When to go?
The beauty of the French Polynesia Islands, and in particular of the Society Islands, is appreciable throughout the year. Temperatures always fluctuate between 28 and 30 degrees during the day and the sea temperature does not drop below 27 degrees. The only variable during the year is represented by the most frequent rains between January and March. The best time to visit French Polynesia is therefore from June to September
Air Calin, Air France, Air New Zealand, Air Tahiti Nui, French Bee, Hawaiian Airlines, and Latam all fly to Aeroport de Faa’a in Tahiti.
From the US, it is possible to flight direct to Papeete with Hawaiian Airlines or Air Tahiti Nui for instance.
From the UK, there’s no direct flights but very good connections flying Air France
Hiring a car is an easy choice in the main islands of Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Mo’Orea. Europcar has offices in all three islands. Avis and Hertz also operate in Tahiti. Ebikes are also popular. You can rent an electric bike from local companies. In addition, there’s a good taxi and bus service operating in the Tahiti.
The local currency is the Pacific Franc. 1000 Fcfp = 8,38 euros / 1 Euro = 119.3 Fcfp
The exchange rate with the US Dollar is around 1,000 Fcfp = 10 USD.
With the Pound Sterling, the exchange rate is around 1,000 Fcfp = £7.59 (£1 = 131.75 Fcfp)
The exchange rate with foreign currencies is variable. Banks will charge you at the official rate plus fees. It is advisable to carry some cash as exchange rates at shops may not be favourable and credit cards are not accepted everywhere.
Location and Geography
French Polynesia is located in the middle of the South Pacific, covering over 2 million square miles of ocean.
Latitude: 17032.2398 S
Longitude: 149033.99 W
This French Overseas Territory’s dry land encompases 5 archipelagos: The Society Islands including the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands, the Tuamotu, the Gambier, the Australs, and the Marquesas. Together they include 118 islands and atolls, roughly 4,200 km2 of land.
Tahiti is the main island with 1042 km2. The island consists of two sections centred on extinct volcanos and connected by the isthmus of Taravao. Because of its extremely mountainous centre, vestige of the old volcanoes, the island is mainly unhabited on a narrow strip along the seaside. Tahiti is a volcanic island with Orohena peak being the highest at 2241m above sea level.
Where to Stay
Popular hotels in Tahiti include:
- Intercontinetal Resort & Spa
- Manava Suite Resort
- Relais de la Maroto
- Royal Tahitien
- Sarah Nui
- Sofitel Tahiti la Ora Beach
- Tahiti Nui
- Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort
- Tiare Tahiti
- Tiki Hotel
In addition, there’s a number of quality guest houses and vacation rentals available to visitors.
Things to do
Nothing beats from the views over the French Polynesian islands from the air. For the adventurous spirits, the quite noisy hydroplanes can be booked to travel from island to island. Tahiti Nui Helicopters also offers island transfers and scenic flights. And companies like Tahiti Parachutisme offer sky diving and parachuting activities.
On the groud, there’s lots of hiking and island touring opportunities. 4×4 Excursions, quad bikes, and electric bike hire are also popular activities.
But the sea is king in French Polynesia. There’s something for everyone, including Lagoon tours, at least 10 Nautical Centres, Deep Sea Fishing, Sailing charters, Surfing, Windsurfing, Kitesurfing, Scuba Diving, sailing traditional canoes, jet skiing, and diving. Visitors are simply spoiled for choice.
Polynesia was populated as the result of the successive waves immigration coming from Souteast Aisa over 30 000 years ago.
The Marquesas were the first islands to be settled by these fearless sailors in their canoes. Around 1300 there was a permant settlement here which remained cut off from the rest of the world for over 300 years, until the arrival of the first Europeans: Wallis, who reached Tahiti in 1767, followed closely by Cook, Bligh, and Bougainville. Papeete experienced its first growth during the London Missionary Society’s early attempts to evangelize the population.
In 1817, Reverend Crook settled in the heart of what became today’s city. Following several sjurmishes with the British, France succeeded in imposing her protectorate in 1842. Hoping to consolidate its supremacy over the Pacific, France negotiated with King Pomare V the annexation of his kingdom to the French State in 1880.
Following WWII, Polyneasia entered a new era of international trade. The 1960’s were marked by economic growth . In 1984, French Polynesia was granted the Internal Autonomu political status with its own Territorial Assembly, own Government, and President.
More Holiday Destinations
- South Africa
- French Polynesia
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- Eastern Canada
- United States of America
- Western USA
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