Ah, Bora Bora. An image from a dream. A distant paradise to visit one day.
Bora Bora is truly the stuff of dreams, because so many people want to go, yet so few people actually make it.
Bora Bora’s best surprise is that it’s not a standalone destination – there are so many amazing combinations to make in the South Pacific and beyond.
Bora Bora came out as number one in our recent social media poll about our clients’ top bucket list destinations. This is how to make the bucket list a reality.
Bora Bora is best visited during European Summer
The best times to visit Bora Bora are the cooler, dry months from May to October. April and November can be good too.
The rainier months from December to March don’t always offer postcard-perfect views and the mosquitos are annoying.
This is winter time in the Southern Hemisphere, so for us in Europe, Bora Bora is a summer holiday destination.
Is it really that difficult to visit Bora Bora?
Bora Bora is a small island and a few islets in the South Pacific. It’s one of the 121 islands, spread across 2000 kilometres, that form French Polynesia.
Let’s not pretend it’s easy to get there. Bora Bora is further away from Prague than almost anywhere in the world, which is part of the allure.
You’ll need to fly internationally to Tahiti, the largest island in French Polynesia and main international airport.
One option is to fly west to Tahiti, via San Francisco or Los Angeles. Another option is to fly southeast on Emirates or Qatar, on a two-leg flight to Auckland, before flying on to Tahiti.
From Tahiti you’ll still need an onward interisland flight to Bora Bora.
Where to Stay on Bora Bora
There are five resorts we can recommend, each with its own highlights.
These three resorts made Bora Bora famous, because of the iconic view over the lagoon to the mountain.
These three resorts are quite similar in terms of location, villas and view. They’re a similar size too, with around 80 – 100 villas.
Accommodation at all these resorts is typically in overwater villas. In fact, it was on Bora Bora where the concept of overwater villas was invented, at what is now Conrad Bora Bora Nui.
InterContinental Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa
- Excellent choice for couples
- The flagship InterContinental property globally
- Best spa on Bora Bora
Four Seasons Bora Bora
- Best choice for families on Bora Bora
- Vastly improved after a major 2019 renovation
- The best facilities on Bora Bora for children
St Regis Bora Bora
- Largest overwater villas in Bora Bora
- Widest range of facilities on Bora Bora, including most diverse dining options
- In urgent need of renovation and feels very old fashioned in style
Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa
- Outstanding dining at French Polynesia’s only Relais & Chateaux property
- Recommended as a first stop on a Bora Bora holiday, a serene place to rest and unwind after the journey
- Not located on Bora Bora. This is a private island resort across the sea.
- Feels like an adults retreat but also has good children’s facilities. Suitable for most travellers
Conrad Bora Bora Nui
- On the other side of Bora Bora, so there is no famous Mount Otemanu view. Renovated when Conrad took over the island in 2017.
- Most private and tranquil of all the Bora Bora resorts
- Good choice for families and couples.
- Recommended as a final stop on a Bora Bora holiday, due to the many “other” experiences you can try
Amazing Bora Bora Holiday Combinations
Where to stay on Bora Bora is the easier part of this mini guide. The crucial consideration is which other destinations to include on your holiday.
At a minimum, Bora Bora is four flights away from home, which is a long way to go to do nothing on holiday.
Why not fly around the world? A week in California, a week in French Polynesia, a week on New Zealand’s North Island and then back home.
How about combining a Bora Bora beach holiday with skiing on New Zealand’s South Island?
Tokyo to Tahiti is a direct flight and could there be a better destination contrast. Go into all-out explorer mode in Japan, before absolute tranquillity in the South Pacific.
European summer is when most of us have time for longer holidays, so why not combine many destinations on your travel list?
There’s much more than Bora Bora
You could easily spend an entire month only in French Polynesia! We designed this exact holiday for one of our clients, the ultimate holiday in French Polynesia.
Apart from Bora Bora, there are two truly out-of-this-world-type experiences we would recommend to everyone in French Polynesia.
Firstly, The Brando, the only resort on the entire Tetiaroa Atoll, a private island resort only accessible to guests by helicopter.
What’s the biggest Maldives private island resort you know? The Brando has 35 villas with private pools, scattered across an area roughly the same size as Malé. It’s on a stratospheric level in terms of space and privacy.
The Brando is truly one of the world’s ultimate private island holidays, where Margot Robbie, Barack Obama and Ellen DeGeneres were holidaying at the same time.
Secondly, French Polynesia is one of the finest places to explore by private yacht. Take a week to explore the Leeward Islands and you could:
- Sail, swim, snorkel and kayak around Motu Mahaea
- Visit Fare village on Huahine and snorkel at Avea Bay
- Be invited to the ancient village of Parea and visit archaeological sites of Huahine Iti and Huahine Nu
- Sail Fa’a’aha Bay and Motu Tau Tau, visit vanilla plantations, then watch the sunset over Bora Bora
- Experience a Black Pearl Farm and anchor at Motu Topua, a small island formed from a volcanic crater
- Snorkel and scuba dive in a natural aquarium of sharks and rays
- Countless private white beaches, swimming spots, sunset views and more
What to Do on Bora Bora
Bora Bora is not only a slow-paced beach holiday, even if that’s exactly the dreamy image the island creates.
Of course you’re going to spend plenty of time relaxing in paradise, from your overwater villa, on a white beach, at a remote picnic spot, or just about anywhere in Bora Bora.
Of course the views are sublime. Of course you will be swimming in warm turquoise waters. Of course it’s incredibly tranquil and you will drift off to the soft sights and sounds of the South Pacific ocean.
We won’t tell you how to enjoy a slow-paced beach holiday. Did you know Bora Bora can also be an action-packed adventure too. How about skydiving over Bora Bora?
Perhaps you prefer an experience under the water. Like snorkelling with black-tip sharks? Or feeding stingrays? Or caring for sea turtles?
We recommend the helicopter flight over the island, especially if you’re not taking a helicopter transfer to a resort like The Brando. The very best Bora Bora views are from the helicopter.
Exploring Bora Bora island is a must. Cycling can be a light adventure for any day. We recommend at least half a day exploring by 4WD, bumping on dirt tracks across this wild volcanic island.
It is possible to hike up the iconic Mount Otemanu, although note that it’s a real hardcore hike. A better hike is Mount Pahia, Otemanu’s lower, sister peak. It’s better because you enjoy views over the lagoon and Mount Otemanu from the same peak.
2024 in Bora Bora? Is it a Realistic Dream For You?
Do you dream of Bora Bora? Do you rank Bora Bora as the number one destination on your travel bucketlist?
Is summer 2024 the time you make that dream a reality?
Travelling to one of the further places on the planet isn’t straightforward. We’re here to provide personalised travel planning until everything a Bora Bora holiday is perfect for you.