Whether you learned about Tahiti and French Polynesia through Marlon Brando’s turn in Mutiny on the Bounty or French artist Paul Gauguin’s many paintings of the islands and their people, actually visiting the country is beyond compare. The 100-plus islands that form French Polynesia are divided into five archipelagos: The Tuamotu Islands, the Marquesas Islands, the Gambier Islands, the Austral Islands and finally, the Society Islands, which is home to the popular islands of Tahiti, Bora Bora and Mo’orea. Travel to French Polynesia and take in the gorgeous sandy beaches and lovely lagoons that dot these South Pacific islands and see why so many people have fallen in love with the island nation, which despite being heavily influenced by French culture and language, still maintains its own distinctive culture through food, music and local history. Use our French Polynesia travel guide as a resource and prepare for one of the most relaxing and unforgettable vacation of your life.
French Polynesia travel is full of opportunities to sit back and relax or to embark on an exciting adventure for the day. Here are some great activities to pursue when you visit French Polynesia.
Things Not to Miss in French Polynesia
• Take a guided walking tour of Tahiti’s Old Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia
• Charter a catamaran and explore the many atolls and quiet beaches in this island system
• Visit the neo-Gothic St. Michael’s Cathedral on the island of Mangareva
• Tour the Robert Wan Pearl Museum on Tahiti for a look at its gorgeous collection of Tahitian cultured pearls
• Explore the religious shrines and artifacts on the island of Raiatea, the former religious capital of French Polynesia
• Tour the Lagoonarium on Bora Bora and and discover dozens of top-notch snorkeling spots
• Visit lesser-known French Polynesian islands like Rangiora, Taha’a and Maupiti for a glimpse of the islands’ natural beauty
• Spot humpback whales as they mate off the coast of Rurutu Island
• Tour the Paul Gauguin Cultural Centre on the nearly untouched island of Hiva Oa
• Purchase souvenirs at the Papeete Market
When to Go to French Polynesia
Due to its location in the Southern Hemisphere, summer in French Polynesia actually takes place from December to March. That time of the year is also the wettest time of year, with rainfall in peaking at 13 inches of rain on average in January. Luckily, the weather in French Polynesia is beautiful year round, so those looking to visit during the dry season (April to October) are sure to enjoy great temperatures ranging from the low 70s to the upper 80s and plenty of sunshine during their visit. Just be sure to pack light, breathable clothing to make the islands’ storied humidity bearable.