InterContinental Resort And Spa Moorea
The beautiful island of Moorea was formed from a volcano about 2.5 million years ago, and it seems fitting that such a magical place would be formed by something so dramatic. A perfect morning starts with a tour of the island by motorised catamaran, which takes you to the amazing Opunohu and Cook's bays. After seeing the island's most tranquil spots you can cross the reef and surf the Pacific ocean waves; you may encounter schools of dolphins, flying fish or even whales. The tour will then take you to a small islet on the reef where you can pat rays while snorkelling through warm, crystal-clear waters. Afterwards, a local will show you how to open a coconut, drink the juice, extract the milk and use it to prepare the freshest, tastiest marinated salad you will ever eat.
In the afternoon, jump in a 4x4 All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) and take a tour of the natural wonders of Moorea's ancient volcano crater. The ATVs are powerful machines (safe, comfortable and great fun to ride) and the perfect thing for navigating the volcanic terrain. In the crater the lush vegetation conceals entire fields of tropical trees, flowers, red torches, wild ginger and tropical birds of extraordinary colours. After working up a sweat driving around, cross the river and bathe in a natural freshwater pool. The trip then continues through fields of tropical fruit trees until you reach a lookout point. Take in the gorgeous sights of the reef, the bays and the sparkling blue ocean.
As the glow of the evening sets in, take the chance to immerse yourself in Polynesian culture. The Tiki village is a reconstruction of an ancient Polynesian village with tattoo artists, weaving demonstrations, sculptures and a room dedicated to Gauguin, the famous French painter who lived the last part of his life in Polynesia. Wander round the village while the Tahitian sand oven cooks your traditional dinner. Be sure to be around for the opening of the oven, when the coconut tree leaves wrapped around the smoked roots, fishes and meat are removed, releasing intoxicating aromas. Enjoy your meal while listening to a music group and taking in the colours and movements of the local costumed dancers.
Moorea and the surrounding islands are dotted with marae, which are ancient stone constructions once used for prayer
Mel Gibson's movie 'The Bounty' was filmed in Moorea, as were parts of 'An Affaire to Remember', which starred Annette Benning and Warren Beatty.