Ultimate French Polynesia Honeymoon Guide

Iconic Bora Bora is just one island of this blessed paradise in the Pacific Ocean. We’ve got the lowdown on everything you need to know about a French Polynesia honeymoon…

Ultimate French Polynesia Honeymoon Guide | The Honeymoon Guide
Estimated reading time: 23 minutes

Paradise. Heaven. Eden. The ultimate exotic honeymoon location since the 1960s. A French Polynesia honeymoon is one of the most romantic on earth.

Some call it Tahiti (which we’ll explain below!). Yes, it takes a little more effort to get to the islands of French Polynesia. But when you arrive, it’s paradise found.

Overwater bungalows, aquamarine ocean, dazzling white sand, beautiful mountains and exotic flora and fauna. It’s one of the best destinations in the world for an island hopping honeymoon.

You might think about a French Polynesia honeymoon and wonder, is French Polynesia good for honeymoon? What is the best island for honeymoon? What’s the best time to visit French Polynesia? How much does a French Polynesia honeymoon cost? How do you get to French Polynesia? Can you go all inclusive in French Polynesia?

We’ve got all the essential information you need to plan the perfect honeymoon in French Polynesia

Let’s take you to paradise with our Ultimate French Polynesia Honeymoon Guide!


We have some affiliate links across our platform. If you click on these links and choose to book something or buy something, we may earn a small commission but at no extra cost to you. We appreciate this as it keeps the lights on at Honeymoon HQ! We want to assure you our recommendations are completely impartial and 100% independent; we only recommend what we love and we think you might too! Please read our full disclaimer on our policies page.


aerial view of Aerial view of overwater bungalows in Bora Bora, French Polynesia, surrounded by stunning turquoise water. The bungalows are connected by wooden walkways, forming a picturesque and serene resort scene.

Best time to visit French Polynesia for honeymoon

French Polynesia is a tropical destination where the temperatures are warm all year round averaging around 25°C / 80°F.

However, the country experiences a ‘rainy’ and ‘dry’ season.

The rainy season 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.

However, during the rainy season, occasional strong tropical storms and cyclones can occur.

The best time to visit French Polynesia 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.

Overwater bungalows in Bora Bora, French Polynesia, set against a backdrop of lush greenery and a bright blue sky. The bungalows, with their thatched roofs, are elevated above crystal-clear turquoise water

Getting around French Polynesia

When you arrive on the main island of Tahiti in French Polynesia, you will need to take further flights to get to most other islands and hotels. Moorea is an exception.

Air Tahiti (not to be confused with Air Tahiti Nui – the international airline) has a handy flight air pass if hopping around multiple destinations with French Polynesia.

While there are multiple daily flights from Tahiti to the Society Islands (the most popular islands), for more off-the-beaten-track islands, there may only be a service a few times per week or even once a week.

Be sure to check the schedule and book the less frequent routes early. Many islands will not have a direct flight between them, so you may also have to backtrack to Tahiti or connect on another island.

Getting around French Polynesia is not too difficult, but it can be expensive. You can arrange airport-to-hotel transfers through your hotel/resort or travel agent.

There is no Uber and although taxis are available in top tourist destinations like Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora, they are expensive. Plus, if your resort is across a lagoon, you’ll need to arrange with the hotel to get you there.

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

However, hiring a vehicle gives you more freedom and on most of the Society Islands, you’ll find branches of Avis and Europcar which you can book with RentalCars.com.

The islands are so small you’ll only need a car for a short period – usually 24-48 hours to see most of the top sites.

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

Close-up of a thatched-roof overwater bungalow in Bora Bora, French Polynesia, with a stunning mountain backdrop. The turquoise water glistens under the bungalow.

Where to stay on a French Polynesia honeymoon

There are multiple accommodation types available in French Polynesia, from luxury resorts to more budget-friendly hotels and pensions.

A pension is a locally owned boarding house, similar to a guesthouse or bed & breakfast. The quality if pensions can vary in terms of service and are usually basic and these are where you’ll stay on the lesser-explored islands.

They are a fraction of the cost of a luxury resort. You’ll also find villa and bungalow accommodation available on VRBO.

Many resorts have the option to stay in a cute beach bungalow but for a truly romantic experience, we recommend at least a few nights in a magical overwater bungalow that Bora Bora is famous for.

This heavenly room category is probably the reason you’ve been dreaming about a French Polynesia honeymoon, after all!

French Polynesia honeymoon resorts are a little different to the all-inclusive honeymoon package destinations in the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean.

