Bring new meaning to paradise with this tropical island hop in French Polynesia. Feel at home surrounded by crystal-clear blue lagoons and soft, white sandy beaches as you fly, sail, hike and swim your way around some of the most stunning pieces of French Polynesian landscape.
- Arrive on Tahiti and transfer to your accommodation
- Included activities – dolphin experience
- Optional additional activities
- Overnight: Relais Fenua
Welcome to French Polynesia and your island paradise for the following fortnight. You begin your adventure in Tahiti, the largest of the Windward group of islands that make up the eastern portion of French Polynesia. You will be met upon arrival in Tahiti and given any assistance required to your 20-minute minibus transfer to Relais Fenua, home for the following two nights.
As one of the larger islands in French Polynesia and one of the most famous, Tahiti offers visitors a culture rich in indigenous chieftains and French colonisation, a diverse landscape of rugged mountains and white sandy beaches, and the friendliest locals around.
During your stay on Tahiti, you will have the opportunity to meet and swim (weather dependent) with the acrobatic Spinner dolphins as they play across the water and delight you with their tricks.
The rest of your time on Tahiti is yours to dictate how you wish to experience the island. A list of potential additional activities to suit a wide variety of travel tastes has been provided below (at extra cost) to spark your imagination.
- Faarumai Waterfalls – Amongst the backdrop of tropical flowers and uphill lie these beautiful waterfalls. They are more accessible for visitors and are a shorter hike starting at the carpark that services the site.
- Fautaua Waterfall – Just as beautiful as the Faarumai Waterfalls, the Fautaua Waterfall is a much more physically demanding hike and best conducted with a guide.
- Island Tour – Take one of the many land or ocean tours that take you on a whirlwind tour of Tahiti and stop at the perfect destinations both on and off the island.
- Vaipahi Gardens – These water gardens are a unique experience for all and are perfect for botany enthusiasts who wish to learn more about the plants native to Tahiti.
- Harrison W. Smith Botanical Garden – Another perfect spot for botany enthusiasts, the garden is also ideal for wildlife spotting.
- Museum of Tahiti and her Islands – For cultural enthusiasts the museum is a must on any tour of Tahiti. Exhibits include antique and modern Polynesian artefacts from across the islands. If you cannot reach the physical museum during your stop in Tahiti, take a virtual tour on their website for an opportunity to experience traditional Polynesian life.
- James Norman Hall Museum – Home of the famous American author, this charming museum is now home to Hall’s 3,000 volume book collection and a memorial to the man himself.
- Papeete Market – Have your senses set alight with the bustling market in Tahiti’s main city selling everything from fresh fruit and vegetables, cooked street food, pearls and other trinkets.
- Island hop from Tahiti to Moorea
- Timetabled excursions – 4×4 drive and a day at the lagoon
- Additional daily activities
- Overnight: Hotel Hibiscus
On day 3 of your Polynesian adventure bid Tahiti farewell and take a quick 10-minute boat transfer to the next island of your stay, Moorea. Moorea is another island that makes up the Windward islands and takes its name from the Tahitian word for yellow lizard. Upon arrival to Moorea take a minibus to your accommodation for the next three nights, Hotel Hibiscus.
Your time on Moorea will be spent on set activities and exploring the island your way. You have two scheduled activities for your time on Moorea: A half-day 4×4 drive up to Mount Tohivea to view the volcanic crater as well as visiting plantations and capturing stunning photographs of the exotic scenery surrounding you. You will also experience a full lagoon day where you can get up close with the marine wildlife that call Moorea home. View rays and sharks swimming through the waves and enjoy a picnic on the lagoon shores as you relax under the beautiful blue sky.
The rest of your time on Moorea is yours to decide how you wish to spend it. Whether you are a thrill seeker or cultural enthusiast there is something for everyone on Moorea. A list of potential activities has been given (all at additional cost) to showcase the best spots across the island.
- Mount Tohivea – For travellers seeking to explore this impressive volcano further there are numerous hiking trails to suit all abilities.
- Tiki Village – For an unusual addition to your adventure visit this reconstructed traditional Polynesian village where you can learn about island life, take part in traditional crafts and enjoy Tahitian cuisine overlooking the ocean.
- Moorea Tropical Gardens – Set upon a quiet hillside you will find the peaceful Moorea Tropical Gardens bursting with beautiful exotic plants and sweet treats for everyone to enjoy.
- Tiahura beach – Tiahura beach is the ideal beach for snorkelling enthusiasts and beginners alike with plenty of coral reefs to explore and tropical fish to meet.
- Marae Titiroa – Regarded as a hidden gem on Moorea, Marae Titiroa is an ancient temple platform and meeting point of the indigenous people.
- Take a flight from Moorea to Raiatea
- Included activities – island land tour and sailing experience
- Additional daily activities
- Overnight: Manava Guesthouse
Day 6 of your French Polynesian expedition begins with a short 35-minute internal flight from Moorea to Raiatea, also known as the Sacred Isle. Feel like royalty for three nights at Manava Guesthouse with the warm Polynesian hospitality of hosts Andrew and Roselyn.
Raiatea is often referred to as the ancient centre of Polynesia before the colonisation and is believed to be where the great migrations to New Zealand and Hawaii began. The island is steeped in rich culture, ancient monuments and the best lagoon conditions for diving and sailing in French Polynesia.
