Ready for an unforgettable Xmas holiday? Visit 6 islands of French Polynesia in one trip from Paris for only €1452 with Air France and Air Tahiti!
Famous for its paradise coral lagoons, white sand beaches and pristine natural environment, the Polynesian Triangle boasts up of over 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. From holiday paradise like Bora Bora and Tahiti to unique cultural heritage of Hawaii and Easter Island, it is easy to see why this splendid and distant region of the world is so desirable for travellers.
After a short layover in Papeete, you will fly to Mo’orea! If you’ve been dreaming of holiday-brochure turquoise lagoons, white-sand beaches, vertical peaks and lush landscapes, you’d be hard-pressed to find better than this gem of an island. Hovering less than 20km across the ‘Sea of the Moon’ from its big sister, Tahiti, Mo’orea absorbs its many visitors so gracefully that its feels surprisingly nontouristy.
As you arrive by plane, the view says it all. How not to be mesmerised by this stunning palette of sapphire, indigo and turquoise, all mixed together in modern-art abstractions? And these sand-edged motu (islets) and soaring rainforest-covered basaltic peaks? With such a dreamlike setting, Bora Bora is, unsurprisingly, a honeymooners’ choice. But there’s much more to do than clink glasses with your loved one in a luxurious hotel. The good thing is that you can mix slow-paced sun-and-sand holidays with action-packed adventures. Diving, snorkelling, lagoon tours, hiking and parasailing are readily available. What you shouldn’t expect, though, is a thriving nightlife. Bora Bora is a quiet island. And this dream destination is much more accessible than you think. As well as five-star resorts, a handful of low-key midrange hotels beckon.
Bora Bora’s discreet little sister, Maupiti is one of the most ravishing islands in French Polynesia. There’s a shimmering lagoon with every hue from lapis lazuli to turquoise, a perfect ring of islets girdled with sand bars, palm trees leaning over the shore and large coral gardens. Although this little charmer is no longer a secret, it still remains a hideaway where visitors come to absorb the lazy lifestyle. There’s only one road and virtually no cars, just bikes; there are no showy resorts, just a smattering of family-run pensions where visitors can sample delicious local-style meals and genuinely interact with their hosts. And when you want to play, there’s just the right amount of activities to keep you buzzing, from walking and lagoon excursions to diving and kayaking.
Ra’iatea and Taha’a are encircled by a common lagoon, but the two islands couldn’t be more different. Ra’iatea is high, imposing and fiercely independent, has the second biggest town in French Polynesia after Pape’ete and is considered by many to be the spiritual seat of the Polynesian Triangle. Taha’a, on the other hand, has graceful low hills, is famous for its sweet-scented vanilla and is arguably the quietest of the Society Islands. Both islands are ideal places to explore a mysterious and wild-feeling Polynesia.
Huahine is immaculately tropical and effortlessly Polynesian. Lush and scarcely developed, this is an island to visit for extreme calm, communing with nature and a genuine taste of culture. There are plenty of opportunities for diving, surfing, snorkelling, exploring top-notch archaeological sites and horse riding, but the beauty of this place is just how easy it is to relax and do very little at all. The days go by, your skin gets a little darker and your smile a little wider.
What Tahiti lacks in wide white-sand beaches, it makes up for in waterfall-laden, shadowy mountains, unpretentiously beautiful black-sand beaches, sheltered blue lagoons and a distinctly Polynesian, modern buzz. This is the heart of the islands, where the cultures from all the archipelagos are mixed in the cacophonous, dusty, yet smiling and energetic capital of Pape’ete. Outside the city, explore the majestic, mountainous interior on a 4WD tour, learn to dive in the translucent lagoon, wander amid mystical archaeological sites, and from July to October go whale-watching. In July, catch the country’s most spectacular festival; the percussion and dance-heavy Heiva. Stay at a resort or head to Tahiti Iti to experience a more traditional pace of life – all international air travel goes through Tahiti, and it would be a shame to miss such an essential part of this region’s cultural puzzle.
You can read a trip report written by one of our editors about his experience with Air Tahiti’s Island Hopper >>>
December 8-26, 2018
Paris – Papeete – Moorea – Bora Bora – Maupiti – Raiatea – Huahine – Papeete – Paris
How to book:
Follow the links below.
Baggage during the trip:
One cabin bag and one piece of checked in baggage per passenger.
Paris – Papeete – Paris >>>
In Bora Bora we suggest you staying at Hotel Maitai Polynesia. Le Maitai Polynesia is situated in the south of Bora Bora on Matira Point Beach. Guests have a choice between rooms with garden or lagoon views, and bungalows with direct beach access or over the water. Each room and bungalow includes air conditioning, satellite TV and a minibar. The bungalows situated over the water feature a glass table to allow guests to watch the fish below.
While in Moorea, consider staying at Village Temanoha with excellent reviews. Situated in the mountains of Moorea, this secluded bungalow features an outdoor pool and both mountain and garden views. Free WiFi and free parking are included. Village Temanoha is a 10-minute drive from La Maret Beach and a 15-minute drive from Moorea Ferry Terminal. Belvedere Lookout is 12 minutes’ drive away. Guests can prepare a lovely meal in their fully equipped kitchen to enjoy on the private terrace. This bungalow also includes a seating area, mosquito nets and a private bathroom. There are a range of on-site activities, including horse riding, hiking and massage services. You can hire a car or a bicycle from the property and explore the surrounding areas.