The resort/hotel costs are usually based on a bed & breakfast, half board of full board*.

*Half Board – breakfast and dinner. Full board – breakfast, lunch and dinner.

If you’re staying on the popular tourist islands in a luxury resort, you may find eat mostly in your hotel, but there are local restaurants to explore too.

We’d recommend just booking a bed & breakfast or a half board rate if you want to explore.

On lesser-visited islands, there will be small traditional restaurants and pensions will often provide some meals too.

Aerial view of Bora Bora, French Polynesia, showcasing its lush green landscape, dramatic mountain peaks, and surrounding turquoise lagoons. The island is dotted with overwater bungalows and white sandy beaches, creating a picturesque tropical paradise.

French Polynesia Honeymoon Island Guide

The vast majority of couples on a French Polynesia honeymoon will only visit the three most popular islands – the islands of Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora which are part of the Society Islands.

However, there are other islands and island chains for intrepid honeymoon explorers who have a bit more time and want to dive deep into Polynesian culture and get off the beaten track.

Where it’s a five-start luxury honeymoon getaway, a private island or Robinson Crusoe, back-to-nature experience, you’ll find it in these heavenly islands.

Let’s explore…

Society Islands
Other Island Groups

Society Islands

The heavenly archipelago Society Islands can be separated into two geographical areas.

Moorea, Tahiti and Tetiaroa make up the Windward Islands and Bora Bora, Huahine, Maupiti, Raiatea and Taha’a make up the Leeward Islands.

Jump to:

Tahiti
Moorea
Tetiaroa
Bora Bora
Raiatea
Taha’a
Other Society Islands

Tahiti

If you’re arriving in French Polynesia by air, then Tahiti is the island you will land on.

It is the largest island and the administrative and economic centre. It’s home to 70% of the population and the capital Papeete.

Tahiti is a lush island with beaches, palm trees, lagoons and waterfalls, plus plenty of accommodation options.

On a Tahiti honeymoon, you can take a 4×4 tour, go hiking and whale watching and take a half-day tour to Moorea.

However, while it’s nice to spend a day or two on Tahiti to recover from your flight, most couples will want to get straight to the veritable paradises of the other islands, including Moorea and Bora Bora and beyond.

How to get to Tahiti: Fa’a’ā International Airport (airport code: PPT) is based five kilometres from Papeete. This is the major airport for international arrivals and departures and most inter-island flights.

Where to stay:
Hilton Hotel Tahiti
InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa

Collage of polaroid-style images from Tahiti, French Polynesia. One photo shows "Tahiti" written in the sand on a pristine beach with clear turquoise water in the background. Another photo captures an aerial view of islands and the ocean through an airplane window, while a third image includes tropical scenery with palm trees.

Moorea

Moorea is an immaculate paradise island close to Tahiti (they’re around 10 nautical miles apart). Expect the turquoise waters, white sand beaches, and lush jungle landscapes you see on the postcard.

The overwater bungalow concept originated at the Club Bali Hai Moorea in the 1960s (learn more about the history in this fascinating Conde Nast article).

Enjoy days of pure relaxation. The marine life is some of the best on the planet so scuba divers will be in heaven.

If you prefer to snorkel, you can spend your days splashing around the crystal-clear waters of the South Pacific’s warm lagoons. Swim with wild dolphins and go whale watching.

The hiking opportunities are worth tearing yourself away from your luxury resort. Explorers will love the trails through the green volcanic mountains with incredibly scenic views over the beautiful rainforests.

Visit cascading waterfalls like Afareaitu. Take a 4×4 tour. Don’t miss Paopao Bay (or Cook’s Bay) and Opunohu Bay. Visit a pineapple plantation.

From fresh seafood caught right off the coast to traditional Tahitian dishes, a delight for your taste buds!

How to get to Moorea: Moorea is just a scenic 45 minutes ferry ride from Tahiti with Aremiti.

You can also take a 15-minute flight (airport code: MOZ) with Air Tahiti. You can also fly from Bora Bora (BOB – 1 hour 20 minutes) and Huahine (HUH – 35 minutes)

Where to stay:
Manava Beach Resort & Spa Moorea
Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort
Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa

Collage of polaroid-style images from Moorea, French Polynesia. One photo shows a hammock between palm trees on a sandy beach with overwater bungalows and turquoise water in the background. Another photo captures a panoramic view of numerous overwater bungalows stretching out into the clear blue ocean.

Tetiaroa

Tetiaroa is home to The Brando, one of the planet’s most exclusive hotels. Named after the former owner of the island, the iconic actor, Marlon Brando.

