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Island hopping in French Polynesia is a captivating journey, where each destination unfolds a unique tapestry of natural wonders, cultural delights, and opulent beach resorts.
Begin in Tahiti, where black volcanic sands and views of Matavai Bay give way to days of snorkelling and sailing adventures to the Tahitian peninsula. Then embark on a catamaran ride to Mo’orea, where you’ll become a “Polynesian islander”, learning to fish, cook, paddleboard and even horse ride at the foot of Mount Rotui. From there, prepare to sail to Tikehau and later Bora Bora for luxurious hotels set on private islets before finishing in Taha’a. Known as the “vanilla island”, you’ll visit a pearl farm, vanilla plantation, and the Taha’a’s rum factory.
Adventure awaits, so brace yourself to be amazed at every step of this exceptional journey through French Polynesia’s islands.
Start your island hopping in French Polynesia holiday with a two-night stay in a Premium Ocean View Room at the serene Tahiti by Pearl Resort. Situated on Tahiti’s northeast coastline and amidst four hectares of lush gardens, this idyllic resort offers direct access to Tahiti's stunning volcanic black sand beach.
Enjoy the panoramic views of Matavai Bay from the Hiti Mahana Restaurant (The Rising Sun), which offers a mixture of local Tahitian, Mediterranean and Southeast Asian cuisine. On Thursdays, you’ll enjoy a lively traditional Marquesian dance show. The hotel's prime location is only a short drive from the bustling town centre of Papeete, for those looking to immerse themselves in even more local culture. However, the award-winning TAVAI Spa and Fitness Centre, designed to rejuvenate and revitalise tired and aching bodies, is there for any who want to slip into blissful oblivion.
No luxury trip to Tahiti would be complete without a day’s excursion exploring the wonders of the island’s lagoon. Dive into the crystal-clear waters for snorkelling adventures, discovering stingrays and turtles in their natural habitat along the lagoon and ocean sides. Later, embark on a sailing expedition to the Tahitian peninsula and a pristine motu with white sand, where you'll savour a lunch of local specialities.
Take a quick catamaran to the island of Mo’orea, where you’ll stay in the 4-star Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort for three nights. It’s conveniently situated near the airport and ferry pier and boasts luxurious Overwater Bungalows, an infinity pool, and Le Jardin Spa, pocketed in the tropical garden. The resort, the sole one on the island boasting a mesmerising view of Tahiti, also features a fabulously white sand beach.
Escape the urban bustle and embrace the Polynesian way of life with a unique full-day experience guided by your local host, Sam. Begin your day with a tutorial on paddling techniques in a traditional outrigger canoe, followed by a session on net fishing and a cooking lesson using your morning catch. Alternatively, embark on a two-hour horseback tour at the base of Mount Torui, through the Belvedere Valley, where you'll traverse pineapple fields and forests.
Return to Tahiti via another catamaran and head to the airport, where you’ll board a 35-minute flight to Tikehau Island. From there, board a boat to Le Tikehau by Pearl Resort, enjoying champagne and fruit juice. At the resort, where the ocean and sky are indistinguishable variations of blue, you’ll be staying for three nights in a Premium Overwater Bungalow. Here, breakfast is brought to you in a Polynesian outrigger as the sun rises over the turquoise lagoon.
The private Motu, on which the resort sits, offers various water activities: kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddles, and snorkelling equipment, along with the TAVAI Spa. Their massages bring a sense of balance and harmony to a travelled body. Explore Tikehau's stunning nature on a full-day tour (with lunch): visit Bird Island and snorkel in the pass, search for manta rays, and picnic at the fishermen's village. With your local guide, experience the locals’ warmth and the Tuamotu archipelago’s natural treasures.
Now it’s time on our island hopping in French Polynesia itinerary to journey to Bora Bora, known as the Pearl of the Pacific. Upon arrival at the airport island, a driver will escort you to one of the most luxurious Bora Bora island resorts - Le Bora Bora by Pearl Resorts. It’s a new member of Relais & Châeaux that’s nestled on an island motu with Polynesian-style architecture. Each room and villa are made with natural and traditional materials like bamboo, stone, wood and ropes, and you’ll be spending three nights in the Beach Villa & Pool, which boasts its own private garden.
Your holiday in Bora Bora will include an all-terrain vehicle excursion to the World War II remnants. Make sure to look out for its blue lagoon from a sailing pirogue, where you can repose on the trampolines, enjoy a Tahitian lunch, and go snorkelling. You’ll likewise have the chance to explore unknown archaeological sites on private family land, tasting local fruits and stopping off at ‘Mama Ruta’ for a display of traditional pareo dyeing.
The final spot on our island-hopping itinerary is Taha’a, and you’ll be staying for three nights at Taha’a by Pearl Resorts, situated on the private Motu Tautau with views of Bora Bora. The resort was inspired by Polynesian architecture and boasts ancient trees believed to be sacred and they apparently protect the land. You’ll split your time between the Sunset Overwater Suite and the hotel’s three restaurants, fitness centre, spa, and open-air swimming pool. There’s also a scuba diving centre for daring adventurers.
Spend your days becoming acquainted with the “Vanilla Island”, exploring a pearl farm, the Taha’a rum factory and the vanilla plantation. At the tip of your fingertips are snorkelling adventures in the Coral Garden, as well as a blissful body exfoliation and relaxing bath in the spa. Stand-up paddle boarding is great fun for families, as is the UNESCO Heritage site of Marae Taputapuatea on the neighbouring Raiatea island.
On the final day, make the most of the French Polynesian culture by selecting one of the restaurants in downtown Papeete and Punaauia Marina. A private transfer will take you to the restaurant and take care of your luggage until it’s time for your international flight home.