Nestled in the Gambier Islands of French Polynesia, Mangareva shines as a true jewel. Situated about 930 miles east of Tahiti, this island invites visitors on a journey through time, where the vibrant history of Polynesian civilisation intertwines with tranquil spirituality amidst breathtaking natural landscapes. Mangareva beckons adventurers and explorers alike, offering a unique blend of authenticity, from its stunning scenery to its intriguing archaeological sites and rich cultural heritage.

What makes it so special

Why visit Mangareva?

Mangareva beach © Frédéric Cristol

A stunning lagoon

Upon arriving on the island of Mangareva, visitors are immediately struck by a sense of awe. Famed as one of Polynesia’s most extraordinary, its lagoon is a marvel, encompassing all the islands within the archipelago. The vibrant turquoise and blue waters provide a striking contrast to the verdant green mountains of Mangareva, offering superb panoramic views of the island, the lagoon, and the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

Embarking on an excursion to one of the lagoon’s serene motu islands allows visitors to indulge in a day of pure bliss, akin to stepping into the shoes of Robinson Crusoe. Lounge on the soft, white sands and immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters, revelling in splendid isolation amidst the island’s natural splendour.

Cathedral Saint-Michel in Rikitea © Philippe Bacchet

A fascinating cathedral

Mangareva, the main island in the Gambier Islands, has a unique and inviting atmosphere. It’s a joy to stroll around, soaking in the tranquillity, chatting with the locals, and admiring the distinctive architecture.

A must-visit landmark is St. Michael’s Cathedral, famous as one of the most beautiful buildings in French Polynesia. Additionally, exploring the numerous hiking trails that wind up the mountains is highly recommended. These trails offer absolutely stunning views over the lagoon and the vast Pacific beyond.

Admire Saint-Michel Cathedral and its surroundings
Mangareva © Tahiti Tourisme

Suggested itinerary

Four days in Mangareva

For a truly unique and authentic experience, visit the Gambier Islands! This remote archipelago is the furthest from Tahiti in French Polynesia and one of the most isolated, yet it stands out as one of the most stunningly beautiful destinations in the region.

Discover

Not-to-be-missed

What to do in Mangareva?

Immerse yourself in the culture of the Gambier Islands by participating in traditional activities. During festive periods, be amazed by the islanders’ artistic talents showcased in vibrant singing and dancing performances.

You can also learn to craft seashell necklaces, weave coconut palms, and fish using traditional local techniques. Mangareva boasts a wealth of ancient history, inviting exploration of its fascinating archaeological remains. In the village of Rikitea, admire the handsome stone churches built by European missionaries in the 19th century. Additionally, explore the marae, the sacred structures where ancient Mangarevans held religious ceremonies and important rituals.

Rikitea village in Mangareva © Philippe Bacchet
Notre Dame de la Paix church in Akamaru © Philippe Bacchet

You’ll also enjoy

Activities in Mangareva

Take a boat trip to Taravai Island, just a short distance from Mangareva. This idyllic spot is perfect for those seeking a beautiful, deserted beach. Relax on the soft white sand, swim in the crystal-clear waters, and explore the preserved natural beauty of the island.

Akamaru island in the Gambier Islands © Tim McKenna
Taravai in the Gambier Islands © Philippe Bacchet

Be inspired

Experiences

Relax, breathe in the pure ocean air, and soak in the tranquility that envelops you, allowing you to recharge and rejuvenate. While there, be sure to visit St. Michael’s Cathedral and explore the beautiful surrounding area.

 

More experiences
More experiences

Holiday packages for Mangareva

Book Your Trip

Latest offers

Take a look at our holiday offers for Mangareva and the Gambier Islands. Immerse yourself in the islands’ rich history and stunning landscapes.

All holiday packages
All holiday packages
Mangareva © Philippe Bacchet

Where to stay in Mangareva?

Mangareva may not have luxury hotels, but it offers several family-run Tahitian Guesthouses. Here, you’ll be welcomed like family and can fully immerse yourself in the authentic Polynesian way of life.

Getting here and getting around

The local domestic airline, Air Tahiti, flies directly to the remote paradise of Mangareva from Tahiti-Faa’a International Airport. The flight takes approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes, landing at Totegegie Airport, which is situated on a motu some distance from the main island. A local shuttle service, operated by the authorities, takes about 45 minutes to reach Mangareva. For more information and reservations, contact your accommodation. Given the small size of the islands, a bike is usually sufficient for getting around and can be rented through your travel agent or at your accommodation. However, Mangareva is best explored on foot. From your base in Mangareva, boat excursions can take you to visit other nearby islands.

Totegegie in the Gambier Islands © Philippe Bacchet
Vue aérienne sur l'atoll de Tetiaroa © Tahiti Tourisme

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