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The Islands of Tahiti encompass 118 islands and atolls spread throughout an incredibly large archipelago. You’ll find barely-there atolls in the Tuamotus, hues of every shade of blue and emerald peaks in the Society Islands, remote landscapes and ancient culture in the Marquesas… no matter where you go, beauty and adventure abound.
After traveling throughout French Polynesia while researching the Moon Tahiti and French Polynesia guidebook, these are the islands I recommend if you only have two weeks in French Polynesia.
The Air Tahiti Air Pass
Getting around the Islands of Tahiti is no easy feat. Before you do anything, it’s worth booking your flights with Air Tahiti (if you plan on visiting more than three of the islands). Air Tahiti has a Multi Islands Air Pass which offers you a major discount on flights around French Polynesia. The only catch is you’re fixed to their flight routes.
For this two-week itinerary, we recommend purchasing the Bora-Tuamotu Pass.
The Bora-Tuamotu Pass covers flights to Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea, Maupiti, Bora Bora, Rangiroa, Tikehau, and Fakarave. For this itinerary, we’ll be flying to Moorea, Huahine, Bora Bora, and Rangiroa. This itinerary is easily adapted to suit your interests.
Two-Week French Polynesia Itinerary: At a Glance
- Day 1: Arrive in Tahiti and transfer to Moorea
- Day 2: Moorea beach day
- Day 3: Moorea whale swim or scuba dive
- Day 4: Moorea’s interior
- Day 5: Huahine beach day
- Day 6: Huahine lagoon tour
- Day 7: Huahine cultural sights
- Day 8: Arrive in Bora Bora
- Day 9: Bora Bora ATV tour
- Day 10: Bora Bora beach bliss
- Day 11: Arrive in Rangiroa
- Day 12: Rangiroa dolphin dive
- Day 13: Rangiroa Blue Lagoon Tour
- Day 14: Arrive in Tahiti
- Day 15: Depart from Tahiti
French Polynesia Itinerary Planning Tips
Plan your weather-dependent activities at the beginning of your stay. Whale swims, snorkel tours, scuba dives, ATV tours, hikes, etc., are all at the mercy of the weather. Being the tropics, these could be cancelled or changed. Book your weather-dependent activities on the first or second day of arrival of each island. That way, if it’s cancelled, you still have a chance of doing these activities the next day.
Book your flights, then your accommodation. My friend and I thought we had our trip planned out to a T. But, when we went to book our flights with Air Tahiti, we discovered there were none for the dates we’d wanted. It’s best to lock-in your flights, then your accommodation, then your activities–in that order.
Accept that travel days are half days. By the time you check out of your accommodation, check-in to the airport, arrive, collect your luggage, and transfer to check in at your new accommodation, you’ll be burned out. Plan flights either early in the morning or late in the day to preserve precious daylight hours in transit.
Two Week Islands of Tahiti Itinerary: In Depth
Day 1: Arrive in Tahiti and transfer to Moorea
Welcome to the beautiful island of Tahiti! All international flights arrive at Faa’a Airport, found just outside central Papeete, the largest city in French Polynesia. Some might call it the only city in French Polynesia.
If you’ve arrived early and have some energy, consider strolling through Papeete Market, the largest municipal market in French Polynesia. You’ll find woven goods, hand-painted sarongs called pareau, fresh fruits, vegetables, wooden sculptures, pearl jewelry, and more.
Papeete tours for if you have a full day:
- Day trip to Teahupoo and Tahiti’s western coastline
- Day trip into Tahiti’s interior with waterfalls
- Private island tour for up to six people
Day 2: Moorea beach day
After a long day of travel, kick back and relax on Moorea’s beautiful beaches. You’ll love lingering on Temae Beach, a stretch of sugar sand on Moorea’s eastern coastline. Or, opt for Ta’ahiamanu Beach, a small beach overlooking Opunohu Bay with a grassy area, food truck, public parking, and coral bommies perfect for snorkeling. Tipaniers Beach is tucked behind Hotel Les Tipaniers, a tiny sliver of sand with palm trees and a kayak rental stand.
For a mix of beach and adventure, paddle or catch a ride to Coco Beach Moorea, a lunchtime spot where you’ll dine on Polynesian classics with black tip reef sharks and stingrays circling the shallows.
