Maldives or Bora Bora – Which Is Better For Honeymoon?

Two of the most iconic destinations on the planet. But how do you decide, Maldives or Bora Bora – which is better for honeymoon? Let’s break it down…

Maldives or Bora Bora - Which is better for honeymoon? | The Honeymoon Guide
Estimated reading time: 14 minutes

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You’ve been dreaming about going to paradise. You’ve seen the ocean hues of sapphire, cobalt, mint and turquoise. The dazzling white sand beaches, magical overwater villas with the most amazing sunsets!

The Maldives and Bora Bora are honeymoon destinations that barely need an introduction.

You’ve spent hours scrolling videos on Instagram and TikTok, marvelling at these extraordinary paradises. They both look incredible. You know that this is what you want for your honeymoon, but you’re thinking – the Maldives or Bora Bora – which is better for our honeymoon?

This is one of the most common questions we get asked! There are a few things that will help you decide.

You can dive deeper into both destinations with our in depth Maldives Honeymoon Guide and for Bora Bora check out our in depth Bora Bora Guide, in depth French Polynesia Guide.

But for now let’s break it down – Maldives or Bora Bora – which is better for honeymoon

Where are the Maldives and Bora Bora

The Maldives is a remote archipelagic nation in the Indian Ocean, south of Sri Lanka and India.

The Maldives comprises nearly 2000 coral islands grouped into 7 atolls (islands surrounded by a lagoon) spread over 800kms.


Bora Bora, the Pearl of the Pacific, is an island of French Polynesia, which is a remote autonomous country of France between Australia and South America in the South Pacific Ocean, south of Hawaii and northeast of New Zealand.

French Polynesia is often called Tahiti, which is in fact the main administrative island. There are 118 islands and atolls in French Polynesia, spread across 2000kms.


The islands in the Maldives have no mountains or rivers and the vast majority of couples will stay on the same tiny paradisiacal island.

Bora Bora has mountainous volcanic scenery, with Mount Otemanu and Mount Bahia as the backdrop.


Where you are in the world may help you determine whether the Maldives or Bora Bora is the right honeymoon destination for you.

If you’re in Europe, you may get more bang for your buck in the Maldives, as they are much nearer. Plus, you can add on many exciting destinations that are close by.

If you are based on the east coast of Australia, in New Zealand, or in North America (particularly on the West Coast), Bora Bora is closer.

aerial view of overwater villas in turquoise lagoon bora bora french polynesia honeymoon

The best time to visit Maldives or Bora Bora

The Maldives and Bora Bora are tropical destinations where the temperatures are warm all year round (average temperature 25°C / 80°F).

Both experience ‘rainy’ and ‘dry’ [sons but at different times of year, so the time of year you’re intending to travel might be another place you can start when choosing between the Maldives vs Bora Bora for your honeymoon.


The rainy season in Bora Bora is from November to May. However, the wettest months are from December to February when you can expect occasional short downpours but plenty of sunshine too.

During the rainy season, occasional strong tropical storms and cyclones can occur. The best time to visit Bora Bora for a honeymoon is from June to October during the dry season.

The shoulder months of March, April, May & November are good times to visit too, because of the lower risk of adverse weather and better prices.


The rainy season in the Maldives is from May to October. You can experience stormy days, but even the rainy season sees many days of sunshine.

May, September & October experience the most rainfall.

The best time to visit the Maldives for a honeymoon is from December to March. This is the time of year with the least rainfall.


With the climate catastrophe, weather patterns are unpredictable.

Where you choose the Maldives or Bora Bora, during the rainy season, prices drop significantly and room rates can be half the price in the rainy season compared to the high / dry season.

How to get to the Maldives or Bora Bora

To get to the Maldives, you can fly to Velana International Airport at the capital Malé (airport code: MLE) via the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. 


To get to Bora Bora, you’ll first need to fly to Faa’a International Airport in French Polynesia (airport code: PPT) on the island of Tahiti, about 5kms from the capital, Papeete.

You can fly directly to Papeete from the west coast of the USA and New Zealand.

You can fly directly from France, too. However, because of the travel distance, there will either be a technical stop or a plane change in either San Francisco or Los Angeles.

Now here’s the thing, you will then need another flight from Papeete to Bora Bora (airport code: BOB) which takes around 50 minutes.

It’s likely you’ll need to spend a night (or two) in Tahiti. You can also add the island of Moorea (which is exquisite, too, and just a quick hop from Tahiti). Air Tahiti has a handy air pass if you’re going to island hop.

Maldives Kayaking The Honeymoon Guide. Mauritius or Maldives or Seychelles.

Getting around Maldives or Bora Bora

In the Maldives, most couples bypass the capital and head straight for their island resort via speedboat or via seaplane, which can take anything from 15 to 60 minutes.

