You could be forgiven for thinking you're lost in a daydream as you begin your Bora Bora holidays, surrounded by gentle sloping mountains, crystal lagoons and palm-fringed shorelines that give way to an equally captivating underwater world. Secluded and seductive, Bora Bora is a glittering jewel in the South Pacific's French Polynesia region, a playground for the rich and famous and a postcard-perfect honeymoon destination.
The islands' intriguing military history is a major feature in any comprehensive Bora Bora travel guide. It's hard to imagine conflict in such peaceful surrounds, but you can still see cannons and fortifications from World War II, installed (but thankfully never used) by American troops. If you're not a history buff, consider kicking back with the dolphins, turtles, sharks and rays on a leisurely snorkel or dive in the shimmering lagoon – Bora Bora's bright blue surrounding waters, circled by ribbons of beach and tropical forest to create a sheltered cove.
Most flights to Bora Bora arrive in Papeete on the main island of Tahiti – a fellow French Polynesian tropical paradise. From here, a quick ferry ride will get you to Bora Bora's main town, Vaitape, located in the island's west. Bora Bora's iconic overwater bungalows are the most popular accommodation choice for travellers, offering a unique experience where you can step straight from your hotel into the clear South Pacific waters. Le Meridien, Sofitel and Four Seasons are among the top bungalow resorts, featuring private thatched dwellings – some accessible only by water – with sections of glass floor and a range of four and five star experiences.
Bora Bora like a Local
Bora Bora is an enchanting destination and undoubtedly one of the most exclusive romantic holiday spots in the world. Opt for a bit of sunbaking on the beaches during the day before sinking further into relaxation with a cocktail in hand come sundown. Imposing black rocks stand sentinel on the horizon, creating an impressive backdrop for beautiful Tahitian sunsets – you can't miss the grandeur of Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia in the middle of the lagoon. When you're comfortably relaxed, consider joining one of the Bora Bora tours lead by well informed locals to wake up your senses. Four-wheel drive treks around the island or a boat cruise allow you to discover some of the magnificent sights of the island.