Travel By Numbers: Tahiti

With a Gauguin exhibition soon to open at Tate Modern, Harriet Pearce adds up what drew the artist to the island
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The Independent Travel


Height in metres that waves often reach in Teahupoo, in south-west Tahiti. This resort is host to the annual Billabong Pro Tahiti Surf Competition. Lessons are available for the less proficient.


The height in metres of the refuge at Fare Ata, where you spend a night on one of the most testing treks organised by Tahiti Riva Trek, to the summit of Aorai – third-highest peak in French Polynesia.


The year when the explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville first set foot on Tahiti, during the first French circumnavigation of the globe. His Voyage Autour du Monde described the island as an earthly paradise where men and women live happily in innocence. Test the theory on a round-the-world itinerary from the specialist agency Travel Nation, also taking in Lima, Easter Island and New Zealand, for around £3,500.


Date this month that Tate Modern's Paul Gauguin exhibition opens in London. The troubled French-born artist sought inspiration from French Polynesia, and died there (from syphilis) in 1903. Guided tours of the exhibition take place every Friday and Saturday at 12.15pm (£5 on top of the exhibition admission price of £13.50).


Distance in miles from London to Papeete, the capital of Tahiti. Access is tricky, due to very limited flights. The cheapest route is likely to be via Paris and Los Angeles on Air France, currently quoting £1,158 for travel later in September.


The date next January when Le Meridien Bora Bora reopens after a refurbishment. Thereafter, a bungalow perched above the water on this idyllic island will cost 45,200 Pacific francs (£313) per night if booked in advance.