Home Travel Tips Guides Where To Stay In French Polynesia: The BEST Areas

Where To Stay In French Polynesia: The BEST Areas

Where To Stay In French Polynesia: The BEST Areas


French Polynesia is a breathtaking destination known for its crystal-clear turquoise waters, pristine white-sand beaches, and mesmerizing coral reefs. Consisting of 118 islands and atolls spread across five archipelagos, this paradise in the South Pacific offers a wide range of experiences for travelers.

When planning a trip to French Polynesia, one of the most important decisions is where to stay. Each island and atoll has its own distinct charm, attractions, and accommodations. To help you make the best choice for your dream vacation, we’ve compiled a list of the best areas to stay in French Polynesia.

From the vibrant cityscape of Tahiti to the secluded luxury of Bora Bora, there’s something for every type of traveler in French Polynesia. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a romantic getaway, these top destinations will surely exceed your expectations.

In this guide, we’ll delve into the key highlights and unique features of each area, giving you a comprehensive overview of the best places to stay in French Polynesia. So sit back, relax, and let us transport you to a world of tropical bliss.



Tahiti, the largest and most populous island in French Polynesia, is often the starting point for travelers exploring the region. It is home to the vibrant capital city of Papeete, where you’ll find a mix of French, Polynesian, and international influences.

One of the key attractions of Tahiti is its stunning black-sand beaches, such as the iconic Matavai Bay. Relax on the shores, take a dip in the refreshing waters, or indulge in water activities like surfing, snorkeling, and paddleboarding. If you’re interested in learning about the local culture, visit the Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands to delve into the rich history and traditions of the Polynesian people.

Nature lovers will also appreciate Tahiti’s lush landscapes. Take a drive along the scenic coastal road and marvel at the dramatic cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and verdant valleys. The Fautaua Valley and the Three Waterfalls, in particular, offer breathtaking hiking trails and panoramic views.

For a taste of Papeete’s vibrant atmosphere, spend some time exploring Le Marché, the bustling local market. Here, you can browse through a wide array of fresh produce, handicrafts, and other souvenirs. Don’t forget to savor the diverse culinary scene of Tahiti, which blends French cuisine with Polynesian flavors.

In terms of accommodations, Tahiti offers a range of options to suit different budgets and preferences. From luxury resorts to cozy guesthouses, you’ll find a variety of choices in and around Papeete. Some accommodations even offer overwater bungalows, allowing you to wake up to stunning lagoon views.

With its blend of natural beauty, cultural experiences, and modern amenities, Tahiti is a fantastic choice for both first-time visitors and repeat travelers. Whether you’re embarking on a romantic getaway or seeking adventure, this vibrant island will leave you enchanted.


Bora Bora

Bora Bora, often called the “Pearl of the Pacific,” is undoubtedly one of the most iconic and picturesque destinations in French Polynesia. This small island is renowned for its postcard-perfect turquoise lagoon, stunning coral reefs, and luxury overwater bungalows.

The main attraction in Bora Bora is its pristine lagoon, which is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. With crystal-clear waters teeming with colorful marine life, you’ll have the opportunity to explore vibrant coral gardens and encounter tropical fish, rays, and even sharks. Don’t miss the chance to go on a snorkeling excursion to the acclaimed Coral Gardens or snorkel alongside the majestic manta rays.

For the ultimate luxury experience, stay in one of the famous overwater bungalows. These enchanting accommodations offer direct access to the stunning lagoon, allowing you to wake up to panoramic views of the turquoise waters and watch the colorful fish swim beneath your floor. Indulge in the privacy and exclusivity of these bungalows, complete with private decks, outdoor showers, and even your own plunge pool.

If you can tear yourself away from the allure of the lagoon, explore the island’s lush interior. Take a hiking or ATV tour to Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu, where you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the island and lagoon from the summit. Enjoy a picnic on the white sandy beaches, or go on a jet ski adventure around the island to appreciate its beauty from a different perspective.

Bora Bora also offers a range of dining options, from gourmet restaurants that serve international and Polynesian cuisine to casual beachside eateries. Don’t miss the chance to try the local delicacy of poisson cru, a refreshing dish made with raw fish marinated in lime juice and coconut milk.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a honeymoon destination, or simply a luxurious escape, Bora Bora will exceed your expectations. Its unparalleled beauty, pristine lagoon, and world-class accommodations make it a dream destination for many travelers.