Brando bought the island in the 1960s while filming Mutiny on the Bounty. His family opened the resort in 2014.

You may or may not care about public figures, but it’s where Kim Kardashian had her 40th birthday party and where Barack Obama retreated to write part of his memoir. So if it’s good enough for Kim and Barack, right?

This unspoiled, private, stunning atoll is just a 30-minutes on a private plane from Tahiti or just 1-hour from Bora Bora. The resort will arrange this flight for you.

Go biking, snorkelling, bird watching, scuba diving, kayaking and paddle boarding. Swim with sea turtles, reef sharks and a dazzling array of tropical fish. The villas are heaven. You have an outdoor bathtub and your own pool. Bliss!

How to get to Tetiaroa: Flying time is 20 minutes from Tahiti (airport code: PPT) and the flight is operated by Air Tetiaroa, arranged through the Brando.

Where to stay:
The Brando

Collage of polaroid-style images from Tetiaroa, French Polynesia. One photo captures a pristine beach lined with palm trees and calm, clear water under a bright blue sky with fluffy clouds. Another photo shows a serene, white sandy beach meeting the turquoise ocean, creating a tranquil and picturesque coastal scene.

Bora Bora

A honeymoon destination that barely needs an introduction. A Bora Bora honeymoon will be a dream.

This extraordinary paradise, known as the Pearl of the Pacific is an island 270kms from Tahiti.

It’s surrounded by islets, i.e. small islands, more commonly known as motus. With Mount Otemanu in the background, the glittering warm lagoon and dazzling white sand, there aren’t enough superlatives to describe this iconic destination.

Many of the luxury resorts are on their own private motu with overwater bungalows and a private beach. Many couples will stay in one of these in an iconic overwater villa. Bora Bora is where you’ll find some of the best resorts.

You’ll need to take a boat ride to your resort from the airport, too. Once you arrive, it’s all about relaxing and having fun in paradise.

You don’t have to do a lot of anything except enjoy your newly wedded bliss as you marvel at the shades of blue in the lagoon and sky with the emerald green mountainous peaks.

At night, opt for a romantic dinner and marvel at the constellation of stars, French Polynesia is one of the earth’s best honeymoon destinations for star gazing.

There is plenty to do if you choose. You can go snorkelling and scuba diving amongst the rich marine life. Take a lagoon cruise (or opt for one of the beautiful sunset cruises). Bora Bora is a great place for water sports like wakeboarding and jet skiing.

In the morning have your breakfast delivered by outrigger canoe. Take a helicopter tour over the heart-shaped atoll of Tūpai. Explore Viatape and pick up some souvenirs. Go sailing on a catamaran ship or go jet skiing.

Take the hike to Mount Otemanu (or take a 4×4 or ATV tour if you the jetlag is too much). Mount Otemanu is one of the two volcanic peaks that make up Bora Bora’s iconic landscape. 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!

Most couples will eat at their luxury resort, but there are some famous spots like Bloody Marys and Saint James. Feast on the most divine seafood and discover cocktails made of exotic fruits you’ve never heard of!

One thing is for sure, Bora Bora has to be on your honeymoon itinerary!

How to get to Bora Bora: There are multiple daily flights from Tahiti (airport code: PPT) to Bora Bora (BOB) and it takes around 50 minutes.

There are also flights from other islands, although less often, including Moorea (MOZ – 1 hour 20 minutes), Raiatea (RFP – 20 minutes), Huahine (HUH – 25 minutes) and Rangiroa (RGI – 1 hour 15)

Where to stay:
The Westin Bora Bora Resort & Spa
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

Collage of polaroid-style images from Bora Bora, French Polynesia. One photo features a picturesque beach with palm trees and a clear lagoon, set against a backdrop of lush mountains. Another photo shows overwater bungalows on stilts above the turquoise water, connected by wooden walkways, creating an idyllic island retreat.

Raiatea

Raiatea island is significant in Polynesian history. In fact, the island is regarded as the homeland of the Māori people who left here to settle in New Zealand and Hawaii.

Previously known as Hava’i, it’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s also the administrative island of the Leeward Islands, so it’s an ideal place to experience authentic Polynesian life.

Raiatea wouldn’t have the luxury overwater bungalows, but it has a jungle interior ideal for exploring.

You can go hiking in search of waterfalls and river kayaking. Raiatea is a jump-off point to Ta’haa island. It’s also the centre of sailing in French Polynesia with many companies basing themselves here.

Don’t miss the secluded villas on Motu Nao Nao Ile Privée, a secluded nearby private island.

