Posted by Manon CORNIC In: French Polynesia, Huahine

Huahiné: an authentic Gemstone! If Polynesia is well-known for its pearls, Huahiné is a diamond !

(I must confess that I would prefer keep this secret for myself but… It’s fare to share my experience about this idyllic island !)

Fare Apoomatai - Huahine

Huahiné is a dreamy fairy-tale! A Must-See destination ! Discovering this paradise is an order, a duty…not a suggestion ! There’s no word to describe its beauty.

From plane, Huahiné looks like a butterfly goddess that would have landed on the ocean. As soon as you land you just realize the meaning of “CARPE DIEM”.
Located in the middle of the archipelago, it hasn’t been invaded by the tourist yet. I discovered it in september, which turns out to be an ideal time to visit: sunny & not to hot with nature in bloom. This little paradise has many deserved nicknames:  “The garden Island”, “Memory Island” but my favourite is definitively “Woman-Island” – having regards its voluptuous curves.
Vanille - Huahine
Nono - Huahine

Huahiné could be a perfect exemple of the idealized image of a truly tropical paradise. We can’t resist, we just fall in love, even under a cloudy sky !

Its amazing lagoon with 49 shades of blue (this chromatic spectrum has 49 shades) its pristine white beaches, wild motus, rolling hills (while I’m drinking a Hinano in the charming Faré harbor I was astonished when I realized the panorama facing me was really looking like a woman’s face a nd chest !) Its biodiversity, the respect of the locals for the environment and ancestral traditions, rites & legends; its local farmings and culture of vanilla crops, watermelons, bananas and other original fruits (such as the “Otaheiti”, an acid redcurrant when it’s picked from the tree which is transformed into real sweets when it’s cooked; the “nono” famous for its therapeutic virtues; the “Uru” fruit of the bread tree etc.) 

Lagon Avea - Huahine
Plage Avea - Huahine
Lagon - Huahine

I was particularly touched by locals I can define by one quality : Altruism. Indeed, the islanders have a spontaneous kindness and generosity. It’s seem incredible to you? Having regards my experiences all around the world, it’s a fact !  Locals in Huahiné are sincelery warm & generous. A simple & pure goodness still preserved from the venal spirit or fake courtesy ! I was also pleasantly surprised by their involvement in the protection of fauna and flora (if I have to compare with other archipelagos where people does not care to see the coastline damaged by luxury buildings and hotels) The locals refuse to see their “goddess” disfigured. For this rare and precious philosophy, just a Big “Bravo” ! 

Jardin Moana Lodge - Huahine
Lagon Moana Lodge - Huahine
Metaphorically speaking Huahiné is“GREEN” – by the french poet Paul Verlaine.

See, blossoms, branches, fruit, leaves I have brought,
And then my heart that for you only sighs;
With those white hands of yours, oh, tear it not,
But let the poor gift prosper in your eyes.

The dew upon my hair is still undried,-
The morning wind strikes chilly where it fell.
Suffer my weariness here at your side
To drea m the hour that shall it quite dispel.

Allow my head, that rings and echoes still
With your last kiss, to lie upon your breast,
Till it recover from the stormy thrill,-
And let me sleep a little, since you rest

Centre de l'ile - Huahine

Accomodation – 3 suggestions :

1/ Apoomatai Bay Faré :  Breathtaking view!

A lovely house on a hill-top overlooking the lagoon. This faré is located in the south of the island in a safe residence surrounded by a lush garden. It has a large covered terrace, 2 big bedrooms, a furnished kitchen and a huge dinning-room. It’s a perfect place for families with children or group of friends. On the other hand, I would not recommend this house if you’re looking for «luxury », nor to seniors or retirees who will be particularly annoyed to climb the hill to reach it. I also must confess that I was quite disappointed by 3 details that I consider inappropriate: a complete cleaning would have been fair; the jacuzzi was dirty; and I was not informed of the water cut-off between 9pm- 5am (fortunately 5 big water cans were available) Above those points, it’s great! 

