French Polynesia Holidays: Which Island to Visit

A French Polynesia vacation is on the bucket list of many, thanks to this region’s blue, sparkling waters and exotic, zen-like atmosphere. It’s made up of a group of over 100 islands, all with stunning views and white-sand beaches. Essentially, all you need to pack are a few sexy designer bikinis and you’ll be dressed for any occasion. Pictures don’t do this area of the world justice. You have to see it to believe in the stunning beauty of it all. It’s difficult to settle on just one place to explore. We’ve narrowed it down to the top five islands to visit when planning your travels to the French Polynesia.

Fortunately, since the islands are so close together, it’s easy to jet-set to all five and immerse yourself in the unique vibe of each. Take a tour, either by land or by water. Walk among historical buildings and hidden temples. Snorkel, scuba dive, or any other activity that allows you to spend as much time in the warm, crystal blue ocean waters. Anyone who’s been here will tell you there’s more to offer than meets the eye.

French Polynesia holidays are best spent with the sand between your toes and your wanderlust fulfilled. Summertime is from December to March when it’s usually the rainiest. Although, it’s a gorgeous destination year-round, we suggest traveling here during the drier months of April to October to get the most of the sunshine and good weather. The temperatures remain steady at about 80℉ with nothing but blue skies and palm trees along the horizon. Pack your swimsuit and embark on this one-of-a-kind excursion.

Island #1: Tahiti

Photo by: Eric Rubens Photography

Known as one of the most popular honeymoon destinations, Tahiti has everything you could want in a tropical vacation. It's known for black sand beaches, waterfalls, and lagoons. When you think of paradise, it’s likely you’re envisioning the shores of this French Polynesia island. The ocean geometric style or mint green Maresia bandeau bikini are optimal choices for a trip to the South Pacific. The colors blend in beautifully with nature’s background and the luxe fabrics are well-suited for everyday, vacation wear.

The crystal clear waters make it an ideal spot for snorkelers and scuba divers due to all of the fish and marine life that live right off the shore. Spend an afternoon at the Fautua Waterfall, a dramatic, 985-foot plunge into a rock pool below. Slip on a pair of water-resistant shorts and water socks or shoes with a grip before hiking to this location. Once there, wade in and enjoy the dramatic wonder of it all.

In addition to the natural beauty of the beaches and lush areas of Tahiti, a visit to James Norman Hall Home allows you to see another side to the island. This museum is dedicated to former World War II army pilot and author James Norman and his friend, Charles Nordhoff, who wrote several novels together. It’s a short tour that celebrates some of French Polynesia’s most famous residents.

Also, if you want to view even more of the island’s lush plant life, a trip to Vaipahi Gardens will introduce you to over 75 plant species from all over the world. Afterward, take the short trip to the Maraa Grotto for a cave swim near Papeete. Papeete is the capital of both Tahiti and all of French Polynesia. It’s a popular place among travelers with plenty of places to eat, shop, and enjoy the local nightlife. Although on the crowded side, it’s a good starting point for the island that allows you to then branch off and choose your own adventure.

Situate yourself among the breathtaking backdrop of the South Pacific and soak up the natural beauty of an island that’s full of jaw-dropping views, thrilling activities, and pure relaxation all rolled into one. Start your day with a jeep tour through the rainforest and end it with a sunset cruise to revel in Tahiti’s golden hour. There are no bad views when it comes to Tahiti. It doesn’t matter if this is the first stop on your island-hopping adventure or the last. Either way, it’s a place that can’t be passed up when traveling to French Polynesia.

Island #2: Bora Bora

Photo by: Eric Rubens Photography

Bora Bora is the epitome of luxury. It’s famous for its picturesque bungalows perched above the ocean where guests can dive right into what seems like their own, exclusive swimming area. It’s a dream destination for anyone who wants to get away and enjoy the finer things in life. Plus, like all other French Polynesia islands, it’s ideal for water activities, such as snorkeling, canoeing, and paddle boarding. The calm waters make it a treasure trove for adventurers who want to explore beneath the waves.

For those adrenaline seekers, add swimming with sharks to the agenda. A guided tour takes you to waters where reef sharks and stingrays are mostly found. Even viewing them by boat can be exciting, especially as a first-time visitor. Due to the size of the island, it’s easy to get around and quickly switch the pace from relaxing by the water to hiking up a trail of a volcanic mountain. A sexy t-back swimsuit style is a good fit for days that may include a few spontaneous adventures. Whether it’s a one-piece style or bikini that makes the cut, either will create a flattering silhouette with coverage you can feel confident in for all your island adventures.

Most of the island is made up of luxury resorts and spas with their own private beaches with the exception of Matira Beach, which is open to the public. The awe-inspiring scenery and picture-perfect sunsets can be seen from anywhere and never get old. To get the most out of your French Polynesia vacation, alternate your time between stress-free days lying on the beach and adventure-seeking expeditions. Relaxed and romantic, cool and calm, there’s absolutely nothing but bliss in Bora Bora.

