Tikehau, French Polynesia, Paddleboarding above tropical fish
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Photo Credit: Tahiti Tourisme | Off the Shore of Tikehau
Tikehau, French Polynesia, Hammock on the beach
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Photo Credit: Tahiti Tourisme | Beach Hammock
Tikehau, French Polynesia, Paddleboarding
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Photo Credit: Tahiti Tourisme | Preparing to Paddleboard
Tikehau, French Polynesia, Palapa
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Photo Credit: Tahiti Tourisme | Palapa on Tikehau
Tikehau, French Polynesia, Baskets of shells
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Photo Credit: Tahiti Tourisme | Baskets of Shells
Tikehau, French Polynesia, White tern
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Photo Credit: Tahiti Tourisme | White Tern

Tikehau, French Polynesia

Tikehau, French Polynesia, Couple snorkeling Photo credit: Tahiti Tourisme | Snorkeling near Tikehau

If the only sound you want to hear is the rhythmic lap of gentle waves, Tikehau is the place for you. Part of French Polynesia’s Tuamotu Islands, this tiny (population 400) coral atoll is the ultimate antidote for modern-day stress. You'll find just one village, two small resorts, talcum-soft beaches, and a lagoon so filled with sea life, it was heralded by none other than Jacques Cousteau.

What We Love

The Sand: Tikehau’s beaches, covered in either pure white or rosy pink powder, are superphotogenic, especially at dawn and dusk when the light adds extra power to the pink hues.

Getting Around: There are only a few miles of paved surfaces on this oval-shaped atoll, but you can always explore the sandy pathways by bike.

Best Known For

Sea Life: The diving here is exceptional, both in the placid lagoon, which is teeming with fish, and in Tuheiava Pass, where sharks, manta rays, and jackfish are known to congregate.

Bird Island: This palm-tree-studded motu is populated by bird colonies that make their homes in miki miki bushes. A guided excursion with binoculars is a must for amateur ornithologists.

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Who It's Best For

Solitude Seekers: Tikehau is the perfect spot to opt for a quiet day with your feet in the sand and that book you haven't had time to read.

Don't Say We Didn't Warn You

It’s Really, Really Chill: If you’re a diver or birder, there’s plenty to keep you occupied, but if you're not, you won't find much to do beyond walking, biking, and visiting the tiny village of Tuherahera.

Donna Heiderstadt

Donna Heiderstadt is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Coastal Living and Islands.

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Itineraries Including Tikehau, French Polynesia
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