Magnificent Moorea – the heart of French Polynesia
January 1, 1970
by Mariya Iliychova Georgieva
French Polynesia is one of the dream destinations for most travelers all over the world. It is hard accessible and far in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, but with its beauty is a symbol of success and good life. Bora Bora and Tahiti attract even the most pretensions travelers who are looking for five-stars luxury and a bit privacy from the busy daily life and crazy metropolitan cities. One of the best-kept secrets in French Polynesia is actually Moorea – a small island just on the opposite side of Tahiti that could be easily reached by ferry or small plane from Papeete. Moorea is a really calm place and it is known as The Magical Island in French Polynesia.
The place is magnificent with amazing scenery of impressive mountains, turquoise waters and tranquil lagoons, wild nature, rainforests and beautiful beaches where you can just lie under the coconut trees. You can also enter in the inner part of the island and explore the plantations for bananas, pineapples, cacao and wild nature. With it’s almost like a heart shape from a birds view, Moorea is becoming the heart of French Polynesia. And if you visit it you will realize that the island will steal your heart forever. It is one of the most romantic islands in French Polynesia.
The Magical Island is completely surrounded by coral reefs which are creating a beautiful and shallow lagoon around the land. In the North shore of the island is gorgeous Mount Rotui which is situated at the center of the volcanic crater. The huge mountain and the amazing lagoons are making the perfect view.
WHAT TO DO IN MOOREA?
EXPLORE BELVEDERE LOOKOUT AND THE GORGEOUS MOUNTAINS:
I would recommend if you are in Moorea and you want to have a great experience to take the off-road 4×4 jeep adventure among all this beauty. You can explore the green valleys and the gorgeous mountains and see the best bay view from the Belvedere Lookout Point. The off-road safari is really exciting and you can see the best Northern part of the island. The tour is usually starting from the point that you ordered in advance – it is possible to start from the small plane airport or from the small port from Papetoai or from any hotel you are on a vacation in the Moorea island.
If you start from Papetoai – the small port from which actually most boats from the cruise ships are landing in Moorea, you will drive for a while and just after 5 minutes you will get into the wild, climbing with the 4-wheel vehicle to the most magnificent scenery view in Moorea which is reachable only with 4-wheel drive and local experienced driver. The off-road is too steep and it is really almost vertical which makes this experience also full of adrenaline, but the best pleasure is the moment you reach the highest point. The view is stunning – you can see the lagoon and all different shades of the crystal blue water. This is also the point from which you will fell in love forever in Moorea. With the 4-wheel jeeps, you can reach also the inner part of the island where you can see the Polynesian plantations of bananas, cacao and the most impressive is to have an amazing view on the Mount Rotui on the front ground of the pineapples. The exciting tour is continuing among the rainforests and crossing some small rivers which make the tour really nice adventure for everyone.
TASTE PINEAPPLE LIQUOR AND TROPICAL JAMS:
On the way, you can stop in the local school where you can taste different kinds of exotic juices and tropical jams. It is possible to visit a French Polynesian liquor store where you can taste and buy a fine banana or pineapple liquor from the Distillery. Some of the finest liquor could reach the price of 100 euros per bottle.
ENJOY THE LAGOONS IN COOK’S BAY AND AFAREAITU:
If you want to see a beautiful lagoon – two of the most amazing lagoons in Moorea are in Cook’s Bay on North and Afareaitu in East part of the island. There the water is really tranquil and it is pleasure for everyone to enjoy the beautiful view of the lagoon and high mountains in one. One of the most recommended beaches is Temae Beach which is famous for the nice white sands and shallow beautiful lagoon where you can swim and snorkel among colorful tropical fishes and impressive coral reefs. Close to this beach is actually the small Moorea’s airport. There are also many hotels, bungalows, and resorts around this area.
CULTURAL EXPERIENCE IN TIKI VILLAGE:
If you want to experience a full Polynesian night you can reserve places on the feast dinner and local dances show in Tiki Village Cultural Center in the west part of the island in Haapiti district. It will be a great experience for everyone who is interested in local food and traditional Polynesian dances. In Tiki Village, during the day you can explore the arts and crafts like woodcarving, jewelry, paintings, and others. If you join the evening program – the show plus the dinner can be around 4 hours, so it is good to have all the night in order to walk around the Village and to enjoy calmly your time.
TRY THE LOCAL DISH POISSON CRU:
Traditional Tahitian food is Poisson cru and it is made of raw tuna marinated with fresh lime juice, coconut milk, and mixed vegetables. It is a light dish with exotic taste and it fulfills the nice experience. If you are not interested in the Polynesian food, you should know that there are also many not pretentious options like cafes, pizza or hamburger places, and even Chinese restaurants. Most of them you can find in North in Maharepa or in Northwest in Hauru Point districts. Of course, it is always a great idea to choose some seafood or fish, because these products are always fresh and local.
Here you can find more information about restaurants in Moorea: http://www.tahiti-tourisme.com/islands/moorea/moorea-restaurants.asp
It is well known that the first overwater bungalows are invented exactly in Moorea in the 1960s. After that, the idea for houses over the water is spread all over the world. There are many hotels and resorts in Moorea from Bungalows to five-stars resorts. You can see many of them here: https://www.kayak.com/Moorea-Hotels.46250.hotel.ksp
If you want to check for things to do and different tour packages during your stay in Moorea – you can check here: https://www.viator.com/Moorea/d5182-ttd#%7B%22listSpec%22%3A%7B%22layout%22%3A%22grid%22%7D%2C%22filterSpec%22%3A%7B%22selections%22%3A%5B%5D%2C%22availabilityRange%22%3A%7B%22from%22%3A%22%22%2C%22to%22%3A%22%22%7D%7D%2C%22currency%22%3A%22USD%22%2C%22destinationId%22%3A%225182%22%7D