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Blick auf das Riff zwischen den Inseln Raiatea und Tahaa, Bild: Umomos / shutterstock

Tahaa – Island in French Polynesia

The islands of French Polynesia are arguably some of the most impressive regions our planet has to offer. The mostly volcanic islands are not just small paradises with turquoise blue seas, but often also real cultural treasures that have remained largely free of mass tourism and change over the centuries. A good example of islands worth visiting is Tahaa. The small island has hardly changed over the last few centuries and, around 230 kilometres from Tahiti, offers a very special insight into the unique nature of French Polynesia.

The Island of Vanilla

Tahaa, Island of Vanilla
Tahaa, Island of Vanilla, Image: MAURURU / shutterstock

Tahaa got the nickname “Vanilla Island” mainly because a significant part of the vanilla in French Polynesia is grown here on the island. Visitors report that the smell of the fresh flowers rises to your nose virtually everywhere on the island and thus spreads a very unique atmosphere. But before you can start your visit to one of the many plantations, you first need to get to the island – and that’s not so easy. Which is probably one reason why Tahaa has been able to retain its own charm over the years, as it does not attract too many tourists to the island.

The journey is usually by boat from Raiatea. This neighboring island can be easily reached by plane from most other parts of French Polynesia several times a day, thus also offering the possibility of island hopping. It can be worthwhile to use Raiatea as your own base for your holiday. But Tahaa can also be reached quite quickly from Bora Bora . In less than half an hour you can reach Raiatea by plane and from there you can take a boat to the Vanilla Island. Ship traffic depends on the seasons and should be inquired about locally.

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If you are interested in a longer stay on Tahaa, you should make your own booking as early as possible. There are only a few resorts on the island and the majority of the beds are available in small guesthouses, which are usually run by the island’s inhabitants as a part-time job. It can be worthwhile to spend a few more days on the island for one or the other activity – with the appropriate planning and the knowledge of what to expect on Tahaa.

Discover Tahaa – why is the island an insider tip?

Especially among divers, Tahaa has quickly become a hotspot. No wonder, there is hardly any other region in the world that can score with such wonderful water and such a lively and colorful underwater landscape. At Tahaa, there is simply the remoteness, which makes the diving areas easier to reach and ensures that you don’t have to fight with hundreds of other divers for the most beautiful impressions. There are a huge number of wrecks and caves under the water that can be explored. However, professionals say that the sea around Tahaa is not suitable for beginners. So if you want to take your first steps in this sport, you might want to take it elsewhere.

Another group of water sports enthusiasts who will get their money’s worth here are the sailors. Of course, these can be found everywhere in French Polynesia, but in the areas around Tahaa there are not only a variety of natural harbours for a breather or two, but also a largely undriven sea with impressive winds that can lead to a real adventure. Corresponding tours are also offered from the other islands and offer those who do not have a sailboat themselves the opportunity to live this experience.

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The island itself also has a lot to offer. Above all, the colorful nature, the beautiful natural gardens and the hiking trails invite you to take a trip. From Mount Ohiri you have an impressive overview of the island and can look over to the neighboring islands or simply let the sea work its magic on you. A visit to a vanilla farm should be a matter of course, after all, the smell will be in your nose all the time anyway.

If you just want to discover a little piece of paradise in the world, a visit to Tahaa is the right place for you. If you expect a comprehensive program, want to eat well and experience action, it is better to stay on one of the more popular islands of French Polynesia and simply take the opportunity for a day trip to Tahaa.