Moorea, located just a short distance from Tahiti, is a tranquil and captivating island famous for its lush green mountains, turquoise lagoons, and vibrant marine life. With its laid-back atmosphere and natural beauty, Moorea offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.

One of the highlights of Moorea is its stunning beaches, such as the popular Temae Beach. With its soft white sand and clear turquoise waters, this beach is a paradise for sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling. The calm lagoon is teeming with tropical fish and colorful coral, making it a fantastic spot for underwater exploration.

For a truly memorable experience, embark on a boat excursion or kayak through the island’s lagoon. Discover hidden coves, visit uninhabited motus (small islets), and revel in the untouched beauty of the surrounding nature. You can even opt for a wildlife encounter and swim with dolphins or encounter gentle stingrays in their natural habitat.

Nature enthusiasts will also appreciate the lush landscapes of Moorea. The island is adorned with verdant mountains, including Mount Tohivea, which offers breathtaking hiking trails and panoramic views of the island. Immerse yourself in the tropical rainforest, visit ancient Polynesian temples (marae), and experience the serenity of Moorea’s waterfalls, like Afareaitu Waterfall and Three Coconut Trees.

Moorea also offers a range of cultural and historical attractions. Visit the Tiki Village to learn about Polynesian culture through traditional dance performances, handicraft demonstrations, and a feast of local cuisine. You can also explore the Moorea Dolphin Center, where you can interact with dolphins in a natural environment and gain insight into their behavior and conservation.

Accommodations in Moorea range from luxury resorts and boutique hotels to charming beach bungalows. Many resorts offer overwater bungalows, allowing you to enjoy direct access to the lagoon and soak in the breathtaking views of the surroundings. Wake up to the sound of gentle waves and indulge in the tranquility of this tropical paradise.

With its natural beauty, vibrant marine life, and diverse experiences, Moorea is a must-visit destination in French Polynesia. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a cultural immersion, this enchanting island will captivate your heart and leave you with lasting memories.



Huahine, often referred to as the “Garden of Eden,” is a hidden gem in French Polynesia that offers a serene and authentic island experience. Composed of two islands, Huahine Nui and Huahine Iti, this destination is perfect for those seeking a peaceful retreat away from the crowds.

One of the main attractions of Huahine is its untouched natural beauty. The island is characterized by lush green landscapes, stunning turquoise lagoons, and pristine white-sand beaches. Explore the island by bike or scooter to truly appreciate its beauty and serenity. Visit the sacred sites and ancient maraes, which bear testament to the rich Polynesian history.

Huahine is also known for its exceptional snorkeling and diving opportunities. The coral gardens and vibrant marine life are a haven for underwater enthusiasts. Take a boat trip to the nearby motus (small islets) and dive into the crystal-clear waters to encounter an abundance of tropical fish, rays, and even sea turtles. If you prefer to stay above the water, you can go on a kayaking or paddleboarding adventure around the lagoons.

Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the village of Fare. Explore the small shops and handicraft markets to find unique souvenirs, or simply stroll along the waterfront and soak in the laid-back atmosphere. Don’t miss the chance to try the traditional cuisine of Huahine, which often features fresh seafood and tropical fruits.

Accommodations in Huahine range from eco-friendly lodges to cozy guesthouses, allowing you to experience the authentic Polynesian lifestyle. Some accommodations offer beachfront bungalows with direct access to the lagoon, where you can enjoy beautiful sunsets and the soothing sound of the waves.

Huahine is the perfect escape for travelers seeking tranquility, natural beauty, and cultural immersion. With its untouched landscapes, friendly locals, and peaceful ambiance, this hidden paradise will leave you refreshed and rejuvenated.



Raiatea, known as the “Sacred Island,” holds immense cultural and historical significance in French Polynesia. As the second-largest island in the archipelago, Raiatea offers a unique blend of natural beauty, ancient heritage, and a gateway to explore other nearby islands.

One of the main highlights of Raiatea is its rich Polynesian history. The island is considered the cultural and religious center of French Polynesia, and it is home to some of the most significant archaeological sites in the region. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Taputapuātea, an ancient ceremonial complex and marae (sacred site) that showcases the island’s spiritual heritage and connection to the surrounding islands.