How to get to Raiatea: You can fly to Raiatea (airport code: RFP) from Tahiti (PPT – 45 minutes) or Bora Bora (BOB – 20 minutes) and also from Huahine (HUH – 20 minutes), Maupiti (MAU – 25 minutes)  

Where to stay:
Raiatea Lodge Hotel

Taha’a

Much like neighbouring Bora Bora, Tahaa is wonderful. It has fewer crowds and less luxury resorts.

Known as Vanilla Island because it produces 80% of Tahitian Vanilla. You can tour one of the vanilla plantations and learn all about vanilla production.

Similar to Bora Bora, there is the main island and surrounding tiny motus with stunning mountain peaks jutting out of the turquoise lagoon with magical coral reefs.

It’s one of the most beautiful parts of the Society Islands and a lovely island to include with Bora Bora.

How to get to Taha’a: There is no airport on Taha’a. Fly to Raiatea (airport code: RFP) and take the ferry.

Where to stay:
Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa by Pearl Resorts
Vahine Private Island
Eden Private Island

Collage of polaroid-style images from Tahaa, French Polynesia. One photo shows a serene lagoon with clear, turquoise water and a lush shoreline lined with palm trees. Another photo captures a close-up view of the palm trees along the water's edge, showcasing the vibrant green foliage under a bright blue sky.

Other Society Islands

Huahine and Maupiti lie on opposite ends of the Leeward Islands and are a little more off the beaten track. They are perfect for intrepid honeymoon couples who don’t need luxury resorts.

Known as the Garden of Eden, Huahine is in fact two islands, Huahine Nui (big) & Huahine Iti (small) which are connected by a bridge.

It’s covered in lush green rainforest and vegetation and you’ll find coconut plantations and vanilla orchards, wilder beaches and ancient and sacred Polynesian ruins (known locally as marae).

Maupiti is a tiny, secluded island. Accommodation is more rustic with family pensions or guesthouses.

In fact, the locals have resisted big hotel names and mass tourism in their slice of paradise. Most people get around by bike. Explore the unspoiled aquamarine coral reef.

Hike to the summit of Mount Teurafaatui, for the most magical views in French Polynesia.

How to get to Huahine: You can fly to Huahune (airport code: HUH) from Tahiti (PPT – 40 minutes) or Bora Bora (BOB – 25 minutes) and Raiatea (RFP – 20 minutes)

How to get to Maupiti: You can fly to Maupiti (MAU) from Tahiti (PPT – 50 minutes) and Raiatea (RFP – 25 minutes)  

Where to stay:
Hotel Le Mahana Huahine

Other French Polynesia islands

While the Society Islands receive most visitors, there are many other remote archipelagos to explore.

It’s important to note that it’s not always possible to hop between the islands, as there may be only a cargo ferry system and limited flights between them. Check Air Tahiti for flights routes.

Jump to:

Tuamotu Atolls
Marquesas Islands
Gambier Islands
Austral Islands

Tuamotu Atolls

The islands and atolls of Tuamotu are amongst the most beautiful islands in the world.

With white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and lush vegetation, Tuamotu is perfect for an idyllic off the beaten track honeymoon getaway in paradise.

One of the Tuamotu Atolls is a great option for those who want to explore beyond the Society Islands. Made up of 78 coral islands that stretch for nine hundred kilometres across the Pacific Ocean – about the length of Western Europe.

The atolls were first settled by Polynesians about 3,000 years ago. Much of the atoll chain is still uninhabited and the resorts are more limited than the Society Islands.

You’ll find pearl farms and even a winery.

There are less than a handful of hotels and they won’t be as polished or luxurious as those found in Bora Bora & Moorea.

However, this is one thing that makes the Tuamotus so special; with miles of pristine beaches and deserted islands, you’ll often feel you have the whole place to yourself.

If you’re looking to relax, it’s the perfect honeymoon destination. Spend your days lounging on powdery white-sand beaches or swimming in tranquil lagoon waters.

Rangiroa and Fakarava are two of the top French Polynesia honeymoon destinations for scuba diving. You will be in underwater heaven with colourful marine life like manta rays and sea turtles.

It’s hard to pick a favourite of the Tuamotus, but Tikehau, known as Pink Sand Island, is definitely a contender. With white and pink sand islets, lush coconut palms and a real Robinson Crusoe feel. There are also tiny atolls like Mataiva.

How to get to the Tuamotu Atolls: You can fly from Tahiti (airport code: PPT) in 1 hour to Tikehau (TIH), Rangiroa (RGI), Mataiva (MVT) and Fakarava (FAV).