You won’t need car hire or public transport to get around as you stay on a private island. In some resorts, there are opportunities to visit local islands, but the only time you’ll leave the island is on a sunset cruise or to go home!

Although it is possible, in theory, to go island hopping in the Maldives and stay in different resorts, it is actually extremely rare to do this.

Mainly because of the cost of transfers, which can be on average $500 person! The cheapest way to stay in different resorts would be to stick to the same atoll where you can do a speedboat transfer, which is cheaper.

If you love the idea of a Maldives island hopping honeymoon, you can find unique week long cruises with G Adventures and ScubaSpa.


Island hopping is quite common in French Polynesia. In fact, it’s one of our favourite destinations for an island hopping honeymoon!

As many couples are travelling from so far away, it’s easy to add on another island to your Bora Bora honeymoon itinerary such as Moorea or the Tuamotu Atolls.

When you arrive in Bora Bora, it’s best to arrange a pickup from your resort. Some resorts may include a short boat ride across a lagoon to the private motu (islet).

Most couples will base themselves in their hotel or resort and take day tours/excursions.

You can hire a car in Bora Bora, you’ll find branches of Avis and Europcar. The island is tiny, so you can traverse it in half a day.

Tahitians drive on the right side (so the same as the USA, Canada and mainland Europe).

The best way to get around is by bike, but if you prefer to drive, you’ll only need a car rental for a day or so.

overwater villas in french polynesia bora bora honeymoon

Where to stay in Maldives or Bora Bora

Although these days they are not the only destinations with overwater villas or overwater bungalows, Maldives and Bora Bora are known for their heavenly overwater villa categories.

In fact, the concept originated in French Polynesia. In both destinations, you also have the choice of beach villas, too, which are cheaper.

Whether you choose the Maldives or Bora Bora, the decision on where to say is important as you spend more of your time in your resort or villa.

If you’re looking for ways to be smart with your honeymoon funds, consider splitting your stay. Spending a few nights in a beach villa and switching to a water villa (save the best for last).

We highly recommend booking a villa with a pool for the ultimate in Maldives and Bora Bora honeymoon luxury!


The Maldives have recently licensed local accommodation. However, outside of the privately owned and operated luxury resorts, Maldives is a conservative Islamic country and the locals would be a little more reserved and there is no alcohol.

In Bora Bora, you’ll find a handful of pensions which are family run Polynesian B&Bs. These are rustic and not aimed at the luxury-seeking honeymooners. You’ll have more of a chance of interacting with local people in Bora Bora compared to the Maldives.


For luxury resorts, the Maldives win. There are so many luxury resorts to choose from in the Maldives compared to Bora Bora’s handful of luxury resorts. Don’t worry there are some relatively affordable options, too!

Because of its proximity to three continents, Maldives has better options for dining, too. You can probably eat anything you want in Maldives, and the standard of food and drink is extremely high, with beautiful buffet breakfasts and multiple dining options in most resorts.

Not that the food is bad in Bora Bora, you’ll find beautiful seafood and western fare, too, although the choice will be more limited and quality doesn’t quite meet the standard of the Maldives’ incredible offerings.

For foodies, Maldives would be the better choice.

While some of the cheaper Maldives resorts might show their age, there are always new resorts popping up so for couples who are seeking the latest in luxury.

Maldives resorts are a little more modern in style, whereas Bora Bora’s resorts, like Hawaii’s hotels, have a more traditional Polynesian style which can feel a little antiquated if you’re regular luxury travellers.

Our favourite Bora Bora honeymoon resorts:

The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora | Conrad Bora Bora Nui InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa | Le Bora Bora by Pearl Resorts | Hotel Maitai Polynesia Bora Bora

Our favourite Maldives honeymoon resorts:

Don’t make us choose! There are so many beautiful Maldives resorts. Some even have villas with water slides. It’s tough to pick favourites! We highly recommend checking out our list of the best Maldives honeymoon resorts by category. In the meantime, here are some beautiful resorts to consider:

Huvafen Fushi | Soneva Jani | Joali MaldivesWaldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi | LUX* South Ari Atoll| Kuramathi Maldives| Varu by Atmosphere | Amilla Maldives | Nova Maldives | Sun Siyam Olhuveli 

Maldives Resort The Honeymoon Guide

Where to eat in Maldives and Bora Bora

As remote islands, both the Maldives and Bora Bora have to import a lot of food and drink. This makes them both relatively expensive destinations to dine.

One big question is whether to book an all-inclusive honeymoon package when planning a Maldives or Bora Bora honeymoon.

The Maldives is more of an all-inclusive destination, whereas Bora Bora hotels are booked on a bed & breakfast or half board rate.