Please Note: you have bikes at your disposal but a car (or scooter) is necessary. The only town is Faré, located 12 km away and there’s no shops around the house. You have just one take-away / small restaurant 3 km away named “le Rauheama” which offers rustic cuisine; as well as a Pizza-Truck next to the residence: “La Roulotte Italia” run by an italian couple (and for having tested one, I must admit it was “Ottima !”) It’s closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, moreover, they’re not allowed to sell alcohol. I repeat my advice written previously: don’t forget anything at the “Super U” shop in Faré Town.

Route du Fare Apoomatai - Huahine
Vue du Fare Apoomatai - Huahine
Vue du Fare Apoomatai - Huahine

2/ Moana Lodge : Robinson Spirit!

Rare in Polynesia, a lovely place at very affordable prices ! Unlike most luxury hotels, this guesthouse does not present an ostentatiously luxurious experience, but rather an understated and more sophisticated style of coziness, which allows guests to relax and be pampered without losing the natural reality of the destination. Yves and Sylvie – the owners- are friendly and helpful, they welcome all guests with joviality and simplicity. The location couldn’t be better both in terms of transport and access to Faré townMoana Lodge is a guesthouse offering an ideal and affordable solution for guests looking for a peaceful atmosphereThis lovely unpretentious guesthouse located in a lovely bay is composed with 4 bungalows in a tropical garden; each one away from prying eyes. All bungalows are big and spacious in respect of the Polynesian decoration (a small fridge would have been a good idea and that’s my only negative point of this pleasant address) You will be charmed by the scenery and the serenity of the place !

Moana Lodge - Huahine

3/ Villas Bougainvillier : Choose your package!

Raphaël, an adorable owner, is offering an All-Inclusive Accommodation Rental Package that includes a fully furnished villa -with 2 or 3 bedrooms, with a terrace facing the lagoon + a car + motor boat ;  you also have the choice to rent the villa only but in an effort to respond to all desires Raphaël is attentive to all customers’ needs. Each house is provided with the essentials (equipped kitchen; household linen; deckchairs, TV, Wifi) In parallele of this rental activity Raphaël manages the “MANATINI TOURS” and he’ll be pleased to make you discover all the wonders of his beloved island. The land side, sea side and the real life of Huahiné. If you take the package with the boat you can go wherever you want. You have total freedom while exploring the deserted motus, coral gardens and uninhabited beaches. Raphael is a PRO and all his suggestions are interesting:  pearls and vanilla farms; ornithology courses; picnic in the motus; lagoon fishing or big game tour; scuba diving; visits to sacred temples; discovery of the the secret spots….Raphaël has only one goal : that you have a perfect stay! 

Villa Bougainvillier - Huahine
Jardin Villa Bougainvillier - Huahine

Places you must try : (Yes, it’s an order ! 😉

  • “Chez Guynette Café”. Located in Faré town, close to the market stalls, a typical atmosphere is guaranteed. Laurence (from Monaco) makes an italian coffee and delicious breakfast.
  • “Huahiné Yacht Café” and its exceptional location in the harbor, facing the sea & the rolling green hills. You must taste the freshness of fishes prepared in all Tahitian styles – with coconut milk, in tartar, just grilled or raw!
  • Picnic at the paradisiac AVEA Beach: its white sand and turquoise blue water make it a heavenly place !
  • Visit the “Distillerie Huahiné Passion” and taste the confections of Christian, Rosy and Alicia, a family from Nîmes, settled in Huahiné for 7 years. A very large choice of liqueurs, brandies and vinegars with the fruits of the 5 archipelagos.
  • Contact Raphaël at the “MANATINI TOURS” known for his readiness to share all his passions!
Manatini tours - Huahine
Avea Bay - Huahine
Yatch Bar - Huahine
Distillerie Huahiné Passion - Huahine

In conclusion, I was in another world and I felt blessed for those precious moments in Huahiné, I warmly thank “HER” with a last & only one wish: that industrialisation/urbanisation avoid its coasts as long as possible!

As the latin poet Horace said “Dum loquimur invida aetas fugerit/ “While we talk, hostile time flies away”, so allow me to leave you.  I would like to enjoy my last moments with one & only motto : “Seize the day !”

Manon C. (Epicurean – Until death do us part)

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