Photo: Bora Bora

Top 15 Best Things To See & Do In French Polynesia

By Jessica Pena

Discover the Best of French Polynesia's Natural Wonders and Cultural Delights

Key Takeaways
  • Explore the iconic overwater bungalows, enjoy water sports, and witness breathtaking sunsets over Mount Otemanu.
  • Take a guided tour of vanilla farms, learn about the cultivation process, and indulge in the aromatic flavors of this renowned spice.

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On your next family vacation, do you want to create a ton of lovely memories that will last a lifetime? Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a magical place? So, start planning and visit French Polynesia. Also, before planning your trip read this blog and get to know the best things to see & do in French Polynesia.  

French Polynesia is considered a paradise place and the most beautiful destination on earth. The Pacific Ocean encircles it for thousands of miles. It is a wonderful honeymoon location, and famous people are known to use it as their personal playground. 

It is not unexpected that French Polynesia is a favorite destination for tourists from all over the world. It is well renowned for its exotic environment, blue waters, and relaxed lifestyle. No wonder some of the most stunning tourist destinations in the world are located in French Polynesia. 

Farmers in this country cultivate a vast range of fruits, spices, and vegetables that are then converted into flavorful and unusual dishes to please the palate.

If you’re interested in making your trip unforgettable, you’ll find a lot of excitement in this amazing place. The list of things to do and see in French Polynesia includes everything from culture to adventure, relaxation, art, and romance.

So, why wait? Look at the below and find out the best things to see and do in French Polynesia.

1. Bora Bora

You’ll experience love at first sight on the island of Bora Bora. Romantic travelers from all over the world come to Bora Bora to enjoy the island’s lush, tropical vegetation that encircles it and the hibiscus-filled valleys of Mount Otemanu. The ocean views here are breathtaking, with turquoise waters that resemble an artist’s palette of vivid blues and greens.

Bora Bora is home to one of the world’s most beautiful lagoons. Picnicking at the lagoon is one of the best activities to do in French Polynesia.

A Bora Bora vacation offers something for everyone because of its stunning luxury resorts and myriad exhilarating activities. The list of things to do in Bora Bora is endless, whether you like to get your adrenaline pumping or would rather spend a relaxing day at the beach.

The lagoon’s emerald-colored fish, gentle reef sharks, and enormous manta rays gently drifting through the coral gardens make for some memorable snorkeling in the beautiful, turquoise waters and surrounding coral reef make your trip memorable. 

Bora bora
Bora bora

2. Papeete Municipal Market 

The municipal market is called Le Marche. It is a 155-year-old public market, which is the ideal location to shop for anything and everything from all of the islands. The Papeete Municipal Market is the best location to shop for sarongs (pareos), baskets, traditional Polynesian artwork, and a ton of gifts for your family and friends.

The market is open all day, but when the fresh fish is brought in the morning, it becomes packed. People who are familiar with Papeete head to the waterfront Place Vaiete after sunset to eat at roulottes or food trucks. There, you can choose from a wide variety of dishes, including crepes and Poisson cru (raw fish marinated in coconut milk).

However, Le Marche is more than just a tourist destination; it’s a real market where locals go to buy meat, fish, and fresh flowers, as well as to catch up with friends over coffee at one of the patisseries.

Papeete Municipal Market
Papeete Municipal Market

3. Eat Delicious French Polynesia Cuisine 

French Polynesia is sure to win your heart if you enjoy eating fresh, raw fish. Especially their typical dish called Poisson Cru, fresh fish will likely be a choice for every meal you eat there.

You can find yams, sweet potatoes, bananas, and breadfruit in most cuisines. Ahima’a, the ancient Polynesian underground oven with hot stones, is used to prepare traditional meals, which are wrapped in leaves.

The main dishes that you need to try when visiting this amazing place are:

  • Firi firi
  • Fafaru
  • Po’e
  • Chevreffes
  • Ma’a Tahiti
French Polynesia Cuisine
French Polynesia Cuisine

Related: 6 Breathtaking and Luxury Afternoon Tea Spots in London for Anyone

4. Visit Unique Vinyard & Winery 

French Polynesia has a winery, and it’s on the island of Rangiroa. It’s the only winery in the entire world where canoe transportation of grapes is necessary during harvest.

Both the lovely white blend and the rose offered by Vin de Tahiti go incredibly well with the many fish dishes there. Regardless of where you stay in Tahiti, we advise you to sample one of their four offerings while there.

French Polynesia Vinyard & Winery
French Polynesia Vinyard & Winery

5. Heiva Festival 

One of the longest-running festivals in the world begins each year in July in one of the most beautiful places on earth. 

The Heiva is a month-long colorful festival that takes visitors to another world while celebrating the rich culture of the ancient Polynesians. The Heiva, however, is no ordinary celebration; it has come to represent Polynesian culture and is a beloved occasion for people who are proud of their history.

Heiva Festival
Heiva Festival

6. Visit Ancient Temples and Tiki Statues 

In French Polynesia, there are countless old temples, some of which are still buried in the jungle and waiting to be found. On the southeast shore of the island of Raiatea, the Marae Taputapuatea is the most well-known shrine.

Giant tiki, mystifying stone statues that stand permanently guard over the jungle, can be found in the distant Hiva Oa (Marquesas Islands).

