowd of fish and corals are crowded playing with the colours of the water. It is a true haven of peace, where you can wake up from your bungalow on stilts, lulled by the romantic and enchanting air…
The lagoon is home to manta rays, sharks and napoleon fish, to be discovered during scuba-diving courses, by scuba-diver or simply through the glass bottom of your boat. Explore the lagoon by jet ski, paddle boat, swing dugout canoe, sailboat or get out of the lagoon for scuba diving and deep-sea fishing!
Beware, if you are looking for authenticity and a feeling of being at the end of the world, go on your way. Victim of its success, Bora Bora remains very touristic with large luxury resorts. But it is nevertheless one of the most beautiful lagoons in the world.
Located 6 km north of Bora Bora, Tupai Island, seen from the sky, represents a heart. It shelters a double lagoon and a motu covered with coconut trees. Tupai has no residents and therefore no accommodation. However, many birds have chosen to live on the island and sea turtles lay their eggs on the beach from November onwards.
Maupiti is a tiny island (11 km), isolated and authentic. It is the westernmost of the Society Islands.
Many Marae can be found in Maupiti such as Vaiahu, Ofera, pre-European sites full of history and petroglyphs carved on huge rocks in the Haranae Valley.
It is also in the heart of the Vaitia Valley that the legendary canoe of Hiro, a Polynesian demigod and hero, is located. For the adventurers, we can only recommend the ascent of Mount Teurafaatiu which offers an incredible panoramic view of the lagoon, revealing the silhouette of Bora Bora in the distance.
From Tereia beach you can also walk to Motu Auria through shallow sandy paths in the company of stingrays.
Cliffs, caves and other local discoveries await the most intrepid traveller looking for something unique.
The Tuamotu Islands
The second largest atoll in the world, Rangiroa is a place where land and sea come together unexpectedly, making it a paradise for divers.
The island is indeed surrounded by different types of ocean: Moana-tea (the Pacific Ocean), which defines the very essence of the lagoon, and Moana-uri (the Wild Ocean), where whales, manta rays, dolphins and sharks offer an incredible spectacle to the lucky few who come to venture into their mystical world.
If you don’t dive, you can discover the “blue lagoon” by enjoying a picnic on an uninhabited motu.
Take a snorkel to fly over the simply incredible “coral garden”. Visit the unspoilt islets where wild birds nest and have fun with small sharks and rays that will make you feel at home in the clear, shallow water.
Not to be missed: an aperitif on the terrace of the Joséphine pension, facing the Tiputa pass to observe the dolphins playing with the waves, while savouring a delicious Maïtaï.
Tikehau is probably the atoll with the most fish on the Tuamotu Islands.
This oval shaped lagoon is surrounded by a series of motus of white and pink sand which form a soothing natural pool.
Divers are captivated by the beauty of the marine life where eagle rays, schools of barracuda and tuna, grey sharks, sea turtles and dolphins peacefully parade by.
For those seeking to taste the island’s happiness on land, shady and intimate beaches surround the island in the shade of lenient and protective palm trees.
Good to know: if you prefer snorkelling to scuba diving, then Tikehau is the island for you!
In less than 2 meters depth, you can see a multitude of multicoloured fish, turtles and small harmless sharks for the pleasure of the eyes!
It is important to note that Tikehau is one of the few islands with real fine sandy beaches, while the others are often made up of thicker crushed coral.
Famous for its oyster, Manihi saw the birth of the first pearl farm on its land. Since then, the islanders of the atoll have been passionate about pearl production. There is a plethora of pearl farms in the Manihi lagoon. A visit to one of these farms is a unique experience. Its lagoon is also enchanting, favouring water activities such as fishing, snorkelling, diving and drifting.
The terrestrial and underwater fauna of Fakarava includes protected endemic species.
The atoll has such a unique environment that it has been designated a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in order to conserve its natural resources and ensure human development in harmony with nature.
Majestic coral heads, schools of fish by the thousands, “walls” of sharks near the passes…
Divers from all over the world dream of immersing themselves in the waters of Fakarava.
The Marquises Islands
The spectacle of culture and nature
Framed by huge cliffs, the coastline alternates between black sand beaches and quiet bays. Among the lush wooded landscapes, where thousands of pre-European structures can be found, you may encounter wild horses, goats and wild boars. Nature is raw and its charm very powerful. From the Taipivai Valley to Hatiheu Bay, the traveller can discover unique cultural and natural wonders, including the 350-metre Vaio Waterfall, the highest waterfall in the Pacific. The Marquisians are considered the best craftsmen in Tahiti and her Islands. Their art expresses itself through magnificent sculptures, authentic tattoos and stunning jewellery.