There are also direct flights from Rangiroa (RGI) to Tikehau (TIH – 20 minutes) and Fakarava (FAV – 45 minutes). You can also fly from Bora Bora (airport code BOB) to Rangiroa (RGI – 1 hour 15 minutes).

Where to stay:
Le Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort
Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa

Collage of polaroid-style images from Tuamotu, French Polynesia. One photo features an aerial view of a turquoise lagoon with small islets and lush greenery, surrounded by the deep blue ocean. Another photo captures a picturesque beach with a palm tree in the foreground, white sandy shore, and a wooden pier extending into the clear, tranquil water.

Marquesas Islands

The Marquesas Islands are ideal for couples who want to get really, really off the beaten track. These islands are 1600 kilometres from Tahiti.

Of the 12 islands in this chain, only 6 are inhabited. The main islands are Nuku Hiva in the Northern Marquesas and Hiva Oa in the Southern Marquesas.

You won’t find luxury resorts or lagoons and coral reefs. The islands are volcanic and covered in dense, lush, emerald rainforest. The internet will be patchy and tours are informal.

What you will get is one of the world’s most remote island chains, truly get off grid and discover Polynesia’s abundant beauty and ancient culture.

Polynesian culture here has been less influenced by European colonialism than other parts of French Polynesia.

On Nuku Hiva, the population is currently less than 3000 and tragically went from six figures to just four figures from the 18th to 20th century.

Island life has changed little in The Marquesas over the decades and centuries. They get around on 4×4 or horseback and make a living hunting and fishing.

You can find many Polynesian archaeological sites, hike to Vaipo Waterfall on Nuku Hiva, explore the wild untouched brown and black sand beaches and see the wild horses on Hiva Oa.

Hiva Oa is also where the famous impressionist painter, Paul Gauguin, lived and died.

How to get to the Marquesas Islands: Fly from Tahiti (airport code: PPT) to Nuku Hiva (NHV – 3 hours 15 minutes) and Hiva Oa (AUQ – 3 hours 20 minutes). You can also fly between Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa.

Where to stay:
Le Nuku Hiva by Pearl Resorts
Hanakee Hiva Oa Lodge

Collage of polaroid-style images from the Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia. One photo shows a coastal scene with palm trees, waves crashing on the shore, and rugged, mountainous terrain in the background. Another photo features a serene bay with sailboats anchored, surrounded by dramatic green hills under a bright blue sky.

Gambier Islands

The Gambier islands are the most secluded archipelago in French Polynesia. In fact, they’re tiny. They are probably the most ‘off the beaten track’ you can get in French Polynesia.

The main island is Mangareva with around 1400 inhabitants living in or near Rikitea, the main village.

In Polynesian mythology, Mangareva was lifted from the ocean floor by the demigod Maui. It’s also one of the biggest producers of black pearls in French Polynesia.

One of the cultural and historical highlights is the architectural remnants of European religion imported by colonists. These days, Polynesians of The Gambier follow their more ancient ways. There are no hotels here, only basic pensions.

Have an unforgettable honeymoon adventure snorkelling in the crystal clear lagoon. Hike Mount Duff. Stargaze under the incredible Pacific night sky.

Take a boat trip to discover uninhabited islands and deserted coves and hidden beaches.

How to get to Gambier Islands: Fly from Tahiti (airport code: PPT) to Totegegie Airport (GMR – 5 hours).

Where to stay:
Pension Maro’i

Austral Islands

The Austral Islands, at the remote southern edge of French Polynesia, are isolated and unique.

European travellers have had less influence, and native culture is relatively untouched. Tubuai is the island in the story of the Mutiny of the Bounty.

Rurutu island is one of the best destinations to go whale watching in the world, without the crowds and you can even swim with them! The season is usually from July to October.

On Tubuai, hike to Mount Taita and swim amongst the coral reefs in the lagoon. Go windsurfing or kayaking.

Raivavae is not to be missed if you’re adding the Austral islands to your itinerary. It’s home to one of the most beautiful turquoise blue lagoons in the world.

How to get to Austral Islands: Fly from Tahiti (airport code: PPT) to Rurutu (RUR- 1.5 hours), Tubuai (TUB – 1.5 hours), Raivavae (RUR – 2 hours)

Where to stay: There are no hotels and only very modest family-run pensions.
Vaitumu Village Rurutu
Tavaetu Guesthouse by Tubuai Plongee – Tubuai Island
Pension Vaimano – Raivavae

Collage of polaroid-style images from the Austral Islands, French Polynesia. One photo shows a traditional outrigger canoe on clear, turquoise water with a sandy beach and lush greenery in the background. Another photo captures a rugged coastline with clear, shallow waters and green cliffs under a bright blue sky.

