As the saying goes, “Location is everything” and Fanning Island is remarkable by virtue of its glorious remoteness.
Fanning Island sits a few feet above sea level, on top of an extinct volcano many hundreds of feet below. The only swift and reliable access is via a Pegasus-chartered flight from Christmas Island – which itself is a moderate flight from either Hawaii or Fiji.
Though just a little north of the equator, the island is blessed with a maritime climate that averages 83 degrees in both the water and the air.
Fanning Island Lodge’s ‘A la Belle Atoile’ is managed by the intrepid Frenchman, Bruno de Lala, who left Bordeaux in 1979 to sail to Tahiti and never quite made it home again. After two shipwrecks, Bruno settled on Fanning Island over twenty years ago with his wife, Tabita, where they slowly built A la Belle Atoile and started a small family.
With help from Pegasus and Fanning Island Lodge, Bruno now looks forward to sharing his love for one of the few remaining untouched islands paradises on Earth.
1,200 to 600 years ago, several thousand Polynesians lived in villages around the island. There are ruins of religious buildings and ancient gathering places, and it’s believed this is the last island Polynesians colonized before they discovered Hawaii.
The island lay uninhabited for 600 years, until the 1850’s when it was established as a coconut oil plantation, and later settled by the people of Kiribati.
Fanning Island has a population of about 1800 people. Eight villages, connected by a dirt path, dot the island. Travel is limited to bicycles, motorbikes, canoes, and a few old trucks.