Tahiti – Image courtesy of InterContinental Resort Tahiti
French Polynesia Honeymoon Guide
Collectively known by the name of its main island, Tahiti, French Polynesia offers couples a sublimely romantic honeymoon location, with the islands of Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea universally rated as among the top honeymoon destinations in the world.
Tahiti comprises five main island groups – the Society Islands, the Tuamotus, the Marquesas, the Australs and the Gambier Archipelago.
The most popular islands for a honeymoon are Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea, followed by Raiatea and Huahine.
Famous for it’s captivating mix of tropical island informality, distinctive Polynesian culture and French savoir faire, Tahiti offers a uniquely sophisticated South Pacific experience.
Gateway to French Polynesia and the largest island in French Polynesia, Tahiti is the perfect place for honeymoon couples to do everything or nothing at all.
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This postcard-perfect island epitomizes the vision of a South Pacific paradise, with its dramatic rainforest-covered mountains surrounded by palm-fringed, sugar-white beaches and vast aquamarine lagoon.
Mix in a blend of relaxed Polynesian culture and French influence and you have an island made for a romantic honeymoon.
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Discover a stunning island of wild yet enchanting beauty, where jagged volcanic peaks rise steeply from lush valleys, powder-white sand beaches and an emerald lagoon perfect for swimming, diving and snorkelling – ideal for a relaxing honeymoon.
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Less commercial than Tahiti, and perhaps less glamourous than Moorea and Bora Bora, Rangiroa nevertheless offers the quintessential South Pacific honeymoon experience: languid days spent beneath an endless blue sky in a landscape of unspoiled natural beauty with creature comforts just a short stroll away.
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With its authentic laid-back Polynesian ambience, lush jungle-clad interior, crystal clear lagoon and gorgeous white-sand beaches, the island of Huahine is the least affected by tourism and offers honeymoon couples a peaceful and idyllic romantic getaway.
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Raiatea & Tahaa
Escape the crowds and discover a more languid Polynesia in the ‘Sacred Island’ of Raiatea. Raiatea is widely considered the cradle of Polynesian civilization and offers all the ingredients you need for an idyllic honeymoon.
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Things to do in French Polynesia
For the active honeymoon couple, Tahiti offers a wide choice of activities including diving, snorkelling, swimming, surfing and kayaking.
It’s easy to discover beaches of creamy white sand fringed by palm trees that sway to the rhythm of the trade winds, and lagoons of shimmering, crystal clear waters teeming with colourful marine life.
Inland, soaring volcanic peaks, magnificent waterfalls, refreshing water pools and lush rainforest add to the romantic mystery of these enchanted islands.
Scattered over an area the size of Europe, each island in French Polynesia is a tiny paradise. Choose from 118 idyllic islands and atolls that make up Tahiti.
Some atolls barely float above the breaking waves, while others are crowned with jagged peaks that soar majestically out of the ocean and are surrounded by gorgeous palm-fringed sugar-white beaches that shelve gently into sheltered turquoise lagoons.
With a reputation as warm and friendly people, Tahitians are eager to share their island paradise with honeymoon visitors, so expect to be greeted with a smile and a warm Ia orana (hello) . . . in Tahiti romance is always in the air . . . you just can’t escape it!
More about things to do in… › Tahiti…
› Bora Bora…
› Raiatea & Tahaa…
Sightseeing in French Polynesia
Famous for it’s captivating mix of tropical island informality, distinctive Polynesian culture and French savoir faire, Tahiti offers a choice of must-see attractions for inquisitive couples enjoying a romantic honeymoon holiday.
Sip French wine in Papeete; explore on foot, bike or 4WD the scenic and unspoiled Faatautia Valley; watch the Arahoho blowholes spout geysers; and admire picturesque waterfalls in the spectacular Fautaua Valley and those at Vaimahuta and Haamaremare Iti.
Discover a charming mix of tropical island informality and French savoir faire in the vibrant port capital of Tahiti. Browse for black pearls, wood-carvings, pareos, mother-of-pearl shells and French perfume at Papeete’s lively central market, Le Marche de Papeete.
Sip French wine or a café au lait at an outdoor café while people-watching fashion-conscious locals along the bustling Pomare Boulevard, which curves around Papeete's busy waterfront. Later, enjoy local traditions at a display of Polynesian music and dance featuring ‘warriors’ twirling flaming torches.
Explore the only fully restored marae (ancient temple) in Polynesia, located 22km west of Papeete. Maintained like a museum, this is arguably Tahiti's best example of an ancient Polynesian temple.
Check out stone pens once used to house pigs that were to be sacrificed to the gods and don’t miss a re-enactment of old Polynesian ceremonies at Arahurahu, held during the annual Heiva Nui celebrations in July.