Cruising & Sailing

A cruise or sailing trip is one of the best and easiest ways to see French Polynesia.

Most of the big cruise companies will have ships that sail to French Polynesia on a Pacific Ocean cruise itinerary.

They’ll start on the west coast of the United States or from Honolulu in Hawaii and sail to New Zealand or Australia and take in a couple of islands and some will start at Papeete, too

To dive deeper into French Polynesia, Paul Gauguin Cruises provides authentic itineraries on a small ship.

Not only do you get to explore the popular islands of Bora Bora and Moorea, but you get to visit some of the more off-the-beaten-track islands.

You could also try Variety Cruises which has some incredible itineraries.

A unique way to see the Marquesas if you’re not short on time is the part cruise/part freighter ship, Aranui 5.

If you want to charter your own yacht, consider Tahiti Yacht Charter, who is based on the island of Raiatea.

A catamaran anchored in the turquoise waters of French Polynesia, with lush green hills and a prominent mountain peak partially shrouded in mist in the background.

Good to know about French Polynesia

Time Zone: GMT – 10

Language: French | Tahitian | English is spoken (although less fluently outside of the tourist centres).

Capital: Papeete (also known as Papeʻete)

Population: 299,000

Currency: CFP / XPF Franc ₣

A few phrases in Tahitian:

Hi: Ia ora na

Thank you: Mauruuru roa

Goodbye: Nana

About

French Polynesia is an autonomous country of France. Some call this remote paradise of 118 islands and atolls “Bora Bora” or “Tahiti” or the Tahitian Islands.

These are actually islands that are part of the French Polynesia archipelago. In short, Tahiti and Bora Bora are separate islands, part of the country French Polynesia.

The islands lie between Australia and South America in the South Pacific Ocean, south of Hawaii and northeast of New Zealand.

Spread across two thousand kilometres, they comprise five island groups – The Society Islands, Tuamotu Archipelago, The Gambier Islands, The Marquesas Islands and the Austral Islands.

A tropical beach in French Polynesia, featuring a gently curving shoreline lined with lush palm trees. The calm turquoise waters meet the sandy beach under a sky filled with dramatic clouds

French Polynesia Honeymoon Frequently Asked Questions

Is French Polynesia good for a honeymoon?

Absolutely, French Polynesia is a total paradise and made for a romantic honeymoon! We think it’s worth the hype.

However, it is remote and luxury accommodation is limited to four islands.

Which is better for a honeymoon, French Polynesia or Maldives?

They’re actually quite different, so one destination is not better than the other.

If you were comparing destinations, we would argue that island hopping in Seychelles or the Hawaiian archipelago might be more comparable to French Polynesia.

The Maldives has no mountains or rivers and the vast majority of couples will stay on the same tiny island, compared to French Polynesia, which has a mountainous volcanic peaks.

What they do have in common is the overwater bungalows.

The Maldives is more of an all-inclusive destination with a lot more choice for resorts that are easier to get to and a lot more innovations when it comes to overwater villas.

French Polynesia hotels are usually booked on a bed & breakfast rate and are more dated.

Geographically speaking, French Polynesia and Maldives are, of course, so far away from each other, so how much time and budget 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, like Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and even a quick stopover in Dubai.

If you are based on the east coast of Australia, in New Zealand, or the west coast of North America, French Polynesia 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.

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

If you had a Maldives honeymoon on your list, French Polynesia is a great alternative.

Discover more with our breakdown of Maldives vs Bora Bora.

Is French Polynesia safe for LGBTQ+ couples?

You are unlikely to experience petty crime in French Polynesia. French Polynesia is safe for LGBTQ+ couples.

In fact, as the country is under French Law, it’s illegal to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people and it is a relatively tolerant destination.

Interestingly, Polynesian culture has a third gender, called Māhū, too.

How long should we stay in French Polynesia for our honeymoon?

The duration of a French Polynesia honeymoon will depend on several factors, including your available time, budget, and the type of experience you’re looking to have.

Many couples will fly and flop on a relaxing honeymoon to Bora Bora in French Polynesia for a week, particularly if you’re less than a 10-hour flight (ie the west coast of the USA or New Zealand).

As French Polynesia is nearly 24 hours from Europe, 8-17 hours from the USA and at least 10 hours from Australia, we would recommend at least 10 to 14 nights to make such a long trip count, recover from jet lag, have time to explore and relax.

