Moorea is an easy island to explore by car. The one coastal road is just 61 km (37 mi) long, and the best part of a day is needed to travel the road and stop off at the villages, bays, little churches, and cafés along the way and to travel into the interior to the Belvedere lookout and the marae (ancient temples).

The lagoon and bays can be discovered on organized excursions that may include a picnic lunch on one of the motu at the island's northwest corner. There are also small motorboats for hire for a half or full day, with no license required. You won't find too many tracks of endless white sands on Moorea; however, the top resorts have lovely man-made beaches and the lagoon-side pensions and lodges always have at least a little patch of sand.

Half-day and full-day 4WD tours take in all the sights and some areas inaccessible to motorists, while hiking is a great way to see the pineapple and fruit plantations and lush valleys.

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  • 1. Afareaitu


    This village a few miles south of the port of Vaiare is the administrative center and contains the island's mairie (town hall) and a small...Read More

  • 2. Belvedere


    This popular lookout, a few miles inland from Paopao, is the island's highest point accessible by car. From the summit (720 feet [219 meters...Read More

  • 3. Cook's Bay


    This lovely bay, also known as Paopao Bay, has the most dramatic setting and is best appreciated by standing at its eastern or western shore...Read More

  • 4. Haapiti


    The largest village on the remote West Coast is located where the PK 37 counterclockwise and the PK 24 markers meet. Apart from this little...Read More

  • 5. Hauru Point


    Not really a town per se, but still one of the busiest tourist strips, this 5-km (3.1-mi) strip from PK 25 to PK 30 has shops, excursions operators...Read More

  • 6. Hauru Point


    The point has one long beach that winds in and out of bays and skirts several pensions and hotels for about 5 km (3.1 mi). It's narrow but is...Read More

  • 7. Jus de Fruits de Moorea

    Pihaena | Factory

    Juice was first pressed at this pineapple processing factory and distillery in 1981. In the early days, four juices—pineapple, grapefruit, orange...Read More

  • 8. Lagoonarium

    Puna'auia | Zoo/Aquarium

    This enclosed part of the lagoon near Motu Ahi, off Afareaitu, is home to turtles, rays, and hundreds of fish. A boat takes visitors from Afareaitu...Read More

  • 9. Maharepa


    This village is a collection of tourist shops, eateries, pearl stores, a tattoo parlor, and two small shopping centers. The larger Socredo Centre...Read More

  • 10. Marae


    Just off the Belvedere Road are remains of a few ancient marae. You can just park your car, ATV, or bugster (the preferred mode of transport...Read More

  • 11. Moorea Dolphin Center


    You can literally kiss and cuddle dolphins here. Three dolphins (ex-performers and retired U.S. Navy dolphins) live in an enclosed section of...Read More

  • 12. Motu beaches


    When you book a shark feeding and motu picnic excursion you'll head to either Motu Fareone or Motu Moea, or to one of several small islands...Read More

  • 13. Opunohu Agricultural College

    Educational Institution

    Called the Lycée Argricole in French, the college comes in view just before you hit the steep part of the road to the Belvedere. Students...Read More

  • 14. Opunohu Bay


    This is the westerly of the two outstanding bays on the north side of the island, and is actually the place where Captain James Cook dropped...Read More

  • 15. Opunohu Beach


    This public beach, about half a mile long, is on the northeast side of Opunohu Bay. It's popular on the weekends with French and Tahitian families...Read More

  • 16. Painapo Beach Paradise


    This lovely area, with great lagoon views, is not a public beach: it costs 2,000 CFP for a day pass, which allows you to snorkel along an underwater...Read More

  • 17. Papetoai Temple

    Papetoai | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This temple is the main attraction of little Papetoai and is also known as the Octagonal Church, due to its eight sides. Protestant missionaries...Read More

  • 18. Pension Motu Iti


    Pension Motu Iti. Pension Motu Iti on the Coastal Road on the western side of Cook's Bay 55–05–20 . ...Read More

  • 19. Pihaena


    Between Opunohu and Cook's bays, this is more tourist enclave than village, with a collection of pensions (with restaurants) and the Hilton...Read More

  • 20. Teavora & Temae Beaches


    These beaches are the best on the East Coast; their names tend to be used interchangeably as they're really one long beach that starts just...Read More

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