Crystalline turquoise waters, pure white sand, swaying palms, cobalt blue sky… add to all this the colourful and exotic culture of the Polynesians, plus a twist of French (most especially in the kitchen), and you have something truly special.
Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, Huahine, Manihi, Rangiroa, Fakarava - just the evocative names of these islands are enough to get you through the travel agent's door.
A short, 45-minute flight takes you to Bora Bora and what an arrival! This has to be the best airport in the world set on the edge of the beautiful blue waters. You really feel you are in paradise and once you are whisked off to your hotel of choice, you can forget all your troubles as you sip a cocktail staring at the amazing view of Mount Otemanu dreaming of the next day's diving.
The diving in Bora Bora is very much about the pelagics, principally sharks, and if you have an innate fear of them then this is the perfect opportunity for 'in at the deep end' therapy. This is the only place in the world we know where, albeit thanks to the questionable act of feeding, you are guaranteed close encounters with burly and reclusive three-metre lemon shark, along with droves of the more common grey reef and black-tip reef shark. Mantas are common too!
While the diving in Bora Bora is unrivalled for shark action, it can get somewhat repetitive and a week is probably enough which gives you time to head off to the more remote areas such as Tikehau an Rangiroa.