French Polynesia is the honeymoon destination that you only ever imagined in your dreams. There are 13 main islands amongst the staggering 118 islands belonging to the archipelago where you will discover white sandy beaches, cerulean waters filled with swarms of tropical fish, tall palm trees waving in the breeze and the original overwater bungalows where you can wake up every morning to stunning views of the sea.
The nature and people of French Polynesia was the source of inspiration for the artist, Paul Gauguin, and the array of vibrant colours of the tropics, bright colourful flowers, verdant jungle plants and azure waters depicted by the artist can be experienced in vivid reality. The warmth of the locals makes this an incredibly appealing destination, and the popular Tahitian saying “aita pea pea” meaning “not to worry” reflects the laid-back attitude on the islands. Discover the wealth of culture and history in the traditional food, dance and music of the Tahitian people.
The islands of French Polynesia hold countless opportunities and activities that will ensure a honeymoon you will never forget. With only 200,000 visitors per year, you are sure to avoid the crowds and enjoy a tranquil and romantic honeymoon. Bora Bora is the most popular island in French Polynesia and is where you’re most likely to spend the greater part of your stay, most tourists also incorporate an island-hopping circuit which allows them to explore the islands of Tahiti and Moorea as well.
The gorgeous sandy beaches and cool tropical waters are irresistible to those who choose to laze around in the sunshine, dipping in and out of the cool waters and exploring the underwater world with its glittering tropical fishes. However, there’s more to French Polynesia than the sea and its beaches. Hiking, scuba diving and water sports offer plenty of opportunities for nature lovers to experience; culture lovers can visit local villages, enjoy a traditional dance or even participate in a dance workshop!
Come to French Polynesia and discover a destination which will bring magic to your honeymoon.
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Where to go in French Polynesia on your honeymoon
13 main islands make up the French Polynesian archipelago, these include the islands of Fakarava, Tetiaroa, Tikehau, Raiatea, Marquesas, Mahini, Rangiroa, the Australs, Taha’a, Huahine, and in this article we will look at some of the most popular islands of them all for honeymoons: Bora Bora, Moorea and Tahiti.
Tahiti is the main island which is home to the major airport. It is usually advisable to start your visit in Tahiti for a day or two before moving onto the next island. For those who want to enjoy a more vibrant lifestyle, Tahiti makes an ideal destination. Here you will find plenty of shops, nightlife, restaurants, bars and shops and it is also the most populated island in the archipelago. There are also plenty of high-end resorts if you’re opting for a more lavish holiday.
Legend says that the first-ever overwater bungalow in the world was constructed here. Since then, Bora Bora has obtained fame and recognition for their stunning holiday accommodation: lavish wooden huts built upon stilts over the water. Bora Bora also boasts such stunning beauty that it is an Instagram paradise.
Accommodation on Bora Bora usually takes the form of a private atoll, therefore ferries or speedboats are required to move between the islands, making it one of the most expensive destinations in French Polynesia.
Moorea is the best option for those who want the Bora Bora experience but at a lower cost. Here you can find great activities and hotels at a lower price than some of the other islands, making it a budget-friendly destination for your honeymoon.
Home to gorgeous ultra-luxury resorts, this picturesque island is ideal for those who want to indulge, be pampered, sunbathe and do little else. There is not so much to do on this island, however, the beaches and waters are stunning.
With a reputation as the most isolated island group in the whole world, here you can find plenty of hidden gems such as secluded coves and beaches. This was the island where Paul Gauguin spent his life and is also his final resting place. For those who yearn for some mystery and adventure, a visit to the Marquesa Islands is a must.
Important information on French Polynesia for your honeymoon
Due to its history and subsequent annexation by the French in 1880, Tahiti is considered a territory belonging to France. The most widespread languages used here are French and Tahitian, though English is spoken in all tourist areas. It is a good idea to learn a few phrases in French as in local villages and markets, not as many people will be able to communicate in English.
The local currency used is called the Pacific Franc. An interesting fact about the local currency is that the exchange rate with the euro never changes and is set at 100 F per Euro. Most hotels, restaurants and shops will accept card payments and there are ATMs in the bigger tourist areas, however, it’s a good idea to carry some cash, especially if you are planning to visit the local markets, smaller restaurants and villages.
French Polynesia is an expensive honeymoon destination. A daily budget of around F14,620 (€122) should be budgeted for daily spending on average. Expect to pay around F4,223 (€119) per day on food between two people.
The most expensive island is Bora Bora, where an overwater bungalow will set you back upwards of €800 per night with food and drink for a couple costing as much as €180 per day. Cheaper alternatives include Moorea and Tahiti Islands where accommodation can cost upwards of around €360 per night. For those on a tighter budget, a beach villa is a most economical option for your honeymoon.
