The islands of Tahiti, or French Polynesia, offer some of the world’s most romantic destinations. The 100-plus islands that form French Polynesia are divided into five archipelagos, the most popular being the Society Islands which include Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Moorea.
Tahiti and her islands are overflowing with natural beauty from its sandy beaches, rich and colorful flora, and cerulean lagoons teeming with vibrant fish. It’s easy to see why so many people have fallen in love with the island nation.
Where to Go?
All international visitors enter French Polynesia through the busy capital city of Papeete on the island of Tahiti. Tahiti is most frequently a quick hopping off point to the more slow-paced islands. It’s worthwhile hanging around a day or two to explore Tahiti’s many mountains and waterfall valleys such as Papenoo and Fautaua Valleys, or visiting the large public market (Le Marché) for local Tahitian treasures.
Moorea is a mere 15-minute flight, or 30-minute ferry ride, from the bustling activity of Tahiti, and delivers all the amenities of a tropical destination: white beaches, luxe resorts and an intensely blue lagoon.
There is plenty to do by land including 4×4 or quad tours of the island that take you in to the forests where many ancient Polynesian temples are hidden, through pineapple plantations, and up jagged peaks for some of the most spectacular views of the bays below.
Moorea is completely surrounded by a coral reef leaving a natural lagoon perfect for taking in the abundant marine life with snorkeling, or swimming with reef sharks and stingrays.
This majestic island rises from an aquamarine lagoon that will leave you speechless upon first sight. Widely recognized as one of the most romantic places in the world, Bora Bora is frequently visited by honeymooners, baby-mooners, couples celebrating their anniversary, couples getting engaged, and discerning romantic travelers.
Bora Bora honeymoons are popular due to the privacy and amenities of overwater bungalows, the surreal calm and beauty of the island itself, and the shockingly extensive menu of romantic services offered by each of the resorts.
You’ll also find some of the most luxurious accommodations—the most lavish being the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora and the St Regis Resort.
Nestled just 30 miles north of Tahiti, the private atoll of Tetiaroa is a delicate paradise with a rich history and strong spirit. Acquired by Marlon Brando in 1966, Tetiaroa served as a secluded hideaway from his life in the spotlight.
The atoll remained a pristine South Pacific paradise—and Brando sought to keep it that way. In line with that vision, the Pacific Beachcomber Group opened the luxury all-inclusive Brando Resort in 2015. It is the most luxurious eco-friendly resort on the planet, built to the highest environmental standards. Incidentally, the Brando is the exclusive lodging option on the private atoll of Tetiaroa.
Weather and Climate
French Polynesia enjoys warm, tropical weather year-round. Cooled by the gentle breezes of the Pacific, the climate of these islands is sunny and pleasant. Because Tahiti and her islands are below the Equator, the seasons are the reverse of those in the Northern Hemisphere. Roughly speaking, there are two seasons: from November through May the climate is warmer and humid, with daily temperatures of about 85 degrees F and from June through October the climate is cooler and drier with daily temperatures of about 82 degrees F. The year-round low is about 70 degrees F. Most of the rain falls during the warmer season, but there are also many lovely sunny days with refreshing trade-winds during these months. Tropical rain showers are usually short in duration. The average ocean water temperature is in the low 80’s.
How to Get to Tahiti
French Polynesia is easily accessible by air from most parts of the world including the United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Easter Island. Air Tahiti Nui is the primary flight carrier servicing Tahiti from North America, including daily flights from Los Angeles and weekly flights from New York. Weekly flights are also available from Los Angeles on Air France and from Honolulu on Hawaiian Airlines. All international air traffic pass through Faaa Airport in Papeete on Tahiti. Flying time is approximately 8 hours from Los Angeles, 13 hours from New York, and 5 hours from Hawaii.
Transportation Between the Islands of Tahiti
Getting around the islands requires flying on Air Tahiti or Air Tetiaroa, the country’s only domestic airlines. Inter-island travel by boat is less common and frequent. The island of Moorea can be reached by ferry or catamaran service from Tahiti. Travel time between Tahiti and Moorea by ferry is approximately 30 minutes one way.