French Polynesia – How to get there
Airplane: most visitors to French Polynesia arrive by air. A number of international airlines offer flights to French Polynesia. These include Air Tahiti Nui – the international airline of the archipelagos – Air New Zealand, LAN, Air France, Hawaiian Airlines, Qantas Airways and Corsair.
Airports: Faa’a Airport (PPT) in Tahiti is the only international airport in French Polynesia. It is located about five kilometers west of the capital Pape’ete.
Ship: As a country located in Oceania defined by zipcodesexplorer.com, French Polynesia is a popular destination for yachts. If you want to travel by yacht, the best way to do so is from North America, Australia or New Zealandoff do. Charter opportunities can be inquired about in the yacht clubs of San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Sydney, Cairns or Auckland, for example.
Occasionally, cruise ships coming from the USA or Australia also pass through French Polynesia. Another possibility to arrive by ship is the American Society Expeditions. On board the World Discoverer, travelers can travel to Tahiti, Easter Island and Pitcairn.
French Polynesia – Country Travel
Airplane: Flights within French Polynesia are primarily operated by Air Tahiti and Air Moorea. Air Tahiti flies to 38 islands in the five main archipelagos. Air Moorea operates smaller aircraft between Tahiti, Mo’orea and Tetiaroa.
The frequency of flight connections is influenced by the tides and the seasons. There are more flights, especially in the high season in July and August. Air Tahiti regularly publishes brochures with flight routes and times.
Ship:a number of companies offer daily ferry services between Tahiti and Mo’orea. The journey takes between half an hour and an hour, depending on the company. Car ferries are generally slower. Other routes between the islands are used less often, but are on the shipping companies’ timetable at least twice a week.
However, if you are short on time, you should consider inter-island flights.
Cargo ships or schooners are primarily used to transport goods between the islands. However, they also take passengers. However, this option is more suitable for the adventurous due to the lack of convenience.
The main ferries of French Polynesia include: the Ono-Ono, the Maupiti Express – a high-speed ferry between Bora Bora, Taha’a, Ra’iatea and Maupiti – and the Vaeanu – operating on the Pape’ete-Huahine-Ra ‘route iatea-Taha’a-Bora Bora and back.
The Hawaiki Nui goes from Pape’te to Huahine and Ra’iatea and the little Maupiti Tou Ai’a goes from Pape’te to Maupiti and back. In addition, around ten ships operate between the Tuamotu Islands, including the Dory, Cobia I, Rairoa Nui and the Nuku Hau.
Another possibility to tour the islands of French Polynesia is on board comfortably equipped cruise ships. Bora Bora Pearl Cruises ships, for example, operate between Bora Bora, Tahaa and Ra’iatea and Mo’orea.
Car: if you want to explore the larger islands of French Polynesia on your own, it is best to do so with a rental car.
There are a number of different rental agencies on the tourist-frequented islands of French Polynesia. However, the prices hardly vary. At certain times of the year, especially July, August and New Year’s Eve, it is advisable to reserve a car a few days in advance.
International agencies such as Hertz, Avis, Europcar and Budget are represented on Tahiti. On other islands such as Huahine, Mo’orea, Ra’iatea and Bora Bora as well as on the Tuamotus Islands and Ragiroa, the market is dominated by Europcar and Avis. On some islands there are also smaller, local providers. However, their prices are no different from the big agencies. Rental cars are also available on Rurutu in the Australs. In the Marquesas, on the other hand, visitors can usually only rent vehicles with a driver. Rental cars without a driver are only available on Taiohae (Nuku Hiva) and Atuona (Hiva Oa).
Europcar and Avis also offer the option of renting scooters on some islands.
Bus:French Polynesia has little public transport. Only in Tahiti does the public transport system offer an alternative to rental cars. The usual old trucks with seats were replaced there by buses with air conditioning. It is always paid at the end of the journey. Fares apply to many routes, regardless of the distance traveled.
Bicycle: Cycling in the islands of French Polynesia is a real pleasure. The distances are not very great, the traffic is moderate and the roads are mostly quite flat.
Bicycles can be rented on many islands. In addition, many pensions provide their guests with bicycles. However, if you are serious about cycling, you should bring your own bike.
Best time to travel to French Polynesia
Experts recommend April / May and October for a trip to French Polynesia. Then it is less rainy on the islands and the humidity is lower. The thermometer also shows lower values during these months.
It is true that holidaymakers can also visit the islands of French Polynesia from June to September ; however, he has to expect higher prices during this time of the high season and book the flights and hotels early.
In the winter months, French Polynesia has the rainy season, combined with heat, humidity and a lot of rain, so not exactly ideal conditions for a dream vacation under palm trees.