French Polynesia Tiki Statues
Tiki Statues

7. Go For Hiking 

The experience of hiking in French Polynesia is unlike any other. Hiking in Tahiti, Moorea, or Bora Bora is likely to be a transformational and amazing experience because of the abundance of tropical greenery, gushing waterfalls, and breathtaking views.

The volcanic islands that makeup French Polynesia have a variety of hikes for every skill level. Maupiti, the peaks of Moorea, and Mount Aorai (Tahiti) are among the most well-liked Polynesian hikes. Undoubtedly, there are many more, but they frequently need a guide.

Hiking in French Polynesia

8. Teahupoo Biggest Wave 

Teahupoo is the home to the second largest (surfing) wave on the entire planet. The reason the waves are so tall is that there is a coral reef ring off the coast that generates a huge swell.

The best news is that you don’t need to be a surfer to observe this enormous wave or to enjoy the glorious area around it. The frothy green mountain outlines near the shore and the deep blue color of the water creates a magnificent view. 


9. Enjoy Scuba Diving 

French Polynesia is one of the top diving places in the world because of its breathtaking underwater diversity. French Polynesia is made up of 118 magnificent islands and atolls, which are home to a wide variety of diving sites with vibrant reefs, tropical fish, manta rays, and different kinds of sharks.

The atolls of Rangiroa and Fakarava are the best places to dive because you’ll be welcomed by walls of sharks and friendly dolphin families.

French Polynesia Scuba Diving
Scuba Diving

10. Moorea Island 

Moorea is a place where you get a true taste of the South Seas experience, complete with barefoot living amid white sand beaches, colorful lagoons, and, of course, charming Tahitian-style hotels that provide plenty of entertaining activities.

The interior’s striking alpine landscape, which features eight towering mountains looming over a verdant valley, is ideal for horseback riding and hiking.

You can enjoy these activities at Moorea and make your trip more memorable.

  • Jet Ski
  • Swim with the dolphin
  • ATV
  • Canoe breakfast
  • Enjoy dining in a romantic open-air ambiance
  • Enjoy water activities with your kids 
Moorea Island
Moorea Island

11. Overwater Bungalows

Some of the world’s most lavish and romantic accommodations are the overwater bungalows in Bora Bora and Tahiti. The thought of sleeping in a bungalow over water in French Polynesia has been the most memorable moment of your life. Going to sleep while listening to the sound of the waves crashing against the stilts beneath you has the best part of your life. 

However, for a honeymoon, anniversary, or other special occasions, Bora Bora’s bungalows over water are unbeatable.

Overwater Bungalows
Overwater Bungalows

12. Visit Pearl Farms 

The best approach to learning about the extraordinary Tahitian black pearls, known as Pinctada margaritifera, is to visit a pearl farm before shop. The farm describes the time-consuming procedure involved in pearl culture and harvesting. It is the best thing to see and do in French Polynesia.

We advise you to purchase your pearls straight from the pearl farms. This will add a very unique flavor to your purchase.

French Polynesia Pearl Farms
Pearl Farms

13. James Norman Hall Museum 

In Tahiti, where the American adventurer Howell spent more than thirty years, is where you can find the James Norman Hall Museum. The museum has extensive collections that allow visitors to learn about Hower’s life and regional customs.

Bookworms and history buffs will enjoy this place. The lush, vibrant gardens that surround the house also captured the attention of visitors. The museum is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday.  

James Norman Hall Museum
James Norman Hall Museum

14. Paofai Gardens 

The renowned and stunning Paofai Gardens, a lushly planted green area, offer visitors a haven of peace, a variety of walking pathways, and ornamental fish ponds to enjoy.

The gardens provide a tranquil setting for family activities and land-based adventures with a playground for the kids and various picnic tables.

The gardens, which cover about 11 acres (4.6 hectares) of land along the seafront, are a maze of paved footpaths, vibrant flowers, open public areas, fountains, and recreation areas. This is the most significant green area in Papeete, where 400 trees offer more than just shade but an escape from the urban jungle.

Paofai Gardens
Paofai Gardens

15. Learn About Its Culture 

Make an effort to learn more about French Polynesia’s vibrant culture while you’re there. To do this, there are numerous entertaining activities aside from dancing, such as taking cooking classes, visiting black pearl farms, or learning how to make flower crowns.

Markets are another great place to catch a glimpse of local life, and if you speak French, it will be simple to strike up a conversation with locals and find out more about this amazing place. 

French Polynesia Culture
French Polynesia Culture

Final Thoughts 

Swim with sharks, snorkel with rainbow-colored fish, splash around in impossibly blue lagoons, and many popular activities that you will enjoy on your French Polynesia trip. 

So, that’s it for now. We appreciate you taking the time to look at our list of best things to see and do in French Polynesia.

So why are you still waiting? Plan your ideal vacation to French Polynesia now and enjoy your quality time. 

Join the LUXURIOUX world, and discover a new level of opulence. Our editors and writers are dedicated to finding what is truly the best in class across many facets of life. Experience the finest things only your imagination and money can afford.

By subscribing to our newsletter(s) you agree to our User Agreement and Privacy Policy & Cookie Statement

French Polynesia is a paradise on Earth, offering a mesmerizing blend of pristine beaches, turquoise lagoons, vibrant coral reefs, and a rich Polynesian culture. Here are the top 15 things to see and do in this tropical haven.