Take the time to get off the beaten track on your voyage to The Islands of Tahiti. Makatea, Rimatara and Tahuata are three little-known islands that are certainly worth visiting, as you’ll find out here.

Visiting somewhere off the beaten track is an ideal way to discover a destination’s authentic culture and traditions. There are different reasons why certain islands have far less visitors than Bora Bora, Tahiti, Moorea, Maupiti or Rangiroa. Some are particularly isolated, others just don’t want to suffer the ill-effects of mass tourism. But often, these little-known islands are small treasures, with truly breathtaking scenery, beaches as magnificent as Bora Bora, and a long and eventful history. If your voayage takes you to the Marquesas, Austral or Tuamotu Islands, add Makatea, Rimatara and Tahuata to your itinerary and take a journey to the unknown!

Makatea, in the Tuamotu Islands

Makatea is in the Tuamotu Islands. For much of the 19th century it was exploited for its reserves of phosphate and the scars left by the years of mining can still be seen, even though it stopped in the 1960s. The island is famous for its high limestone cliffs which are now the site for a growing tourist attraction, climbing. Over a hundred trails have been traced and equipped on the 16km of cliffs, and most are suitable for all levels of climber. There is no airport on the island, so you get there by boat from Tahiti or Rangiroa.

Rimatara, in the Austral Islands

Rimatara in the Austral Islands is the westernmost island of French Polynesia. Like Makatea, it is a high island and it lies in a beautiful lagoon with superb bays and idyllic beaches. It is a small atoll that is easily toured on foot or by bike. The tranquil islanders live a traditional Tahitian way of life, unhurried and welcoming. A visit to Rimatara is a voyage back in time to the heart of Tahitian culture. Air Tahiti has regular direct flights to Rimatara.

Tahuata, in the Marquesas Islands

Tahuata is the most beautiful of the Marquesas Islands. It takes about 40 minutes to get there by boat from Hiva Oa. For now, there is very little tourism on the island, so the truly stunning beaches are often completely deserted.

Tahuata © Bertrand Duquenne

Tahuata is a high island, like all the Marquesas islands, and it is perfect for hiking. You can bring back superb bone engravings as a souvenir of your visit to this magical, unspoiled corner of paradise.

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