When it comes to tropical island paradises, it doesn’t come much better than Tahiti or the Maldives. Here are two quintessential island destinations that score high on the honeymoon front with amazing beaches and stunning lagoons.
So how do you choose between the two – Tahiti vs the Maldives? If you’re planning on a Tahiti or Maldives vacation, read on to find out more about these two islands.
TAHITI VS THE MALDIVES: WHERE ARE THEY?
Let’s start with some geography. You’ll find Tahiti in the South Pacific Ocean, 4,400 km south of Hawaii, 7,900km from Chile and 5,700km from Australia.
Tahiti is an island archipelago with black-sand beaches, lagoons and waterfalls, colorfully encapsulated by French artist Paul Gauguin. It’s the highest and largest island in French Polynesia and is divided into Tahiti Nui (the larger, western section) and Tahiti Iti (the eastern peninsula). Tahiti is also where the 1962 film Mutiny on the Bounty was filmed with Marlon Brando, firmly cementing its reputation as an idyllic, desert island.
The Maldives meanwhile is a low-lying island country in the north-central Indian Ocean with its closest neighbours being India and Sri Lanka – both of which are around 600km. The Maldives is made up of about 1,200 small coral islands or atolls and sandbanks and are home to stylish overwater villas which attract honeymooners and A-list celebrities looking to get away from it all.
While both destinations offer amazing beaches and lagoons, Tahiti offers more stunning and dramatic scenery – the highest point in Tahiti is 2,241 meters – while in the Maldives the beauty lies in the sea, with world-class diving and snorkeling.
TAHITI AND MALDIVES: ISLAND HOPPING
Most tourists visiting Tahiti will island hop from Papeete to at least one other island, such as Moorea or Bora Bora. There are usually lots of resorts on each island and it’s a great way to see different islands in Tahiti. Your hotel or resort may also offer you a discount if you decide to stay at a few different hotels within the same chain.
In the Maldives, most of the hotels and resorts are on an atoll (coral islands) so you’ll typically stay in one place for the duration of your stay. However, the scenic seaplane flight transfer to get to your resort feels a bit like you’re island hopping and will add to the adventure of reaching your accommodation.
If island hopping appeals to you, then have you considered Fiji, also in the South Pacific? With 333 islands to explore, Fiji is the perfect place for island hopping adventures, not to mention its abundance of marine life which can be enjoyed by snorkeling and diving.
To the west of Fiji are the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands, a stunning group of islands that are home to turquoise waters packed with marine life – think turtles and tiger sharks – dense rainforest and outstanding beaches. Plus there are traditional villages to explore with a mix of Melanesian, Polynesian and Indian culture.
TAHITI VS THE MALDIVES HONEYMOON
With their tropical locations and remote ‘desert island’ appeal, Tahiti and Maldives are honeymoon hotspots, ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ destinations where special memories will be made and many photos taken. Both islands also appeal to couples and honeymoons with looking for privacy, romance and plenty of activities all set against stunning backdrops.
Known for its one-resort islands and overwater bungalows, the Maldives is all about private, exclusive vacations, perfect for honeymoon couples.
The resorts in the Maldives are nothing short of spectacular with environmentally sustainable luxury accommodation ranging from the quintessential overwater villas on stilts to underwater hotels and one-hotel islands. With its focus on high-end resorts, Maldives can be slightly more expensive than accommodation in Tahiti, but they offer world-class cuisine, activities and services.
And if you see yourself walking barefoot on the beach with your loved one, the beaches in the Maldives are world class, with power-like white sand. In Tahiti the beaches are equally stunning, just not as soft as those in the Maldives.
The Maldives offers honeymoon couples plenty of activities to enjoy, including diving and snorkeling to nearby shore reefs, kayaking, parasailing and spa treatments.
Any honeymoon to Tahiti will undoubtedly include a stay in an overwater bungalow as they were practically invented here! Picture yourself floating over tantalising turquoise waters, able to see the marine life from your room.
When it comes to cuisine, Tahiti’s flavours have a distinctive French influence with the abundance of the Polynesian culture. Polynesians love food and especially a tamara’a (banquet), where many dishes will be served in front of you. One of the most famous dishes of Tahiti is fresh fish served poisson cru style. This dish can be prepared with white or red tuna or bonito fish cut into cubes, marinated in lemon juice, onion, tomato, cucumber, garlic, spring onion and coconut milk.