Recommended places to stay on Moorea:
- Luxury: Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea for luxurious overwater bungalows near Temae Beach
- Mid-range: Linareva Moorea Beach Resort for quiet bungalows near a sandy beach
- Budget: La Maison Orange for access to a communal kitchen, shared bathroom, and clean rooms near Tipaniers Beach
Day 3: Moorea whale swim or scuba dive
Every year from July to November, humpback whales migrate along Moorea’s coastline to mate and give birth in the warm, tropical waters. Coming eye to eye with one of these gentle giants is an experience you’ll never forget.
We recommend traveling to Tonga over French Polynesia for ethical whale swims. In our experience there’s little regulation when it comes to swimming with whales off Moorea… and it lacks the intimacy that Tonga’s whale swim industry has, where only five swimmers are allowed to be with a whale at a time. But, if this is your only opportunity, we recommend spending your second day on Moorea swimming with the whales.
Whale swim operators often stop at ‘Stingray City’ off Les Tipaniers Beach, a hub for pink whip stingrays and reef sharks.
If the whale’s aren’t around, spend the day on an ocean adventure tour sailing, snorkeling, or scuba diving.
Moorea ocean tours:
- A full day swimming with whales tour with Moorea Moana Tours
- Six-hour snorkeling tour with lunch
- Three-hour snorkel and glass bottom boat tour
Day 4: Explore Moorea’s interior
Now that you’ve taken a look at Moorea’s lagoon, it’s time to head into the emerald peaks and valleys of Moorea’s interior. Book an ATV tour or a Jeep tour with Franckyfranck Tours, led by Franck, who is truly one of the most hilarious guides in French Polynesia (be ready for some offbeat jokes). You’ll top at Magic Mountain, the Belvedere Lookout, rumble along Pineapple Road, taste pineapple liquer at the Moorea Distillery, and visit a tropical fruit farm. Some of these would be challenging with your own set of wheels (Magic Mountain and Pineapple Road).
Alternatively, hike the Tres Coconut Trees trail, which starts at the Belvedere Lookout.
Moorea interior tours:
- Laugh on a 4×4 tour of Moorea with Franck
- Venture along dirt roads on a quad tour
- Combine a quad trip with a snorkeling tour
Day 5: Huahine beach day
Head to Huahine, one of the most tranquil and culturally significant of the Society Islands, as it’s home to hundreds of ancient Polynesian temples, called marae.
Spend the day sipping cold drinks and relaxing at the Huahine Yacht Club. Stroll the tiny town of Fare for souvenirs, as there are a few boutiques along its main road. If you want to taste local liquer, visit Distillerie Huahine Passion.
Recommended places to stay on Huahine:
- Luxury: Le Mahana for a remote retreat on Huahine’s best beach
- Mid-range: Pension Ariitere Huahine is a family-run pension with simple rooms
- Budget: Camping Hiva Plague is basic but affordable campsites and rooms
Day 6: Huahine lagoon tour
Don’t skip Huahine’s lagoon tour. If you just do one lagoon tour in the Society Islands, pick the one with Huahine Nautique. We liked it more than the lagoon tours on Bora Bora and Moorea. It’s one of our largest highlights on this Islands of Tahiti itinerary. You’ll stop at a snorkeling spot with reef sharks and rays, a pearl farm, another snorkeling spot with coral bommies, and a tiny white-sand motu for a buffet lunch. Charismatic guides will teach you how to tie sarongs in so many ways.
Day 7: Huahine cultural sights
You’ll need your own rental car or a guide (usually arranged through your accommodation) to enjoy a day out and about on Huahine. Start early and venture clockwise around the island. In this case, we’ll assume you’re starting from Fare. First, stop in at the Fare Pote’e Maeva, a traditional building with a museum inside. Then, drive east towards the Huahine Fish Traps. When you see a small bridge, cross and visit the ancient marae of Marae Manunu.
Back on the main road, continue south towards the settlement of Faie, where you’ll see blue-eyed eels in the river. They’re considered sacred. If you didn’t visit it on the lagoon tour yesterday, you could also stop at the Huahine Pearl Farm. La Masion du Pareo shows how traditional sarongs are painted.
To round-out the day and unwind stop for a lunch and drinks at Avea Bay next to Le Mahana Hotel.
