Moorea, which is referred to as “The Magical Island,” is believed to be James Michener’s inspiration for the mystical island Bali Hai.
Over the years it’s been the location for many movies, including Mutiny on the Bounty and Love Affair. Moorea is just 11 miles across the Sea of the Moon from Tahiti, a 30-minute catamaran ride, to the dock in Moorea. There are only 15,000 residents that call Moorea home.
When you first arrive in Moorea you’re struck by the turquoise lagoon, the near-vertical emerald cliffs that just seem to leap out of the lagoon, all of which truly take your breath away. You’re really left stunned by it’s magnificence and its beauty, it’s not quite like anything you’ve ever experienced before.
To really get to know this beautiful heart-shaped island, drive up to Belvedere Lookout, which provides breathtaking views of Moorea’s twin bays, Cook’s and Opunohu. You can make Moorea a wonderful day trip if you’re staying in Tahiti, however it’s really worth a couple of days exploring Moorea’s treasures. There are pretty white-sand beaches with beautiful, warm water in each lagoon where you can snorkel with schools of fish in the translucent waters. Later in the day you can savour the brilliant sunsets.
One popular activity while on Moorea, is touring one of the local distillers and sampling their exotic liqueurs made from pineapple, mango, coconut, vanilla and other Tahitian staples. You’ll never forget it and we still have some left from our last trip. You’ll want to purchase a bottle to take home that will remind you of Moorea.
Moorea’s best beaches are on the east coast, where they are probably the widest in all of French Polynesia and stretch from Teavaro round to the airport. The Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort occupies Teavaro Beach.