As you can see, the lagoon nearly belongs to you alone.
It is possible that the beach is busier on weekends when the locals also decide to relax at Matira Point.
We were there on a Monday, and there were very few people despite some cruise ship passengers invading the beach.
The beach is not wide, just a relatively narrow stretch. But the sand is white. WHITE.
To walk in the water you need swimming shoes, or you risk to get nasty cuts from broken coral.
At low tide you can walk across the lagoon. However, if you try this be prepared that you are not welcome at the hotels on the motu(s)…
You can find alternative beaches between Vaitape and Matira Point but they are not near as nice as Matira Beach, for the simple reason that they are located next to the busy road.
Update Dec. 2012
No change to the magic on my visit last year. I was on Bora Bora for three days and despite not loving the overall vibe, Matira Beach still has it all - and there were never more people than on my first visit.
Between the Intercontinental Beachcomber and the Hotel Matira is a narrow track – which BTW is the official access road to the Interconti, with no sign-post or anything that would lead you to the beach and all the other hotels of Matira Point. You just follow this alleyway, turn right near the entrance of the Interconti – and stand more or less on the beach.
There is a lawn (covered in pricklies that stick to your towel, just for the case you wonder if you should lie down on the lawn or in the sand) with a big thatched pavillion, and a concrete toilet block with showers on the outside. They are the hotel’s facilities but you are allowed to use them. Perfect!
If you have no bicycles or other means of transport, there are those pick-up trucks that look out for customers every now and then. We met several cruise ship passengers who had got to the beach by this cheap means of transport and back to Vaitape as well.
As said in other tips already, the area between Raititi Point and Matira Point (Pointe Matira) – about 5 to 6 kilometres south of Vaitape - is Bora Bora’s main tourist area. It also is the southernmost point of the island.
Some of the high-price hotels with overwater bungalows (Hotel Matira, Le Maitai Polynesia, Sofitel Matira, Hotel Bora Bora) are located there, but also more affordable family-run accommodation, like Chez Nono, and others.
Our smoking bike rental lady had encircled the whole area with her pen and told us that this was Bora Bora’s best beach. As you can imagine, this still does not give you the exact location, so I thought I better ask at the start of the Matira area before we have to make a U-turn and waste our precious relaxing and swimming time. I could not have asked at a better spot than at the Roulotte Matira – because the access path was just across the road!
The name Matira has quite a funny origin.
It is the Tahitian pronunciation of Mathilda. (And I had thought only people from East Asia take the L as an R, and vice-versa… But you will find many examples of this change of consonants in Tahitian.)
Mathilda again was the name of a lady who married a local chief who named the property after her. The lady again had been named after a British ship that was wrecked on the Mururoa Atoll (you remember the French nuclear tests…) in 1792.
A path opposite Hotel Matira leads to some World War II defense guns on the hill but obviously this easy access track is now blocked by a private property. I did not check it out, so cannot confirm this. Just try or ask.
The Intercontinental Beachcomber – where dreams become true. It is located at Matira Point, Bora Bora’s main tourist area.
This hotel was the first one to build overwater bungalows which have now become the trademark of Bora Bora’s luxury hotels.
All overwater bungalows are built in the traditional Polynesian style. This means, they have thatched roofs and walls woven pandanus walls. Pandanus is a tree of the lily family with sword-like very sturdy leaves. It resembles the cabbage trees in New Zealand. But we also have a tree of the Pandanus family with the nickname Pineapple Tree, derived from the look of its fruit.
Not all overwater bungalows have those woven walls anymore. We saw quite a number of them with wooden walls. This is clearly a less maintenance construction.
BTW Most hotels have no swimming pools, as the lagoon is right at the doorstep. And from the overwater bungalows you can even jump right into the sea.
Another BTW: Some of those high-end hotels do not welcome visitors, and feel – like the Club Med for example – like a gated community. Well, or a private prison for well-heeled people ;-)
The Intercontinental Beachcomber is very visitor friendly. You are even allowed to use their beach facilities.
Although famous for its white sandy beaches, Bora doesn't count so many of them.
The nicest one stretches along the Pointe Matira and is home to some of the best hotels and private homes.
We took a walk on the beach from Intercontinental hotel until Bora Bora hotel, where we stopped to snorkel for a while. During that walk, we enjoyed the most fantastic landscapes…
We also walked along the beach, leaving Intercontinental to our left, and reached a spot that seemed famous for kitesurfing.
Although I am very fair skinned and did not actually take advantage of this tip, I would highly recommend Bora Bora if you are looking for a really remote place to have a great time on a beach. The resort we were at was the Bora Bora Nui, and it had one of the nicest beaches I have ever seen!
One of the other things that I found keenly interesting about this island is that you really could go all day on the beach without seeing another person! It truly was a first for me!
Between Hotel Bora Bora and Bora Bora Beachcomber you will find the most beautiful beach in Bora Bora. It joins Taahana Beach at Hotel Le Matai Polynesia and the Sofitel Marara. It is here that you'll find a concentration of hotels, pensions, boutiques, black pearl shops and all kinds of nautical activities.