Discovering the Islands of French Polynesia

Bora Bora

One look at the stunning blue waters of Bora Bora and it instantly becomes clear why this is among the most popular islands in French Polynesia.

The island is located northwest of Tahiti and it takes about 50min by plane to get to Bora Bora from Pape’ete. An extinct volcano is found at the centre of the island which hints at its history. It is then surrounded by a barrier reef and the world-famous Bora Bora lagoon where guests can interact with sharks and rays (External link) or take an aqua safari helmet dive (External link) to get up close and personal with the different marine life living down there.

The lagoon shows about a dozen different shades of blue, a truly beautiful sight in person. One glimpse and people fall in love with it. This has become known as the epitome of paradise which is why Bora Bora sits at the top of many bucket lists.
But, of course, there is much more to French Polynesia than Bora Bora, each displaying their own unique beauty just waiting to be discovered.

Raiatea Island

The island of Raiatea is the second biggest island in French Polynesia, with a very powerful cultural history. Not a lot of tourists come to this island as compared to Bora Bora or Tahiti but it is popular in its own right boasting of its natural beauty and landscapes.
An example of this natural beauty are the three breathtaking waterfalls (External link) that guests can visit by hiking to them. They are magnificent, picturesque, and they make great swimming spots! Guests can also opt to take a wonderful cruise along the Faaroa (External link) , the only navigable river among the different islands. The cruise highlights again the natural wonders that are hidden within Raiatea. This is an experience that can’t be missed by nature lovers.
For people who love to sail, the waters of French Polynesia should be among their bucket lists to explore. Raiatea Island is considered as the sailing hub of these waters and is the best starting point to explore the entire French Polynesian islands by sailing. This is a must for any sailing enthusiast.

Huahine Island

Also known as the Garden of Eden due to its lush vegetation and abundance of tropical fruit trees, Huahine Island is well suited for travellers looking to learn about the ancient history of the islands as this is home to the best preserved archaeological remains in all of French Polynesia.

The archaeological sites are very unique to Huahine and it offers an interesting glimpse at the cultural and ecological history of the island. One such example is the Fa’ahia archaeological site which reveals subfossils of now extinct birds which were wiped out during the first colonists of the Polynesian islands.

Visit the different archaeological sites and get to know the people of French Polynesia in Huahine by taking a tour on a 4x4 (External link) . Guests will find that the people are very welcoming and they are happy to share the secrets of how to prepare Poe, a traditional dish on the islands.

Huahine Island offers a unique opportunity to learn about the history of the Polynesian islands as well as get to know the people and their culture. This is definitely an experience that one cannot miss.

Taha’a Island

The island of Taha’a, considered as Raiatea’s sister island as they share the same lagoon, produces 80% of Polynesia’s world famous vanilla which led to it being called the Vanilla Island.

Vanilla has greatly contributed to the local Polynesian economy since the crop was introduced by the French in 1848. Although it is no longer as big as it was, its effects are still felt to this day highlighted by the fact that Taha’a still has a pervasive aroma of vanilla. Plantations still exist today and tourists can even visit the older ones to learn about how this product helped French Polynesia.

The warm turquoise waters of Taha’a are considered to be a great aquarium because of the amount of marine wildlife and corals thriving in it. They feature a huge number of fish species along with different sharks, eels, and corals. Rays and turtles are also known to be seen in these waters.

Because of the amount of marine life, Taha’a is one of the best places to snorkel or dive. And with the amount of marine life, any diver should take the opportunity to visit this great aquarium. For tourists who don’t know how to dive yet, they can take their initiation dive (External link) in these waters; and there is no better place to do one’s first dive.

French Polynesia is home to a lot of different islands and each of them have their own claims to fame making the experience on each island very unique and memorable. The only problem is, it makes our bucket lists that much longer!

For those who want to visit the different islands of French Polynesia, contact our Tahiti Travel Specialists today at 1300 858 305 or

French Polynesia