Tahiti Destination Guide
Find your perfect island paradise and sense of adventure in Tahiti. Known as ‘Queen of the Pacific’, Tahiti is – as you’d expect of a Queen – a completely majestic island, boasting beautiful scenery that looks Photoshop-perfect. In this Polynesian slice of heaven you’ll find soft sand beaches, legendary surfing spots and luxurious overwater bungalows that house you just steps away from the water.
Tahiti is the largest island in the Society Islands archipelago of French Polynesia, and is its cultural and political centre. While many people bypass Tahiti for the neighbouring islands of Moorea or Bora Bora, they miss out on Tahiti's vibrant jungle side, complete with raging waterfalls, deep valleys full of colourful flowers, lava tubes and ancient archaeological sites.
Discover the depth of Tahiti’s oceans by…
- Diving amongst sunken ships and planes
- Surfing at Teahupoo and Papara
- Paddling out on an outrigger (Va’a)
Tahiti is famed for its black sand beaches, vivacious traditional dance, French-speaking locals and outrigger canoes, known as va'a. There are plenty of things to do in Tahiti both in and outside the capital, Papeete. These include hiking, horse riding, four-wheel drive safaris, helicopter tours and plenty of water-based activities.
You'll find the best surf off the west coast of Tahiti and in Huahine, which features stunning year-round reef breaks. If you've packed your comfortable walking shoes and find yourself in Tiarei on the east coast, make sure you visit the three cascades of Faarumai and the Arahoho blowhole.
Other sites of interest include the Paofai Temple of Papeete and the famous Grotto Caves of Maraa, and the Robert Wan Pearl Museum.
Whether you dine out at one of Papeete's roulottes (caravans) or at a top restaurant, make sure you sample the national dish, a delicious fish salad known as poisson cru. Of an evening, you can enjoy a traditional Polynesian song and dance show, some late-night karaoke fun, or live music in Vaiete Square.
Don't forget to pick up some fresh local produce at the Papeete Municipal Market! The bustling bazaar offers a huge variety of local goods, both edible and keepsake. Stock up on fruit and delicious juices to enjoy while on holiday, and browse the traditional sarongs and handiworks to take home.
Taste traditional island cuisine like…
- Raw fish marinated in coconut milk
- Fresh fish, prawns and octopus
- Food cooked in underground ovens (Hima’a)
Papeete is likely going to be your first port of call in Tahiti, with the Faa'a International Airport close by. Tahiti accommodation covers the spectrum from basic to lavish, with affordable options including family 'pensions' and bed and breakfasts.
Major international hotel groups have a presence across the Society Islands, including Sofitel, Novotel, Sheraton, Club Med and Radisson, which often boast beautiful Polynesian-styled suites. If you're dreaming of overwater bungalows in Tahiti, book an exquisite on-the-water apartment at the InterContinental as part of your Tahiti holiday package.
Take a day trip to the other islands and…
- Dive into Bora Bora’s stunning lagoon
- See Tetiaroa’s bird sanctuary
- Discover Polynesian history on Raiatea
Tahiti Like a Local
Nature isn’t the only lively part of Tahiti - experience the local dance and music events that show off the island’s creative culture. Consider booking your flights to Tahiti in July and take part in the annual Heiva Festival, which celebrates the heritage of Tahiti.
Heiva is a celebration of life, with a cappella singing competitions in Polynesian language, stone lifting competitions, canoe races and fruit carrying contests. Heiva I Tahiti has become symbolic of Polynesian culture and an iconic event for the proud Tahitian people.
Witness native Polynesian culture during…
- The Heiva I Tahiti festivals in July
- Market shopping on Papeete’s streets
- A island-inspired dinner at Vai’ete Square