Lush, unapologetic beauty and hypnotic views to the blue horizon
Know Your Destination
Exotic French Polynesia’s dramatic mountain ridges, European flair, and luxurious over-water bungalows lure visitors eager to experience serenity and sophistication in equal measure. Discover romance in five-star resorts that open directly onto gleaming beaches and clear blue waters. And keep a sharp eye peeled for international celebs.
It’s easier and more affordable than ever to tuck in a tiare (fragrant white flower) behind your ear, pack your pareu (sarong) and swimsuit, and head off to find your own idyllic piece of Polynesian paradise. Each of the many islands is a tiny jewel, often appearing as though it is barely floating above breaking waves…
Blessed with a balmy tropical climate, the Tahitian islands are also drenched in French culture, including the language (although English is widely spoken, especially among hotel staff).
Get In & Get Going
Every visitor to French Polynesia must have a valid passport; a return airline ticket to their resident country or to at least two more continuing destinations; and sufficient funds to cover their planned stay.
Get ready to be dazzled with crystalline waters, perfect sandy beaches, a friendly local vibe, and what may be the world’s most concentrated collection of elite resorts. The largest of the 118 islands and atolls that comprise French Polynesia, Tahiti is one of the most beautiful in all the South Pacific.
Surrounded by a lagoon and barrier reef, Bora Bora is one of the natural world’s unique creations, dominated by the remnants of an extinct volcano rising to two peaks, Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu. It is the undisputed heavyweight champion of over-water bungalows, which were invented in the French Polynesian islands.
Just a few miles from Tahiti, Moorea epitomizes the fabled South Seas paradise, its landscape a broad brushstroke of mountains, waterfalls, lagoons, beaches, meadows, and simple villages. Grab your snorkelling gear and head for the channel between Fareone and Tiahura motus, or rest your towel on a perfect patch of sand on romantic Temae Plage Publique.
Divers, head to Rangiroa, the world’s second largest atoll, for unparalleled underwater exploration. Taha’a is the place to find perfect black pearls from one of the family-owned farms. Pedal a bike around Huahine and be put under the spell of its fragrant vanilla plantations.
For a unique romantic experience, there are some resorts that will have breakfast delivered directly to your over-water bungalow – via canoe!
Explore the brilliant and colorful undersea world to depths of 15 feet with Snuba, a version of scuba diving that uses an air hose instead of a tank.
Catch Some Rays
Wade into a shallow lagoon, and hand-feed raw fishes to three-foot-wide southern stingrays, which are gentle and playful enough to touch!
Don your snorkeling gear and join an underwater safari to Opunohu Bay for a different perspective on the island of Moorea.
I Sea Food
No surprise that seafood is a Tahitian staple, so try some exotic local dishes such as parrotfish, barracuda, octopus, sea urchin, and river prawns (also known as chevrettes).
Head off the beaten path in a 4×4 and discover relics of early Polynesian era and WWII artillery left behind by American GIs, plus pearl farms and vanilla plantations.
The Turtle Sanctuary at Le Méridien Bora Bora invites you to meet, greet, and learn about marine turtles in their natural environment.
Source: World Traveler, Australia & the South Pacific