Other costs may include activities such as sunset sails and private tours could increase your budget considerably, but there are also free activities for the budget-conscious including snorkelling and kayaking.
Local transportation will cost around F4,777 (€40) per day. Taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation. For transportation between Tahiti and Moorea, a catamaran ferry provides a regular service between the two islands, they also serve delicious pastries and café au lait on board. Private transportation between the islands on speedboat will hike up transportation costs significantly.
Tahiti is blessed with wonderful weather all year round. Situated the same distance from the equator as the Islands of Hawaii, you can expect tropical temperatures and sunny days with more humidity in the months of November to April. Peak season is between June and August, which causes prices to soar. If you’re looking for a bargain, head to Tahiti in their shoulder-season which falls in May and September. The muggiest and most humid time to visit is during February to April, so travel to French Polynesia should be avoided then.
Tap water on the islands of Tahiti and Bora Bora are safe to drink, on other islands you can easily purchase bottled water through your resort or shops. Tahitian food is safe to eat in general, it is usually a fusion of Chinese, Polynesian and French cuisine involving ingredients such as coconut milk, soy sauce or even béchamel sauce. There is plenty of fresh seafood available and foodies will love the diverse flavours in French Polynesia’s culinary heritage.
Vaccinations should be up to date and if you are looking for extra precautions, you can get the Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccine to reduce the risk of contracting any illnesses through contaminated water or food.
Travel insurance should be purchased prior to your trip to cover you for any unforeseen emergencies.
Where to stay in French Polynesia on your honeymoon
For an indulgent honeymoon, book yourself an overwater villa in this eco-friendly resort with views of the verdant tropical gardens and the shadow of Mount Otemanu in the distance. The overwater bungalows have thatched rooves, terraces for sunbathing with sun loungers, outdoor showers, living rooms, flat-screens and Wi-Fi. The pristine lagoon is ideal for snorkelling and also for water sports.
The hotel has a beachfront restaurant and bar, two fine-dining French eateries, and a private beach. The Thalasso Spa is a must-visit during your stay, with glass floors where you can observe tropical fish swimming below as you enjoy a relaxing massage. Rooms start at €977 per night.
This gorgeous luxury hotel is a honeymoon dream-come-true. Built on a remote and private island, this high-end resort offers overwater wooden bungalows and beach villas. The rooms have Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, tea and coffee making facilities and sitting areas whereas the beach villas also have additional private plunge pools and outdoor bathtubs and showers. The island is reached by a shuttle ferry which is complimentary for guests.
The hotel amenities include an outdoor pool complete with a swim-up bar, gym, tennis court and relaxing spa. There’s also a private sandbank with a surrounding reef which is the perfect setting for a romantic dinner under the stars which can be organised through the hotel restaurant. If you’re staying in one of the overwater bungalows, breakfast can be brought to you by hotel staff in a canoe, consisting of freshly-squeezed juices, fruit and pastries. Rooms start €942 per night.
This tranquil resort has unparalleled views of Mount Otemanu and occupies a sprawling 44 acres of land, complete with powdery, white-sand beaches and tropical reefs. The St. Regis has honeymooners in mind and the five-star service and activities will ensure that you will feel pampered and indulged. The hotel organises activities for its guests including sunset boat cruises and snorkelling with stingrays.
There is also a private Clarins spa on its own private island. The beach villas have private gardens, open-air showers, sundecks and plunge pools as well as Wi-Fi and sitting areas. The overwater bungalows have glass panels over the waters of the lagoon and terraces to enjoy the views, butler service is provided for all guests. The hotel also has facilities such as an outdoor pool, cocktail bar, four different restaurants including an Italian restaurant, gym and spa. Prices for rooms start at €642 per night.
A short seaplane journey from Tahiti will take you to the stunning resort on a private island. You can also reach it with a hotel ferry shuttle service. The stunning views of this small island include views of Mount Otemanu as well as the nearby lagoon. Accommodation includes beach suites with private pools or Jacuzzis and open-air bathrooms and gardens or you can opt from the classic overwater bungalow with glass floors so you can observe the marine life swimming below your feet.
The hotel also has an international restaurant and Italian restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, diving school, spa and cocktail bar. Prices for rooms start from €448 per night.
This excellent five-star resort situated on the banks of a lagoon is only a half-hour catamaran ride from Papeete. The hotel has beautiful overwater bungalows overlooking dazzling and teeming reefs, fully-equipped with flat-screen TVs, Bose sound systems, whirlpool tubs and Nespresso machines.
