A brief overview of the place
Paradise. That is the perfect word to describe this unspoilt metropolis. Lifou is the largest of the Loyalty island’s and is famous for its vanilla plantations and friendly locals. The white sand is sure to take your breath away, and the locals will give you a burst of energy.
What I did there.
There are a few places that leave me speechless but Lifou is definitely one of them. Like a lot of you, I have seen numerous pictures of Bora Bora and the Maldives thinking “Now that’s paradise”, but Lifou… wow.
Unlike most places, Lifou is completely unspoilt. No shops, no hotels and no tourists apart from the people on the cruise ship. It is just a traditional, unique part of the world.
Getting off the tender on to the peer I actually had to concentrate on breathing a little bit. I had never seen water so clear, or so turquoise in my life. I wanted to jump in the sea right then and there and never get out.
Before I satisfied my desire to swim, I followed what I could hear – the locals, singing and dancing just behind the beach. It was beautiful, they were all so happy. They invited everyone to join in, so me and some other tourists got involved and hummed along to the tune they were singing and tried to follow the steps. It was so much fun. I fell in love with the vibrant colours of the clothes they were wearing which went perfectly with their bright smiles. All the people who got up and danced with them were given a bowl of Lychee fruit which is my favourite, so my day was made right then and there.
I had a quick squint at the market and got talking to one of the locals who recommended I go and see the museum which was a short walk away, so I did.
It took me about 10 minutes to walk down the dusty roads to the little town that was decorated with exquisite flowers. There were traditional houses sprinkled around, with a lovely little church in the centre & this continued to fill me with delight.
I spent about 30 minutes in the museum looking at the traditional artwork and learning a little more about the history and the traditions of this beautiful island.
As I came out, I could see the sea out of the corner of my eye and at that point, I had this incredible urge to jump in! I basically ran, trying not to lose my flip flops, and when I came to the first bit of sand in sight, I dropped my stuff and skipped in the water.
The sea was as incredible as it looked. Not too cold, not to warm. I just floated around in a state of ecstasy. I drifted out a little to where the water turned to a darker shade of blue and could feel the little fish swimming around my ankles. The breeze was wonderful and had me feeling so full of joy I can’t even put into words how wonderful it was.
The main beach was very busy so I took a little stroll and came to a 6-foot high rock face. I climbed over it and found myself on my own little private section of the beach. I lay in the powdery sand rolling it between my fingers and toes contemplating that if I had died, was actually in heaven?
The rest of my day was spent going in and out of the water, rolling the sand between my toes and eating fresh fruit from the market.
If you ever get the chance, please go to Lifou! It is wonderfully picturesque and traditional.
Most popular excursions
This is the exquisite beach the tender boats drop you off at and is a beautiful place to spend the day.
Snorkelling at Jinek Bay
When you get to the top of the peer from the tender, make your way to the top of the road and turn left. walk towards the chapel of Notre Dame de Lourdes, and halfway you will come to a crossroads. turn right there and 5 minutes of walking straight you will arrive at Jinek bay.
Snorkelling here costs $15 and the money goes to maintaining the bay and helping the locals. if you don’t have your own snorkelling gear, you can borrow some from here.
From the tender, head up the road and take a right. follow the road until you come to the first village. here you will find a range of beautiful flowers and a little museum that will teach you more about the history of this island and the people who live here. Also, there is a wonderful old church here that was built in 1898 which showcases some lovely art
Free things to do
Watch the locals performance or dance, drumming and singing as you arrive
There are several locations around the island that you can find traditional art like totem poles. one of these places is in front of the market that you can find just behind the beach.
French is the main language but English is widely spoken.
10,000 people live on the island.
Things to know
Since a lot of the food is imported, life is very expensive. although it is a market do not try to barter as you may cause offence
My favourite thing about the place
Everything! The sand, the water, the beautiful people, the atmosphere, the food and the fact that is still completely unspoilt with nowadays is so rare!