Raiatea is also a popular sailing destination, attracting sailors from around the world. The island’s sheltered lagoon offers excellent sailing conditions, and many charter companies are based here, allowing you to embark on a sailing adventure to explore the nearby islands of Tahaa and Bora Bora. If you’re not an experienced sailor, you can still enjoy a boat tour to discover the beauty of the lagoon and visit secluded motus (islets) for picnics and snorkeling.

For nature lovers, Raiatea offers lush tropical landscapes to explore. Hike to the summit of Mount Tapioi for stunning panoramic views of the island and its surrounding lagoon. Take a guided tour through the lush jungle and experience the tranquility of the Faaroa River, the only navigable river in French Polynesia. Raiatea is also home to several beautiful waterfalls, such as the breathtaking Utuai Waterfall, where you can cool off and enjoy the serene surroundings.

Accommodations in Raiatea range from boutique hotels to secluded resorts, with many offering stunning views of the lagoon and easy access to the island’s attractions. Whether you choose to stay in a traditional Polynesian-style bungalow or a luxurious overwater villa, you’ll find comfort and relaxation amidst the natural beauty of Raiatea.

Raiatea is a captivating destination that combines cultural immersion, natural wonders, and sailing adventures. With its deep-rooted history, stunning landscapes, and warm Polynesian hospitality, this island offers a unique and unforgettable experience in French Polynesia.



Taha’a, often referred to as the “Vanilla Island,” is a hidden paradise in French Polynesia that offers a tranquil and authentic experience for travelers. Located just a short distance from its sister island, Raiatea, Taha’a is famous for its vanilla plantations, stunning coral reefs, and unspoiled natural beauty.

One of the main highlights of Taha’a is its aromatic vanilla plantations. Take a tour of the vanilla farms and learn about the process of cultivating this exquisite spice. Experience the intoxicating scent of freshly harvested vanilla pods and indulge in vanilla-infused delicacies, such as ice cream and pastries. Don’t miss the chance to purchase some high-quality vanilla products to bring a piece of Taha’a’s essence back home.

Taha’a is also home to a mesmerizing coral garden, known as the Coral Garden of Taha’a. Immerse yourself in the vibrant underwater world and witness the kaleidoscope of colorful corals, tropical fish, and other marine creatures. Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts will be in awe of the diversity and abundance of marine life that thrives in the crystal-clear waters.

For nature enthusiasts, Taha’a offers picturesque landscapes and breathtaking viewpoints. Take a hike up the panoramic Mount Ohiri to enjoy stunning views of the island, neighboring Raiatea, and the shimmering lagoon. Explore the lush valleys and discover hidden waterfalls, where you can cool off in the refreshing water surrounded by pristine natural beauty.

Taha’a also offers opportunities for cultural immersion. Visit the small villages and interact with the friendly locals, who are known for their warm hospitality. Experience traditional Polynesian craftsmanship by attending a local pearl farm or admiring intricate woodcarvings and woven crafts made by skilled artisans.

Accommodations in Taha’a range from charming family-run guesthouses to luxurious resorts with exclusive overwater bungalows. Many of these accommodations offer private access to the lagoon, allowing you to enjoy the stunning views and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this tropical paradise.

Taha’a is a hidden gem that showcases the natural beauty, cultural heritage, and aromatic delights of French Polynesia. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful retreat, a romantic getaway, or an adventure in the underwater world, Taha’a will captivate your senses and leave you with unforgettable memories.



Rangiroa, the largest atoll in French Polynesia, is a tropical paradise that offers unparalleled natural beauty and incredible experiences for travelers. This remote and pristine destination is renowned for its vibrant coral reefs, abundant marine life, and breathtaking landscapes.

One of the main attractions of Rangiroa is its stunning underwater world. The atoll is home to the legendary Tiputa Pass and Avatoru Pass, which are bustling channels teeming with marine life. Embark on a diving or snorkeling excursion to explore the vibrant coral gardens and swim alongside schools of tropical fish, rays, sharks, and even dolphins. The Blue Lagoon, a natural swimming pool with crystal-clear waters, offers a unique opportunity to relax and admire the colorful marine life from the surface.

Fishing enthusiasts will also find Rangiroa to be a paradise. The atoll is renowned for its superb deep-sea fishing, where you can catch prized game fish like marlin, tuna, and mahi-mahi. Join a fishing charter and experience the thrill of catching your own dinner while surrounded by the stunning scenery of Rangiroa.

