Bora Bora – located in French Polynesia near Tahiti - may be one of the smallest of the Pacific islands, but it oozes with personality and love-appeal. Better known as a secluded paradise, or heaven-on-earth, Bora Bora offers a brand of deep sea romance only dreamed of in harlequin novels. Swim with the dolphins, sleep in a fish-bowl bungalow, hug a shark- or play it safe and just hug your honey in the heart of the blue lagoon.
Bora Bora is private and beautiful like the demurest of little ladies, but newlyweds will feel miles away from conservative in their secluded over-crystal-water hut. At sunrise, have breakfast delivered to your door by canoe, or wrap a suggestive scrunchie around the knob and skip it, just this once. In the afternoon, go for a romantic lagoon-cruise in a catamaran glass-bottom or sailboat. Bring along some of those famously behemoth avocados and papayas for snacking if lunch was lucky too.
The island claims to be one of the most beautiful in the world – and it’s earned its bragging rights. The lush green valleys are spotted with hibiscus flowers and the white sandy beaches are surrounded by warm turquoise lagoons, lined with coral walls. It’s like one of those Russian Martoshka dolls- peel back Bora Bora’s layers and you’ll only discover more beauty. Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia are two majestic volcanic peaks of black rock that dominate the center of the island, and are definitely worth a long, sigh-accompanied gaze.
Don’t stay cooped up in your hot little hut all week: go diving or snorkeling among the spectacular coral reef and explore the colorful tropical fish, small sharks and giant manta rays. Take an underwater camera to snap pictures of the kaleidoscope of marine wildlife: Bora Bora’s waters are home to dolphins, humpback whales and over 500 species of fish. On land, you can go hiking along the scenic trails overlooking the water, and stop for a picnic. After a day of shark-diving, jet skiing and other heart-racing adventures, you’ll feel more grateful than ever when you click your flip-flops together and say “there’s no place like hut.”
Take a safari tour around the island with a local guide. The guide will know all of the hidden paths and roads, and will be able to show you the historical sites and stunning secret lookout points. Later on, you can rent bicycles or a car and go back to explore these areas by yourselves. Believe it or not, the island is so small that you can rent a scooter and drive around the whole island in just a few hours.
Looking to star-gaze on your honeymoon? Head over to Bloody-Mary’s – an American-style fish & steak joint - where locals, visitors and celebrities alike mix, mingle and toss back cold ones.
Head down to the main village of Vaitape to walk, chat, and shop for world-renowned pearls. Check out the local artists boldly exhibiting their craft and artwork, and the red-roofed church, which, built in 1822, is located in the town center.
Visit one of French Polynesia’s best beaches, Matira Point. This 3km-long stretch of coconut tree-studded white sand is great for water sports, but is just secluded enough to enjoy some alone-time with your hubby.
before you go
What to Expect
Summer: November – March. Rainy and humid months (high 20s), with a risk of storms
Winter: April – October. Drier seasons and pleasant weather (high 20s)
Casual, but bring one or two dressier outfits for dinner time.
The Pacific French Franc (XPF) or US dollars (at most places)
French, English, Tahitian
Poisson cru: raw fish marinated in lime and coconut
Mahi Mahi: dolphin-fish