Hiva-Oa... in search of Gauguin and Brel
Personality: Soft, reassuringCLICK to enlarge.


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Pronounciation: "Heeva-O-A".
Former name: La Dominica
Budget level: Standard
Encounter: The island where painter Paul Gauguin and, more recently, poet-singer Jacques Brel lived. A very beautiful and soft island with superb bays.


At a glance: Main town: Atuona. Total population: 1,900. This is where most passengers for the Marquesas land. Some because of Jacques Brel, most because of Paul Gauguin. No point arguing, that's the way it is! The tourism infrastructure is theefore a little more developed than in the other Marquesas Islands. Atuona stretches over the South coast along the Bay of the Treators, in a majestic mountain amphitheater  shaped like an immense moon crescent.

How to get there: By plane, a 3-hour direct flight from Tahiti, or a 30-minute flight from Nuku Hiva, the other big island of the Marquesas. It is however aboard the Aranui and other ships that most tourists arrive.


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