Island #3: Mo’orea

Photo by: Eric Rubens Photography

Right behind Tahiti and Bora Bora, Mo’orea is one of the well-known islands in the French Polynesia. It, too, has picturesque panoramas with plenty to do. For starters, there are a variety of hiking trails through rainforests and along nearby mountains that allow you to take in the natural wonders of the island. The Belvedere Lookout is one of the most breathtaking views in all of French Polynesia for when you decide to spend a day away from the beach. It’s free to visit and provides 360-degree views of Mo’orea’s natural preserves.

Additionally, the Tiki Village is another place to soak up the culture of the island. Watch live performers and eat traditional fare, such as poi and slow-roasted pork, at this popular place to enjoy a full experience of island life. View artwork on display, learn how to play the ukulele, or simply stare in awe of the costumes of the local dancers. It’s a good place to get a glimpse of the local traditions of Mo’orea.

Of course, the beach isn’t to be skipped when on Mo’orea. There are several areas ideal for snorkeling, including a trip to Te Mana O Te Moana where you’ll see coral reefs and sea turtles peacefully swimming by while exploring underwater. Other exceptional beaches are Paopao for hiking close to the shore, Ha’apiti for surfing, and Opunohu for a peaceful place to picnic.

Mo’orea is a perfect destination to unwind but still have plenty to do. The slower pace and serene surroundings make every area feel like paradise. A colorful one-piece swimsuit is versatile enough to take from sea to shore. Everyone is in vacation mode. Embrace it fully with what you do, see, and wear.

Island #4: Fakarava

Photo by: Eric Rubens Photography

Take a trip off the beaten path to the small area of Fakarava. This destination is a short flight from Tahiti and offers a serene look at one of the less visited areas of French Polynesia. As a designated UNESCO biosphere reserve, there’s a specific focus on conservation and care in how the island continues to develop. This spot is ideal for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Fakarava means “making things superb,” and it lives up to this title, especially when looking beneath the waves. Snorkeling is still a favorite here, as with other islands, due to the huge coral heads and schools of fish that thrive in this region. The water is warm and clear, making it easy to see the stunning marine life. It’s also one of the top diving destinations in the world. There are two passes that feed into the lagoon, Garuae Pass on the north side and Tumakohua Pass on the south side. This is home to the valley known as Shark’s Hole with a full population of lemon, hammerhead, and whitecap sharks, an allure for any underwater adventurist.

For a day spent exploring the lagoons of Fakarava, a versatile triangle bikini is the perfect island “uniform.” Match the azure waters or the coral that sits beneath the surface by choosing from one of the bold hues in this collection. The triangle bikini provides an effortless style that embodies the laid-back vibe of the island. On Fakarava, there is a quieter atmosphere than the more heavily visited areas of Bora Bora and Mo’orea but just as stunning, if not more peaceful. For some, it could be considered the best Polynesian island of the bunch.

Island #5: Huahine

Photo by: Eric Rubens Photography

This island is also a short flight from Tahiti and has been described as the “Garden of Eden” thanks to its lush, tropical jungle. The greenery from coconut plantations, banana groves, and watermelon fields makes for quite the panoramic sight. And, through the forest, lies a local look at Polynesian life. There are temples and monuments to explore and cultural discoveries to be made. For a truly authentic view of early Polynesia, get drawn into the world of Huahine.

Travel to a vanilla plantation, tour ancient archaeological sites, and Huahine’s main town of Fare all in one day. Plan an afternoon of fishing in the lagoon or snorkeling in the shallow waters and become part of a natural aquarium of exotic fish and marine life. Huahine also has a rich history that you can begin to uncover by visiting the ancient temples, some which are said to date back to 700 AD. A polka dot or floral ripple bikini pairs well with the fun, go-with-the-flow feel of this island. The colorful designs are just as eye-catching as the surrounding scenery. This swimsuit style has adjustable side ties and is made with a soft material blend for a comfortable, figure-flattering fit.

It’s easy to become part of the day-to-day life of Huahine. Stop by the Sunday morning waterfront market, take a canoe ride through the peaceful waters, or set off on a sailing or sport fishing adventure. The surroundings and warm hospitality make this trip a worthwhile addition to any itinerary. Each day is a new adventure with as much downtime or activity as your heart desires.

Traveling to French Polynesia

Photo by: Eric Rubens Photography

A trip to any (or all) of these five islands is a French Polynesia vacation everyone should plan for at least once in their lifetime. It’s fairly easy to get from place to place either by a short plane or ferry ride away. Embrace the island pace and enjoy the moments as they come. From afar, it looks like heaven on Earth. Up close, it’s just as spectacular, better than you could possibly imagine. The good news: in addition to some of the most well-known destinations, there are still over 100 islands left to add to your travel list after visiting these first few. Fortunately, there’s also a swimsuit fit for every destination.

The culture and history of the islands are as important as the beaches and jungles, which makes traveling to French Polynesia fascinating well beyond its unmatchable beauty. Go ultra-luxe in Mo’orea or keep it more low-key on Fakarava. Any bungalow vacation in the heart of the South Pacific is alluring for all travelers. It’s nearly impossible to narrow it down to the “best Polynesian island” to visit because each is stunning in its own unique way. Visiting as many as possible is definitely the way to go.