Holidays to French Polynesia: An Overview

It doesn't get much more remote than diving in 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

Neill, Louisa and Amy are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • The Tiputa Pass in Rangiroa is one of our favourite dive sites of all time.
  • Sharks, sharks and more sharks. If you like them, come here now.
  • The whitest of beaches and bluest of seas make this a real picture-postcard destination.

Luxury Diving Holidays in 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.

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 and we have selected the very best for you to choose from.

And then there is the diving in French Polynesia. Perhaps the biggest draw (there is much, much more) is shark encounters and these can be plentiful and exciting. Add to these pristine hard coral reefs and you can see why people are willing to make the epic journey to get here for the diving.

Each of the different island groups that make up French Polynesia offer something different for divers and non-divers alike and if you have the time you should try and squeeze in diving in two, if not more, of the island groups if you can.


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Original Highlight

Mount Otemanu, French Polynesia

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 Diver

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

Picture of an amazing view in Bora Bora

Bora Bora

French Polynesia

Crystalline turquoise waters, pure white sand, swaying palms, cobalt blue sky… add to all this the colourful and exotic culture of the Polynesians, plus a twist of French, and you have something truly special.

Where to go

Picture of Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort

Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort

Tikehau

Just a 15-minute boat ride away from the airport is the small private motu that is home to the luxurious Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort.

Where to stay

Picture of sunset in Rangiora

Rangiroa

French Polynesia

Rangiroa, at the heart of the Tuamoto archipelago, is the second largest atoll in the world. Only an hour's flight away from Tahiti, it is home to some world-class diving.

Where to go

Tikehau

Tikehau

French Polynesia

The main islet of Tikehau isn’t much to look at – it’s a remote coral atoll whose flat surface never rises more than a few inches above sea level. But don’t be fooled by appearances: it’s worth coming here for the diving alone. What’s more, just a 15-minute boat ride away is the small private motu that is home to the luxurious Pearl Beach Resort.

Where to go

Picture of Hotel Kia Ora

Hotel Kia Ora

Rangiroa

Only five minutes by boat from the airport lies the newly refurbished, indeed substantially rebuilt Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa; a hotel of a quality to rival the top resorts in better known islands of French Polynesia such as Bora Bora. It is located on the atoll’s northern portion in a vast coconut plantation and is the only hotel on the island making it very private.

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

We felt like we were Original Travel's only clients - the service was completely personalised and all questions were answered instantly. They actively listened to our priorities and created a package that completely suited our needs. Throughout the process they will surprise you with their attentiveness and most importantly, they will not forget about you once you come back from holiday.

Mitja and Katarina Brus

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