Travelling for longer makes your honeymoon sustainable, but for couples who want to explore more, then we highly recommend a French Polynesia honeymoon itinerary with activities, a little island hop, hike mountains, see waterfalls and experience Polynesian culture. You’ll need a bit more time time for this.

You’d be crazy to go all that way not to explore just a little!

There isn’t a right or wrong island to visit or a wrong amount of time.

For a taste of honeymoon luxury, stick with Bora Bora and/or Moorea

Want to dive deeper into French Polynesia add on another lesser-known island like one in the Tuamotu Atolls.

When planning your French Polynesia honeymoon itinerary, remember that 2 nights will only give you 1 full day to explore or relax, 3 nights = 2 full days, 4 nights = 3 full days, and so on.

Make sure you plan some days to recover from jet lag, to have chilled out beach days along with a couple of days to explore.

We would recommend at least 3-4 nights on each island. If you have 7 nights, pick two islands. If you have 10-14 nights, pick three islands.

How do we get to French Polynesia?

This slice of paradise is remote! Faa’a International Airport in French Polynesia (airport code: PPT) is on the island of Tahiti, about 5kms from the capital, Papeete.

You can fly from the USA with multiple direct flights from Los Angeles (LAX – 8 hours 40 minutes), San Francisco (SFO – 8 hours) Seattle (SEA – 9 hours) and Oahu in Hawaii (HNL – 6 hours).

There are also flights from Auckland in New Zealand (AKL – 5 hours) and from Paris with Air France (CDG) and FrenchBee (ORY).

Travel time is around 22 hours, 30 minutes. However, because of the travel distance, there will either be a technical stop or a plane change in either San Francisco or Los Angeles.

Once you arrive in Tahiti, to get to Bora Bora and further islands, you will have to take a domestic flight. Alternatively, you can take a ferry between some of the islands.

Do we need a visa for French Polynesia?

Most nationalities do not need a visa for French Polynesia for stays up to 90 days.

However, you need to have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity and a confirmed return ticket.

If you need help to obtain a visa, check out iVisa.com.

Do we need travel vaccinations for French Polynesia?

French Polynesia is malaria-free however there have been previous cases of zika virus.

Some travel vaccinations are recommeneded.

We encourage you to visit the Center for Disease Control website for up-to-date travel vaccination recommendations or speak to a Tropical Medicine Specialist.

Is a French Polynesia honeymoon package expensive?

French Polynesia is indeed a pricier honeymoon destination, known for its overwater villa resorts and remote location.

Many French Polynesia honeymoon packages easily stretch into five figures and once you are there food and drink are at a premium.

Modest options exist with local accommodation options, but most couples come for the luxury.

The cost of a French Polynesia honeymoon package will vary depending on where in the world you’re travelling from and what time of year.

As French Polynesia is a remote destination, it’s expensive to get there. Plus, they have to import many goods, making it more expensive to eat.

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.

The cheapest time to plan a French Polynesia honeymoon is during the rainy season from December to March (although during the Christmas holiday / vacation season prices will jump).

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.

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!

Should we use a travel agent to book a French Polynesia honeymoon?

A good travel agent who books French Polynesia regularly may have preferred hotel rates, so it’s definitely worth checking things with a trusted travel agent. Using a travel agent has many pluses.

However, if you prefer to book a D-I-Y French Polynesia honeymoon package, we’d recommend choosing a flexible hotel rate with free cancellation with Booking.com. You can get great discounts with their loyalty programme.

French Polynesia books up quickly in high season, so book early to avoid disappointment. Airlines usually release flights around 10-11 months before departure.

Unless it specifically mentions that a transfer is included, you’ll need to contact your chosen resort or pension to add on a transfer.

When you’re booking flights, if you can’t fly directly and are booking connecting flights, it’s a good idea to give yourself enough time to change airplanes.

We’d recommend at least a 2 to 3-hour layover for a stress-free experience if you’re travelling on one airline ticket.

Don’t forget to have travel insurance in place before booking!

What about travel insurance?

Here at The Honeymoon Guide, we want you to have the best honeymoon possible.

Safety is paramount, so it’s important to have travel insurance in place when you book your honeymoon. If you don’t have travel insurance, check out WorldNomads.com to learn more.

World Nomads provide travel insurance for travellers in over 100 countries. As an affiliate, we receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using this link. We do not represent World Nomads. This is information only and not a recommendation to buy travel insurance from World Nomads.

What should we pack for a French Polynesia honeymoon?

