In Polynesia, it's always summer ...
In Polynesia, it's always summer ...

Do you dream of going to Polynesia? Me too

  Polynesia: Maupiti + Rangiroa + Moorea - October 2012

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

My first trip to Polynesia, in 2012, made me want to go back (sigh) But the plane ticket is not given and given the duration of the flight, it is better to have a little time in front of you. Here are some practical information to remember.

Find a flight

More than 20 hours of flight from Paris! The word long-haul takes all its meaning... At the time I made this trip (October 2012), Papeete was served from France by Air Tahiti Nui (via Los Angeles) and Air France (via Los Angeles and sometimes other stops like Detroit or New York).

On Air Tahiti Nui, the call price of an A / R at the time of publication of this article was € 1,795 ... ???? Yes, it is definitely another budget than my usual destinations in Asia (which are rather on the order of 500 € to 800 € on average, according to periods and promotions, for a return Paris-Jakarta for example).

Flight Paris - Los Angeles - Papeete is provided by Air Tahiti Nui. Polynesia, October 2012.
The flight Paris - Los Angeles - Papeete is provided by Air Tahiti Nui, with a beautiful flower of tiare at the end of the wings ...

Another alternative to fly to Polynesia from Europe: from London with Air New Zealand (I had found a return ticket for 1 579 €). Otherwise, there is the good plan of "round-the-world" tickets with a stopover in Papeete: for ± 2 500 €, you can visit several continents!

UPDATE 2018. Note that since 2018, prices of Paris-Papeete flights tend to drop, Air Tahiti Nui and Air France having lost their quasi-monopoly position, with the new competition the company FrenchBee (Beware, it's low-cost, call prices posted for a return around € 1,100 are usually without options, namely checked baggage or meals). This downward trend is expected to continue with the recent arrival of United Airlines. You can visit the Facebook page Aviation Geeks Tahiti, which regularly monitors the rates of companies serving Polynesia.

When to go?

The high tourist season in Polynesia corresponds to our July-August holidays, but over there it's summer all year round! Roughly speaking, there are two seasons: a dry season from March to November, considered more pleasant, with temperatures between 22 and 27°C; a hotter wet season, from December to February, between 25 and 35°C.

In the Australes and Gambier, located very far south, it is cooler and wetter: it is best to visit them during the less rainy months, between May and November.

Motu Auira, Maupiti. Polynesia, October 2012.
The Auira motu, in Maupiti. (Leeward Islands, Society Islands, October 2012.)
In Polynesia, it's always summer ...
In Polynesia, it's always summer ...

Budget on site

To stay at not too expensive, I recommend family pensions. I tested during my stay of 2012 it's simple, but super-sympa. The rates are around 80-100€ in half-board. Then there are the more luxurious hotels, villa rentals, etc. for which the flight + hotel packages are often more interesting.

The Pension Cécile in Rangiroa. Polynesia, October 2012.
The Pension Cécile in Rangiroa. (Tuamotu Archipelago, October 2012.)

Beware, in Polynesia, everything is much more expensive than in France, from everyday products to tourist activities. Plan also for inter-island travel by plane: it is better to optimize your itinerary, with the "passes" of the domestic airline Air Tahiti allowing to combine several islands.

  Polynesia: Maupiti + Rangiroa + Moorea - October 2012

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  1. @Corinne: if I had the chance to go back this year (in eco premium) : Mrgreen: it's thanks to my Air france miles that I've accumulated during 10 years ! 😮 That allowed me to buy a pass between the Marquesas and the Australs. I hear XL airways is considering a flight to LA. To be continued... But for me, no more flight via LA, too long, too many problems, I almost farted a hard-on. 😡 Next time (there will be one!) I already planned a TDM ticket, as you specify in your article, visiting again Polynesia (Tuamotu, Gambier, Cook), N Caledonia, Australia, New Zealand and other South Pacific islands for about 3/4 months. Because from 2020, finally, I will have stopped all professional activity. 🙄

    1. @Didier: yes, my friend Marie, from the blog Further, that I joined in 2012 for two weeks in Polynesia, was just there during his world tour ...

      When I went to LA, both in and out, it was pretty good for me. But I can imagine what it can do when he really has to wait for checks with the "charming" US immigration officers ...

      It inspires me, your itinerary project over several months. I will copy well, like ... 8)

  2. It is clear that it is dreaming but I think this destination will be for us a "honeymoon". By cons the hotels are very very expensive and abuse on their rates.
    A week on Bora Bora seems to me enough, right?

  3. My dear Corinne, for your next trip to Polynesia I will be well integrated and suggest you to go through Chile and Easter Island before joining Papeete and continue by New Caledonia and Australia for your CT in 2016 or 2017?
    Have a good trip to Ambon right now!