In the Maldives, while some resorts are all-inclusive as standard, others offer a variety of packages from bed & breakfast, half board (B&D*) to full board (B,L& D*). Drinks are not included in these packages.

Maldives’ all-inclusive packages vary from resort to resort, and in the main, ultra-luxury resorts in the Maldives tend not to be all-inclusive. Most all-inclusive honeymoon packages will have some activities included too. It’s nice to not worry about a hefty bill at the end of your stay! 


Bora Bora is not an all-inclusive destination in the same vein as Mexico, for example.

In Bora Bora, the hotels usually come with a bed-and-breakfast rate as standard and you can upgrade to a half board (B&D*) level.

Most couples will eat at their luxury resort, but there are some famous spots like Bloody Marys and Saint James if you want to get outside your resort. Discover the best Bora Bora honeymoon resorts.

*B = Breakfast L= Lunch D = Dinner

Things to do when you’re in Maldives or Bora Bora

Bora Bora is a winner for its stunning backdrop. Bora Bora honeymoon resorts are on their own private motu (islet).

Most of the resorts face the beautiful extinct volcano of Mount Otemanu. Although the sand may not be as powdery as the Maldives, the turquoise water and beautiful beaches are pure heaven.

In the Maldives, you’ll find the softest powdery sand with the stunning Indian Ocean stretching out in front of you. The islands will have vegetation, including gentle swaying palm trees.

When comparing things to do in the Maldives or Bora Bora, you’ll find they have a lot in common.

You don’t have to do a lot of anything except enjoy your newly wedded bliss as you marvel at the shades of blue and green in the heavenly lagoons from your beautiful overwater villa or bungalow.

You can go snorkelling and scuba diving amongst the rich marine life. Do some water sports like kitesurfing or paragliding.

By night, marvel at the constellation of stars. Either the Maldives or Bora Bora will be perfect honeymoon destinations for stargazing

While the Maldives have plenty of honeymoon resorts with activities, from aerial acrobatics to horse riding to bubble dome rooms, Bora Bora is better if you want to get outside of the resort.

Take the hike to Mount Otemanu. It’s about 727 meters high so it’s quite a challenging hike, but it’s definitely worth it for the breathtaking views at the top!

If hiking isn’t your thing, you can take a 4×4 or ATV tour. Do a helicopter ride over the heart-shaped atoll of Tūpai. Explore Viatape, the capital, and pick up some souvenirs. Go sailing on a catamaran ship or go jet skiing

snorkelling with turtles honeymoon in maldives is the maldives boring

How much does a Maldives or Bora Bora honeymoon cost

Ok so we know you need to work out the cost of your honeymoon. We’ll be upfront, a Maldives or Bora Bora honeymoon easily stretches into five-figures for a week so neither are considered ‘budget’ destinations.

However, if you can go in the shoulder season, book early, and mix up the accommodation and room categories, you can claw back and make some savings on your trip to paradise! Let’s do a comparison.


Prices below are a guide only and are valid at the time of writing this article. Flight cost estimates are from major city airports. Due to market volatility and changes in exchange rates, they may be inaccurate at the time of reading. Please go to Google Flights and Booking.com for cost estimates for your dates. Prices will be determined by where in the world you’re travelling from and your travel dates. Peak times like Christmas / New Year and Easter will be more.

The French Polynesian Franc is pegged to the Euro, which is great for couples who are based in the Eurozone, as prices don’t fluctuate too much. However, this means that if you’re outside of the Eurozone, for example in Great Britain, the USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, you may need to be mindful of exchange rate changes.

The US$ dollar is legal tender in the Maldives, and the tourist industry uses the US$ as its base currency. This means that if you’re outside the USA, you may need to be mindful of exchange rate changes.


Flights:

Depending on where you are in the world and the time of year, you can fly to the Maldives for as little as US$1200 per person from the USA. From Europe, Great Britain and Australia start from approximately €800/£700/AU$1000 per person.

You can fly to Bora Bora for around US$1400 from the west coast of North America. If you’re based in Europe, you can fly from London for around £1600, from Dublin for around €2200, and Paris from around €1900.

From Sydney it’s around AU$1400. You’ll also need to add on domestic inter-island flights and transfers. As we’ve mentioned, the Air Tahiti passes are good value, costing €470 per person in high season. 

You can fly business class, which can be 3-4 times the cost of an economy ticket. If a business class or first-class ticket is out of your budget, consider upgrading one way so you can arrive in style, rested and refreshed. Peak times like Christmas / New Year and Easter will cost more and low season will cost less.

You may choose to fly business class, which can be 3-4 times the cost of an economy ticket. If a business class or first-class ticket is out of your budget, consider upgrading one way so you can arrive in style, refreshed. 