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At the surf-pounding headland of Arahoho, watch this geyser-like phenomenon as waves pound rocks beneath the overhanging rock shelf, blasting sea water skywards through the eroded holes.
Cascades de Faarumai
(Faarumai Waterfall) Easy walking trails lead to some of Tahiti’s best waterfalls, such as the Cascades de Faarumai, which plunge 200m into a large pool. Elsewhere, Haamaremare Iti and Haamaremarerahi Falls are easily reached after a 45-minute climb up a rugged track.
Along the way, pass humble wood dwellings surrounded by gardens of breadfruit and banana plants that provide a small insight into how ordinary Tahitians live in rural Tahiti.
Circle the island
Escape bustling Papeete's on a scenic drive along the 114km-long circle island route and discover the pleasures of rural Tahiti: see wave-pounded cliffs, waterfalls, ancient temples, peaceful beaches and brightly coloured churches.
Don’t miss the village of Papaeari – Tahiti's oldest village, settled some time between 400 and 500 AD – or the Musée Paul Gauguin, located near where the artist lived from 1891 until 1893.
Walk in the footsteps of early explorers, such as Captain Cook and Captain William Bligh, on this historic landing site located at the tip of a peninsula fringed by volcanic black-sand beaches. This is the spot where Cook observed the transit of the planet Venus in 1769.
Discover a showcase of memorabilia including sketches, block prints and reproductions of many of the artist’s most famous paintings at this homage to Paul Gauguin, who lived in the Mataiea district from 1891 until 1893.
Three large tikis (carved sculptures of ancestors) from Raivavae feature prominently in the pretty garden – one of them stands 2.7m high and weighs 2110kg.
Musée de Tahiti et Ses Isles
Get an insight into Polynesian history, religion and culture as it was before the arrival of western explorers and missionaries at this fascinating showcase of paintings, sculptures, ancient canoes and rare, historical artifacts.
Musée de Pearl
In probably the only museum in the world devoted entirely to pearls, learn about the history and practice of cultivating pearls in Tahiti as well as their unique role in art, history and mythology.
Le Marché de Papeete
Stroll through the true heart of Papeete in this 153-year-old public marketplace. Browse hundreds of stalls packed with Tahitian-made handicrafts, oils, vanilla, fruits and flowers. The best time to visit is early on Sunday mornings when the lively market is at its most colourful.
James Norman Hall
Author James Norman Hall is one of Tahiti's most famous residents – best known for Mutiny on the Bounty, which was co-authored with Charles Nordhoff. Stroll through the private rooms of his residence maintained as it was when he lived here from 1920 to 1951.
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Best time to visit French Polynesia
The best time to honeymoon in French Polynesia is during the dry season between May and October, when the average annual temperature of 27°C (81°F) is tempered by refreshing sea breezes.
The wet season lasts from November until April, with February and March the hottest months. Typically, the water temperature hovers between 26°C and 29°C.
For more climate info: Tahiti Weather Guide…
Tahiti sits in the heart of French Polynesia, a vast expanse of 118 islands scattered over 2.5 million sq km of the South Pacific, 6120km northwest of Sydney, Australia and 4000km northwest of Auckland, New Zealand.
The most convenient route to Tahiti is by air to Tahiti International Airport (PPT), also called Fa'aa International Airport, located 5km (3mi) southwest of the capital, Papeete, on the northwest coast of Tahiti.
More about how to get to Tahiti…
How to get around Tahiti
Tahiti is the largest island of the Windward group of the Society Islands in French Polynesia. It comprises two parts, Tahiti Nui (the larger, northwestern part) and Tahiti Iti (the smaller, southeastern part).
Hiring a car is the best way of seeing the sights and getting around Tahiti.
Buses, scooters and taxis (very expensive) are available. Some resorts offer bicycles for free or to rent. Traffic drives on the right.
Most islands in the Society group have one road that hugs the coast all the way around. Tahiti, Mo’orea, Bora Bora, Ra’iatea, Taha’a and Huahine have paved and reasonably well-maintained roads, as well as minor roads leading inland that are often rough, and almost always require a 4WD.
Air Tahiti offer daily flights from Tahiti to the neighbouring Society Islands of Bora Bora, Huahine, Maupiti, Moorea and Raiatea as well as the remote archipelagos, including Tuamotu East and North with Manihi, Rangiroa, Takapoto and Tikehau; Austral Islands of Rurutu and Tubuai; Marquesas Islands of Hiva Oa and Nuku Hiva.
Fast inter-island catamarans and regular ferries exist between Bora Bora, Huahine, Moorea, Papeete and Raiatea. The port of Papeete is the ferry link between the main island of Tahiti and the rest of French Polynesia.
More about how to get around Tahiti…
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Latest update: About French Polynesia:
20 March, 2020
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