Beaches of Tahiti
By Viator, October 2013
For all of its culture and charms, however, there is another word which goes hand in hand with the idyllic image of Tahiti: Beaches.
With over 118 islands in French Polynesia, there is definitely no shortage of stretches of sand upon which to enjoy your vacation. From volcanic shorelines which are rung by jungle that creeps up to the midnight-black sands, to white sand beaches that act as the front lawn for some of the world’s finest resorts, the beaches of Tahiti are as varied and numerous as the archipelago’s dozens of islands.
On the island of Tahiti—the nation’s largest and most populated—all of the beaches which are worthy of mention are located outside of Papeete. Many are comprised of jet-black sand, and along shorelines such as Lafayette Beach, volcanic sands extend in front of resorts which cater to high-paying guests. Of the few white sand beaches on the island of Tahiti, one which is popular and open to the public is the thin strip of sand at Toaroto. Others, such as the beaches found at the end of the road in Teahupoo, can have very rough surf which is only accessible to the most experienced surfers on the planet.
For travelers to Tahiti who are looking for beaches more amenable to lounging and swimming, neighboring Moorea has better options for long stretches of sand. The safest option for swimming is at Temae Beach, a palm-fringed stretch of crystalline white sand which is conveniently located walking distance from the airport.
For the idyllic white beaches and turquoise lagoons you see plastered on South Pacific postcards, however, you’ll need to travel further to Bora Bora and the islands of the Tuamotus. At Bora Bora, the best beach which is accessible to the public is mile-long Matira Beach. The shallow waters here are perfect for wading or simply floating around, and you can walk offshore for hundreds of yards and still be in chest-deep water. Matira is also a popular spot for locals to bring their families, and despite the fact it’s a public beach is one of the nicest on Bora Bora.
At neighboring Taha’a, numerous collections of sandy motus (islands) provide beaches which are accessible by tours. While the services are minimal, these are the perfect places for simply relaxing and soaking up the South Pacific rays.
Finally, far away in the atolls of the Tuamotus, hundreds of motus comprised mostly of sand encircle lagoons as enchanting as they are wide. In Rangiroa—a small atoll which is home to second largest lagoon in the world—there is even a beach at Les Sables Rose where the sands are a deep shade of pink. Combined with the turquoise of the massive lagoon and the green of the nearby palms, it’s a Polynesian beach scene infused with colors like nowhere else in the world.
Tours & Tickets
Discover the best of Papeete on this full-day 4WD safari adventure. You'll travel through almost impenetrable rainforest to discover some of the jewels of ... Read more
Papeete, French Polynesia
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)