Here traditional Pacific Island culture and French élan come together in a ravishing setting that is pretty near paradise. Local seafood served with Gallic savoir-faire, the friendliness of island natives and the refinement of Western accommodations: Nouvelle Calédonie offers the best of both worlds. The land’s landscape is as diverse as its culture. The main island, Grande Terre, is split into two regions by a towering mountain range: in the east, numerous rivers with beautiful waterfalls feed fertile valleys and lush tropical vegetation; while the west is dominated by sweeping plains. Grande Terre is entirely surrounded by the world’s largest lagoon, whose turquoise depths hide a fairyland of underwater caves and coral ridges inhabited by turtles, sea snakes, sharks and endless colourful fish. You will be astounded by the perfect beauty of the secluded Loyalty Islands—Ouvéa, Lifou, Maré—with their emerald waters, white sands and sublimely unhurried rhythm. For a truly unique, truly secluded destination, discover l’Ile des Pins, “Jewel of the Pacific,” whose eponymous towering pines and stunningly beautiful bays are almost unknown to tourists. Venture inland to find hidden forest grottos and the ruins of a French prison from colonial times or ride a pirogue through the emerald lagoons to truly immerse yourself in the magical, romantic atmosphere. Isolated, secluded, and unspoiled, New Caledonia is an Eden on the other side of the world.