Ouvéa – known as Iaaï in the local language – stands out as one of the most beautiful atolls in the Pacific region. Spanning 25 kilometres of pristine white sandy beaches, boasting a UNESCO World Heritage lagoon, and featuring majestic coral cliffs, Ouvéa has rightfully earned its title as “the island closest to paradise.” Travellers in search of disconnection from the urban world will discover a serene way of life here, untouched by urbanisation, and have the chance to immerse themselves in authentic moments within the Kanak tribes. Whether you’re an aficionado of leisure or an outdoor adventurer, Ouvéa promises an unforgettable destination!
The most convenient way to reach Ouvéa from Nouméa is by taking an Air Calédonie flight from the domestic airport at Nouméa-Magenta. In just 40 minutes, you’ll arrive at Ouvéa-Ouloup aerodrome, located in the south-central part of the island. Upon arrival, you have several transportation options to reach your accommodation, including car or scooter rentals, shuttle services organised by your hotel, or private transport. Be sure to arrange your transportation in advance. Additionally, Air Loyauté offers inter-island flights to Lifou and Maré.
Why is Ouvéa Atoll affectionately referred to as “the island closest to Paradise”? This delightful nickname originates from the Japanese writer Katsura Morimura, who first visited the atoll in the 1970s. Enchanted by the island’s beauty and the warm hospitality of its residents, she used Ouvéa as the backdrop for her novel, “The Island Closest to Paradise.” The book narrates a love story between a young Japanese woman and a native of Ouvéa. Since the novel’s publication and its subsequent film adaptation, the Japanese continue to consider Ouvéa an ideal honeymoon destination.