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Island hopping - French Polynesia

The Marquesas - The South Sea paradise of Paul Gauguin

Highlights

  • Island hopping from Tahiti to the Marquesas islands of Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa

  • Discover the paradise of Paul Gauguin

  • Explore original Tiki statues & archaeological sites

  • Relax on white and coconut palm fringed beaches

  • Stay at handpicked 3 and 4-star accommodations

Description

Your tour starts in Tahiti and takes you to the beautiful Marquesas islands of Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa. Following the steps of painter Paul Gauguin - who found his paradise in French Polynesia, far away from the vanities of Parisian life - you will visit original Tiki figures and archaeological places of worship. You will take part in hikes and get to know the friendliness of the locals. Relax on fine beaches and unwind in accommodations specially selected for you. In the middle of paradise, culture, nature, and relaxation await you.

Destination

Oceania & South Pacific

Papeete - Nuku Hiva - Hiva Oa

The best period to travel here is from April to October, when temperatures rise to about 84 °F during the day, and a pleasant 71 to 73,4 °F at night. Between November and March, the weather is quite humid and temperatures can reach up to 89,6 °F during the day and cool down to about 71,6 °F at night. Between January and March, there is also the risk of cyclones on the islands.

Upon your arrival in Tahiti, you will be received by a representative of our partner agency and transported to your hotel. Take the day to recover from your trip and get used to the local climate. How about a dip in the largest infinity pool on the island, which offers a magnificent view of the lagoon and the nearby island of Moorea? End the first day of your journey with a cool drink and enjoy the tranquility around you.

Trip duration from Papeete airport to Hotel Tahiti: approx. 15 minutes / 8 km (approx. 5 miles)

1 night and breakfast in Tahiti, French Polynesia

Today you will explore the west and east coasts of Tahiti on an island tour. Teeming with cultural and natural treasures, the island offers a variety of attractions worth visiting. Start the tour on the west coast, where you will experience the famous Marae Arahurahu. Important ceremonies used to take place in this religious site dedicated to the ancient Polynesian gods. The tour continues to Vaipahi Gardens, where you can immerse yourself in the native flora and and the thundering sounds of a waterfall.

On the east coast, you will experience the potency of the water that travels from Faarumai Falls to the Arahoho Blowhole. At Point Venus, James Cook observed the transit of our neighboring planet during his first voyage to the South Seas almost 250 years ago. Here you will also find the most interesting black sand beach of Tahiti. Do not forget your camera!

1 night with breakfast in Tahiti, French Polynesia

Kaoha nui! The Marquesas Islands are an approx. 3-hour flight from Society Islands. Unlike the latter or the Tuamoto Islands, the Marquesas are characterized by cliffs, sharp mountains, deep valleys, and canyons. Original Tiki figures and the mysterious me’ae religious sites are fascinating attractions for those interested in cultural experiences. Hiking trails with waterfalls and steep slopes can be explored either on foot or by jeep. Beautiful beaches abound. No wonder Paul Gauguin found his paradise here, far away from the vanities of Parisian life.

Speaking of artists, the islands are home to the most creative inhabitants of French Polynesia. In many galleries on the island you can see the famous local carvings made out of sandalwood and miro wood. Tattoo enthusiasts also call the island home - the art of traditional Polynesian tattoos is alive and well on the Marquesas.

You will immerse yourself Nuku Hiva's culture today. You will travel by car to the village of Taiohae and the Koueva site, where you will go on an easy hike. Afterwards, you will explore the Notre Dame Cathedral. It is a precious symbol of Polynesian carving art. The interior of the cathedral is decorated with stone and wood works of art, each dedicated to a different Marquesas island. You will then proceed to explore the site of Tohua Temehea - said to have been the seat of government of Vaekehu, the last queen or tribal leader of the Taiohae.

Flight time Tahiti airport - Nuku Hiva airport: approx. 3 hours 20 minutes

1 night half board in Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia

Time to get into the jeep: Today you will get to know the interior of the island. You will drive over the Mt Muake to the Hatiheu Valley in the north, which offers you a fantastic view of the bay of Taiohae. Afterwards, you will drive on through the Taipivai Valley, characterized by its seemingly endless coconut palms. Here you will meet a craftsman, with whom you will visit the archaeological sites of Paeke and Kamuihei before driving towards Hatiheu Valley for lunch. Your lunch snack will be served either as a picnic, barbecue or in a local restaurant.

On the way back to the hotel, you will see the archaeological site of Hikokua. Your guide’s stories will transport you back to a time full of mysticism and secrets in this holy place.

1 night, half board in Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia

Today we invite you to explore the bay of Hakatea, located on the south coast of Nuku Hiva. You will walk to the village of the Hakaui. Learn interesting facts about the daily life of the locals and their traditions and customs. Afterwards, you can relax on the snow white beach and enjoy a swim in the crystal clear water.