In the footsteps of Melville in the Taipivai Valley
It is the story of a sailor who was trying to flee a ship where he was persecuted. Secretly, he landed on an island reputed to be impenetrable. He wandered alone until he was welcomed by the Taipi clan, whom he thought were cannibals. Not only did they heal him, but they introduced him to their unknown community. He is the first European of all times to have lived with a Marquesan tribe. This was in 1842. Today you can follow in the footsteps of young Herman Melville, the author of “Moby Dick”, in this valley. Time seems to have stood still with its hundreds of tiki, petroglyphs and ancient sites creating the special atmosphere that the author would still recognise today.
The geographical isolation of the island has made it possible to develop a phenomenal marine biodiversity.
In the open ocean you will encounter an abundance of manta rays, eagle rays, sharks of all species and sizes, jacks, tuna, dolphins and swordfish.
A group of electric dolphins live near the coast where it is common to meet them.
In the footsteps of Gauguin and Brel
In 1901, Paul Gauguin arrived at Hiva Oa and Jacques Brel in 1975, both in search of personal inner peace. No one knows if they ever found it, but every morning, as the sun rises, the breathtaking and pure light inspires peace and rest. You will feel like you are touching eternity, a feeling that every traveller should experience.
You can follow in the footsteps of the two artists and visit their tombs, which are located opposite Taaoa Bay, at the Calvary cemetery embalmed by the sweet scent of frangipani trees.
Then you can visit the small museum and the house where the painter lived and which is dedicated to him, you will find the replica of “La maison du Jouir”. While he lived in the Marquesan Islands, Gauguin painted some of his most famous works of art, finding inspiration not only in the daily life of the islanders, but also in the legends and the oldest religious traditions.
Hiva Oa is worth a visit for its various archaeological sites such as Me’ae in Puama’u, home to the largest tiki in Tahiti and Her Islands. Called “Takaii” and measuring more than two metres high, this smiling statue is unique, hidden in part by lush vegetation. Numerous petroglyphs and ancient sites can be found in the vicinity, such as a travel mirror of a polished stone chief woman. In Taaoa, a vast area of lithic structures and tiki statues blend into the pristine forest of giant banana trees, breadfruit trees, coconut and papaya trees.
Numerous horseback riding and walking trails
On a hike, a horseback ride or on a 4×4, explore the pristine and breathtaking landscapes of Hiva Oa with its waterfalls, peaks, bridges and rivers …
These 319 km² of land will delight nature lovers.
If one were to symbolise the house of God across the Marquesan Islands, Nuku Hiva, which is the largest island, would represent the upper part. Its dizzying peaks and astonishing slopes merge with the blue of the Pacific Ocean. A special world opens its doors to you. The starting point of your adventure is Taioha’e, the regional capital of the archipelago, located at the end of a large bay with the same name. Remarkable scenery, incredible archaeological history, superb stories and rich culture are all to be discovered alongside a particularly friendly population.
According to legend, Hiva Oa symbolises the “great house” of the Creator. In modern times it has become the “garden of the Marquesan Islands” thanks to its fertile and lush land. The island is relentlessly ruled by nature, green, invasive and luminous to the point where roads and houses fade away, mixed with the environment. The island’s rugged landscape mixes sharp ridges, peaks and scattered valleys with archaeological sites and ruins. Hiva Oa has the largest tiki statues in Tahiti and her Islands. With its black sandy beaches shaded by powerful cliffs plunging into the Pacific Ocean, Atuona, the island’s main village, is nestled at the tip of Taaoa Bay. It is overlooked by Mount Temetiu at 1,276 meters and Mount Fe’ani at 1,016 meters. It is also the island where two famous artists have chosen to live their lives: the painter Paul Gauguin and the poet, singer and actor Jacques Brel.
A transparent lagoon, turquoise and dotted with coral heads, which display a range of blues contrasting beautifully with the surrounding green mountains. On the Gambier Islands, hiking is an ideal activity to make the most of its unique scenery. Travellers visiting this area are also marked by the warm welcome of the local community, especially in Mangarea, and its 19th century religious heritage.
The Australe Islands
Breathtaking scenery, from steep mountains to valleys and highlands… The Austral Islands are legendary places. A few archaeological remains are hidden on each island, testifying to a well organised pre-European community based on rich cultural and religious practices. Every year humpback whales arrive between August and October to mate and give birth in the incredibly clear waters of Rurutu, the largest of the Austral Islands. Mothers and calves swim underwater while males and females communicate by singing melodies that delight the observers. A rare and unique spectacle not to be missed.