Visit Tahiti for an authentic taste of French Polynesia and loads of activities. Lap up the tropical vibes at azure lagoons and serene soft-sand beaches, go diving in multicoloured coral reef and get stuck into a range of watersports from snorkelling to kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding to surfing. Explore the island’s rugged and unspoilt interior on hiking trails and 4x4 excursions, and for something a little different you can enjoy a number of pristine golf courses dotted around the island. Head north to the capital, Papeete, where you’ll discover its wonderful main market — soak up a sea of colour as you try fresh fruit and browse for souvenirs and handicrafts. Tahiti is also home to the fabled black pearl, which comes in all shapes, colours and sizes. Stop off at Tahiti Pearl Market on Rue Colette and visit the Robert Wan Pearl Museum, the only museum in the world dedicated solely to pearls. Learn more about Tahiti’s history and Polynesian culture at the Museum of Tahiti and The Islands, in the village of Punaauia, a 20-minute drive from Papeete.
Hop over the water to neighbouring Moorea for some jaw-dropping beach scenery. At the tip of its northern coast you’ll find Opunohu Bay and Cook’s Bay, a pair of narrow inlets set deep into the hilly island terrain and with incredible navy-blue water (the latter has a selection of restaurants and shops). Hike up to the breathtaking viewpoints in the interior of the island — Belvedere Lookout has superb views over Mount Rotui and the glistening South Pacific Ocean on the horizon. Moorea is small, so it’s easy to get out and about — take an ATV tour across the island’s sweeping tropical landscapes and make your way south for the best marine life and watersports. Spot everything from colourful fish to captivating sting rays during activities including snorkelling and glass-bottom kayaking and boat trips.
Everything about Tetiaroa points to paradise, from the swathes of rich green palms and immaculate white sand to the crystal-clear coral reef and lagoon. The fact that Tetiaroa was once the summer residence for Tahitian royalty gives you an idea of just how VIP this atoll is, and you’ll be able to sink your toes into the sand after a short but stunning 20-minute private flight from Tahiti. Surrounding a three-mile-wide turquoise lagoon you’ll find a dozen small islands, one of which is Motu Onetahi — previously Marlon Brando's private slice of paradise and home to his eponymous hotel, voted ‘Best Resort in the World’ by Condé Nast Traveler readers in 2016. There are no overwater bungalows here, and a stay at The Brando is all about indulgent relaxation in an eco-friendly environment — enjoy free daily spa treatments, head out on a birdwatching tour, request a naturalist lecture from a local scientist or explore the lagoon by kayak and stand-up paddleboard.