Legends, Myths and Lanai Holidays

by mbkimberley

Discover Hawaii holidays and the Island of Lanai along with its legends and myths.

The Hawaiian Island of Lanai is the sixth smallest of the inhabited islands and offers a unique tropical experience with unusual landscapes and the remote beauty of an island that only has a population of 3,000 people. An active volcano dominates the center of Lanai and the surrounding landscapes are steeped with legends and myths dating back to the 15th century. Tourism is attracted to this island through via several large resort hotels, 2 golf courses and the prospect of off-road exploration.

About Lanai

Holidays, legends and myths

One of the most unique and interesting of the Hawaiian Islands is the smallest of the publicly accessible & inhabited in the chain, Lanai. Lanai, also referred to as Pineapple Island due to its past as an island-wide plantation, only has one town, Lanai City, but there is plenty to enjoy off the beaten track.

The population of the island is just over 3,000 people, there are no traffic lights on the island and it has been inhabited since the 15th Century.

The mystical side of Lanai

There are some wonderful legends relating to this island dating back many generations. The Maui chiefs believed that man-eating spirits occupied the island before they were banished by one of several popular myths. In one the prophet Lanikaula drove the spirits away whilst in the other Prince Kaulua'au of Maui completed that feet. The more popular version of the myth sees the prince banished by his father from Maui for pulling up every breadfruit tree he could find. The prince survived on Lanai Island and drove the spirits away. His father saw his campfire on the beach every night and sent a canoe for his brave sons return. The prince was awarded the island for his bravery and thus immigration was encouraged. Today, mysteriously no breadfruit trees can be found on Lanai and legend says that the prince pulled them all up on his return to Lanai.


Since the decay of the plantations on Lanai tourism has become important and the major resort, Four Seasons Resort Lanai, offers a base for holidaymakers who wish to explore this tropical paradise. There are two high-quality golf courses on the island and off-road vehicles can be hired to discover the island via numerous dirt tracks.

Four Seasons Resort

Legends of the Landscape

Unique landscapes can be found at the Garden of the Gods (Keahiakawelo) and the Sweetheart Rock (Puu Pehe). The Garden of the Gods is about 45 minutes away from Lanai City (get directions from your concierge) and has an unusual lunar topography of boulders and rock towers. Legend has it that two priests from Molokai and Lanai had a contest to keep a fire burning the longest on their respective island and the priest of Lanai used every piece of vegetation to keep the fire burning, thus creating this baron landscape.

Garden of the Gods Lanai

On the southern coast, between Hulopoe Bay and Manele Bay, is the picturesque Sweetheart Rock. Traditional tales talk of the two lovers named Pehe and Makakehau and the tragic tale ends with the maiden Pehe drowning in a cave. Stricken with grief Makakehau called out to the gods to help him carry his beloved up the steep rock to where he buried his love, before jumping off the 80-foot summit into the surf below. This landmark can be visited on foot and is just a short hike from the Four Seasons and the Hulopoe Beach.

Lanai may not be for everyone but it is an ideal escape from today's busy lifestyle and suited well to romantic couples.

Travel experts Hawaii Holiday have co-operated in the creation of this information.

Updated: 12/24/2012, mbkimberley
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