1 night, half board in Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia

Today we have to pack our bags again. You will leave Nuku Hiva and fly on to Hiva Oa.

We invite you to visit the village of Atuona. Here you will discover the Museum Espace Culturel, which exhibits replicas of Paul Gauguin’s work, as well as La Maison du Joui, the house modeled after the painter’s home. In the Museum Espace Jacques Brel you can admire the plane known as Jojo, which belonged to the famous Belgian singer. Several photographs also show excerpts from the life of the artist.

Flight time Nuku Hiva Airport - Hiva Oa Airport: approx. 45 minutes

1 night incl. half board in Hiva Oa, Marquesas, French Polynesia

Today you will be taken by jeep along the picturesque coastal road to the small town of Puamau. In the northeast of the island you will visit Te Lipona, an archaeological site that houses the tallest stone Tiki in French Polynesia and other extraordinary sculptures. Afterwards you will enjoy lunch (included) in a local restaurant and end the day in peace and quiet at your hotel.

1 night with half board in Hiva Oa, Marquesas, French Polynesia

We hope you have charged your camera, because today you will hike to the bay of Hanaiapa and Hanaketuua, which is about two hours away. Coconut trees and white sand beaches await you. Enjoy a light picnic and take a bath in the crystal clear water.

1 night with half board in Hiva Oa, Marquesas, French Polynesia

Tahuata Island is easily accessible by sea from Hiva Oa. Ranging from fertile valleys to crystal clear bays, an oasis of peace awaits you. Most of the inhabitants make their living from their fine artwork, like carvings of bone and rosewood. You will visit the handicraft center and the beautiful beach. Enjoy a delicious barbecue. On your way back, you might, with a bit of luck, get to observe wild horses in their natural habitat.

1 night with half board in Hiva Oa, Marquesas, French Polynesia

After breakfast at your hotel, you will fly from Hiva Oa back to Tahiti. Depending on the departure time, you will be taken to downtown Papeete by a representative of our partner agency. Here you will have the opportunity to explore further sights of the capital before your flight back home.

We would also be happy to organize an extension for your stay in French Polynesia. Just let us know what you want and we will take care of your customized trip.

itravel - for that moment.

Manava Suite Resort***, Tahiti, French Polynesia

Located on the west coast of the island, this resort offers the largest infinity pool in Tahiti. Each of the 120 rooms and suites is decorated Polynesian style and offers all the amenities, such as a private bathroom, mini-bar, safe and iron/ironing board. You can also enjoy the finest local and international cuisine in two bars and a restaurant. Other hotel facilities include a boutique, a gym, and a spa area.

Keikahanui Lodge***, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia

Built with local materials and perfectly integrated into its surroundings, this lodge in the mountains of Nuku Hiva welcomes you with views of the bay and the village of Taiohae. Decorative wood carvings set the unique ambience. The bungalows have a private terrace. In addition, all units are equipped with air conditioning, TV, safe, hairdryer, and minibar. The in-house restaurant is surrounded by tropical plants and the outdoor pool invites you to relax after a day of exploring.

Hotel Hanakee Lodge***, Hiva Oa, Marquesas, French Polynesia

This accommodation offers a magnificent panoramic view of the island's lush nature. On clear days you can even see as far as Mount Temetiu. You will stay in one of 14 rooms decorated with Polynesian accents by talented local artists. Air conditioning, a flat screen TV, a safe, a mini-bar, and a telephone complete the concept perfectly. Numerous carvings remind us of the local importance of craftsmanship. In addition, you will find a restaurant with outdoor terrace and an infinity pool in your lodge.

Duration of the trip: 10 days / 9 nights

Including

  • 9 overnight stays in the following accommodations or similar:
    • 2 nights at the Manava Suite Resort*** with breakfast in a Garden Suite in Tahiti

    • 3 nights at Keikahanui Lodge*** with half board in a Bay View Bungalow in Nuku Hiva, Marquesas

    • 4 nights at Hanakee Lodge*** with half board in an Ocean View Bungalow in Hiva Oa, Marquesas

  • Meals according to the program
  • Meet & Greet at the airport with flower/shell necklace
  • All transfers in Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa
  • Domestic flights (Airpass)
  • The price is valid in the travel periods 11.01.20 - 12.10.20 & 01.11.21 - 03.31.21

Excluding

  • International flights
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in the scope of services
  • Optional excursions
  • Personal expenses, such as minibar and tips
  • City Tax (approx. 100 CFP) per person/night for people over 12 years of age - to be paid at the end of your stay at the respective hotel

Notes

  • Flight time from Frankfurt am Main: approx. 30 hours
  • Experience shows that the airfare is about 2,000 euros per person and during the high season (May to September) about 2,500 euros per person
  • Please note that the excursion program in the Marquesas can only be combined with the accommodation offered.

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