It takes a long time, but a flight to French Polynesia could be your dream ticket if you long for romance and relaxation...
Thinking of Tahiti conjures up images of gently swaying palm trees, crystalline waters, and smiling locals bejewelled with floral garlands. Many who travel to French Polynesia, which is in the Southern Pacific Ocean, land on this sun-kissed island and are lucky enough to see these fabulous sights for themselves.
Indirect French Polynesia flights also land on the island of Bora Bora, where blissful memories are formed in the azure waters of the lagoons and amid the welcoming hospitality of some of the best luxury beach hotels in the world.
Raiatea, meanwhile, may not be as well known as Tahiti and Bora Bora, but it does have its own airport, making holidays here easy to arrange. With a lush mountainous interior and fewer sprawling resorts, guests will feel connected to nature during breaks in Raiatea.
You can also get right off the beaten track and explore one of the many other holiday islands in stunning French Polynesia.
To find cheap flights to French Polynesia it is essential to book well in advance. Use the price-comparison tool on TravelSupermarket to find a range of great deals. You can also use our search tool to look for low prices on hotels in French Polynesia.
Most international travellers will land at the airport at Papeete on Tahiti (PPT), which welcomes more than one million visitors a year...
There are no direct flights from the UK, however Air France offer the best overall service with daily flying from Paris via the USA and several UK connections points such as London, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh. The journey takes around 24 hours.
Alternative options can be found with Qantas and British Airways or Air New Zealand via Los Angeles, or via Sydney with Qantas.
To reach Bora Bora, Huahine or Uturoa you will need to either make it to Papeete or travel via Australia or New Zealand with Air Tahiti Nui.
With runways at the edge of the ocean, getting to and from the airports in French Polynesia is an adventure in itself...
Papeete Faa`a (PPT) is the only international airport in French Polynesia. It is located close to the Tahitian capital of Papeete. Visitors to Tahiti arrive here, while those going off to the other paradise islands of French Polynesia will catch connecting flights and journey onwards from the shores of Tahiti.
If you are staying in Tahiti, you can take a taxi to your destination or use a bus transfer, if provided by your hotel. A public bus service also transports travellers into Papeete. Alternatively, pre-book car hire in Tahiti before you travel and collect your car at the airport.
Those landing in Bora Bora (the airport is also known Motu Mute; airport code – BOB) will need to make use of boat transfers to the main island or to lagoon hotels. Visitors touching down at Raiatea Airport (RFP; also known as Uturoa Airport) might also have to make use of transfer services provided by hotels, although taxis are available.
Car-rental offices are located at airports and in the few downtown areas across French Polynesia. Car hire is worth investigating if you feel like you might want to do a little more than simply flop in the sun. Use the TravelSupermarket search tool to find a deal on car hire in French Polynesia.
Five-star hotels by the ocean is what French Polynesia does best, but there are other options if your budget won’t stretch that far…
For many, the islands of French Polynesia are once-in-a-lifetime territory, where the ultimate in luxury, opulence and indulgence is neatly wrapped in an all-inclusive package and served up on a silver platter. But while this is true for many of the hotels across Tahiti, Bora Bora and neighbouring islands, there are many smaller, often family-run, boutique hotels that can offer cheaper rates.
That said, most visitors come to enjoy the trappings of as many hotel stars as they can afford, staying in bungalows on stilts above the turquoise waters or booking a suite among the palm trees that dot the shores.
The weather is at its best in French Polynesia between May and November when daytime temperatures are in the mid-20s and the chance of rainfall is significantly lower than between December and April (temperatures – and humidity – peak around the New Year period).
Hotel bargains are therefore easiest to come by between November and April, as demand for rooms is much lower then. If you can ignore the occasional heavy downpour, you can take advantage of cheaper rates and fewer fellow tourists. July and August are the busiest months, so consider looking for hotels and flights in June or September, which experience drier weather and fewer visitors than the two peak months.
If you are looking for a great deal on French Polynesia hotels, TravelSupermarket can help. Simply book your flight to French Polynesia and then compare prices on the best hotels on your chosen holiday island.