Article repost from Marie Claire
Article by Penny Goldstone
May 28, 2019
Why French Polynesia is as close to paradise as you'll get
French Polynesia, also known as the Islands of Tahiti (more info on the Tahiti Tourism website), is a set of islands located in the South Pacific Ocean, more or less halfway between California and Australia.
You’ve probably heard of its most famous island, Bora Bora, and it’s quite literally paradise on earth, thanks to its turquoise lagoon, white sand beaches and Mt. Otemanu, the dormant volcano rising at the heart of the island. However there is so much more to the Islands of Tahiti than Bora Bora, so keep reading to find out why you need to be booking a flight there ASAP.
What’s the best time to go to French Polynesia?
It is warm all year round in Polynesia, however some months are more humid than others. June and August are considered to be the drier months, and October to January tend to be popular but beware of flights getting booked up during school holidays.
Tahiti islands to visit
Where to stay
The Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa (from around £600/night). Only a ten-minute boat ride from the airport and fifteen minutes across the lagoon from the village of Vaitape, the resort boasts unbeatable views of the dormant volcano. Sipping a cocktail with your feet in the sand, whilst watching the sun setting over the sea is one of the most ‘pinch me’ moments you’re ever likely experience. Total bliss.
The hotel boasts authentic Polynesian style and architecture, and I loved the authentically designed rooms. Our beach villa boasted its own private tropical garden and hot tub, as well as a terrace and room with air con (a god send). You can also push the boat out with an overwater villa surrounded the resort’s own coral garden.
Where to eat
The Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa has three dining options, so it’s a good place to start. For daytime snacking, try the Miki Miki Bar & Grill, for anything from the island’s specialty ‘poisson cru’ (usually raw catch of the day in coconut milk), paninis, colorful salads or tasty pasta.
For a romantic dinner, it has to be Tevairoa restaurant. Its terrace is the highest elevation point at the resort with peaceful views of the dazzling lagoon and Mount Otemanu. Dine on international cuisine with a creative French-Polynesian touch, with mouthwatering dishes including grilled fish, risotto and tropical desserts.
There’s also a sushi bar, and you won’t be able to find a better place than Tahiti for fresh raw fish.
If you’re visiting the main island, then a visit to the institution that is Bloody Mary’s is a must. Past diners have included Leonardo DiCaprio, Harrison Ford and Diana Ross, all of which can be found on the wall of fame at the entrance. We feasted on red tuna sashimi and grilled catch of the day with a vanilla-infused sauce and fresh vegetables. Also worth noting they had the best virgin pina colada I’ve ever tasted.
What to do in Bora Bora
Transfer to Avatoru, on the island of Rangiroa. You will stay at Kia Ora Resort and Spa, located on the northwestA private sunset cruise of the lagoon. We booked the Bora Bora Cultural Lagoon Tour (around £200 for a private 2 hour tour for 1-5 people), and our host Narii shared his wealth of knowledge whilst we sailed around the island. It’s hard to describe how magical and tranquil the whole experience was, gliding over the water, seeing the many colours that painted the sky before twilight, from orange to pink and purple. The tour also included some traditional nibbles such as toasted coconut and fruit, as well as punch.
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A 4×4 tour of the island. It would be a shame to leave without visiting the mainland island, and you’ll be hard pressed to do it in a more fun and adventurous way than with Tupuna Safari for a half day 4×4 island tour (around £70pp). Our friendly guide Moana made sure we knew everything we needed to know about the island, taking us past the many little villages and off the beaten track (you’ll have to hold on tight for this) up to the highest point on the island. We also stopped by some pareo painting stalls and were treated to a live demonstration of the traditional painting.