Most of the guides offer you a small tour to the caravans and the market of Papeete and Zou! We embark for other archipelagos. Often an island of passage for travellers to French Polynesia, it deserves more than a glance. Nature lovers will easily be seduced by its luxuriance, its delicate flowers and the variety of its landscapes. Contrary to most, this little guide will not recommend you to leave it for other islands!
You will find in this guide a large section dedicated to Papeete and its surroundings as well as ideas for other places, in the form of a tour of the island. It is punctuated with excerpts from my travel diary and photos of all the places that touched me. If you’re looking for a bit of poetry, my travel notebook to Tahiti is there. Enjoy reading and have a good trip to Tahiti!
In French Polynesia, I rediscover my naturalness: the pleasure of getting up and going to bed with the sun. Here, life starts very early! At five o’clock in the morning, shops open, people are busy. The little street chickens, omnipresent, watch all these people with a cautious eye. I buy my eggs, milk and vanilla coffee (all from here!) for breakfast with the first day of the day.
Tour of the island of Tahiti: an itinerary in 1, 2 or 3 days?
You could make the tour of the island in one day, if only to take the temperature, get exhilarated on its roads, and breathe the good sea air. But that would not leave you enough time to fully enjoy its most beautiful places. It is that they ask that you taste them, touch them, observe them, and smell them. Tahiti is an island to be experienced.
I made my tour of the island in a rented and sometimes borrowed car, in the charming company of a couple I met on the spot. We cut our mission of discovering the island in two days and it was intense. The pace was far too fast to take advantage of a break on the beach, for example. But fortunately, I had two weeks at my disposal to catch up! If you have limited time on the island, you’ll have to decide wisely.
What to do and see around Papeete?
The three waterfalls of Faarumai
The three waterfalls of Faarumai are located only twenty-five kilometres from Papeete. Just leave your car in the parking lot; walk five minutes and here is the first of them. The photos will hardly do justice to what one feels when facing such a marvel! It is all around, flamboyant, intense and shiny greens.
When I passed by, during the rainy season, the access to the two other waterfalls was closed. But only one of the three waterfalls of Faarumai is worth visiting.
Venus Point and its lighthouse
Point Venus is dominated by the singular lighthouse of Teara o Tahiti. This lighthouse owes its name to its very first role: an observatory dedicated to the study of the trajectory of Venus, established by James Cook in 1769. Imagine the enthusiasm of the maritime explorers of the 18th century or enjoy a picnic on its tranquil coasts…
Arahoho Blower’s Hole
Teruaporea, or Blower’s Hole: an opening in the rock from which a rumbling sound is heard, accompanied by a puff of steam. It is said that the warriors of old used to throw the lifeless bodies of their enemies into it.
The tomb of the last king of Tahiti, Pomare V
The tomb of the last king of Tahiti, Pomare V (1891), is a tomb that seems to be in perfect harmony with nature: on the water’s edge, it is caressed by the wind and invaded by greenery. Please note that it is not possible to visit its interior.