Tadine, Mare, New Caledonia

In Partnership With

At 42 kilometers long and 33 kilometers wide (26 miles long and 21 miles wide), Maré—pronounced Mah-RAY—is a raised coral atoll and the second biggest of the four Loyalty Islands. Something of a hidden treasure for cruise visitors, it’s less developed and busy than other Pacific islands and ports, and its undulating coastline, long, narrow beaches and rugged coral cliffs offer unspoiled pleasures for visitors. While there are few creature comforts or tourist activities, the island’s sparkling waters are full of exotic sea creatures like giant manta rays and dugongs and offer some of the South Pacific’s best diving. The interior has its own attractions too: sunken pools, gardens and grottoes, and ancient cliffs. The island’s two main towns, Tadine and La Roche, are pleasantly relaxed and incredibly welcoming: Visitors are often greeted with local women singing traditional songs as they walk along a jetty that’s been decorated with palm fronds. Tadine itself offers a few shops and practical amenities such as a gas station and a pharmacy, and it holds a market on Tuesday and Friday mornings. The island also hosts several festivals per year, mostly relating to agriculture and the celebration of Maré’s natural bounty.