French Polynesia

These unbelievably beautiful islands are all variations on the same theme – a sandy beach, a crystal-clear lagoon, and a background of tall hills covered by lush vegetation. Yet each of them really is unique.

Explore French Polynesia

Some sites are best for snorkelling, others for diving. In one island you will find amazing surf waves, in another, a quiet lagoon where you can swim with humpback whales. Here, a five-star resort. There, a family-run Tahitian guesthouse. Add coconut and orange groves, hiking trails and waterfalls, prehistoric sites and ancient temples – and you begin to see how diverse paradise can be.

Getting here and around

If “islands in the South Seas” sounds remote, it’s because they really are. At least for Europeans. Getting to French Polynesia is a two-day trip, with two stops on the way – first somewhere in Europe, then most likely in Los Angeles. This is why we recommend you take at least a two-week vacation if you decide for French Polynesia – it doesn’t make sense to travel such a long distance for only a few nights’ stay. Once you are there, you can get around by air on domestic or private flights, or by sea on a cruise or on board a private yacht.

Climate & seasons

Though this is an all-year destination, you might prefer the winter months – which are the summer months of the Northern Hemisphere – because that's the dry season. July and August are the busiest months, with many families coming from the US during school holidays. If you’re willing to put up with the crowds, you will have the chance to experience festivals like Heiva – which takes place in Bora-Bora in July, and includes singing, dancing, and sports competitions. If boats are more your line, there’s the Tahiti Moorea Sailing Rendez-Vous, a three-day boat race which also happens in July. However, if you care more for beach relaxation than festivals, we recommend you miss the crowds and go in September or October.

Where to go

We suggest you visit more than one island in your trip, which you can do by either flying between islands or taking a cruise. On the latter, you can eat, relax and sleep on board a luxury boat while you go from one island to the next – then have a full day to explore each island. Bora-Bora needs no introduction. Tetiaora was chosen by Marlon Brando for a reason. Moorea is one of the best places if you want to snorkel or explore the inland. Should you want to get off the boat and spend a few days at a resort, Taha’a is an excellent option. Tahiti, the biggest island, has no proper five-star resorts – stay a few nights if you want land experiences, but otherwise just spend your first night there then move on to other islands. But with 118 islands and atolls, there are just too many options in French Polynesia to list here. So let us know the kind of vacation you want, and we will advise you on where to go.

What to do

French Polynesia is where you will find some of the best places in the world to snorkel, scuba dive and surf. But if you are the active type, there’s a lot more to do. You can go outrigger canoeing, windsurfing – any water sport, really. You can ride a horse inland or on the beach. Go biking. Explore the inland on a jeep safari, or hike to a tall island peak for stunning views. If you are into culture and history, visit ancient temples, museums, and traditional artisans’ workshops. Tahitians are a charming, welcoming people, so don’t miss the opportunity to get to know the locals. And when you are tired, just wade in the twilit lagoon, breathing in the scents of the evening as you watch the moon rise.

EliteVoyage Hotel Collection in French Polynesia

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