Top 10 Island Getaways


French Polynesia

This group of archipelagoes, located in the South Pacific Ocean about halfway between South America and Australia, offers dramatic landscapes and mild tropical weather. Noted for its rugged highlands and reef-encircled lagoons, French Polynesia includes Tahiti, one of the top 10 honeymoon destinations globally [source: Modern Bride], along with lovely Bora Bora and mysterious Moorea.

This is the land of the Old South Seas, a place of coconut, vanilla, sailors and missionaries. It's where many of the mutineers of the HMS Bounty made their home, and there's plenty of history here still. The Tuamotu Archipelago shows current Polynesian life largely untouched by modern trappings, and the Musée de Tahiti et Ses Isles (Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands) provides information on the history, culture and geography of the islands. Be sure to visit some of the ancient Tahitian stone temples, known as marae, restored near the village of Maeva on the island of Huahine.

Moorea's jagged ridges offer gorgeous views of Tahiti, while Bora Bora's feral landscape, with its tumbledown remains of ancient volcanoes, seems to resonate with something primeval in the human soul. Bora Bora offers excellent snorkeling areas as well as a marine sanctuary. Taken together, these present some outstanding opportunities to view and interact with manta rays, sharks, giant mussels and much more. The volcanic black sand beaches are scenic, but your best bet for sun-soaking are the numerous white beaches surrounding the coral lagoons.

Related Articles


  • Anguilla Tourist Board. "The Anguilla Experience: Feeling is Believing." (April 15, 2010)
  • Ltd. "Private Vacation Villas in Bali, Indonesia." (April 14, 2010)
  • Bali Tourism Board. "Welcome to Bali." (April 14, 2010)
  • Bedarra. "Bedarra Island Luxury Resort." (April 14, 2010)
  • Bermuda Department of Tourism. "Bermuda: Feel the Love." (April 15, 2010)
  • Caye Chapel. "Caye Chapel Island Resort." (April 14, 2010)
  • Colón, Christina. Frommer's Portable Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. Wiley Publishing, Inc. 2009.
  • Cook Islands Tourism. "The Cook Islands: The Heart of the South Pacific." (April 16, 2010)
  • Fonseca, Isabel. "Barbados: This Earth, this Realm, this Little England." Condé Nast Traveler. July 2009.
  • Foster, Jane. "Santorini: A Cruiser's Guide - Restaurants, Cafes and Shopping." The Daily Telegraph (UK). July 30, 2008.
  • Goodwin, Bill. Frommer's Tahiti & French Polynesia. Wiley Publishing, Inc. 2008.
  • Goodwin, Bill. Frommer's South Pacific. Wiley Publishing, Inc. 2008.
  • Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. "Welcome to South Georgia." (April 16, 2010)
  • "Santorini Greece." (April 15, 2010)
  • Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. "The Islands of Hawaii." (April 16, 2010)
  • Lande, Nathaniel and Andrew Lande. "Top 10 Beaches." The 10 Best of Everything. National Geographic Society. 2008.
  • Lonely Planet. "Introducing Morne Seychellois National Park." (April 13, 2010)
  • Lonely Planet. "Tahiti & French Polynesia." (April 15, 2010)
  • Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau. "Mackinac Island." (April 13, 2010)
  • Management of Isla Ferradura. "Isla de sa Ferradura." (April 14, 2010)
  • Manning, S. W. "Thera and the Aegean World III." Proceedings of the Third International Congress, Santorini, Greece, 29 - 40. September 1989.
  • Mano, D. Keith. "Where A World Ended." New York Times Magazine. Oct. 21, 1990.
  • Mauritius Tourist Promotion Authority. "Discover Mauritius." (April 16, 2010)
  • Mauritius Tourist Promotion Authority. "Tourism Mauritius." (April 16, 2010)
  • Mermelstein, Paul. "St. Barts: Tropical Playground." Caribbean Edge Magazine. March 22, 2010. (April 15, 2010)
  • Modern Bride. "The Tenth Annual Honeymoon Survey (of Travel Agents)." Modern Bride. 2007.
  • Nehring, Cristina. "Love in a Hot Climate." Condé Nast Traveler. June 2006.
  • Nevis Island Tourism Authority. "The Enchanting Island of Nevis." (April 15, 2010)
  • Rogers, Douglas. "New Zealand: The World Capital of Extreme Sports." The Daily Telegraph (UK). Jan. 8, 2000.
  • Royal Caribbean International. "Bermuda." (April 15, 2010)
  • Seychelles Tourism Board. "The Seychelles Islands: Another World." (April 13, 2010)
  • Shangaan Webservices Inc. "Vancouver Island." (April 14, 2010)
  • St. Barths Online. (April 15, 2010) "St. Barths Online."
  • St. Kitts Tourism Authority. "Explore St. Kitts: An Experience Like No Other." (April 15, 2010)
  • Tahiti Tourism. "Tahiti," "Bora Bora," "Moorea." (April 15, 2010)
  • Taprobane Island. "Taprobane Island." (April 14, 2010)
  • Tourism BC. "Vancouver Island." (April 13, 2010)
  • Tourism New Zealand. "Shopping." (April 15, 2010)
  • Turismo Chile. "Isla de Pascua: Diving, Surf, Archaeology." (April 16, 2010)
  • UNESCO World Heritage Centre. "Galápagos Islands." (April 16, 2010)
  • Virgin Limited Edition. "Necker Island." (April 14, 2010)
  • Wakaya Club & Spa. "Welcome to Wakaya!" (April 14, 2010)
  • Woeber, Patricia. "Bali Villagers Produce Exquisite Arts and Crafts." San Diego News Network. (April 14, 2010)


7 Ways to Pack a Smarter Suitcase

7 Ways to Pack a Smarter Suitcase

HowStufffWorks talks to the experts to find out how to pack a suitcase better, how to fit more clothes in and which items to take and leave.