Huahine ~ The Garden of Eden (Society Islands)
The word “Huahine” means pregnant woman in Tahitian and the island gets its name from the shape of the island which when viewed from a distance, looks like a pregnant woman lying on her back. In fact, Huahine is comprised of two islands — Huahine Nui (big) and Huahine Iti (little). Both islands are surrounded by a deep clear lagoon and possess magnificent bays and gorgeous beaches. There is a wonderful type of solitude, you’ll experience on Huahine that reflects the slower pace of life these island residents embrace.
Where is Huahine?
Just 35 minutes by plane from Tahiti, Huahine is close to the islands of Raiatea, Tahaa & Bora Bora. Huahine is actually two islands joined by a small bridge. Just 20 miles in circumference, exploring the island is something which can be easily managed.
The three primary properties on Huahine are as unique and unspoiled as their surroundings. On the west side of the island is the Royal Huahine. Here you’ll enjoy beautiful views of Raiatea & Tahaa. This is the only resort on Huahine with overwater bungalows. A bit farther north, still with amazing sunset views is the Maitai Lapita Village. Built around a lake, this charming resort was built around the ancient village and even has it’s own museum in the hotel lobby. On the south end of the island is the Relais Mahana. This charming family run hotel with views of Raiatea is considered by many to have the best beach on the island.
What to do in Huahine
Life on Huahine may be quiet but on Sunday mornings you’ll find the main village of Fare bursting with life as the outdoor market is the place to be as locals stock up on fresh produce, fish, etc. Because of the many archaeological sites, some have compared Huahine to an outdoor museum. Visit the historic former royal village of Maeva where restored marae (sacrificial temples) and other ancient sites tell of a civilization the existed over 1,000 years ago. Guides can even take you to lakes where 300-year-old fishing traps are still being used. Add to that the beauty of Huahine’s vegetation and you will find the perfect way to explore the island is by foot, bike, scooter or 4×4. Of course, you’ll find all the usual aquatic activities, from snorkeling and scuba diving to sailing and jet skiing. Huahine also happens to have some of the best waves and most consistent breaks in all of French Polynesia – making it especially popular with surfers. If you happen to be in Huahine in October, the Hawaii Nui Va’a race actually starts in Huahine. This is the largest outrigger canoe race in the South Pacific. Being able to witness the start of this race is something you will always remember!