Studded with volcanic mountains, Moorea is a vision of sugar-white sand, turquoise water and emerald-green rainforest. The South Pacific island is a stone’s throw from Tahiti but feels more local and laid-back than its famous sister. Unwind at a luxury resort or enjoy a back-to-basics getaway at a family-run guesthouse.
Things to do in Moorea
Moorea is dotted with jewel-coloured bays where you can sunbathe, swim and snorkel with tropical fish. Relax under swaying palms at Cook’s Bay or escape to less-developed Opunohu Bay. There are plenty of opportunities to make a splash on Moorea, including water sports like windsurfing and kitesurfing.
Set sail on a whale-watching cruise or rent a glass-bottom kayak and enjoy a leisurely paddle around the bays. Snorkelling tours immerse you in an underwater wonderland of colourful corals and tropical fish. Boats whisk you offshore to the Lagoonarium snorkelling site, where you can swim with rainbow-coloured fish, blacktip reef sharks, rays and moray eels.
Trails wind through the mountainous interior and take you up iconic peaks like Mount Tohivea, one of the highest points on the island. The hike to Belvedere Lookout rewards you with fantastic vistas over the surrounding mountains. On the north coast, Mount Rotui commands stunning views over Opunohu Bay. Horseback tours are a great alternative to hiking.
Moorea Tropical Garden is a hidden gem set on a rainforest-covered plateau. Stroll around the lush gardens and learn about native plants like the vanilla orchid and breadfruit tree. The restaurant will tempt you with freshly squeezed juices and classic Polynesian dishes.
Getting around Moorea
Moorea is part of the Society Islands archipelago in French Polynesia. Rental cars are a good way to explore the island at your own pace, while other options include electric scooters and bicycles. Ferries run between Moorea and Tahiti and take around 30 minutes, or you can take a 10-minute flight.