Top Tips for Tahiti and her islands

by Chris Osburn on 16 September 2013, 14:09PM

Tahiti and her islands are gorgeous – and definitely live up to all the hype. French Polynesia is indeed a tropical paradise as romantic as can be. That said – and no matter where you're coming from – this South Pacific archipelago isn't somewhere you simply hop over to for the weekend. To make the most out of your time visiting Tahiti and her islands, here are a few top tips so you won't have to hit the ground running but instead can assuredly stroll along in leisurely style to the beach.

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Sleep
Comfortable, convenience and gourmet – what else could you want? How about top notch service, nightly entertainment, and long list of amenities and activities. From its very own lagoonarium to “Overwater Motu Bungalows” and much, much more – there are plenty of amazing reasons to make the Intercontinental Resort Tahiti your base while discovering the joys of French Polynesia. Not the least of which is the resort's fantastic location.Despite its lagoon side setting spread across 23 verdant and attractively landscaped acres, this four star resort is only a few minutes' drive from Faa'a International Airport and a couple of minutes further from the relative bustle of downtown Pape'ete. Coming from pretty much anywhere odds are you'll pass through Faa'a, making the Intercontinental a smart and hassle free option. If you're planning to island hop your way around Polynesia or hit the high seas for some of the trip, starting and ending your South Pacific adventure here would ensure a convenient opportunity to clean up and get some rest before your flight. 

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Eat
The Intercontinental Resort is also a great place to dine in luxurious style. And if you're looking for something a upscale and intimate or maybe just a nice reason to ditch your t-shirt and flip flops, dinner at three Michelin star restaurant Le Lotus – located within the grounds of the Intercontinental Resort Tahiti – is a must. Situated over the lagoon (check out all of the colourful fishes below nibbling on the crumbs from your table) with a stunning view of nearby Moorea (book a table for sunset and enjoy Mother Nature's light show), Le Lotus offers haute cuisine in an “oh my god” setting. Fancy a cold drink? This has got to be the only three Michelin-star restaurant in the world with a swim-up bar set on the edge of an infinity pool. Of course, at some point you will want to venture beyond the idyllic grounds of your resort and get a better sense of Tahiti. When you do, bring your appetite!

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The Marche de Papeete (Municipal Market) is a smart place to shop for locally grown produce, freshly caught fish and more (it's a wise one-stop for souvenirs and gifts too with lots of handicrafts, tikis, jewellery, clothing and more for sale). Grapefruit, bananas, mangos, rambutans, star fruit and the best papaya you will ever taste in your life. There is a lot more and it's all extremely yummy and very inexpensive. The fish and seafood in French Polynesia is gorgeous as well. You have got to try local speciality, poisson cru (raw fish marinated in coconut milk and lime juice). Tuna sashimi is an island favourite too while the mahi mahi burger with a side of breadfruit fries offers a tropical seaside take on the American comfort food classic. With its close cultural ties to France, visitors can expect fresh baked bread and pastries of surprisingly good quality. For a budget lunch with local style, try a tuna-frites or chow mein baguette.

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Drink
The local beer is Hinano, a light and crisp lager. If you go more than, say, 15 minutes without seeing a Hinano bottle or its logo while visiting the islands, then you're either far out at sea, in the middle of the jungle or you haven't peeked inside your mini bar yet. Of course, it's not too difficult to find your favourite North American brews and European faves such as Trappist ales like Chimay while in Tahiti either. Beyond the beer, there are a few different varieties of locally produced rum and even Tahitian wine. Obviously, plenty of fresh and delicious juice is always at hand, whether you're pouring a glass for breakfast or mixing up another tropical cocktail.

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To find out more about holidays to Tahiti and her islands please visit www.travelbag.co.uk/destinations/south-pacific/french-polynesia/holidays/tahiti

For more information on Tahiti and her islands visit: www.tahiti-tourisme.co.uk

Author bio: Chris Osburn is a freelance travel writer and you can find his work on tikichris.com


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