French Polynesia is one of the most fascinating destinations in the world, with its dream islands, secluded beaches, unique culture and natural heritage. If you are looking to explore this moving region, you need a tour that will allow you to discover all the must-sees of Polynesia. In this article, we have selected the best circuits to discover Polynesia, with advice for organizing your trip.
The best circuits to discover Polynesia: how to choose?
French Polynesia is a group of 118 islands divided into five archipelagos: the Society Islands (including Tahiti), the Tuamotu Islands, the Gambier Islands, the Marquesas Islands and the Austral Islands. Each group of islands is unique, with specific characteristics and different tourist sites. The choice of a circuit will therefore depend on your interests and your desires.
If you are looking to discover the most popular beaches and tourist centers, opt for a tour that covers the Society Islands. If you prefer a more remote and exclusive tour, the Marquesas Islands and the Austral Islands will probably be more appealing to you. Or, if you want an exceptional underwater experience, the Tuamotu Islands are perfect for diving and snorkeling.
The best tours to discover Polynesia: our selection
Circuit N°1: Discovery of the Society Islands
If you want to discover the must-see sites of French Polynesia, we recommend this 10-day tour that covers the most popular Society Islands: Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora and Huahine. This tour is ideal for travelers looking to discover the most popular beaches and tourist centers, as well as local traditions.
During your stay in Tahiti, you can visit the famous local market, explore the Museum of Tahiti and the Islands, and admire the island’s waterfalls. Moorea is known for its stunning scenery and crystal clear waters, while Bora Bora is one of the top destinations in the world, with its blue lagoons and overwater bungalows.
The island of Huahine, less known but just as magnificent, is located between Bora Bora and Tahiti with its archaeological remains, its welcoming fishing villages and one of the oldest and most beautiful marae in Polynesia, that of Maeva. A friendly relaxation stopover.
Circuit n° 2: The Marquesas Islands and the Austral Islands
If you prefer a more remote and exclusive tour, the Marquesas Islands and the Austral Islands will probably be more appealing to you. We recommend this 14-day circuit that combines these two archipelagos, the most distant from French Polynesia.
The Marquesas Islands are known for their unique culture, cultural heritage and traditions. They are one of the few places in Polynesia to have preserved many ancestral practices and habits. Thus, you can visit the islands of Nuku Hiva, Hiva Oa, Ua Huka and Ua Pou to discover the tiki, the sacred marae, the petroglyphs and of course, one of the most emblematic sites of the region: the tomb of Paul Gauguin.
The Austral Islands offer a unique experience with a very diversified fauna and flora, one can see humpback whales there, approached by swimming. Rurutu, Tubuai, Raivavae or even Rapa are natural wonders that are still little explored. Remember to equip yourself well if you want to discover their incredible beauty.
Tips for organizing your trip
Before leaving for Polynesia, some advice can help you better organize your trip:
- Check the season – Avoid the cyclone period from December to March and prefer dry and less humid weather from May to October.
- Book ahead – flights, accommodations and activities may be limited, especially if traveling during high season.
- Choose the right accommodation – Guesthouses offer an authentic Polynesian experience and are less expensive than large hotels. Overwater bungalows are often favored for their water activities and insulation, but can be pricey.
- Pack proper gear – A hat, sunscreen, hiking shoes, and all beach necessities are important
- Plan your activities in advance – Most islands offer excursions and water activities including diving, kayaking, whale watching, etc. Plan ahead to get the best possible service.
The best must-sees in Polynesia
Here are some of the best must-sees in Polynesia that you should not miss on your tour:
- Visit the Papeete market in Tahiti to discover fresh local produce.
- Discover the crystal clear waters of Moorea for an idyllic beach day.
- Explore the Bora-Borien lagoon to practice diving or snorkeling.
- Meet the unique traditions of the Marquesas and their crafts.
- Hike in the mountains of Huahine and discover the marae of Maeva.
Q: When is the best time to visit Polynesia?
A: The best time to visit Polynesia is from April to October, during the dry and less humid season. Avoid the period from December to March because the rain is abundant and it is the season of cyclones.
Q: Is it better to stay in guesthouses or in big hotels?
A: It depends on your preferences. Guesthouses offer a more authentic experience of Polynesia and are often less expensive than larger hotels. The overwater bungalows of hotel resorts are very attractive for their insulation, their service and their idyllic location.
Q: How long does it take to visit Polynesia?
A: It depends on your desires and your budget. Ideally, a two-week stay is enough to visit the main islands of Polynesia. If you have time, opt for a longer trip to discover all the islands.
French Polynesia is one of the most exotic and fascinating destinations in the world. Paradise islands, a unique culture, traditions and exciting nautical activities, everything is there to make your circuit enriching and radiant. In this article, we have presented the best circuits for discovering Polynesia and advice for planning your trip. So don’t hesitate any longer, pack your bags and set off on an unforgettable trip to French Polynesia.