From ancient rituals and hidden treasures to mystical myths and romantic legends, here are a few whispers from the picturesque islands to cast the Tahitian spell and lure visitors to experience this destination firsthand….
Tetiaroa island, known as ‘Bird Island’, in the Society Archipelago was the location for the film, Mutiny on the Bountystarring Marlon Brando. After filming on the island in the 1960s, the beauty of the setting impressed Brando so much that, when filming was over, the actor looked to buy the island and was privy to a 99 year lease to it from the French Polynesian government.
It is also rumoured that Brando, who died in 2004, granted his friend Michael Jackson the lifelong use of 2,000 m² area on the islet of Onetahi, in the west of Tetiaroa. The atoll is composed of different-sized motus and the largest of these, Tiaraunu, has a landing strip as well as the only small hotel on the island, the Tetiaroa Village. Currently an eco resort, ‘The Brando Project’ is under construction and due for completion next year.
Rurutu in the Austral Islands is known as ‘The Island of the Whales’ due to the fact that its hospitable waters offer the perfect breeding area for humpback whales who rear their calves from July to October. It is even possible to swim with them.
The word ‘tattoo’ and ‘taboo’ originates from Polynesia and are two of the few words that have worked their way into the English language.
The extraordinarily large lagoon which laps the shores of Raiatea and Taha’a in the Society Archipelago, has fostered the development of incredible underwater flora and fauna creating the beautiful ‘Japanese Garden’ of coral roses.
Dustin Hoffman received a traditional Tahitian Wedding Blessing at Tiki Village, the reconstruction of a typical Polynesian village on Moorea island. Evenings at Tiki Village end with a spectacular display of traditional songs and dances.
Legend says the delicate petals of the Tiare Apetahi flower – which can only be found on the sacred island of Raiatea – represent the five fingers of a lovely Tahitian girl who fell in love with the son of a king and died of a broken heart from unrequited love. The petals close at night, and at daybreak they open with a slight crackling sound – thought to be the sound of her heart breaking. Botanists have tried to grow the flower elsewhere without luck.
Fakarava in the Tuamotus archipelago is known as ‘The Island of Dreams’ where visitors can travel to the ancient village of Tetamanu and see one of the first Roman Catholic churches to be built in French Polynesia, made entirely of coral, the church dates back to 1874.
Tahiti has been the location for a number of films, including:
The Ultimate Wave Tahiti (IMAX, 2010)
Featuring nine-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater, The Ultimate Wave follows a quest to find the perfect wave-riding experience. Filmed in Tahiti and among the islands of French Polynesia, the film showcases dramatic giant screen surfing action in a unique Pacific paradise.
Couples Retreat (Universal, 2009)
Vince Vaughn leads an all-star cast in the laugh-out-loud comedy about eight friends whose holiday in paradise is one they’ll never forget. Their group-rate break comes at a price when they discover that participation in the resort’s unconventional couple’s therapy activities is anything but optional!
Discover the magical of Tahiti and her islands first hand with these deals:
For the honeymooners:
Turquoise Holidays is offering five nights at Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort, followed by five nights at Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort in overwater bungalows for £3,650 per person. Package includes complimentary upgrades from a beach suite, honeymoon discount, complimentary half board, a bottle of locally made wine and a Tahitian Pearl for the bride, resort transfers, domestic and international flights. Travel until 31 December 2012. To book visit www.turquoiseholidays.co.uk or call 01494 678 400.
For the twin island experience:
Luxury Holidays Direct is offering an eight night stay combo with four nights at Sofitel Bora Bora and four nights at Sofitel Moorea from £2,699 per person. Package includes accommodation on half board for two in lead-in rooms on half board basis, economy flights with Virgin Atlantic and Air Tahiti Nui, transfers between airport and resorts and all applicable taxes. To book visit www.luxuryholidaysdirect.com or call 020 8774 7299.
For the twin destination experience:
Carrier is offering a nine night twin destination package for £4,260 per person including seven nights at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora with breakfast and two nights at the Four Seasons Hotel Beverly Wilshire. Travel from 8 October 2012 to 16 December 2012. To book visit www.carrier.co.uk or call 0161 492 1355
For more information on Tahiti and her islands visit:
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