Springtime is just around the corner, and it is time to start planning for some grand summer vacation. Exotic islands are a real investment, and there are very few people who can just pack and leave for them at short notice. For years in a row, Tahiti has been one of the top world destinations, offering a wide range of activities and things to do, as well as some of the world’s most perfect beaches and coastline.
A word or two about Tahiti
For those of you who may not be familiar with this extraordinary place, let me tell you that Tahiti is the largest island in the Windward group of islands, located in French Polynesia, which is sometimes referred to as the overseas country of the French Republic. French is the official language here, but don’t worry, you won’t be having any problems while trying to establish effective communication with the local population, for most of them are quite good at English, due to the increasing number of guests from all around the world.
History and Culture
The history of French Polynesia is very long and dates back to 200 BC, when the first Tahitians arrived after a long migration from Southeast Asia using outrigger canoes which were up to 20-30 meters long. The society had an interesting division, and it was led by a chief, from the rank of nobles who were believed to be descendants of Polynesian gods, having supernatural powers, who wore belts of red feathers, symbol of their power, and lesser chiefs. The center of the spiritual and social life of the clan was the marae. Various rituals were performed here. Christianity was introduced in 1797, with the arrival of Europeans, but before their arrival, the island was divided into different sections, which were under primary influence of a single clan, the most notable being Teva.
As for Tahitian culture, it encompassed an oral tradition that involved a mythology of gods, such as Oro, as well as ancient traditions like tattooing. Their traditional festival of culture, dance, music and sports – Heiva – is held in June. Otea is a traditional dance and it is characterized by fast hip-shaking and grass skirts similar to, but not the same as, the Hawaiian Hula.
Beaches and Cuisine
One of the things Tahiti is most famous for are its overwater bungalows and the most amazing beaches in the world. Some of the beaches you definitely ought to visit are La Plage de Maui and Temae Beach. And since the water in Tahiti is of incredibly blue-green color and crystal clear, you would probably wish to dive in immediately.
While here, use the opportunity to try some local specialties which consist mostly of fresh seafood, especially tuna, mahi-mahi, grouper and bonito. Some more exotic choices would be parrotfish, barracuda and octopus. We also recommend Poisson cru –tuna marinated in a mixture of lime juice and coconut milk. For desert, you should try Faraoa coco, a kind of coconut bread or Poe which is made of papaya and banana leaves. The traditional drink is Hinano, a type of beer, while tropical cocktails you may find in every bar.
Tahiti is well known as a hot fitcation spot – you know, vacations mixed with fitness! You are likely to find some instafamous fitness model there, holding beach yoga courses and whatnot. If you need to exercise while you’re there, ask at your hotel if they have some interesting outdoors course. Or you could do the cool thing, and take advantage of the amazing tropical setting you are in. Watersports will keep you active and entertained, and they are best used when you have already been running a mile down the pristine sand beaches. Keep in mind that Tahiti is full of tourists, and as clean as it is, there is always an unexpected forgotten piece of litter waiting to stab you from the sand. On the other hand, running on sand in sneakers is #theworst. Be a good sport and put on those barefoot shoes while you take your morning jog!
If lying on the beach and trying out incredible island watersports is not enough for you, why not head for Moorea, where you can do all that, and also visit the Moorea Dolphin Center or the Fautaua Waterfall in the Fautaua Valley.
And finally, don’t leave Tahiti without taking a boat cruise along French Polynesian islands, however! These organized cruises are the best way to experience local societies and learn about their culture and history. During at least a week-long cruise, you will have an amazing opportunity to get to know the best Tahiti has to offer.