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Flights to French Polynesia

The French Polynesia is a kaleidoscope of coral gardens, blonde sand, crystal waters and turquoise lagoons spread over more than 100 islands in the South Pacific Ocean. Its idyllic atmosphere and remote location render it a popular destination for honeymoons and celebrities alike, and although expensive, it is certainly worth the trip if one has the budget.

Society Islands

Most densely populated and frequently visited are the Society Islands, which include the island of Tahiti and French Polynesia’s capital, Papetee. It is the highest volcanic island known for stilt bungalows, azure lagoons and perpendicular geography. Visit the Museum of Tahiti and the islands to get an insight into Polynesian culture, try some local cuisine at the municipal market, which is particularly busy on Sunday mornings when Tahitian families come to shop for their Sunday feast. Combine Tahiti with Bora Bora, where you can snorkel, dive, kite surf or parasail in its dazzling sapphire waters, or simply sip on a cocktail and watch the waves lap against languorous stretches of white sand. A hike up the summits of Mt Ohue and Pahia are more than a walk in the park, but the view is something you will forever remember.

Tuamotu Islands

To the east lie the Tuamotu islands, an archipelago of coral reef where prices are relatively moderate to Tahiti and Bora Bora. Rangiroa is the largest atoll in Tuamotu and is an unsurpassed location for scuba diving. Snorkel through schools of rainbow coloured fish and maybe meet a shark or two. Visit a black pearl farm. Try your hand at drag fishing, visit the bird sanctuary in Motu Paio and take a boat out to Tiputa Village.

Gambier and Marquesas Islands

Foray completely off the beaten track in the Gambier islands, where you will be warmly welcomed by locals. See the Rikitea ruins and neo-gothic Catholic church which is still in use today. There are a couple of small markets you can visit, but mostly, just enjoy being in an untouched place in the world. Continue to the extreme east to the Marquesas islands where lack of coral protection has produced a wild terrain of crashing waves against high volcanic mountains and steep volcanic cliffs. Join the tattooed locals in Sunday afternoon Bingo and try the traditional dish of manioca pudding, cooked in hibiscus leaves and mashed with a stone pestle.

Austral Islands

Lastly are the Austral Islands to the south. On the main islands of Rapa Iti and Marotiri live a population known for their pandanus fiber weaving skills, and the islands of Maria and Marotiri are considered unsuitable for sustained habitation. It is hardly ever ventured into by tourists, and you might find yourself the only foreign face here.

Getting around

The most pragmatic way to get around the French Polynesia is by airplane, serviced by Air Tahiti. Mix-and-match island hopper flight services are available, allowing you to package your holiday in a more budget way. Travelling by ferry is a slower but cheaper option; a number of boat services will take you between the islands comfortably. If you would like to keep your budget low, consider going ‘deck class’ with the locals on freight ships. Pack your own bedding and food and be prepared for a cold, wet and rough ride!

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Prices shown on this page are estimated lowest prices only. Found in the last 45 days.