The Society Islands are a group of islands in French Polynesia. They include Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, Hiva`Oa, Huahine, Maiao, Maupiti, Mehetia, Nuku Hiva, Raiatea, Tahaa, Tetiaroa, Tubuai, and Tupai.
What is the history of Raiatea?
Raiatea was discovered for Europe by James Cook on July 20, 1769, during his first voyage. Coming from Tahiti, he sailed with the Endeavour through the Avamo’a Reef passage, sacred to the Polynesians, anchored in Opoa Bay and landed near the Marae Taputapuatea.
According to the legend, the priests set out to build a new marae, making sure to uphold the custom that no one should speak or move during construction. Terehe, a descendant of the royal family disobeyed and went for a swim in the river. Wrathful, the gods awoke an enormous eel from the depths that swallowed the girl. The beast, having trouble digesting, stirred and eventually devoured the heart of the island, splitting it into two separate parts. This is how Taha’a and Raiatea were born.
Geology has since proved that they initially formed just one island several million years ago. Today, the two islands share a history, a heritage and a lagoon.
What is the meaning of Raiatea?
Raiatea, meaning “faraway heaven” and “sky with soft light,” was first named Havai’i as is considered the homeland of the ancient Polynesians.
Is Raiatea worth visiting?
I wouldn’t come here if you’re after that ‘classic’ beach holiday, but if you like hiking and enjoy a good road trip – you’ll find Raiatea very satisfying. Aside from hiking, there’s good diving, excursions to explore the lagoon and neighbouring Tahaa is super close.
Where is Raiatea?
Raiatea is located 230 km northwest of Tahiti and a 20 minutes flight from Bora Bora, making travel to Raiatea and relatively easy island hop. It is the largest island in the Leeward islands and the second largest island in the Society Islands archipelago.
Does Raiatea have an airport?
Yes, Raiatea/Taha’a airport. The airport is located on the island of Raiatea, approximately 10 minutes by car from the main town of Uturoa. Taxis await the arrival of flights at the airport and the accommodation usually have their own shuttles.
Visited February 10, 2023.