Your time on Raiatea will be spent participating in set adventures that take you across the island with knowledgeable locals who will show you sites off the beaten tourist trail and discover the island for yourself. Your first set activity is a half-day island tour with local journalist Christian who will leave no story untold as he walks you through what daily life is like living on Raiatea. Your second organised trip is a sail with Suzanne and Jean aboard their pirogue. Learn about the legends that bathe Raiatea in mystery and marvel at the coastal magnificence before visiting a motu for sunbathing and swimming.
After two action-packed day trips the remainder of your time is yours to spend as you choose. Lounge by the idyllic pool within Pension Manava or journey to the spectacular island locations missed on your previous activities. Below is an example of different experiences to be had on Raiatea that will enhance any visit (all at extra cost).
- Island tours – Roselyn and Andrew at Manava Guesthouse offer three unique, personalised tours for their guests including a trip to the neighbouring island of Taha’a and a visit to the sacred Taputapuatea Marae.
- Water Sports – Raiatea is the base for many different oceanic-focused adventure companies that offer a range of different water sports to suit all tastes and abilities. Some of the sports on offer include scuba diving, jet skiing, snorkelling, kayaking, paddle boarding and surfing.
- Boat transfer to Taha’a
- Included excursion – island tour, pearl farm visit and snorkelling
- Daily activities
- Overnight: Au Phil du Temps
Say goodbye to Raiatea on day 9 and take a short boat transfer to her smaller sister Taha’a and Au Phil du Temps for the next three days. Alternatively known as the flower isle and the vanilla isle, Taha’a day-to-day life moves with the leisurely tropical breeze and sweeps you away to a paradise of vanilla and sun.
Your set activities for your time on Taha’a have been carefully put together to showcase Taha’a at her best. During your stay you can look forward to a half-day island tour that takes you to the major organic vanilla plantation on the island, a half-day visit to a local pearl farm where you will learn the process of grafting and preparing the oysters that carry the mesmerising Tahitian black pearls, and a half-day snorkelling retreat in the warm waters of the coral garden as you get drifted across breath-taking coral formations.
For the intrepid explorers who wish to add more destinations to your Taha’a stop, a selection of further sites to visit has been provided (at additional cost) as inspiration for new and exciting ways to view the island.
- Joe Dassin Beach – A secluded spot near Pati, the beach was owned by and named after the classic French singer. Remember your snorkelling gear for uninterrupted paradise.
- Hiking – With many different trails criss-crossing the island a hiking expedition makes a great addition to any outdoor lovers’ itinerary.
- Au Phil du Temps tours – Your hosts at Au Phil du Temps run several different exclusive trips only available for their guests and provide their expert local knowledge for a unique adventure. These trips include guided tours of Taha’a and transfers to the coral garden where you can spend your day with tropical fish and magnificent coral.
- Water sports – Taha’a sits in the perfect lagoon for snorkelling, scuba-diving, kayaking amongst other water sports.
- Flight and boat transfer from Taha’a to Bora Bora
- Set activities
- Daily additional activities
- Overnight: Maitai Polynesia Bora Bora
Your final island hop in your Tahitian discovery adventure starts on day 12 with a 15-minute flight followed by a 20 minute boat shuttle to Bora Bora where you will spend your final four nights at Maitai Polynesia Bora Bora. Your final days in French Polynesia will be split between scheduled activities to show off the beauty of Bora Bora and leisure time where you decide the perfect ending to your stay.
Considered by many the luxurious jewel in the French Polynesian crown, Bora Bora is unrivalled in beauty and romance. From its origins as an independent kingdom to its role as a US naval base in World War two, Bora Bora is an ideal honeymoon getaway and lagoon haven.
Your final two set excursions take you on a nature tour of Bora Bora. Your first trip is an ethnobotanical (a study of the native flora and fauna in the region) hike through the forests at the base of Mounts Otemanu and Pahia. Your final set activity is spent in the company of the Tepeva family as they take you for a day on the lagoon where you can meet rays, sharks and schools of tropical fish before visiting mystical Motu Tapu, former home of the last queen of Bora Bora, for a delicious barbecue on the beach.
After your set journey you have the option to either rest and relax on one of the many stunning beaches in Bora Bora or set out once again for another tour of the island before heading home. Alternative nature-focused, sporty and soothing itinerary ideas have been provided to help guide you create your lasting memories (all extra activities are at additional cost).
- Hiking – With Bora Bora boasting trails to suit all fitness levels a hiking expedition is a fantastic addition for any nature and outdoor lover. One of the best trails to take is the Ancestor’s Path – Valley of the Kings where you can view the very tree that inspired the Tree of Souls in Avatar.
- Bora Bora turtle centre – For the opportunity to watch turtles and support conservation in action pay a visit to the turtle centre. The centre ensures highly trained marine biologists are on hand to take care of the turtles and are always happy to answer any questions you have.
- Art Galleries – With artistic influences across the island comes highly colourful art galleries. Pay a visit to Bora Art Upstairs or book a private appointment with acclaimed artist Alain Despert to view some of his major recognised pieces.
- WWII Guns – These guns sit atop the mountainside overlooking the lagoon at Faanui and are an incredible reminder of the naval base stationed at Bora Bora during World War two.
- Take your final flight from Bora Bora to Tahiti
On your final day in French Polynesia, you will enjoy one last delicious breakfast before taking a flight back to Tahiti for your onward travel arrangements.