The words French Polynesia are appropriate to conjure up images of waving trees, crystal-clear lagoons, blissful beaches and fringing reefs full of marine life.
The islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Raiatea, Huahine, Tahaa and Bora Bora are just the highlights of this tropical South Pacific 118-island string.
With balmy trade winds, a stable climate and a combination of sheltered waters behind the reefs and more thrilling open-water passages between islands, French Polynesia is like no other watery world.
Everyone from the Paul Gauguin painter to fishermen, divers, snorkelers, sunbathers, and canoeists is fascinated by the contrasts of the Tahiti region’s turquoise seas, emerald hills, and cobalt skies.
One of the last places on Earth to be settled by humans was the impossibly remote and endlessly alluring French Polynesian islands. Today, the year-round winds of trade and moderate, stable climate make Tahiti a sailing destination year-round.
A Tahitian sailing holiday is no coastal cruise, with many of the islands of French Polynesia spreading tens or even hundreds of miles apart. Experienced ocean sailors will enjoy the opportunity to sail the South Pacific’s calm waters in search of island-hopping adventure, meeting warm, traditional island cultures, stunning volcanic scenery and spectacular marine wildlife along the way.
Dive the reef loop surrounding Raiatea and neighboring Taha’a and face the amazing marine life of Polynesia. Sheltered from swells but exposed to powerful trade winds, the self-contained lagoon of Raiatea provides truly excellent sailing.
Located halfway between South America and Australia in the Pacific Ocean, French Polynesia is made up of 118 islands in the archipelagos of Antarctica, Gambier, Marquesas, Tuamotu, and the Society.
The capital is Papeete on Tahiti. Bora-Bora, Raiatea, Tahaa, and Huahine are the jewels of the exotic cruising grounds of a sailing holiday in Tahiti.
The islands are known as the Leewards because they are downwind from Tahiti. Encircling barrier reefs provide shelter for sea turtles, whales, dolphins, porpoises, colorful hard and soft coral, and more than 500 fish species, making the Tahitian Leewards one of the best snorkeling and scuba diving destinations in the world. Resorts, water sports, island tours, archeological sites, and fine dining are just some of the charms of a yacht charter from Tahiti.
A sailing holiday in Tahiti provides eastern winds with an average of 15 to 20 knots throughout the year, virtually guaranteeing a relaxing sail every day in the calm waters behind the reefs and energetic open-water sailing. Navigation inside the reefs is line-of-sight from one marker to the next, although it needs a watchful eye on the map, as is the mapping of courses on longer island passages.
At less than one foot, the tidal range is negligible, which means that usually, the currents are weak except in narrow passages through the reefs. This tropical waters ‘ beauty and unique character inspire less experienced and seasoned sailors alike to return for more adventures from time to time.
Despite neighbors being Bora-Bora, Raiatea, Tahaa and Huahine, there is a slightly different atmosphere on each island. The beauty of the South Pacific is a standard feature, of course. There are also stunning reefs, motus, and beaches. On one island, the focus may be more on the trendy catering, while on another, the supreme nature. Together, the Tahitian Leewards four jewels are an enchanting cruising platform for an unforgettable sailing holiday in Tahiti.