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Moorea is an island in the South Pacific Ocean, part of French Polynesia’s Society Islands. Often called the little sister of Tahiti, she equals her sibling’s beauty, while exuding a more untouched and less commercially developed feel.
Situated 17 kilometres northwest of Tahiti, the volcanic and heart-shaped island of Moorea was formed over 1.5 million years ago and has since been sculpted into one of the most gorgeous islands on the planet. Translating to ‘yellow lizard’ in Tahitian, it is, conversely, emerald green in colour, fringed by mesmerisingly turquoise shallows. The offshore delights mainly include unbelievable snorkelling sites, the best being the Lagoonarium de Moorea: a protected area of water showcasing the most vibrantly coloured reef. You can also feed mantas during certain times of the year, or you can venture out on a whaling tour during mating season, falling between August and October.
The undulating, verdant interior culminates into 8 different peaks, allowing excellent hiking adventures for days on end. There’s a range of difficulties to choose from and some of the best trails ascend to Mount Rotui, overlooking the beautiful Opunohu Bay, and Mount Tohivea, with its thick jungle and tropical wildlife. Belvedere Lookout, in the heart of the island, affords the best panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and Tahiti on the horizon, which can be reached by a 4x4 car or mountain bike. Naturally, relaxation and tranquillity are key components of Moorea’s appeal, offering 1 of the only 2 golf courses in French Polynesia, luxurious bungalows, and garden villas filled with pink hibiscus and serenaded with wonderful bird song.
Traversing the glistening ‘Sea of the Moon’ up to 6 times a day, a local ferry operator links Moorea with Tahiti in just half an hour. Arriving in Vaiare on the east coast, you’re already within easy reach of Moorea’s glorious attractions and idyllic beaches once you step off the ferry.