"Ile des Pins, New Caledonia" Île des Pins by minstrel74
Île des Pins Travel Guide: 54 reviews and 88 photos
I've had the good fortune to visit many beautiful islands in the South Pacific. Trying to identify the most beautiful or most spectacular of these has always been difficult and in any case is probably an exercise in futility. That being said, this relatively small island off the southwest coast of Grande Terre in New Caledonia is perhaps the most beautiful island I have ever visited. The beaches are world-class and unspoilt, the turqoise glow of the surrounding ocean is breathtaking, and the crowds are thin. Almost all the other travelers here were from France (and a few from Japan), which led me to believe that this island gem hasn't yet appeared on the radar of most international travelers. I'm sure it will someday, though. I'm just glad to have visited it when I did. It's beauty is unmatched. If you are looking for a spectactular island paradise away from the hordes of tourists found in other parts of the South Pacific, this is a good place to check out. You won't regret it.
Ile des Pins has several worthy attractions, but the beaches alone are worth the time and expense it takes to get here. I spent most of my time hanging out around the Kuto Peninsula, which is flanked by two of the most magnificent stretches of white sand you'll ever see. As you can see from some of these images, the area is eminently photogenic and the visual memories you take from here will stay with you forever. The water is also very still, which makes for ideal swimming conditions. Take it from me--I would normally gasp and flail at the slightest hint of a wave!
Aside from its beaches, there are plenty of other things to do on Ile des Pins. A handful of caves are found around the island that can be explored independently and a dirt path leads to Pic Nga, at 262 meters a great vantage point that affords a sweeping panorama of the entire island. To access these attractions, a ring road circles the island. The road itself is worth some exploration and makes for a fantastic if somewhat difficult bicycle ride.
- Pros:spectacular beaches, magnificent views, and not many crowds
- Cons:Pricey accomodation and equally pricey meals
- In a nutshell:An island gem of unparalled beauty--and no crowds!
At 262 meters, this peak offers a spectacular view of the entire island and is well worth the effort it takes to get up... more travel advice
Simple though it may be, this was my favorite activity on Ile des Pins. The water was so still that when I closed my... more travel advice
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