Raiatea, The sacred island. Raiatea, meaning “faraway heaven” and “sky with soft light”, was first named Havai’i after the homeland of the ancient Polynesians and is the most sacred island in the South Pacific. This, the second largest Tahitian isle, was the center of religion and culture over 1000 years ago and still lends enchantment to ancient legends told to this day. The green-carpeted mountains include the celebrated Mt. Temehani, a sort of Polynesian Mt. Olympus.
Taha’a The Vanilla Island. Taha’a, with the rich aroma of vanilla lingering heavily in the air, offers a glimpse of the traditional, tranquil life of the Tahitians. The flower-shaped island’s simple beauty is charmed by soft mountain shapes and surrounded by tiny motu with bright sand beaches. In the fertile valleys cutting within the island, local farmers grow watermelon, vanilla, and copra.