Day 8: Arrive in Bora Bora
Flying into Bora Bora is an experience in itself, and many travelers see it as a ‘must-see’ in itself on a Tahiti itinerary. You’ll never forget the view as you descend over the powder blue lagoon surrounding Bora Bora’s main island. All flights arrive on a motu (small island) off of the mainland. From here, you’ll either be picked up by your accommodation or you’ll take the public ferry to Bora Bora’s main town, Vaitape. Because this tends to be somewhat of a long day of travel, we advise taking it easy.
The Bora Bora Market at Vaitape is one of the best places to buy souvenirs. If you have it in you, grab a drink at Bloody Mary’s or at the Bora Bora Yacht Club. Restaurant Saint James is also a fine pick to spend the evening.
If you’ve come early and are ready to explore, then book an afternoon scuba dive with Topdive to Anau Dive Site, a hub for manta rays.
Recommended hotels on Bora Bora:
- Luxury: Embrace the overwater bungalow life at Four Seasons Bora Bora or St. Regis Bora Bora
- Mid-range: Oa Oa Lodge has a handful of overwater bungalows on the main island
- Budget: Sunset Hill Lodge has simple but clean rooms, a good location, and kitchen
Day 9: Bora Bora ATV and snorkel tour
Hop on a quad and head out on a Bora Bora ATV tour to see Bora Bora’s island highlights like old canons from WWII, stunning lookout points, and stops at the island’s iconic beaches. Then, get ready to venture into its signature blue lagoon. Most trips run three-hour ATV tours, lunch, then a three-hour snorkeling tour.
Bora Bora day tours:
Day 10: Bora Bora beach bliss
We wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to scrap days 8 to 10 and simply lounge your day away on Bora Bora. Tours tend to be better value on other islands, anyways! If you’re staying at a private island resort, we recommend checking out the hotel’s spa, pool, and beaches. Maybe it’s time for breakfast delivered by an outrigger canoe?
Over on Bora Bora’s main island, check out tranquil Matira Beach. It’s a lovely little stretch of sugar sand within walking distance of a few bars like Bora Bora Beach Club. For a romantic dinner, dine at La Villa Mahana, a romantic and intimate restaurant with a set menu each evening.
Day 11: Arrive in Rangiroa
French Polynesia is unique in that its one of the few places in the world where you can stay on an atoll, a nearly sea-level ring of land that once was a volcanic crater rim. Inside the atoll is a tranquil lagoon, a haven for all types of sea life.
Once you arrive on Rangiroa, venture to Relais Josephine and grab a glass of chilled wine from Vin de Tahiti. Rangiroa is home to the only winery grown on an atoll. From Relais Josephine, peer out over Tiputa Pass to look for Rangiroa’s resident pod of bottlenose dolphins.
Recommended hotels on Rangiroa:
- Luxury: Live the overwater bungalow lifestyle at Hotel Kia Ora Resort and Spa
- Mid-range: Hotel Maitai Rangiroa is in a prime location and overlooks the water
- Budget:Va’a i te Moana offers a spacious stay with wifi and a decent location
Day 12: Rangiroa dolphin dive
Ready to meet the locals of Rangiroa? Tiputa Pass, the pass entering Rangiroa’s lagoon, is famous for seeing gray reef sharks, groupers, barracudas, sea turtles, dolphins, and more swimming along its incredible coral reefs. Book a scuba dive trip with Topdive or Rangiroa Plongee.
Day 13: Rangiroa Blue Lagoon Tour
Venture to Rangiroa’s Blue Lagoon, a lagoon within a lagoon where you’ll find baby blue water teeming with black tip reef sharks. Put on a mask and you might also see lemon sharks, gray sharks, rays, and sea turtles.
Tours typically include a Polynesian buffet served on a white sand beach with no shortage of palm fronds to hang out under. If you’re a photographer, pack along your camera!
Rangiroa ocean tours:
- Day trip to the Blue Lagoon
- Private 8-person tour to the Blue Lagoon
- Venture to Rangiroa’s limestone Reef Island
Day 14 & Day 15: Tahiti Adventure
Make your way back to the main island for your last day(s) of your Tahiti itinerary. If you have a full day, you could head to Tahiti’s interior of Papenoo Valley, take a surf tour out to Teahupoo, drive along the coast on a circle island tour, or simply kick back and rest up for your journey ahead at a luxury hotel.
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