French, English
CFP Franc
Flight time
18 hours and 45 minutes from the UK
time difference
UTC/GMT -10 hours
best time to go

Introducing French Polynesia

It probably comes as no surprise that French Polynesia resembles Utopia. Like all destinations in the South Pacific Ocean, this unbelievable island nation is the stuff that’s made for dreamers. With its calm and shallow blue lagoons, still enough to bathe in all day long; its never ending shorelines covered in powdery soft sand of the whitest white; its towering mountains and lush green backcountry so dense and flourishing that it hides away gushing waterfalls; and its coral reefs so full of life that a simple snorkel becomes a magical adventure; it’s no wonder honeymooning couples choose here of all destinations. And just like its sister nations the Pacific Ocean, the paradisiacal landscape comes complete with a friendly community of people, great tasting food boasting fresh produce and distinctive cooking styles, plus the discovery of a new culture that’s just waiting to be unravelled. So whether you’re travelling here with your loved one or bringing the whole family for a luxury beach holiday, this exotic destination is the full package.

Located in the heart of the South Pacific, French Polynesia comprises 118 dispersed islands and stretches for over than 2,000 kilometres. The islands can be divided into the smaller archipelagos of Austral, Gambier, Marquesas, Society and Tuamotu and with so much ocean surrounding them, you’ll feel a million miles away from the rest of the world. Come to French Polynesia for tranquillity, come to French Polynesia for complete privacy, or come to French Polynesia for the “Mana”; the intangible energy and spirit that the islanders use to describe their home.

From the bright pink hues of the regional hibiscus flowers to the sparkling turquoise reflections in the sea, this is one of the most colourful holiday destinations in the Pacific. And for holiday makers who seek out unspeakable luxuries, it quite stands as the finest destination in the world…


French Polynesia is a honeymooning paradise and it’s also extremely popular for weddings, anniversaries and other romantic celebrations. But family travel is definitely on the upswing here as more and more resorts become family friendly and offer services, facilities and amenities geared at kids. There are a number of family friendly hotels in the country, plus there’s plenty to do on the islands if your kids are interested in the great outdoors and exciting wildlife. Birdwatching is a superb activity for all ages, as is snorkelling in the safe lagoons, whilst older kids can try kayaking and paddle boarding. And other than the threat of the odd mosquito bite or running out of sun cream, French Polynesia is completely safe for family travel.


French Polynesian cuisine benefits from optimum climatic conditions so fresh produce – including an abundance of fruit and veg – form the modern (and extremely healthy) local diet. Seafood is also a staple with fresh catches daily, so seafood will always make a good choice when eating out. The flavours and style of cooking are also influenced by the French and other cultures that have touched the nation, so there’s a vibrant mix of food across the island. Some local dishes to try include Poisson cru (the national dish of raw marinated fish), suckling pig, Fafaru (tuna and parrotfish dish), Poe (mashed banana dessert) and Firi Firi (Tahitian donuts).

History and Culture

The French Polynesians like to stay close to their heritage and they like to continue the customs and traditions of their Maohi ancestors. Music and dance plus local arts and crafts help to celebrate the country’s rich history, whilst hibiscus flowers remain symbolic and are worn behind the ear or are weaved into flower crowns. The Tiare Tahiti flower is also worn behind the ear by men and women during special events – tradition has it that men and women wearing Tiare Tahiti flowers are either engaged or married.

The official languages spoken are French and Tahitian, with unique dialects across each region.

Top Locations in French Polynesia

Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia and is nicked “Queen of the Pacific”. Crowned with majestic mountain peaks, Tahiti is as great for its beaches as it is for hiking. Go hunting for waterfalls in the backcountry or swim and snorkel at the many lagoon beaches around the island. Don’t miss the capital of Papeete or the Gauguin Botanical Gardens.
Bora Bora
This is perhaps the nation’s most famous destination; beautiful Bora Bora is an island known for its extravagant luxuries and stunning water villas. Surrounded by sand-fringed islets, untouched coral reefs and gorgeous lagoons, this is a honeymooner’s dream. It’s a fantastic location for snorkelers and divers – and it’s also perfect if you want to find secluded over-water accommodation.
An island of dramatic contrasts, Mo'orea comprises stunning beaches and rugged volcanic mountains. If you need a break from the glorious beaches, go inland and take a hike to through the rainforest and find the Belvedere Lookout point by Mount Tohivea; here, you will get the most amazing panoramic views.
Papeete is a fantastic place for sightseeing and shopping. The public market, Le Marché is a must if you want to find local arts and craft and locally produced Tahitian goods. A great place to come shopping for souvenirs as well as being a good place to mingle with the local people.
Located within the Society archipelago, Huahine is a surfing and snorkelling paradise. Surrounded by calm lagoons, there will be plenty of places to take a little dip and the abundance of sea life will impress even the most seasoned of underwater explorers. Here, you will also find Sacred Blue Eyed Eels.

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