A beautiful paradise in the South Pacific, French Polynesia is made up of 118 dispersed islands, each with stunning natural beauty. The most well known of these islands is Tahiti, which is covered by lush forest, as the coastline is lapped by stunning turquoise waters. From surreal waterfalls to volcanic peaks, there is plenty to explore.
World renowned for being a romantic destination, these islands are the ultimate for a relaxing and unique tropical holiday. So, book your ticket and jet off to the sultry islands where you can take it slow in a laid-back atmosphere surrounded by stunning scenery.
The traditional, unprompted Tahitian greeting of “la orana!” is likely to be the first thing you hear once you have stepped off the plane. Meaning simply “hello”, it is your welcome to a unique part of the world. Tahiti tends to be the starting point of any trip to French Polynesia and you will see that the legends of the explorers is true from minute one. Fertile soils and simple lives, this is a dreamy place. Majestic mountains and blue lagoons dot the landscape as you start to live the paradise dream.
Most islands boast white-coral sands with the backdrop of coconut palms but there are reefs that surround much of the coastline. This means you have to be careful when swimming. Some of the top beaches include: Temae Plage and Mareto Plage in Moorea, La Plage de Maui in Tahiti and Matira beach in Bora Bora.
The French Polynesia islands conjure up visions of islands of beauty and they have two areas that can debate for the mantle of top spot. Moorea is a stunning island, an area where the Mount Rotui rolls down in green all the way to the glorious bays of Opunohu and Cook’s. Bora Bora is an iconic spot that James Michener once said was the most beautiful island in the world.
With the islands developing rapidly, you get a modern environment on the most popular spots like Pape’ete but there are some sleepy spots to enjoy an authentic experience in French Polynesia. Huahine is a major island but hasn’t grown to have the pull of some of the other spots and you can find ancient temples to visit.
Elsewhere, Tahaa is like Moorea before the developers came. The main industry is vanilla growing and it is a precious rugged little island worth exploring. Maupiti is yet to get an upscale resort, thanks to resident voting, and the unspoiled spot is a great day trip from Bora Bora. Other undisturbed areas include the Tuamotu archipelago and the Marquesas Islands.
Thanks to the warm tropical climate of this part of the world, water sports are year round activities. Whether you want to snorkel, dive or surf there are spots in this area that give you the chance to do just that. You can even swim with sharks in Bora Bora.
Hiking trails are popular because of the incredible interior that the islands have but this can only be done during the dry season because the wet can make these walks impassable. If you are there in July then be sure to get yourself to the Heiva Festival in Tahiti where music, dancing and singing take place to bring religion to life.
For a more cultural visit, you can check out the artwork of famous French painter Paul Gauguin who worked on the islands, head to one of the markets to see the hustle and bustle and buy some tropical foodstuffs or handicrafts and learn about the history with a visit to the Museum of Tahiti.
A popular couples holiday destination or honeymoon spot, a trip to French Polynesia will be a time you will never forget. The stunning turquoise waters, glistening white sands and luscious green scenery combine for a truly outstanding location with a tropical climate that guarantees pure relaxation.
Whether you want to sip cocktails under a coconut palm, swim with sharks or head out on a day trip to a sleepy backwater, the options are here.
Spectacular is the word frequently used to describe the breathtaking backdrop that provides the picture perfect opportunity for those snoozing in the afternoon sun on the beach. But, it isn’t all about lazing around and there is plenty of exploration and sports to be done to keep active.
French Polynesian Attractions
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The less you bring the better when travelling to French Polynesia. Most of the days will be spent beachside with a nice cocktail or in the water enjoying the warm, turquoise ocean.
Most people travel during our summer months of May through October. At this time it is the dry season where you will be enjoying high 20s during the day and no lower than late teens in the evening. With this in mind, it is all about swimwear, shorts, t-shirts, skirts, pareos, sun dresses, flip flops and sandals. Light clothing that is comfortable to wear will be ideal during the day. Don’t forget a good sun hat, some sunglasses and maybe some reef walkers if you want to protect your feet when swimming.
As night falls it will still be warm so keep it comfortable. Consider taking a pair of slacks or linen trousers with a collared shirt if eating formally but it tends to be all casual in French Polynesia. A flashlight will be useful because it does get very dark while mosquito repellent needs to be packed and applied.
There aren’t many pharmacies on the island so be sure to pack all medical supplies and sundries you might need just in case.
Sat south of the equator, French Polynesia’s climate is the opposite of that in the UK, with a dry winter period stretching from May through October and the summer rainy season that runs from November to April. Warm tropical temperatures can be expected year round.
Due to summer holidays, peak season falls in July and August and this is prime vacation time for natives and foreigners alike thanks to the Heiva Nui festival. The weather at this time is generally comfortable and dry as it is the winter but don’t expect chilly weather as the midday average is 28ºC and the lows go no further down on the thermometer than 20ºC. If you are on the south side of islands then occasional Antarctic winds can bring a cool breeze.
Summer does get humid, cloudy and wet. During this season you will see average highs of 30ºC with the temperature falling no lower than the early 20s in the evening. Be aware that the downpours tend to come in brief, violent storms but torrential rain is possible.
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