For nature and adventure lovers, Rangiroa offers a variety of activities. Explore the pristine white-sand beaches, go kayaking or paddleboarding in the calm lagoon waters, or take a guided tour to spot rare bird species that call Rangiroa home. You can also visit the picturesque Motu Puarua, a stunning islet with a beautiful beach and coconut plantations.

Rangiroa offers a range of accommodations to suit different preferences. From luxury resorts with overwater bungalows to cozy guesthouses and lodges, you’ll find options to fit every budget. Many resorts offer exceptional amenities, such as private pools, spa facilities, and direct access to the lagoon, allowing you to immerse yourself in the tranquility of this tropical paradise.

Whether you’re an underwater enthusiast, a fishing enthusiast, or simply seeking relaxation in a pristine setting, Rangiroa will captivate your heart. Its untouched beauty, incredible marine life, and warm Polynesian hospitality make it a must-visit destination for any traveler seeking an unforgettable experience in French Polynesia.



Tetiaroa, a private island paradise in French Polynesia, is a place of untouched beauty and unparalleled luxury. This stunning atoll, located just a short flight away from Tahiti, offers a secluded and exclusive escape for travelers seeking ultimate privacy and tranquility.

Tetiaroa is known for its pristine white-sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and lush green landscapes. The island was once a cherished retreat for Tahitian royalty and later became the private sanctuary of Hollywood legend Marlon Brando. Today, it continues to embody a sense of luxury and serenity that is truly unmatched.

One of the main attractions of Tetiaroa is its incredible marine ecosystem. The atoll is home to vibrant coral reefs, colorful fish species, and even nesting sites for endangered sea turtles and rare birds. Snorkel or dive in the warm waters to discover the underwater wonders, or embark on a guided excursion to learn more about the island’s rich biodiversity and conservation efforts.

Tetiaroa also offers ample opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation. Enjoy long walks on the secluded beaches, bask in the warm tropical sun, or indulge in luxurious spa treatments that utilize local ingredients like coconut and vanilla. Unwind in your private villa or bungalow, complete with stunning views of the turquoise lagoon and direct access to the beach.

For nature enthusiasts, Tetiaroa is a haven of ecological wonder. The island is home to a renowned eco-resort that focuses on sustainability and the preservation of the natural environment. Take a guided tour to explore the island’s lush flora and fauna, and gain insight into the ongoing efforts to protect this pristine ecosystem.

Accommodations on Tetiaroa are limited but exquisite. The luxurious resort offers beachfront villas and secluded overwater bungalows that provide guests with unparalleled comfort and privacy. Immerse yourself in the lap of luxury while being surrounded by the untouched beauty and tranquility of this exclusive island paradise.

Tetiaroa is a true escape from the ordinary, offering a sanctuary for relaxation, privacy, and natural beauty. Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a honeymoon destination, or simply a luxurious retreat, this private island will exceed your expectations and create memories to last a lifetime.



French Polynesia is a tropical paradise that offers a diverse range of experiences for travelers. From the bustling cityscape of Tahiti to the secluded luxury of Bora Bora, and from the lush landscapes of Moorea to the untouched beauty of Tetiaroa, each area in French Polynesia has its own unique charm and attractions.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, cultural immersion, or a romantic getaway, French Polynesia offers something for everyone. Snorkel or dive in vibrant coral gardens, hike through lush valleys, explore ancient Polynesian temples, or simply relax on pristine white-sand beaches. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters, abundant marine life, and stunning landscapes, French Polynesia is a dream destination for nature lovers, water sports enthusiasts, and those in search of ultimate relaxation.

Accommodations in French Polynesia range from luxury resorts with overwater bungalows to cozy guesthouses and eco-lodges, providing a wide range of options to suit different budgets and preferences. Many accommodations offer stunning views of the lagoons and easy access to the island’s attractions, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of this tropical paradise.

Whether you choose to explore the vibrant city life, indulge in luxurious resorts, or seek solitude on secluded islands, French Polynesia promises an unforgettable experience. Immerse yourself in the rich Polynesian culture, savor the unique flavors of the local cuisine, and connect with the warm and welcoming locals. Let the beauty of French Polynesia captivate your heart and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Plan your trip to French Polynesia and embark on a journey to discover the best areas to stay in this paradise. No matter which islands or atolls you choose to explore, you are sure to be enchanted by the breathtaking beauty, rich culture, and warm hospitality that French Polynesia has to offer. Prepare to be amazed and create lasting memories in this tropical paradise.


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