Have you been dreaming of a honeymoon or destination wedding in an overwater bungalow with pristine turquoise waters? If so, there is a good chance you have set your sights on Tahiti, Fiji, or the Maldives. This blog post will walk you through some of the key differences of each island and help you decide which island is the most ideal for you.
Tahiti – French Polynesian Paradise and home of the Overwater Bungalow
Tahiti is located in the Pacific Ocean in French Polynesia. It is comprised of 118 volcanic islands which make up five archipelagos known as the Society Islands, Tuamotu, Australs, Marquesas and the Gambier Islands. Tahiti’s geography offers travelers an opportunity to experience lush rainforests, mountainous interiors, and a diverse coral atoll surrounding the islands. The best time to visit Tahiti is between April to October. November to March is usually rainy, humid, and the threat of cyclones exists.
The local culture in Tahiti is influenced by French and Polynesian cultures. The official language is Tahitian and French although English is commonly spoken in resort areas. The primary religion of the people in Tahiti is Christian with Protestant and Catholic denominations represented.
A true symbol of the Tahitian culture is the Tahitian gardenia flower. This exotic flower is customarily worn by both men and women in the area and depending on how you wear it can be a symbol of one’s availability. If the flower is worn behind your left ear, it signifies you are taken but if it is worn behind the right ear– it means you are single and looking!
It is legal to get married in Tahiti. However, there are a few rules that need to be followed to make a marriage union legal. Both parties must be 18 years or older and exchange their vows in front of 2 witnesses. You cannot get married on a Sunday or on a National Holiday. There are additional forms and requirements to get married in Tahiti. If you are interested in a destination wedding in this beautiful paradise, please inquire with Mirabelle Travel directly for more information.
Travel to Tahiti
Tahiti is ideal travel spot for destination weddings, honeymooners, couples, and families. Of the three island destinations, Tahiti is the easiest to get to from the US – a direct flight from Los Angeles is only about 8 hours. A visa is not required for travelers to Tahiti. Activities offered here are shark and ray tours, surfing, hiking, scuba diving, skiing, jet skiing, and golf. Tuamotu offers one of the world’s best diving locations, especially in August – October which is humpback whale season. When visiting Tahiti – make sure to pick up some beautiful Tahitian pearls and Tahitian vanilla.
If you wanted to combine a Tahitian island vacation with another destination, it can easily be combined with other destinations such as New Zealand and the Cook Islands.
Fiji – Where Happiness Lives
Fiji is located in the Pacific Ocean and made up of 333 islands. Fiji has both volcanic islands and atolls offering travelers white sand beaches, lush rainforests and mountainous interiors on some islands. The best time to visit is between April and October.
The local indigenous people of Fiji are descended from Fijian, Indian, Chinese, and European cultures. Its unique blend of cultures can be experienced by travelers through their food, music, festivals and art. Fijian people are considered to be the friendliest people in the world.
English is the official language of Fiji although Hindustani is also widely spoken. The local Fijians have a wide range of religions including Protestant, Roman Catholic, Islam and Hindu. It is important to dress modestly when away from hotels and resorts in Fiji. Travelers should be warned that wearing a hat when visiting a local village is considered an insult to the village chief.
Of all the islands here, Fiji is the easiest to get married on. You just need to bring some identification, fill out some forms and you can get married within a few days once you will out the correct forms. In Fiji, like Tahiti, they also required that both parties be over 18 and the marriage needs to be performed in front of 2 witnesses. If you are interested in a destination wedding in this beautiful paradise, please inquire with Mirabelle Travel directly for more information.
Travel to Fiji
Fiji Air offers direct flights from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Honolulu. Fiji is slightly farther from the US than Tahiti and takes approximately 11 hours from Los Angeles. Travelers to Fiji from the US are automatically granted a 4 month visa upon arrival. All you need is a passport that is valid at least 6 months past your return ticket.
Activities offered in Fiji are shark and ray tours, surfing, hiking, scuba diving, skiing, jet skiing, and golf. Fiji offers the ultimate soft coral diving experience, however surfing in Fiji is for the more advanced surfer and not recommended for beginners.
Combine your Fiji destination with Australia or Vanuatu. Vanuatu is for the more extreme, thrill seeking traveler who wishes to swim with sharks.
Maldives – the sunny side of life
The Maldives are located in the Indian Ocean just Southwest of Sri Lanka. The 1190 islands that make up the Maldives are all natural atolls with underwater mountain ranges. The islands are surrounded by a lagoon of crystal clear water and thriving coral reef system. High season for travel to the Maldives is December to April. May to November is considered monsoon season and may be more rainy than sunny.
The local culture is Maldivian – which has been largely influenced by the cultures of Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, and North Africa. The main language spoken in the Maldives is Dhivehi although English is also commonly spoke. The primary religion in Maldives is Sunni Islam – dating back to the 10th Century.
Marriage in the Maldives is not permitted unless both parties are Islamic.
Travel to the Maldives
From the US, the Maldives is the most difficult of the islands to get to. There are no direct flights from the US and travel can take up to 28 hours. We recommend you have at least 9-10 days for a 7 night stay in the Maldives. A visa is not required for travelers visiting the Maldives for stays under 30 days.
Unlike the other islands, the Maldives offers 1 resort per island so there is no opportunity for travelers to leave their resort and visit a local restaurant. The Maldives offers more exotic and luxurious resort experiences than the other islands. Here, you can find amenities such as underwater restaurants, and clear bathtubs over the water. This area is perfect for the romantic traveler who wants a more secluded travel experience. It is not an ideal destination for a destination wedding.
Combine your Maldives vacation with a visit to Dubai, Thailand, Japan or Bali.
Archipelagos: a sea of stretch of water containing many islands.
Atoll: a ring-shaped coral reef, island or series of islets. An atoll surrounds a body of water called a lagoon. Volcanic islands: an island that occurs in ocean basins or ocean ridges. These islands are formed when large volcanos erupt on the seafloor whose tops have emerged above sea level.