It features in the dreams of loved-up couples the world over, and is in hot demand with just married couples as a honeymoon destination scented with tiare flowers. And for everyone else, Bora Bora is simply the epitome of romance. Its hotels offer a wonderful sense of privacy with their chic over water bungalows and floating villas with direct access to the sea, while their terraces afford breath-taking views of blazing sunsets.
Emerging from the ocean 13 million years ago, Bora Bora is an extinct volcano. Today, it sits amidst a lagoon that glimmers in almost supernatural shades of blue, while the verdant silhouettes of Mounts Otemanu, Pahia and Hue dominate this sumptuous palette. Framed by coral reefs, Bora Bora and its necklace of motus (islets) uncoil into white sandy beaches great and small. The most popular? Matira, which the American TV station CNN voted one of the most beautiful in all the world in 2013.
In the azure waters of Bora Bora, colourful fish swim to and fro in coral gardens as elegantly majestic manta rays glide overhead. With a fluttering of fins, they come and brush against the swimmers in their masks and snorkels. More adventurous visitors will take up scuba diving, but snorkelling provides wonder aplenty in Bora Bora. And in the Lagoonarium, visitors can experience guaranteed and safe encounters with turtles, rays, and even sharks!
Blue is the predominant colour in Bora Bora, but green steals the show as soon as you begin exploring the island’s interior. The best way to do so is on foot, by bike, or on a scooter. Nothing is too far away and the going is flat, unless you decide to climb the luxuriant slopes of Mount Otemanu (727m) which rise steeply from the centre of the island. When the hibiscus flowers are in bloom down in the valley, the landscape is simply enchanting, and there’s nothing to fear: no dangerous animals or insects are here to spoil your walk. Here, man and nature live in perfect harmony.
Bora Bora is an island, so you have to see it all! If you want to explore the lagoon, picnic out on a motu, then visit another. You’re spoilt for transport options out on the water: jet-ski, paddleboard, outrigger canoes, sail boats, catamarans, or glass submarine. You can even choose a different one every day! Big-game fishing and deep-water diving are also a possibility, once you’re past the coral reef.