Discover the top markets and shops in French Polynesia, where sailors can stock up on essentials, sample local delicacies, and immerse themselves in the vibrant culture of this tropical paradise.
The Top Markets and Shops in French Polynesia
French Polynesia, a collection of 118 islands and atolls in the South Pacific, is a dream destination for many sailors. With its crystal-clear waters, lush landscapes, and vibrant culture, it’s no wonder that this tropical paradise is a popular stop for those embarking on a sailing adventure with their families.
One of the most important aspects of any sailing journey is provisioning and shopping in foreign ports. In this article, we’ll explore the top markets and shops in French Polynesia, providing you with all the information you need to stock up on supplies, sample local delicacies, and immerse yourself in the local culture.
Carrefour and Champion: Your One-Stop Shops
When it comes to provisioning in French Polynesia, the two main supermarket chains you’ll encounter are Carrefour and Champion. These large, well-stocked stores can be found in the main towns of Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora, as well as some smaller islands.
Both Carrefour and Champion offer a wide range of products, including fresh produce, meats, dairy, and bakery items, as well as canned and packaged goods. You’ll also find a selection of toiletries, cleaning supplies, and other household items. Prices can be higher than what you’re used to back home, but the convenience and variety make these stores a must-visit for provisioning.
Carrefour has several locations throughout French Polynesia, with the largest store in Papeete, Tahiti. This massive supermarket offers a wide variety of products, including a great selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, and seafood. You’ll also find a bakery, deli, and even a small selection of clothing and electronics.
Some of the smaller Carrefour locations may have a more limited selection, but they’re still a great option for stocking up on essentials. Keep an eye out for their weekly specials, which can help you save on your provisioning budget.
Champion is another popular supermarket chain in French Polynesia, with locations in Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora. Like Carrefour, Champion offers a wide range of products, including fresh produce, meats, and dairy, as well as canned and packaged goods.
Champion stores are generally smaller than Carrefour locations, but they still offer a good selection of items for provisioning. Be sure to check out their weekly specials for discounts on various products.
Local Markets: A Taste of French Polynesia
While supermarkets like Carrefour and Champion are great for stocking up on essentials, visiting local markets is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the culture and flavors of French Polynesia. Here are some of the top local markets to check out during your sailing adventure.
Papeete Market (Marché de Papeete)
Located in the heart of Papeete, Tahiti, the Papeete Market is a must-visit for anyone exploring French Polynesia. This bustling market is open daily and offers a wide range of products, from fresh fruits and vegetables to handmade crafts and souvenirs.
The Papeete Market is the perfect place to stock up on fresh produce, as well as sample local delicacies like poisson cru (raw fish marinated in lime juice and coconut milk) and firi firi (Tahitian donuts). Be sure to arrive early, as the market can get quite busy, especially on weekends.
Moorea Market (Marché de Moorea)
The Moorea Market, located in the village of Maharepa, is a smaller, more laid-back version of the Papeete Market. Open daily, this market offers a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as local crafts and souvenirs.
While the selection may be more limited than at the Papeete Market, the Moorea Market is still a great place to stock up on fresh produce and experience the local culture. Don’t miss the chance to try some delicious local treats, like fresh coconut water and fruit sorbets.
Bora Bora Market (Marché de Bora Bora)
The Bora Bora Market, located in the main town of Vaitape, is a small but charming market offering a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as local crafts and souvenirs. Open daily, this market is a great place to pick up some fresh produce and mingle with the locals.
While the Bora Bora Market may not have the same variety as the Papeete or Moorea markets, it’s still worth a visit for the friendly atmosphere and unique finds.
Specialty Shops: For Those Hard-to-Find Items
In addition to supermarkets and local markets, French Polynesia is home to a number of specialty shops that cater to specific needs. Here are a few worth checking out during your sailing adventure.
La Cave de Tahiti
If you’re looking to stock up on wine, spirits, or beer, La Cave de Tahiti is the place to go. With locations in Papeete and Moorea, this specialty shop offers a wide selection of alcoholic beverages, including local and international brands.
For those in search of organic and health food products, Magasin Bio in Papeete is a great option. This small shop offers a variety of organic fruits and vegetables, as well as specialty items like gluten-free pasta and vegan snacks.
If you need to pick up any sailing gear or equipment, Nautisport in Papeete is your one-stop shop. This store offers a wide range of marine supplies, including clothing, safety equipment, and navigation tools.
Provisioning and shopping in French Polynesia can be a fun and rewarding experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local culture and flavors while stocking up on essentials for your sailing adventure. By visiting a mix of supermarkets, local markets, and specialty shops, you’ll be well-prepared for your journey through this beautiful and diverse region.