The most beautiful island in the world

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Oceania » French Polynesia
November 20th 2015
Published: June 26th 2017
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Geo: -16.4993, -151.74

Bora Bora has often been touted as the world's most beautiful island and after our visit I can see why. We approached the harbour about 7am and were confronted with twin peaks rising majestically above beautiful turquoise water. The main island is surrounded by a coral reef and a string of other islands so it looks like an island with a necklace of smaller green gems circling it. We anchored off shore and the first tender was running about 8-30am.

As at the previous two stops we were in no hurry to get off so obtained tender tickets for 10am. We had a leisurely breakfast and then won the 9am quiz before venturing onto the small boat for our trip to the quayside. We had teamed up with Roger and Judy May and planned to hire a car to see the island properly. Once ashore we found the Avis depot and rented a Fiat Panda for 8 hours. We set out with Fletcher driving. We wanted first to find a WiFi enabled café but drove past it and so continued. This island had been an American base during the war with an airfield and gun emplacements high on the mountainside. There was never a shot fired in anger however, and lucky were the servicemen who spent their war here!!

We stopped along the road to admire the beautiful clear waters with colours ranging from light green, through turquoise to deep blue. The small islands are all resorts with bures built over the water. This was the first place to do this. The road was winding and around each corner were more little villages and stunning views. About 11-30 we stopped at the Sofitel for a drink. This has many bures on the mainland and then a private island which can be hired for the day with lunch and facilities included. Judy explored the infinity pool and the beach but there was no free WiFi so after one drink we moved on. We also stopped in a car park which had a landing for Le Meridian resort. This is wholly on one of the outer islands and a shuttle boat runs every 30 minutes to ferry residents to and from.

As we neared our starting point we came upon Matira Beach, the main swimming beach on the central island. This is picture perfect; white sands, crystal water going from light green to dark blue. It is a shallow beach but perfect for relaxing and swimming. As it was now lunchtime we drove a few minutes further to Bloody Mary's, an institution on Bora Bora. This was established in 1979 and is named after the character in the musical, South Pacific. It was crowded, mainly with fellow passengers, but after a short wait we were shown to a table with stools for seats. The floor is all sand and skylights let in natural light. Here we had a good lunch, Roger opting for a tuna sandwich while the rest of us had fried fish and prawns with chips. A nice Sauv Blanc accompanied what was a pleasant meal. We also used the WiFi but it was slow so could not do much.

After lunch we returned to Matira Beach for a swim. The water was warm and welcoming and though we had to wade out a fair way, ultimately deep enough for a great dip. Judy was especially in her element as she has always wanted to go to the South Pacific and swimming here fulfilled one of her dreams. Roger does not like the water but even he waded out to his knees before retreating. We spent an hour there, bobbing up and down under a blue sky. A hard life!!

We then drove back to the main town, Vaitape, where we visited the local supermarket before returning the car. It was about 4pm and we were now wilting after the day's activities. Most of the shops were closing down as we went back to the quay and we caught the tender which left about 4-30pm. It had been a very enjoyable day on a beautiful island with great company. Back at the ship we showered and changed and went up onto the deck for the Sail Away party and Burger night. The chefs barbequed hamburgers and we could make our own with the ingredients provided. A nice change and edible food!. We watched Bora Bora disappear to the stern as the light gradually faded and finished the night by listening to Toby and Marian, two of the entertainers on board, sing 50s Rock and Roll.

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19th January 2016

I'd never thought of going to Bora Bora, but your descriptions have given me ideas of how to get there...

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