More commonly referred to by the main island of Tahiti, the French Polynesian islands are scattered through the South Pacific waters, ranging from flat coral atolls to towering volcanic islands. With over 100 islands within the 5 archipelagos, French Polynesia has so much to offer. Infinite shades of blue stretch out from the white sandy shores, home to exotic marine life and some the best snorkeling and diving in the world. Iconic overwater bungalows rest in the lagoons, a perfect place to watch the sun sink below the horizon, after a day spent soaking up the rich Polynesian culture...

Overwater Bungalows

French Polynesia, an overseas country of France, is made up up 118 islands divided into 5 archipelagos: the towering mountainous islands of the Society, Gambier, Marquesas, and Austral archipelagos, and the low lying coral atolls of the Tuamotu archipelago. From the iconic Bora Bora, to the lesser known and remote atoll of Rangiroa, there's an island fit for every kind of traveler. 

Moorea Boat

Characteristics

  • Secluded tropical island paradise

  • Idyllic beaches, lush mountains, and vibrant sea life

  • Traditional and lively culture

  • Divinely aqua lagoons and exotic flora and fauna

  • Opportunities for luxurious pampering or exhilarating adventure


  • The Society Archipelago: Made up of the islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, Raiatea, Taha'a, Tetiaroa, Huahine, Tupai, and Maupiti, the Society Islands offer a multitude of activities for every traveler, from land and sea activities to luxurious pampering.

  • The Gambier Archipelago: The mountainous islands of Mangareva, 'Akamaru, 'Aukena, and Taravai tower above a shared lagoon within this most remote and least populated archipelago.

  • The Marquesas Archipelago: Holding fast to the ancient Polynesian culture, the people of the Marquesas pride themselves on the traditional arts, tattooing, and dancing found within the six islands that boast awe-inspiring volcanic peaks, towering cliffs, and wild horses. The islands of Nuku Hiva, Hiva Oa, Ua Pou, Ua Huka, Tahuata, and Fatu Hiva rest within the Marquesas.

  • The Austral Archipelago: Situated on the Tropic of Capricorn, the Australs mark the southernmost point of the Polynesian lands. The Austral islands of Rurutu, Tubuai, Raivavae, and Rimatara set themselves apart as a unique destination, where you can be truly transported back in time.

  • The Tuamotu Archipelago: As opposed to the peaks and valleys of the other archipelagos, the Tuamotus truly feel like the edge of the world. Flat coral atolls make up this incredibly unique destination, where you can sleep in an open air bungalow and see every star.

Moorea

Culture and Events

Best Time To Visit

The Islands of Tahiti are a perfect year-round destination. Boasting tropical sunshine and warm lagoons, there really is no bad time to visit. However, for lower humidity and fewer rain showers, the ideal time to visit is between May and October, during Tahiti's dry season. An extra perk of visiting during this time? The humpback whales migrate to the warm waters of Tahiti between July and October.


Video courtesy of Tahiti Tourism.


The beauty of the island wasn’t limited to its turquoise waters or green hills. That was mere surface beauty. The real awe of the place was evident in its stories. There was one waiting beyond every curve of the shore.
— Sarah Jio, The Bungalow


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Sample Itinerary: 2 Weeks, 5 Islands of the Society Archipelago

Day 1: Tahiti

  • Fly into Tahiti’s Faa’a International Airport

  • Settle in and adjust to the time change at the Intercontinental Tahiti Resort and Spa

  • Enjoy an authentic Tahitian experience with dinner at the roulottes in Pape’ete

Days 2-4: Tetiaroa

  • Take a privately chartered plane to The Brando on Tetiaroa’s Private Island

  • Enjoy 2 nights at one of the most luxurious resorts in the world

Days 4-8: Huahine

  • Enjoy 5 nights on the authentic island of Huahine

  • Staying during October? Watch the start of the greatest canoe race in Tahiti from the shores of Huahine - the Hawaiki Nui Va’a

  • Stay at a traditional resort or try the more authentic lodging style common in Tahiti known as pensions

Days 8-11: Mo’orea

  • Spend the next 3 nights soaking up the mountainous island of Mo’orea

  • Stay at the authentic but luxurious Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa, nestled at the base of Mount Rotui

  • Spend a day exploring the valleys and peaks of this island on a 4x4 tour

  • Want a special souvenir? Consider having a traditional Polynesian tattoo done by a talented local

Days 11-14: Bora Bora

  • Fly to the iconic island of Bora Bora

  • Stay at the Le Meridien, perfectly situated with views of Mount Otemanu

  • Swim with humpback whales, skydive over the lagoon, or lay on the private deck of your overwater bungalow