Transfers:

In the Maldives, speedboat transfers range from $150-400 per-person-return. However, a seaplane, will range from US$300 to US$1500 per person return, depending on the resort.

Transfer range from around $/€60 in Tahiti to €300 to a luxury resort on Bora Bora.

Accommodation: 

The following prices are based on per room per night for two people total sharing in high season. 

In the Maldives resort prices vary wildly, as does what’s included. For 4-star resorts with basic all-inclusive and an overwater villa, you’ll pay from around US$800 per night during the dry season (not including flights & transfers).

A five-star all inclusive would be around US$1100-2100 per night for all-inclusive and an overwater villa. For an ultra-luxury resort, expect to pay US$2100-4500+ per couple for bed & breakfast in an overwater villa.


For an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora, prices for a luxury resort overwater bungalow will be around €2300+ per night.

Remember, you could also make a saving by mixing up the accommodation and room categories. For example, starting in a 4-star hotel and then finishing in a 5-star or moving from a beach villa to an overwater villa.

Maldives paradise beach The Honeymoon Guide

What is the cheapest time to travel to the Maldives and Bora Bora

The cheapest time to travel to French Polynesia is during the low season / rainy season from December to March.

The cheapest time to travel to the Maldives is during the low season / rainy season from May to October.

If a little rain won’t spoil your time, prices are a fraction of the high season. If you travel during the rainy season, there is a possibility you’ll have long sunny days, but there is a higher risk of adverse weather.

Where to tag on to Maldives or Bora Bora for a multi-destination honeymoon

Where you choose Maldives or Bora Bora, you can see you’re in for a beautiful, romantic treat!

If you have more time and money to spend, there are beautiful destinations you can tag on to create a multi-destination honeymoon.


With many direct flights between the two nations, Maldives & Sri Lanka is a quintessential adventure, culture and beach honeymoon.

You could also consider fascinating India. The Golden Triangle and laid-back Kerala are just two of the areas you can visit in this electrifying country.

How about Thailand and the Maldives – two iconic honeymoon destinations? Dive deeper into planning a Thailand honeymoon with our Ultimate Guide to Thailand.

You can also fly from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, which means you can combine the Maldives with most Southeast Asia countries as long as you don’t mind a connecting flight or city stop in one of these hubs.

Think Bali and Maldives or Vietnam and Maldives — two dream honeymoon combinations.

You could also hop via one of these hubs to Japan. Find out more about the Land of the Rising Sun with our Ultimate Guide to Japan.

Maldives goes easily with one of our favourite cities, Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. Stay in a luxury Dubai hotel with a rooftop pool or a stunning desert hotel.

Dive deeper with our Ultimate Guide to Dubai. Its sister city, Abu Dhabi, is also worth considering for a honeymoon stopover. Find out more with our Ultimate Guide to Abu Dhabi. Istanbul is also a great option.


Whether you have 7, 10 or 14 nights, there are many islands to explore in French Polynesia besides Bora Bora.

However, if you’ve time, we love to recommend a California add-on. Do a city stopover in Los Angeles or San Francisco.

California is one of our favourite destinations for a romantic honeymoon road trip if you’ve got the time.

You can also fly from Auckland too, so you could consider New Zealand for an adventure road trip leg of your honeymoon.

A New Zealand or California road trip and a Bora Bora beach honeymoon combination would be unforgettable.

There is also a weekly flight from Hawaii to Papeete, so for beach obsessives who can’t decide on which Polynesian paradise you can in, if you have the time and money, combine Bora Bora with Hawaii for the ultimate Polynesian honeymoon.

We’ve got a guide to help you navigate planning a Hawaii honeymoon.

Maldives or Bora Bora – which is better for honeymoon

As you can see, both Maldives and Bora Bora have incredible PROs with very few cons other than distance!

Geographically speaking, Maldives and Bora Bora are very far away from each other, so the time and money will help you narrow things down.

If you’re in Europe, you may get more bang for your buck in the Maldives, as they are much nearer.

Plus, you can add on many exciting destinations that are close by. You could also consider other destinations like Mauritius or Seychelles as an alternative – we’ve got a handy guide about the differences between these heavenly island destinations, too.

If you are based on the east coast of Australia, in New Zealand, or in North America (particularly on the West Coast), Bora Bora is closer.

One other big factor is that their peak dry seasons are the opposite time of year, so if you’re tied to a particular month, you could base your decision on climate guidelines.

Bora Bora is better from April to October, and the Maldives is better from December to April.

Maldives vs Bora is the honeymoon equivalent to a heavyweight championship, but whatever you decide, you’ll be in heaven in these little slices of paradise!

If you’ve been racking your brains thinking about Maldives vs Bora Bora, we hope you’ve found this comparison useful!

Let us know in the comments if you decide on the Maldives or Bora Bora!

Happy Planning x

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