Rarely does life present us with such deliciously difficult decisions. And after months of hecticwedding planning, these are the only sorts of decisions you and your new husband will want to make. For a honeymoon that is truly sublime, head northeast towards the equator until you find Tahiti and its 118 islands.
Scattered across five far-flung archipelagos and covering four million square kilometres of ocean, Bride had the enviable task of sampling this corner of the South Pacific. After a week in this land of warm waters, tropical weather, rich culture and delectable cuisine, we know why it is such a coveted honeymoon destination.
Gateway to the archipelago
As our Air Tahiti Nui plane descends towards Papeete, the capital of Tahiti, a collective gasp rolls 펄안마
through the cabin. Emerging from the emerald sea are cloud-draped mountains, plunging valleys and pristine beaches which appear to run on forever. And if the beauty of the scenery isn’t welcome enough, the warmth of the locals is.
Tahiti is renowned for the hospitality of its people. On arrival at our hotel, the InterContinental Resort Tahiti, we are greeted with song and the sounds of the ukulele and guitar. Smiling Polynesian women in traditional dress entertain us with traditional dancing and swathe us with colourful garlands of flowers featuring Tahiti’s national flower, the tiare.
A great place to commence your Tahitian sojourn, Tahiti offers visitors numerous treasures including a bustling market where you will discover multi-coloured pareos (sarongs), local handcrafts and luscious vanilla soaps and lotions.
During our stay, the sun rarely leaves the sky and the breeze barely rouses the flat crystal waters. While this is a typical day for this part of the world – the temperature varies between 26 and 28 degrees all year round – our guide warns us of the occasional bout of tropical rain. However, all is not lost if it does rain as there are scores of art and history museums waiting to be explored. Particularly worth a visit is the Paul Gauguin Museum. Located in a spacious garden, the museum is a memorial to the artist famed for his portrayal of island life.
If your idea of a honeymoon involves activity and adventure, you will be hard pressed to find a more extreme excursion than a climb through the lava tubes of Hitiaa. Situated on the rocky east coast, volcanic eruptions have forged channels through the rock. Over time, these have been penetrated by water and stunning waterfalls gush through the eroded sections. You will need a reliable pair of shoes, a guide that knows the area and some quiet determination.
After our extreme hiking experience, it is time to chill out. We fell in love with the laid-back Polynesian approach to life at the InterContinental Resort Tahiti. With two infinity pools, a swim-up bar, dancing shows and choice of restaurants and cuisines, it rarely gets much better than this.
Bidding the mainland farewell, we take a 45-minute ferry ride to the island of Moorea – Tahiti’s sister island.
Moorea looks good enough to eat. Literally! On a four-wheel-drive trip around the island, we sample the plentiful papayas, mangoes, wild bananas, breadfruit, limes and watermelons that thrive in the volcanic soil. But the pick of the island’s fruit salad is the deliciously sweet pineapple. Best sampled straight off the plant, our guide tells us the sugar content is so high they turn bad within 48 hours. This explains why you won’t find them in your local supermarket and is all the more reason to devour as many as your tummy can handle.