The hotel boasts a private beach, hot tub, outdoor pool and spa and also one of the most romantic restaurants in French Polynesia called K, where you can relish the feeling of sand between your toes as you enjoy a candlelit meal. For avid golfers, there’s also an 18-hole golf course nearby called the Green Pearl. Room prices start at only €306 per night including the breakfast buffet.
For those on a tight budget but really want to experience a French Polynesian honeymoon, the Royal Huahine is an amazing bargain. With lush green gardens full of tropical plants and a gorgeous white-sand beach. The hotel offers overwater bungalows equipped with flat-screens, Wi-Fi, sundecks overlooking the ocean or decks with garden views and the luxury beachfront safari tents with wooden floors and high ceilings.
The facilities include two open-air dining restaurants, one of which is overwater, there is an outdoor pool and a relaxed beach bar. The hotel offers spectacular snorkelling in the lagoon, kayaks and boat transfers are included in the price of €146 per night.
Things to do in French Polynesia while on your honeymoon
Discover Tahitian pearls
For those who love jewellery, the beauty of the world-famous Tahitian pearl is unsurpassed. The famous black, green and iridescent pearls can be purchased in many resort shops as well as at a pearl farm where you can learn about the tradition of farming pearls and create your own tailor-made necklace or bracelet from the different hues of pearls. Guided tours can be done on Rangiroa or on Tahaa island, between Bora Bora and Huahine, where you can take home a little piece of Tahiti in a unique souvenir.
Come face-to-face with majestic manta rays
Manta rays are gentle giants that do not harm humans. Residents of the crystal clear waters, you can get up-close-and-personal on a snorkel or diving trip as they gracefully swoop and glide through the water, feeding on microscopic plankton. A full-day boat tour of Bora Bora’s lagoons will provide you with snorkelling opportunities with mantas, stingrays and harmless reef sharks, as well as a visit to a private island and a mouth-watering barbeque lunch. Private tours on smaller boats can also be organised through your resort.
Scuba diving will give you the opportunity to get even closer to Tahiti’s marine life. The flitting colourful fish that dart in and out of the colourful corals are a feast for the eyes, you may even be rewarded with a close encounter with some of Tahiti’s bigger residents including rays, turtles, manta rays and reef sharks.
Intermediate and advanced divers looking for an adrenaline rush can explore Tiputa Pass, also known as Shark Cave, in Rangiora where a sheltered cave offers the perfect viewing point for schooling grey reef sharks. Those who prefer to stay dry can also enjoy the underwater world by wearing helmets and walking on the lagoon floor of Bora Bora for only €95 per person, or you can hop on a glass-bottomed boat, also known as an Aquascope.
Hike through wild nature
The islands are not only home to gorgeous coastlines and beaches but inland you will find lush jungles, towering mountains, secluded waterfalls and natural pools. A trip into the nature of any of the Polynesian islands will reward you with an unforgettable experience and an opportunity to come close to some of the island’s flora and fauna, including beautiful, vibrant butterflies.
Experience a tiki night
For a taste of Polynesian culture, take part in a tiki night on Moorea. This traditional performance on the beach is dramatically lit with flaming torches, illuminating the dancers in the colourful and traditional costumes. The dancing is accompanied with traditional Tahitian music played on drums, flutes and conch shells and the performance is followed by a delicious barbeque of the day’s catch and other dishes served with Tahitian flair.
Pamper yourself at a spa
Most of the amazing resorts in French Polynesia offer indulgent spa treatments which are ideal for melting away any stress or tension. Some of the best spas include Spa at Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa on a private motu of Taha’a. The treatments feature the fragrant vanilla bean where the island gets its name “vanilla Island” in Tahitian.
For a unique experience, the Deep Ocean Spa at InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa uses seawater pumped from 3,000 feet below the surface. All the treatments are marine-themed, with seawater, marine mud and seaweed featuring as star ingredients. The floor of the spa is made of glass so you can view the tropical fish swimming just below the surface whilst you are getting a relaxing massage!
Support local artisans
Buy local handicrafts to support the local traditions and to bring home a unique souvenir and memory from your honeymoon. The most common artisanal crafts include wood crafting, weaving and hand-dyed materials. The Papeete Municipal Market on the main island of Tahiti is ideal for souvenir shopping and taking in a taste of the local culture.
Activities on the water
There are plenty of activities on offer in the French Polynesian islands other than diving and snorkelling. You can also enjoy water sports such as canoeing, kayaking, fishing, jet skiing, water skiing and parasailing. Most resorts will offer an array of activities for their guests and usually snorkel and kayak equipment is provided for free.
