The tropical South Pacific paradise known as French Polynesia consists of five separate island archipelagos approximately halfway between Australia and Peru. There are 121 individual islands in the chain consisting of the Society Islands, the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Gambier Islands, the Austral Islands, and the Marquesas group.
French Polynesia has some of the world’s most exclusive resorts anywhere, perfect for that long-awaited dream honeymoon. Its very remoteness is a guarantee against crowds and ensures a great deal of romantic privacy. In addition, nature has created a stunning aesthetic blend of islands and ocean, with each archipelago offering its unique beauty. While people usually think of fabulous Bora Bora and Tahiti when they consider French Polynesia, there is much more to this incredible island culture.
Honeymooners can explore their various options for the getaway of a lifetime. Since some of the islands are far apart, the best way to visit several of them during a honeymoon is with an Air Tahiti Pass which provides discounted flights up to 50 percent to 48 of the major islands.
Bora Bora has a deserved reputation as one of the most romantic of the French Polynesian islands in one of the most breathtaking locations in the world exuding luxury and romance at every turn. Fortunately, it is a neighbor to the equally exotic island of Tahiti, allowing honeymooners to plan a one-for-two getaway. The luxury of Bora Bora does not come cheap, so it helps to include another island visit. If you’re worried about the expense of visiting French Polynesia, we have reviewed less expensive options as well.
One of the best Bora Bora mountains to hike is Mount Pahia for its incredible scenic view.
There is an abundance of activities on gorgeous Bora Bora, which is great, but it also makes the island slightly more touristy. A couple needs to decide which is best for them, but a Bora Bora adventure is difficult to beat, and most of it, logically, involves the cool, blue water. Top on the list are sail boating, glass-bottom boat tours, guided shark feeding excursions, as well as a myriad of watersports.
The Lagoonarium on Bora Bora is a natural aquarium that allows encounters, with sharks, turtles, and other marine life. It is the perfect place for beginning snorkelers and others who enjoy feeding the local fish.
Honeymoon accommodations don’t’ get much better than the over-the-water suites at the Intercontinental Bora Bora. There are several dining options, with the Le Corail Restaurant offering a French degustation menu paired with fine French wine. Dress is formal for an exquisite date night.
Tahiti is very much like Bora Bora, so their close vicinity makes it easy to enjoy both. It has exotic blue lagoons, delicious French dining, mountains, and plenty of watersports, such as snorkeling with the tropical fish in the Coral Garden. Visitors can sail on a catamaran, including cruises that last for several days and are a magnificent treat to the senses. As an alternative, Tahiti can be seen from above from a seaplane or by skydiving. Like Bora Bora, Tahiti offers encounters with friendly (hopefully) sharks.
Tahiti’s main mountain is Mount Aorai which can be hiked up to 1,400 meters.
The Fautaua Waterfall is a fabulous hike that begins in Papeete and takes visitors through some amazing greenery. As hikers ascend, there are refreshing rock pools to swim in.
The island of Moorea is located a mere 30-minute ferry ride or a ten-minute flight from Tahiti. There are mountain peaks, pineapple plantations, and blue lagoons. Its pace is somewhat slower than that of Tahiti.
The best view of Moorea is available at Belvedere Lookout near the town of Paopao. For those in shape, the seven-mile trail is a good walk or bike ride to the top.
Moorea’s bays, Opunohu Bay, and Cook’s Bay (named after Captain Cook) are lined with swaying palms and dramatic mountains, making them one of the most aesthetic parts of Moorea. The best way to enjoy their visual glory is by taking a boat tour. Visitors can stop by Cook’s Bay for its restaurants, hotels, and shopping opportunities.
There are beaches all around Moorea, but one of the best is the turquois Les Tipaniers Beach by the Les Tipaniers restaurant. Dine at Les Tipaniers before strolling the beach. The Azure Mareto Beach is lined with palms and has a fantastic view of Opunohu Bay.
Sofitel Kia Beach Resort is located by a vibrant lagoon surrounded by a lush tropical forest with the best snorkeling on Moorea. It offers a romantic and luxurious stay to all honeymooners with 113 over-the-water bungalows. The resort offers two restaurants, a bar, a pool, and a relaxing spa. It will arrange for scuba-diving activities for its guests.
