Raiatea Beaches

French Polynesia’s gorgeous island of Raiatea is renowned for both its natural beauty and its extensive cultural history. The island has many sights to see, including historic marae and lush rainforests, but its beaches are one of the biggest pulls for tourists. The beaches in Raiatea are some of the best in the world thanks to their pure seas, fine sand, and breathtaking scenery.

In this essay, we’ll examine Raiatea’s greatest beaches and what makes them unique. On this magnificent island, there is something for everyone, from hidden coves to historical sites.

A man in the river

Faaroa Bay – The Best Beach for a Quiet Escape

On the east coast of Raiatea, Faaroa Bay is one of the island’s calmest and most isolated beaches. The beach is the ideal location for swimming, kayaking, and picnicking because it is surrounded by beautiful flora and quiet waters. The only navigable river in French Polynesia, the Faaroa River, is also open to tourists for boat tours. The excursion leads travelers through the lush interior of Raiatea, past historic marae and breathtaking views.

The serenity of Faaroa Bay is one of its best features. Faaroa Bay, in contrast to some of the island’s busier beaches, is rarely crowded and provides tourists with a tranquil retreat from the stress of daily life. The beach is an excellent place to see nature because it is home to many different bird and marine species.

Anybody visiting Raiatea should make a point of seeing Faaroa Bay because of its extraordinary blend of breathtaking natural beauty and cultural significance. There are numerous historic maraes and other cultural sites close to the beach and its surroundings, which are both rich in history. To understand more about the area’s rich cultural legacy and history, tourists can take guided excursions.

Marae Taputapuatea – A Beach with Historical Significance

The Polynesian people regard Marae Taputapuatea as a sacred location of great historical and cultural value. The marae, which was a place of prayer and meeting for Polynesian chiefs and navigators, was situated on Raiatea’s southeast coast. Visitors can now tour the marae’s remains and discover more about Polynesian history and culture.

With its crystal-clear waters and variety of marine life, Marae Taputapuatea’s beach is also a fantastic place for swimming and snorkeling. Visitors to the region are welcome to join guided tours where they can learn about the background of the marae and the cultural value of the surroundings. The beach is a fantastic location for photography and nature observation since it provides spectacular views of the nearby mountains and coastline.

The significance of Marae Taputapuatea in Polynesian navigation is among its most intriguing features. The marae served as a meeting spot for navigators who navigated the wide Pacific Ocean by using the stars, ocean currents, and wind patterns. Now, tourists may find out more about these ancient methods of navigating and the significant part they played in Polynesian society.

A woman practicing paddle

Opoa Beach – A Hidden Gem for Water Sports

On Raiatea’s south coast, Opoa Beach is a secret paradise for those who love water sports. With steady trade winds and shallow waves, the beach provides some of the best windsurfing and kiteboarding conditions in all of French Polynesia. To explore the nearby lagoon, visitors can also rent kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and snorkeling equipment.

With its isolated setting and breathtaking views of the nearby mountains and coastline, Opoa Beach is a perfect place for picnics and sunbathing in addition to offering water sports activities. The beach is an excellent place to watch the sunset since the sky changes colors to tones of pink, orange, and purple as the sun sets.

The Opoa marae, which is thought to be the oldest and most sacred marae in French Polynesia, is next to Opoa Beach, which is one of the beach’s highlights. Visitors from all over the world travel to the marae to learn about its significance and history since it is a significant cultural site and a representation of Polynesian heritage.

Motu Nao Nao – A Romantic Getaway

A little island off Raiatea’s west coast, Motu Nao Nao is renowned for its isolated beaches and romantic ambiance. The island is surrounded by beautiful coral reefs and blue waters, making it the ideal location for swimming and snorkeling. Also, guests can take a sunset ride around the nearby lagoon or savor a romantic meal on the beach. Motu Nao Nao is a must-see for couples seeking a romantic retreat in Raiatea because of its quiet ambiance and gorgeous environment.

The beach at Motu Nao Nao is a quiet area with fine sand and crystal-clear seas that is ideal for unwinding and taking in the breathtaking surroundings. The island’s history and natural splendor can be learned about by taking guided excursions, which are available to visitors. Tropical birds, sea turtles, and many kinds of fish can all be found on the island.

A sunset cruise around the lagoon is one of the most well-liked activities on Motu Nao Nao. A really lovely ambiance is created as visitors watch the sky change hues of orange and pink as the sun sets over the ocean. The island is also a popular site for wedding ceremonies and honeymoons, with its spectacular natural beauty and quiet position offering the perfect backdrop for couples.

Te Ava Piti Beach – A Family-Friendly Destination

On Raiatea’s north coast, Te Ava Piti Beach is a well-liked vacation spot for families with young children. The beach features smooth sand for sandcastle-building and sunbathing, as well as quiet, shallow waters ideal for swimming and playing. Together with learning about the history and natural beauty of the area, visitors can also enjoy a boat trip of the nearby lagoon.

The proximity of Te Ava Piti Beach to Uturoa, the principal settlement in Raiatea, is one of its attractions. The town’s markets and stores, which sell a range of regional goods and mementos, are open to visitors. The beach offers breathtaking views of the surrounding islands and shoreline, making it a perfect place to watch the sun set.

With a variety of marine animals and fauna making the region home, Te Ava Piti Beach is an excellent place to see wildlife. Together with marine turtles and rays, tourists may view schools of vibrant fish swimming in the crystal-clear seas.


Whether you’re seeking a quiet getaway or a family-friendly vacation spot, Raiatea is a stunning and diverse island that has something to offer everyone. The beaches of Raiatea will astonish even the most discriminating traveler with its historical sites and romantic vacations. The beaches we examined in this article are all different in their own special ways, but they all have one thing in common: breathtaking natural beauty and a sense of peace that is difficult to find anywhere else in the world. To experience the beauty of this breathtaking island paradise, including Raiatea on your itinerary if you’re planning a vacation to French Polynesia.

Our Top FAQ's

The best time to visit Raiatea’s beaches is during the dry season, which runs from May to October. The weather during this time is generally sunny and dry, making it perfect for outdoor activities like swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing.

Yes, Raiatea’s beaches are generally safe for swimming, with calm, shallow waters and little to no currents. However, visitors should always exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings, as there may be areas with stronger currents or dangerous wildlife like jellyfish or sharks.

There are a variety of activities available on Raiatea’s beaches, including swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, and wildlife watching. Visitors can also take boat tours of the surrounding lagoon or visit nearby historical landmarks like the Opoa marae.

Raiatea is accessible by plane from several major cities in French Polynesia, including Papeete and Bora Bora. Once on the island, visitors can rent a car or take a taxi to reach the beaches. Some beaches, like Motu Nao Nao, may require a boat tour or private charter to reach.

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