Tahiti

It is late afternoon and the flower, fruit and vegetable displays in the Papeete Markets present visitors with a photo opportunity. The daily catch is in and the fishmongers spring to life. Traffic snarls and honks, heralding the end of another working day while canoe crews practise racing, cutting across the harbour. Honeymooners in sarongs sit on their Bora Bora balconies, sipping champagne, preparing to toast another sunset.

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Bonjour.  Bienvenue a Tahiti – Welcome to Tahiti

Tahiti is legendary and synonymous with romance – for example, the overwater bungalows on Bora Bora are the starting place for many couples with the dream of an idyllic tropical honeymoon – but then budget can come into play.

To get a couple of negatives out of the way – Tahiti is French and the most expensive Pacific destination. But, if your budget can run to it, what a fabulous honeymoon destination it is! This is where true five-star accommodation sits in harmony with natural tropical beauty. Picnic on a white sand beach, paddle an outrigger canoe, swim, snorkel, dive, sail or fish the impossibly blue/green/aquamarine/emerald/turquoise/sapphire waters – there’s no one word in English to describe the water’s colour in these lagoons. Other watersports may include windsurfing, parasailing, shark feeding, or swimming with stingrays and dolphins. On land there’s also a lot on offer – horse riding, hiking, 4WD adventures or perhaps a round of golf on a magical setting.

While most people in the tourism industry speak English; French and Tahitian are the official languages. The blend of Polynesian and French cultures gives visitors a warm welcome with lots of style.

Your honeymoon will most likely begin in the Tahitian capital of Papeete, where there are colourful shops, fantastic restaurants and a lively nightlife. The Papeete Public Market (just a block back from the waterfront) is a must to see the range of local produce as well as handicrafts and souvenirs – they open 5:00am to 5:00pm – the best time for local colour is between 4:00pm and 5:00pm when the boats return with the daily catch and the fishmongers spring to life.

Then the hard decision – which island for the romance and relaxation – Bora Bora, Huahine, Moorea or Raiata and Taha’a? And which resort offers the most luxurious, private and overwater bungalow accommodation? If you have trouble choosing, perhaps a luxury cruise is the answer… With all meals included, much of your holiday is pre-paid (and the cuisine is sensational!) – and all open ocean voyages are made at night so, during the day, you have a new island paradise to explore and enjoy.

To quote Canadian travel author, David Stanley… “The friendly, easygoing manner of the people of French Polynesia isn’t only a cliche! Despite over a century and a half of French colonialism, the Tahitians retain many of their old ways, be it in personal dress, Polynesian dancing or outrigger canoe racing. Relax, smile, and say bonjour to a stranger – you’ll almost always get a warm response. Welcome to paradise!”

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