Moorea Sunset Cruise
Take in the picture-perfect sunset from aboard a catamaran and experience a romantic and magical evening. A cruise of the North coast of Moorea under the changing colours of gold, red, orange and pink makes for spectacular viewing with a drink in hand. Prices for a sunset cruise in Moorea start at €55 per person.
Romantic places to eat on your honeymoon in French Polynesia
Bloody Mary’s Restaurant, Bora Bora
A popular haunt on Bora Bora, Bloody Mary’s has welcomed many celebrities including musician, Quincy Jones, the Kardashians, and film director, David Lean among others in its casual beach shack restaurant. This restaurant is an institution among locals and is a must-visit for tourists. The restaurant has an open-air terrace and tiki-themed bar and you can enjoy freshly-caught seafood every day. A trip to the bathrooms is a must, we won’t say why but it will be worth it!
La Plage, Tahiti
Dine on Tahitian cuisine on your the last day of your honeymoon. The restaurant is situated close to the airport on the island of Tahiti and is the perfect place to take in one final sunset. Previously known as the legendary Le Coco’s, the restaurant changed ownership and serves French cuisine and sumptuous steaks, pasta dishes, burgers as well as locally-caught seafood.
K Restaurant, Moorea
The K restaurant at Sofitel Beach Resort in Moorea offers dining on the sand underneath a cathedral-like pergola made from Kahaia wood sourced from nearby atolls. You can feast on the a-la-carte menu or enjoy a tasting menu which starts at around €123 per person. Every third Friday of the month, the restaurant hosts a cabaret night with an aerial acrobat swinging from the trapeze and performing graceful feats while you enjoy delicious cuisine and wine from their extraordinary cellar and you can also enjoy Polynesian dance performances.
Lagoon by Jean-Georges, Bora Bora
Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant is situated in the glamorous St. Regis Bora Bora Resort and offers a fine-dining experience to a backdrop of an illuminated lagoon. The restaurant boasts glass floors which offer views of silent sharks cruising beneath your feet. Ingredients are locally-sourced and fresh fish is the highlight of the menu, try the “Uravena” fish in a passionfruit and thai chilli sauce, or savour the fresh flavours of crusted Black Papio fish, or try the plump scallop sashimi dashed with a ginger and sesame oil dressing for an Asian-inspired dish.
St. James, Bora Bora
Famous in Bora Bora for its amazing service and cuisine, the only way to get to the restaurant is by private boat or water shuttle. As you catch the last glimmer of the waning sunset over the horizon, you can observe stingrays swimming just below the surface. Despite its high prices, even locals dine here which is truly a testament to how good the Polynesian cuisine is at this restaurant. A highlight dish is tuna prepared in four ways which is the house speciality. A meal for two costs around €216 for two.
Tours to do in French Polynesia on your honeymoon
For those who are short on time but still want to make the most of their stay, this four-hour tour is the perfect solution. You can experience the wonders of Tahiti in one day, including the stunning black volcanic sand beaches of Matavai Bay, the dramatic geyser of sea spray emerging from the Arahoho blowhole, historical Polynesian temples and the botanical gardens of Vaipahi.
With an expert guide, you will learn about the nature, history and culture of Tahiti Island and even see where Captain Cook and William Bligh first anchored on their expedition. The price for a group tour starts at only €56 and departs from Papeete.
This tour is ideal for foodies who want to experience the traditional and diverse flavours of Moorean cuisine with Heimata, a local guide who was born and raised on the island. The street food tour will take you to savour foods with Chinese, Tahitian and French influences at restaurants off the tourist track.
Along with the different food tastings, you will be able to see some of the breath-taking scenery of the island whilst learning about the history and culture of French Polynesia. The four hour food tour starts at €101 per person.
Day trips from French Polynesia on your honeymoon
On this tour of the Island of Taha’a you can fly on a seaplane and visit the local rum factory, a local pearl farm, a vanilla plantation amid a lush valley and enjoy a traditional lunch on the beach whilst you take in the views from both land and air. This trip is the ultimate in luxury.
Recommended honeymoon tours in French Polynesia
- Bora Bora Jet Ski Tour, Lunch at Bloody Mary’s and Shark Stingray Snorkel Cruise
- Moorea 4WD Tour Including Belvedere Pineapple Farm and Magic Mountain
- Bora Bora Snorkel Cruise by Polynesian Outrigger Canoe with BBQ Island Lunch
- Bora Bora Sunset Cruise and Dinner at St James Restaurant
- Bora Bora: Small Group Stargazing Tour Including Sunset Cruise
- Ocean Wildlife Expedition; Swim With Whales, Sharks, & Rays Half-Day Boat Tour
- Half Day Tahiti Peninsula and Teahupoo Boat Tour
- Moorea Mini Jeep Roadster Rental
- Private Tahiti island discovery
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