Honeymoons in Bora Bora, Tahiti and French Polynesia's Society Islands are the picturesque, perfect dream-honeymoon for newlyweds - 25 years ago. Today's Bora Bora is still just as picturesque - as long as you can get that blond girl to get out of the background of your picture! Stupid tourists.
Known as the post-card home of the thatched-roof bungalow lying over the serene and crystal blue waters, there is no doubt that French Polynesia's Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea are some of the top honeymoon destinations in the world - competing with the island beaches of the Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico, the Virgin Islands and Europe's countryside.
TripAtlas.com's own Maureen Horton, avid world traveler and veteran backpacker shared with us about her honeymoon to Tikehau in French Polynesia, found in the Tuamotu Islands - just to the east of the Society Islands where you'll find the packed resorts and beaches of Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, Raiatea and Huahine (best for surfers and backpackers).
After having planned and researched honeymoon destinations all over the world, Maureen chose Tikehau after having read some online reviews and decided it was exactly what her and her new husband were looking for.
"We wanted a relaxing honeymoon that would be free of barrages of North American tourists complaining about the food. We wanted something that was private, secluded, remote - and Tikehau was it."
Maureen shared with us 5 Reasons to Honeymoon in Tikehau, and that there's so much more to French Polynesia and honeymoons than Bora Bora and Tahiti!
5 Reasons to Honeymoon in Tikehau, Tuamotu Islands, French Polynesia
1) Have a Tourist-Free Honeymoon
Okay, if you actually like having to be herded through resort restaurants cafeteria-style to make room for the second seating of tourists, then Tikehau isn't for you. If you like hearing about people complain about the customer service, the wait staff, the bed sheets, the bugs, how it's too hot, how it's too cold, then Tikehau isn't for you. If you like having to fight for a spot on the beach and a beach chair, then Tikehau isn't for you.
However, if you want a honeymoon where you can step out of your cabana/bungalow and onto your own private beach; excellent service, hospitality and attention; and few tourists - then Tikehau is definitely paradise.
2) As Private, Secluded and Remote as it Gets
Because Tikehau is tiny and not too well known (you can't even find it with Google Maps!), it offers a truly secluded and remote honeymoon. It's small and personal, and you won't have to walk 10 minutes to go from the beach to your resort hotel room. With limited space for bungalows, huts (and thus, tourists!), it's a perfect getaway for a newly married couple unwinding from hectic wedding planning.
3) Luxury Like No Other
Whether luxury for you comes in the form of crystalline blue waters or in the form of 5 star fine dining in the middle of paradise, Tikehau has luxury like no other. From attentive service at any time of the day to excellent dining options and room service, Tikehau offers all that - and then some - of what the large Tahiti and Bora Bora resorts offer. The difference is that it's personal.
4) Discover the Rest of Tuamotu and French Polynesian Islands for Yourself
Worried that Tikehau is just - too remote and even might get boring? Don't. Activities can range from relaxing on the beach and working on your tan to paddling and kayaking through the many other Tuamotu Islands for the day.
As an experienced underwater scuba diver, Maureen notes: "Tikehau is also one of the best places in the world for snorkelling and diving because of the amazingly diverse underwater ecological system - still unspoilt by man and tourism. When we went diving, we saw manta rays, hammerhead sharks, hundreds of tropical fish, and 30 metres of visibility. It was breathtaking!"
5) Rest, Relax and Celebrate
With the many excursions and activities available to honeymoon couples, Tikehau offers a relaxing and restful time. Spa and massage services are offered - on the beach, facing the blue waters. Talk about serenity.
While weddings are only legally binding in Tahiti and French Polynesia for French citizens, many couples come and take part in French Polynesian Wedding Ceremonies offered at various of the small resorts both in churches and on the beach. Locals serenade the couple with traditional French Polynesia love songs while the groom arrives in a canoe. During the ceremony, the couple are wrapped in a tifaifal, a traditional wedding quilt and the happy couple are adorned with tropical flower leis and crowns to match. Can you imagine any better way to celebrate?
Maureen offers a tip for honeymooners seeking out paradise in Tikehau and French Polynesia: "bring your own beer or wine - it's really expensive on the islands! Otherwise, it's definitely paradise."
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Gizelle Lau is a freelance writer & photographer in Toronto, Canada with a passion for food and travel.
Located: Toronto Canada
Likes: cities, culture, food/wine, paths-less-travelled, photography, wildlife