French Polynesia Travel Guide

Browse 23 travel reviews, 43 travel blogs and 3,416 travel photos from real travelers to French Polynesia.

People Traveling To French Polynesia

French Polynesia Locals

French Polynesia Overview

French Polynesia, centered around the ever popular island of Tahiti, is a holiday of a lifetime kind of place made up of five island groups, each home to soaring peaks, countless shoals of fish and endless visitors lost on a desert island fantasy.

Tahiti, however, probably isn’t quite what you expect. The emerald hills are more impressive than the beaches, as are the tumbling waterfalls. The beaches here have black sand, and capital Pape’ete - which offers an interesting glance at the more vibrant side of Polynesian culture with fresh sea air and manic nightlife – is easier to recommend than the coasts. Unless, that is, you’re a surfer, in which case the big waves at Teahupoo are an exciting – if scary – draw.

Outlying islands like Bora Bora tend to draw the bulk of the tourists, and are the place to go if you’re looking for a post-wedding pampering, with luxury room service and the chance to take a boat ride to Motu, where you can live out desert islands fantasies just for a day. The waters here are an almost unrealistic shade of pale blue, but Bora Bora comes with a hefty price tag attached.

Rurutu becomes a temporary home to migrating humpback whales once a year, and visitors ecstatically dive and swim amongst them. The coasts – made of coral, unlike the other islands, which are usually formed from volcanoes – rise in dramatic pockmarked fashion straight from the water, revealing caves full of stalactites. The entire coast of the island is one endless, snorkelable coral reef.

For a culture fix, hunt down the amazing wooden Tiki on Hiva Oa and shop for colorful pareu fabric, which makes the men and women of French Polynesia as colorful as their home. The French hospitality of old is best tracked down amongst the panoramas of Maupiti.

For diving, snorkeling or a true taste of tropical waters, you’d do well to top French Polynesia, which can be accessed as a splash-the-cash honeymooner or a moth-walleted backpacker. It’s an archetypal paradise, with postcard-perfect views, near flawless weather and flowery garlands galore.

Bora Bora #1 most popular location
Bora Bora is an atoll (volcanically created island surrounded by a lagoon, and protected from the ocean by an encircling coral reef). It is located in the South Pacific Ocean in the Society I…
987travelers 5reviews 9blogs
Moorea #2 most popular location
22travelers 10reviews 7blogs
Tahiti #3 most popular location
Tahiti is the largest and most heavily populated island in French Polynesia. It has a population of 150,000 out of the 220,000 in all of French Polynesia. Tahiti is essentially two islands,…
708travelers 5reviews 4blogs
Papeete #4 most popular location
24travelers 2reviews 10blogs
Huahine #5 most popular location
Huahine (pronounced "Who-a-HEE-nay") is part of French Polynesia and is located about 100 miles northwest of the far better known Tahiti. Huahine is really two islands, in this case Huahine …
3travelers 2blogs
Raiatea #6 most popular location
The islands of Raiatea and Tahaa were originally one island and they are contained within the same atoll. We fell in love with charming Uturoa. It's not especially pretty but it's the poster-…
1travelers 1blogs
Rangiroa #7 most popular location
Ra´iroa gets its name "huge sky" from its great length. It is the largest atoll in the Tuamotu islands and the fourth largest in the world, with more than 240 motu separated by more than 100…
6travelers 1blogs
Fakarava #8 most popular location
Fakarava is the second largest atoll in Polynesia. It has two small villages, Rotoava in the northeast and Teamanu, formerly the main village. This protected atoll together with six neighbori…
3travelers 1blogs
Tikehau #9 most popular location
1travelers 1blogs
Hiva Oa #10 most popular location
Hiva Oa - Where Gauguin and Brel rest..... It is the largest of the Southern Marquesan islands and it has a population of 1837. Hiva Oa is the master pillar or final post of the "Great Hou…
3travelers 2blogs
Marquesas Islands #11 most popular location
3travelers 1reviews
Ua Huka #12 most popular location
Ua Huka is part of the Northern Marquesas group and has a population of 571. It is the storage area of the "Great House" of the Gods. Ua Huka has a austere appearance due to prevalent drought…
Marokau #13 most popular location
Ua Pou #14 most popular location
Ua Pou, the artists´ island, is part of the Northern Marquesas group. The population of the island is 2013. This island represents the main post of the "Great House" and the first part to be…
Anywhere #15 most popular location
19travelers 1blogs