French Polynesia: the 5 best islands to visit (with Map & Photos)

French Polynesia is one of the most desirable regions and destinations to visit. Have you ever dreamed of going on vacation to the beaches of Polynesia? Or spend a day enchanted by the sunset that colors the romantic and untouched Polynesian landscape?

French Polynesia Islands
French Polynesia Islands

You will be surrounded by atolls full of charm and not only because of the beauty of the sea, the wide white sand beaches and the elegance with which nature manifests itself. It will, in fact, be a journey full of curiosities through different cultures and folklore that have millenary roots.

Even the first explorers were speechless before such perfection, full of volcanic landscapes, a spectacular sea, exuberant vegetation and great joy during the rituals and festivals of the local population. 

What are the most beautiful islands in Polynesia? Browse with us and get to know the paradises that you cannot miss on your next vacation:

Bora- Bora

French Polynesia Islands
French Polynesia Islands

Bora-Bora is undoubtedly the most famous island in French Polynesia, appreciated for its marvelous lagoon, its ideal climate throughout the year and the exclusive tourist centers it is home to.

We are located northeast of Tahiti, in a paradise surrounded by a coral reef containing many motu (atolls). It goes without saying that it is the perfect place for a romantic or relaxing vacation, perhaps snorkeling or water sports.

One of the most important cities is certainly Vaitape, which in addition to having the airport is a particularly lively city, full of shops, restaurants and shops, and dominated by Mount Otemanu, a now extinct volcano that rises 727 meters. The real tourist center is, however, Matira, where you can admire the white beaches with a dream sea. 

There is no shortage of events or festivals on the island, such as Heiva Nui, which in Vaitape will introduce you to Polynesian culture, or for sports enthusiasts, the Bora Bora Festival is a great opportunity, which includes all the activities that can be done on the island. island, from canoeing to swimming.


French Polynesia Islands
French Polynesia Islands

Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia and is situated in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean. It is made up of Tahiti Nui (or Great Tahiti) and Tahiti Iti (Little Tahiti), which are shaped like a circle and connected to each other by a strip of land. You will land in the ideal place to enjoy an enchanted sea, surrounded by coral reefs. 

Diving and snorkeling lovers will no longer want to return home, after seeing brilliant colors and spectacular marine fauna. But that's not all, the east coast offers fascinating landscapes, including black beaches that are endlessly lost and hit by big waves, becoming every surfer 's dream.

Tahiti is also and above all nature: prepare to be surrounded by wild valleys, waterfalls, archaeological sites and caves shrouded in mystery and legend. Hikers will also find routes and walks that will provide them with exciting days, between hills and cliffs that offer unique views, without forgetting several peaks, such as Orohena (2,241 meters) and Aorai (2,066 meters). 

Papeete is the most important center is undoubtedly the capital and political administrative center. The city is characterized by refined architecture and various attractions to see. The Paul Gauguin Museum is worth a visit, a tribute to the works and life of the French painter who lived in Tahiti for a long time. Then there's the Robert Wan Pearl Museum, the only one dedicated to pearls. The famous black pearl is cultivated on the island. Take a tour of the famous Papeete market, looking for local products and crafts, perhaps for a special souvenir.

As for local food, try the Tahitian raw tuna (poisson cru à la tahitienne) with vegetables and lime, enriched with coconut milk.


French Polynesia Islands
French Polynesia Islands

Rangiroa is the largest atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago, an 80-kilometre-long ring of sand and palm trees, which includes 250 islands. It is so vast that it could contain the entire island of Tahiti. In Polynesian the name means "Endless Skies", and in fact, you will find yourself in front of a place where the sea will seem infinite and the blue of the lagoon will conquer you.

Rangiroa is a paradise for lovers of diving and snorkelling, as the coral reef will allow you to discover colorful fish and marine flora never seen before: you can find tuna, gray sharks, wrasse, dolphins and barracudas.

The beaches of Rangiroa, in some cases, can boast a pink sand, like that of Les Sables Roses. Inside the largest lagoon is Lagon Bleu, the blue lagoon, a kind of natural pool that collects all shades of blue and is protected from currents by the small atolls that surround it. 

Rangiroa is reached by a one-hour internal flight from Papeete. Among the most active villages are Avatoru and Tiputa where you can see traditional scenes of life, with some very folkloric moments.


French Polynesia Islands
French Polynesia Islands

Moorea is part of the Windward Islands, belonging to the Society Islands, and about 20 kilometers from Tahiti. The wind blows placidly over the lagoon and thus multiplies the places to practice canoeing, water skiing and kiteboarding. 

Among the most beautiful beaches, there is undoubtedly the Plage de Tamae, characterized by its white sand and a lagoon that stretches for kilometers. As always, snorkelers will go crazy in front of such clear waters and full of treasures: among the guests you will be able to observe small sharks, rays and sea turtles.

Those who get bored of life on the beach or boat trips should not fear because Moorea is famous for its incredible mountains: the peaks of Mount Tohivea (the highest with 1207 meters), Rotoui and Mouaroa are famous. You can take incredible safaris between the waterfalls and valleys aboard all-terrain vehicles, or you can take lovely walks along colorful paths, full of flowers or lush gardens, admiring the pineapple plants.


French Polynesia Islands
French Polynesia Islands

Get ready to discover Huahine, an island full of surprises, starting with its exuberant forests, virgin landscapes, colors and picturesque towns. Here you can come into contact with the local people, appreciating their customs and traditions. Here you will also be fascinated by a wonderful lagoon that surrounds the two main islands: the Bay of Maroe. Huahine 's beaches offer relaxation and serenity, thanks to stretches of white sand and clear seas.

The island has remained immune to modernity, and the seraphic and peaceful life of ancient Polynesia can be rediscovered. Huahine consists of only 8 villages and the people are very friendly and helpful to visitors and tourists. No wonder it is called "the real island". One of the main towns is called Maeva, where you can discover the artisan traps used to catch stone fish, as well as some very interesting archaeological sites.

French Polynesia Islands Map