If you travel to French Polynesia, you will find countless atolls teeming with tropical fish and green mountain slopes with bamboo groves and vanilla vines. The islands are considered to be the most beautiful islands in the world. They are blessed with beautiful beaches and their lagoons make spectacular diving and snorkeling possible.
According to Thedressexplorer, Tahiti is the main island of French Polynesia, here are the capital Pape’ete and the international airport. Thanks to a selection of good hotels near the city, this can be a good starting point for short stays.
However, to get the most of a vacation in French Polynesia, it is best to continue to one of the surrounding islands. Some of the islands offer world-class resorts, others private retreats, and almost all of them offer opportunities to explore little-visited cultures.
Island hopping offers the opportunity to combine experiences. It is often necessary to spend the night in Tahiti itself, to fly to smaller islands the next day by plane and then to end the trip by boat.
Best travel time
It is most beautiful in French Polynesia in the main travel season from June to August. Then there is high season with mild temperatures between 20 and 30 ° C, low humidity and better visibility for divers. As there are two to three times more tourists on the islands, the demand for sightseeing activities increases and the prices for accommodation and events rise.
In the months before and after the main season, the temperatures are still pleasantly warm and sunny, but with better prices. The best time to travel to French Polynesia is April / May and October . It rains very little, the temperatures are no longer that high and the humidity is low.
French Polynesia can in principle be visited all year round. In the months from November to April, however, there are more tropical showers than in other seasons, although these are often interspersed with hours of sunshine. Since it is the rainy season, this travel time can be quite inconvenient. If you decide to go on holiday at this time of year, you should definitely make sure that you have air conditioning, as the humidity is very high. The islands rarely suffer from tropical cyclones, except during the years when El Niño affects ocean currents.
Optimal travel time after months
January – April
At the beginning of the year, it is the rainy season in French Polynesia and the rain does not stop until April. However, more rain also means empty hotels, low prices and far fewer visitors. Around the Chinese New Year celebrations, which vary from year to year (usually between mid-January to mid-February), parades, music and dancing take place on the islands.
The humidity drops and the rain drops, but prices remain cheap and the islands feel calmer overall. Because of this, it is often seen as a great opportunity to visit French Polynesia.
French Polynesia has many festivals to celebrate, such as the annual song, dance and sports competition Heiva i Bora Bora , which takes place in July. The combination of mild weather and traditional vacation time makes these months the most popular travel time for French Polynesia. However, this means that the hotels can be booked months in advance as both foreign visitors and locals flock to the smaller islands.
Humidity begins to rise in September and October, but the overall climate remains pleasant and the islands are calmer. The end of September marks the equinox, the rays of the sun hit the lagoons of the islands at exactly the right angle and perfectly express the beautiful turquoise tones of the French-Polynesian landscape.
The rainy season in French Polynesia starts in November. The heavy rains are repeatedly interrupted by sunny days. At this time, air conditioning in hotels is becoming more and more important due to the increasing humidity.
French Polynesia is very small overall and, also because of its distance, far from mass tourism. There are hardly any travel guides for French Polynesia because the circulation is not high enough for the publishers on the one hand and the islands themselves offer relatively few sights on the other. It is and remains a paradise for sun seekers and divers.
The best travel guide for French Polynesia comes from Nelles . Although it covers the South Seas and does not deal exclusively with Polynesia, the scope is sufficient and covers everything important. An alternative is the DuMont South Seas travel guide . This guide also deals with the South Pacific and provides a successful overview of everything worth knowing about this fantastic holiday destination.
Climate in Papeete
The maximum temperature in French Polynesia is 31 ° C. In July and August the thermometer rises to a maximum of 28 ° C. The summer (June to September) with average 29 ° C very warm . In the winter months it is around 31 ° C hot . During the day, the average annual temperature in French Polynesia is a warm 29.8 ° C.
At night it gets coldest at 20 ° C in September. The thermometer rarely falls below 24 ° C in February and March. While the nights in summer are averages of pleasantly warm 21 ° C, the thermometer drops to a pleasantly warm 23 ° C at night between November and March. The temperature at night averages a pleasant 22.4 ° C throughout the year.
The water temperature is up to 29 ° C in January. In the summer months from June to September the water is very warm with an average of 26 ° C. Between November and March the values are a very warm 27 ° C. Over the year, the sea has an average temperature of 27.0 ° C.
With 14 rainy days, January is the rainiest month of the year. The August and September are with 4 days of rain, the driest months of the year . From June to September French Polynesia is very dry with an average of only 5 rainy days each, the winter (November to March) is relatively humid with 12 rainy days. An annual average of 8.3 days of rain falls per month.
Food and drink
French Polynesia is an ideal place for seafood lovers. Fresh products are available in abundance. Colorful vegetables, exotic fruits and tender meat are also included in most of the menus. In traditional cuisine, pork, chicken, fish and vegetables are usually cooked in an oven in the bottom. After a few hours you open the oven and serve the food in buffet form.
French is the official language of French Polynesia. French dominates the main roads of the islands, but English is also widely spoken. The further you get off the beaten path, the more you will find that only French and Tahitian dialects are spoken, with locals often mixing the two together.
The people of French Polynesia tend to be very relaxed. People dress casually, with pareos, shorts and t-shirts being the most common clothes. Polynesians are very religious so dress appropriately when attending a church service. When visiting archaeological sites, please do not touch the sacred stones or tikis as they are of great spiritual importance. Should you enter a Polynesian home or stay in a smaller, family-run hotel, be sure to take off your shoes at the front door.
The currency in French Polynesia is the CFP Franc, which is simply referred to as the Pacific Franc. 1 EUR corresponds to 119.33 CFP.
Tips and bargaining are not expected in French Polynesia. Should you wish to tip, there is space on most bills from restaurants in the larger resorts. Sometimes you can haggle with the vendors to buy black pearls or handicrafts directly from an artist.