French Polynesia is laid back and has a tropical climate, so you opt for relatively comfortable clothes, like shorts and t-shirts most of the time.

You may want to go glam (particularly in luxury resorts) with chic and cute summer dresses, jumpsuits and playsuits and chinos for men. Add plenty of swimwear to your French Polynesia packing list!

Don’t forget practical footwear and clothing if you want to hike, too.

Internet can be slow outside of your luxury hotels in French Polynesia, so book an unlimited Tahiti Wi-Fi connector, so you have the internet on the go.

Check out our FREE French Polynesia honeymoon packing list!

Should we bring cash / should we tip in French Polynesia?

Yes, bring some cash or at least use an ATM in Tahiti on arrival.

Credit and debits cards are widely accepted in luxury resorts and the busier tourist areas, but cash is king on smaller islands.

Tipping is not part of Polynesian culture however, a tip for good service is always appreciated.

What French Polynesia souvenirs should we buy?

French Polynesia is not an international shopping mecca, which is one of its charms!

If you want big boutiques with international brands, stopover in Los Angeles or another big city.

However, you can pick up some lovely locally made goods, including Tahitian pearl, vanilla products, coconut products and wood carvings.

Where can we tag on to French Polynesia for a multi-destination honeymoon?

As you can see whether you have 7, 10 or 14 nights, French Polynesia has some magical island chains to explore, so if you want to spend your whole honeymoon there, you won’t be disappointed!

It is a long way to travel to just spend a few days, too. However, unless you live in California or New Zealand, you need to pass through another destination to get there making it easy to design a WOW multi destination honeymoon.

Consider California, whether it’s a city stop in Los Angeles or San Francisco or a classic road trip.

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 French Polynesia beach honeymoon combination would be unforgettable!

There is also a weekly flight from Oahu in Hawaii, so you could combine Hawaii with French Polynesia if your dates align for an epic Polynesian odyssey.

aerial view of large expanse of turquoise blue lagoon and sall island of overwater bungalows in bora bora french polynesia

Things to consider before booking a French Polynesia honeymoon

While we love to recommend French Polynesia for honeymoon, there are some potential downsides that you might want to consider so you can make a well-informed decision and plan your dream honeymoon!

  • Weather Vulnerability: While you would be unlucky to encounter a cyclone, French Polynesia does have a cyclone season which can occasionally lead to regular heavy rains and winds which could spoil your honeymoon.
  • Cost: French Polynesia is a remote destinations with high costs for luxury accommodation, dining, and activities, which might not suit your budget.
  • Distance: French Polynesia is far away and if you only have a short time for your honeymoon, it may not be worth travelling so far away. You don’t want to have to deal with jet lag for your whole honeymoon!
  • Food: While French Polynesia is a paradise, it may not be the ideal spot for foodies. Couples seeking extensive gourmet experiences may find the options more limited. As always, we recommend exploring local dishes for the most authentic taste of the islands’ culinary culture!

Map of French Polynesia

TL;DR?

too long, didn’t read? some key Points…

  • Best time to visit is April to October
  • Best for lovers of paradise islands, snorkelling and scuba diving
  • As French Polynesia is so remote, it isn’t the cheapest destination
  • Bora Bora has luxury accommodation options and other than a handful of islands, the accommodation will be more basic.
  • There are many more islands than just Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora. If planning an island hopping honeymoon, consider the Air Tahiti flight pass
  • There are direct flights from New Zealand and California (to name a few) for an epic multi destination honeymoon for couples with more tim.e

If you are planning a French Polynesia honeymoon, we’d love to hear from you! Let us know if this guide was useful or if we left out any essential information!

Check out more of our Ultimate Honeymoon Guides series. We’re always adding new guides and please contact us if there is somewhere you’d love to see on The Honeymoon Guide!

Happy Planning x

Best Time To Visit French Polynesia – Weather by Month

Ultimate Bora Bora Honeymoon Guide

Ultimate French Polynesia Packing List

Bora Bora All Inclusive Honeymoon Hotels – Do they exist?

Bora Bora vs Maldives – which is best for honeymoon?

Places like Bora Bora around the world

Pin for later ✈️🤍
collage of aerial views of french polynesia islands' white sand and boats in the turquoise lagoon with palm trees an a mountain in background and overlay text that reads 'French Polynesia Honeymoon Planning Guide'
collage of aerial views of french polynesia islands' white sand and boats in the turquoise lagoon with palm trees an a mountain in background and overlay text that reads 'French Polynesia Honeymoon Planning Guide'