Bora Bora: Probably the most stunning islands on the planet

Some {couples} come to Bora Bora with shiny new wedding ceremony bands. Others go to this unique Polynesian island to tick off a long-held bucket checklist merchandise. All convey heavy wallets.

I got here to Bora Bora with not one of the above. On task for a journey journal, I used to be the one solo traveller in a sea of loved-up {couples}.

On my second morning on the 4 Seasons Resort Bora Bora’s luxurious breakfast buffet – simply me, my telephone and a stack of pancakes – one other visitor approached me. “Sorry to trouble you, however we had been questioning should you’d been stood up on the altar and determined to come back in your honeymoon by yourself,” she requested.

Once I defined that I had a companion and was right here for work, she invited me to take a seat together with her and her husband, who she’d married in a lavish Texan wedding ceremony ceremony 5 days earlier (I do know this as a result of she confirmed me many, many pictures).

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It seems that the brash Texan wasn’t up to now off the mark: workers at one other resort later admitted at the least six or seven ladies fly solo every year, having had their weddings known as off on the final minute.

“They’ve paid so much for his or her honeymoon, so that they flip up anyway,” stated the workers member. “However oddly, it’s solely the ladies who ever do it, by no means the lads.”

Bora Bora isn’t a foul place to recover from a damaged relationship (or to have a good time a profitable one): in case your coronary heart quickens even slightly at talcum-powder sand and heat temperatures, you then’ll be in heaven.


How do you select between the Maldives, Seychelles and Bora Bora? Now we have the reply. (Video first printed February 11, 2019)

As a result of throw no matter tropical island cliches you need at Bora Bora they usually’ll stick: palm bushes, pristine waters and multicoloured fish and unique fruit you most likely can’t discover a identify for.

Bora Bora isn’t technically one island however 12 low-lying motu (slender coral islets) sprinkled round a lagoon so luminous the one phrases that comes near describing it are ‘ridiculously blue’.

Rising up in the course of the lagoon is Mt Otemanu, an extinct volcano that reaches 727m into the air. Some extra figures: Bora Bora is just 8.8km lengthy and 4km extensive, it’s allegedly seven million years outdated and was as soon as believed to be the final remaining tip of the sunken continent of Atlantis.

Traditionally, Bora Bora attracted adventurers comparable to artist Paul Gauguin and the late Marlon Brando (who appreciated it a lot he purchased his personal island close by). Creator James Michener known as it “probably the most stunning island on the earth” whereas explorer James Prepare dinner was equally moved by what he named “the pearl of the Pacific”.

The writer hitches a lift to breakfast from her over-water villa.

Sharon Stephenson

The author hitches a elevate to breakfast from her over-water villa.

Right this moment, the island that’s so good they named it twice is a favorite with Hollywood heavy hitters comparable to Nicole Kidman, Justin Bieber, the Kardashians and Jennifer Aniston (who apparently occupied my room on the 4 Seasons a number of weeks earlier than me).

If that sort of factor is necessary to you, there are many alternatives to comply with of their footsteps. If it isn’t, simply being in Bora Bora will earn you main social media bragging rights.

One in all this island’s actual points of interest is its remoteness – the one option to get there’s by crusing your self, getting somebody to sail you (Hawaiki Nui delivery line presents two or three inter-island sailings per week) or flying from Tahiti, a 50-minute hop. If it’s the latter, be sure to seize a window seat for a view of this postcard fairly island as you land on the tiny airstrip.

When you’ve stopped sniffing the perfumed air (that would be the tiare you’re smelling, Tahiti’s tiny however superbly aromatic nationwide flower), head to the compact airport’s jetty the place the speed-boat to your resort shall be ready.

Should you can swing it, attempt to rating an over-water bungalow the place you may watch ‘Tahitian TV’, the nickname given to the raised glass home windows within the flooring of some villas that permit visitors to eyeball fish and manta ray, and generally even feed them. Enjoyable reality: Tahiti is the OG of over-water villas, because the idea was invented right here within the 60s when a gaggle of Individuals determined to perch conventional Tahitian fishing huts on stilts above the water.

There’s no shortage of ways to access the ocean in Bora Bora.

Sharon Stephenson

There’s no scarcity of how to entry the ocean in Bora Bora.

Sign up for a snorkelling trip with one of the many local operators.

Sharon Stephenson

Join a snorkelling journey with one of many many native operators.

However should you haven’t gained Lotto or, like a personality from The White Lotus, bought your wildly profitable IT start-up, then Bora Bora isn’t essentially off limits.

Some resorts, such because the Conrad Bora Bora Nui, provide backyard bungalows and lodge block-style residences which might run you to a lot lower than over-water bungalows. So too does the Sofitel Marara Seaside. And there are a number of pensions and visitor homes which shall be kinder to your finances, comparable to Village Temanuata, a group of 11 rustic Polynesian huts close to Matrira Seaside.

The temptation to lie subsequent to the pool/seaside is robust on this magical island, however needs to be resisted for lengthy sufficient to take a look at a number of of the sights.

Head to the Bora Bora Lagoonarium, a pure aquarium on a small motu east of the principle island. Snorkel within the translucent water for secure encounters with turtles, manta rays, sharks and extra fish than Nemo ever discovered. Should you join a full day tour, they’ll even throw in a barbecue lunch.

Deliver your togs since you’ll spend a number of time on the water with jet-skies, paddleboards, sail boats, out-rigger canoes and catamaran crusing choices. Large sport fishing and deep-water diving are additionally doable as soon as out previous the coral reef.

Head inland for greenery and wild growing pineapples.

Sharon Stephenson

Head inland for greenery and wild rising pineapples.

When you’ve had sufficient of the water, head into Bora Bora’s cooler inside to stroll or rent a motorbike or scooter. The island is usually flat, other than Mt Otemanu which you’ll climb so far as the ‘shoulder’ (round 4km) however no additional as the delicate rock isn’t appropriate for climbing.

Or join with Polynesian Island Excursions which runs a variety of nature walks, from the Valley of Kings, a three-hour comparatively simple hike, to more difficult full-day excursions. Should you’re tremendous match and don’t undergo from vertigo, then the trek to the summit of Mt Pahia, the 658m youthful sibling of Mt Otemanu, is a six-hour slog that may reward you with excellent views.

I used to be as soon as charged NZ$35 for a tiny salad at a Bora Bora resort so maintain an eye fixed out for extra budget-friendly consuming choices. Meaning consuming the place the locals eat, together with the snack stands at Vaitape and Matira Seashores, which promote burgers, pizzas, French crêpes, Chinese language chow mein and po’e, an area mash-up of bananas, taro and coconut milk.

Additionally look out for the Les Roulottes, or meals vehicles, a preferred function all through Tahiti, which provide low cost and engaging meals for round NZ$20.

You may’t go away French Polynesia with out making an attempt poisson cru. Which means ‘uncooked fish’, this Tahitian speciality is normally tuna, salmon, snapper, salmon or mahi mahi marinated in coconut milk and served with rice and a few sort of greenery, from salad to diced carrots and cabbage. It’s particularly scrumptious eaten whereas on a solo journey to one of the stunning islands on the planet.

The author was a visitor of Tahiti Tourism.