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Sailing French Polynesia

Listed under Sailing in French Polynesia.

  • Photo of Sailing French Polynesia
  • Photo of Sailing French Polynesia
  • Photo of Sailing French Polynesia
  • Photo of Sailing French Polynesia
Photo of Sailing French Polynesia
Photo by flickr user jimg944
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If I was going to do my honeymoon over I’d spend it sailing Tahiti. It’s got just the right kind of islands, which look like the setting for a romantic cast away film, with pale beaches and palm trees and volcanoes sprouting from the centres and the kind of bays and coves that are deep enough in places to sail quite close to the beach.

The Society Islands are probably the most popular for sailors. The main port is on Raiatea, but there are a couple of deep water harbours on the island to choose from. This is where a lot of the charter operators run from as well if you’re hiring a boat or crew.

The largest port is Papeete on Tahiti island. From there you also have access to many of the most popular ‘destination’ islands, but there are more than 30 proper islands and about 80 atolls, so you don’t have to pull into the same places as anyone else if you don’t want to , we found enough deep water port options to keep us happy. The furthest out we went was to Hiva Oa, which is actually famous for being away from it all. My wife wanted to visit because the artist Paul Gauguin is buried here. Its dense jungle hides the buildings and constructions of the ancient culture which thrived here and a replica of Gauguin’s house.

Some highlights of our own 14 day affair were Taha’a island in whose coral gardens we had the best snorkelling of the trip, very colourful, Bora Bora, I’d read all about the American soldiers not wanting to leave and I could understand their point, it is literally picture postcard perfect, and Huahine, which was just so lush and had the most incredible sunsets I have ever encountered. The Bay of Virgins on Fatu Hiva was busy but spectacular and the low lying Tumotus group of coral atolls surrounding bright blue open lagoons were a pleasure to island hop.

Marae de Taputapuatea on Raiatea we saw on the way back after it was recommended to us by another sailing family. It used to be the religious centre of Polynesia and is a stone platform, made of many rocks like a country wall with lots of stone carving around it. It sounds quite plain but the story and history of it made it worth a stop and some photos. It’s a cliché, but the people were friendly and relaxed, and life took on a lot of extra colour on this trip, not all of which we managed to capture in the photos.

Written by  Kenneth Hope.

Other expert and press reviews


For simply the most romantic sailing experience in the world, Tahiti would be very difficult to better. The absolute remoteness and stunning beauty of these French Polynesian Islands is taken from a story book and made real for those lucky enough to sa… Read more...

Written by  Jane Ferguson.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

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The Rhone starts its life on the Rhone Glacier in Switzerland and travels downhill quickly and with strong currents till it reaches Lake Geneva.

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Tahitian cultures included an oral tradition that included mythology of various gods and beliefs as well as ancient traditions such as tattooing and navigation. The annual Heiva Festival in July is a celebration of traditional culture, dance, music and sports including a long distance race between the islands of French Polynesia, in modern outrigger canoes.

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