The food in the Maldives is a mixture of Arabic, Indian and Sri Lankan so it’s the ideal place to come if you like your food spicy. Expect freshly caught seafood, fragrant curries and hedhikaa – or snack – including bajiya, pastry stuffed with fish, coconut and onion.
As the largest island in French Polynesia, Tahiti has miles of beautiful coastline to explore, from secluded, black-sand coves to white-sand shorelines that surfers will love.
AN ALTERNATIVE HONEYMOON DESTINATION
If you’re considering a honeymoon to the South Pacific, then you might also want to think about Fiji – an island destination that often tops the polls when it comes to honeymoon vacations.
Honeymoons on Fiji are all about getting away from it all with the perfect blend of culture, amazing beaches and the warmth of the Fijian people – who doesn’t want to feel loved on their honeymoon?
The Fijians also love to cook and Fijian cuisine is considered to be one of the healthiest in the Pacific. There’s a strong emphasis on root vegetables, like taro and cassava, which is used in almost every dish. And, as an island nation, Fiji is blessed with an abundance of fresh seafood like fish, octopus, and shellfish.
TAHITI VS MALDIVES: WEDDING
While both islands are top honeymoon destinations how do you choose between a Tahiti vs Maldives wedding?
A Tahiti wedding will be all about showcasing the country’s immaculate beaches and dramatic mountain peaks.
Hotels and resorts here will make the most of the country’s natural assets with beach weddings featuring jaw-dropping views of the iconic Mount Otemanu, or chapels with glass floors with views into the crystal water below, or a window behind the altar framing the mountain perfectly.
Expect to find the bride’s villa to be decked out in tropical flowers, and the ceremony to be accompanied by traditional Tahitian dancers.
The Maldives is a hot wedding destination as couples look to tie the knot surrounded by just a few close friends and family.
Locations can include overwater pavilions, beach weddings and sandbanks and even ceremonies on yachts with the soundtrack the traditional Maldivian Boduberu drummers.
In Fiji couples can choose to get married in stained glass-windowed chapels or rainforests and mountain tops, showing off Fiji’s beautiful white-sand beaches, backed by the sparkling ocean and tropical palms.
On Turtle Island Fiji, couples can have a Fijian warrior blowing a conch shell to announce the bride’s arrival and a 50-strong choir singing their favorite love songs.
On Turtle Island you can even get re-married with a vow renewal ceremony and a billi billi (thatched raft on which the bride arrives), an angelic Fijian choir and traditional wedding feast. Or you can choose something more remote like a mountain-top ceremony overlooking the neighboring islands or the renewal of vows at sun rise.
BEST TIME TO VISIT TAHITI VS MALDIVES
You can take a Tahiti or Maldives vacation at any time of the year, but given their different locations – Tahiti is in the Pacific Ocean, while the Maldives are in French Polynesia in the Indian Ocean – they also have entirely different seasons.
The best weather in Tahiti can be found in the dry season, from May to October. From November to April temperatures rise and you can expect a bit more rain, making it humid and wet. The peak season and the most expensive time to travel is July and August, while the shoulder seasons of April to May and November to March, are the best times to get a deal to Tahiti.
In the Maldives, the dry season is from December to March – an ideal time to escape cold winters in the US. The wet monsoon season is from May to November with tropical downpours and humid days a regular occurrence. The best time to find a great deal to the Maldives is from May to August, while the peak season is the end of December to February.
In Fiji, it’s humid and hot from December to April, where temperatures range from 22°C to 33°C, and mild and dry from May to November with temperatures ranging from 19°C to 29°C.
Generally mid-October to mid-November is the ideal time for visiting Fiji with the weather conditions settled, dry and warm and when the tourist season hasn’t yet reached its peak.
EXPLORE TURTLE ISLAND FIJI
When it comes to tropical island escapes, take a closer look at Turtle Island Fiji. It’s the perfect retreat for honeymoon couples and with only 14 couples at the resort at any one ti
me, beaches really are secluded spots of paradise. With 500 acres of lush forests and 12 private beaches to explore, you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’ve got the entire island to yourself.
Dreaming of your next tropical island vacation? Contact us at Turtle Island today.