Holidays to French Polynesia: An Overview

It doesn't get much more remote than French Polynesia, but if there's any truth to the maxim that the harder the journey the better the arrival, this place is nigh on unbeatable.

Image of Amy Cooper
Image of Katie Terrington

Katie and Amy are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • It's hard to imagine anywhere else in the world with so many opportunities for 'desert island bliss'. Believe it or not, one of the best ways to get the best out of the fabled island of Bora Bora is actually not to stay on the fabled island of Bora Bora. Sound odd? Give us a call and we'll explain all
  • Outside of the Society Islands (home to Bora Bora), is the relatively unexplored Tuamotus, covering half of the square mileage of Polynesia. Here you'll find Tikehau, a coral atoll with an 80km circumference, obligatory white sand, turquoise water and palm trees. Even better, Tikehau has a tiny population and just a couple of hotels.
  • It combines perfectly with other Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Australia or even California

Luxury Holidays to French Polynesia: The Detail

French Polynesia is a scattered archipelago of volcanic islands and atolls strewn across the South Pacific. For centuries, these beautiful islands have represented the epitome of the tropical island paradise to the European consciousness, and have lured and inspired visitors from Gauguin to 21st-century holiday-makers.

Due to the distances involved in visiting the region, Original Travel is one of the few UK tour operators to have actually been to French Polynesia. We offer a selection of immaculate hotels that all offer something a little different, but which are uniformly outstanding. We've visited more than 40 hotels there and from experience we know quite how crucial it is that you choose the right place to go in Polynesia. Get it wrong and it could be a disaster. Please speak to us before you choose!

Pape'ete, capital of Tahiti, is not necessarily the best advertisement for an island chain that stretches across some million square miles of ocean, but beyond the city Tahiti itself has a lot of charm.

The real stars of the show, however, are the other picture perfect islands and motus (islets) twinkling in the turquoise waters. These island chains are divided into the Society Islands, the Tuamotus, the Marquesas, the Australs and the Gambier Archipelago, and they are home to some of the planet's very finest hotels. Original Travel team members have visited the pick of the bunch and look forward to talking you through the best of the bunch.

For many, the highlight of French Polynesia is the island of Bora Bora, regarded as the most beautiful in the Pacific. This is no Maldivian sandbank - more a Jurassic Park-style volcanic island of towering jungle-enveloped peaks encircled by a vast lagoon.

Did you know

  • The letter 'B' doesn't exist in the Tahitian language, so 'Bora Bora' actually means 'Pora Pora'
  • Tahitian residents get fresh loaf delivered twice a day to the boxes outside their houses that look like mail boxes, however they must go to the post office to get their mail
  • French Polynesia compromises over 118 islands and atolls

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Original Highlight

Mount Otemanu, French Polynesia
Image of Nick Newbury

Nothing prepares you for the ridiculous blue of the Bora Bora lagoon as you step out of the airport. The mountain on the inside of the lagoon looks like some sort of Hollywood backdrop. Top tip: sit on the left hand side of the plane from Moorea/Tahiti and Huahine for the best views.

Nick, Original Traveller

A note on price

We’d always recommend combining a luxury holiday to Polynesia with another country, but assuming you had 10 days and only wanted to visit Polynesia, you could expect a fantastic combination of two islands to cost approximately £3,100 per person including flights. Learn more about our pricing

Weather in January January February March April May June July August September October November December
  • Average Temp. — 28°C / 82°F
  • Rainfall — 31cm / 12.4 inches
  • Water Temp. — 28°C / 82°F
Flight from London

18:45 hrs

Time Difference

GMT -10 hrs

Best visit months

May to November


Top picks for French Polynesia

The Brando

The Brando

French Polynesia

The owners of the Brando had lofty ambitions for this stunning resort in French Polynesia, pitching the property directly against the likes of North Island and Laucala, arguably the two most luxurious island retreats in the world.

Where to stay

Beach Suite exterior

Vahine Island

French Polynesia

In the middle of the Taha’a lagoon, on the idyllic private island of Motu Tu Vahine, is The Vahine Island Resort. Surrounded by white sandy beaches, lush coconut trees, and underwater coral gardens, Vahine Island is a blissful Polynesian retreat.

Where to stay

Over water bungalow and clear waters

Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort

French Polynesia

Surrounded by white and pink sand on its own private island, the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort is a tranquil haven. Known as ‘The Pink Island’, Tikehau is considered to be one of the most beautiful atolls in Polynesia, and with its rich marine life and wild coconut groves, it is easy to understand why.

Where to stay

Over water bar at night

Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa

French Polynesia

Named the ‘High Island’ because of its striking mountains, the island of Moorea boasts a crystal clear lagoon and white sandy beaches. This spectacular setting is home to the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa, which offers guests the chance to relax in paradise.

Where to stay

Sunset over the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora

Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora

French Polynesia

Scattered across some 2000 miles in the South Pacific Ocean are the idyllic islands of French Polynesia. Among them is the tropical paradise of Bora Bora, home to the utterly luxurious Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora.

Where to stay

Le Taha'a aerial view

Le Taha'a Island Resort

French Polynesia

The hideaway of Le Taha’a Island Resort is located on the secluded Motu Tautau islet, with views of both the island of Taha'a and the majestic silhouette of Bora Bora.

Where to stay

We had a lovely trip. I can't say enough about Mahmood and the Tehrani driver…if we manage Shiraz next year Mahmood is a must.

Jennifer

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