The “K” restaurant has an elegant French gourmet cuisine, while Pure Restaurant has dining and dancing shows on the terrace.
The resort can help couples prepare for a traditional Polynesian wedding at the beach complete with sacred Polynesian traditions for memories that will last a lifetime. A wedding coordinator will supervise every detail.
Tikehau has one of the most expansive marine and bird colonies in the entire South Pacific. Small and private, it was discovered by explorer Jacque Cousteau in 1987. Visitors come to this incredible atoll for its scuba diving, snorkeling, and fishing. The village of Tuherahera is a lovely island village with its own grocery store and worth a visit.
For a romantic stay, the luxurious Tikehau by Peal Resort has over-the-water suites and villas, as well as a restaurant with a view of the water. The ocean is a brilliant blue, while the sand is a soothing pink, perfect for a honeymoon stroll. Tikehau is known as the Island of the Pink Sand Beaches, many of the deserted and offering delightful privacy.
Huahine is a part of the Bora Bora/Tahiti Society Island chain referred to as the “Garden of Eden.” It has stunning scenery, forest jungles, ancient ruins, and fabulous lagoons. Being less well known than its larger cousin-islands, it matches their beauty at a less expensive price. It can be reached by taking a 40-minute flight from Tahiti (couples can use their Tahiti Pass). In effect, Huahine has all the grandeur of French Polynesia on the cheap(er).
The white Fare Beach by the clear, blue water is one of the best beaches in Huahine. It is lined with palm trees and has a view of the island’s inland volcano.
For newlyweds interested in pearls (and what bride isn’t), Huahine’s Black Peal Farm is about the conservation of the precious Tahitian black pearl, demonstrations of how they are crafted, as well as selling stunning pearl-encrusted pottery and pearl themselves. The farm is reachable by canoe.
The romantic, luxurious Hotel Le Mahana Huahine has won the coveted TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice award two years in a row as it lies nestled between the bay, a white sand beach, and a coral garden.
Private bungalows are lined up by the beach and within the tropical garden, and the resort’s restaurant prides itself on its traditional Polynesian cuisine.
The resort will provide kayaks, paddle boards, and snorkel equipment for its guests, as well as loungers for lulling on the beach. It will also arrange 4-wheel island excursions, sailing, scuba, and fishing tours.
Rangiroa is one of the largest atolls in the world; all of Tahiti could fit into its lagoon. Not quite as untamed as some of French Polynesia, Rangiroa has stores, resorts, paved roads, restaurants, and other signs of modernity and activity while remaining a Polynesian haven. Still, there are rarely any crowds, and couples come here specifically for privacy and to get away from the ordinary world.
Guests of the Hotel Kia Ora Resort (and only they) can take a guided sailing excursion to watch the dolphins in Tiputa Pass. Depending on the time of year, sharks, turtles, and barracuda can also be observed in their natural environment.
Visitors can explore the extraordinary lagoon via boat. The trip includes watersports and a picnic lunch. Fishing charters or private charters are also available to the Hotel Kia Ora’s guests.
Rangiora has its own Polynesian black pearl farm in the town of Avatoru. A guide will explain about the breeding of the oysters, and individual pearls are available for purchase and can be set into jewelry on-site. These special pearls are known for their incredible luster and special color.
Rangiora’s popular and romantic resort is Hotel Kia Ora, one of the most amazing hotels in the South Pacific. Its location, between Avatoru and Tiputa by a lagoon, is ideal. The hotel’s 58 traditional Polynesian over-the-water bungalows have their own private terrace.
Couples adore the over-the-water bar at sunset when sipping a cocktail turns into a special moment. Or the restaurant will prepare a special private candlelit dinner by the lagoon. This romantic dinner consists of cocktails, an appetizer, and fresh seafood, including lobster, with a bottle of wine, to be followed by a chocolaty dessert.
The Hotel Kia Ora Resort enthusiastically encourages romance. They will plan a breathtaking island wedding that includes champagne, sweet delicacies, flowers, and dinner facing the lagoon.
For someone considering a proposal in paradise, the resort will designate a special location, two glasses of champagne, a crown of flowers, and a wedding planner to help with the details. A photographer is available to capture the moment in pictures.