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Gay Guide • FRENCH POLYNESIA | Itineraries, Tips and What to See | Practical Complete LGBT Friendly


Travel solutions with itineraries to discover all the wonders of this destination, places not to be missed, tips about where to sleep and what to eat, and above all many small special tips to enjoy your journey !

© Photograph by Bora Bora Drone & Yael Photography

Welcome to Heaven! On the other side of the Hemisphere, in the Pacific Ocean lies French Polynesia with its 118 islands and 5 archipelagos. A French territory that occupies an area the size of half of Europe. French Polynesia is a complex and fascinating mix of languages, cultures and traditions, some of which date back more than 2,000 years.

© Photograph by Bora Bora Drone & Yael Photography


French Polynesia is the perfect destination for gay travelers. That's right, French Polynesia is a Gay Friendly destination and the local people are very welcoming.

Same-sex marriage has been permitted by law in French Polynesia since 2013. Polynesian society is particularly welcoming to gay travelers. Also, Tahitian culture actually has a third gender called ra rae, which are men raised as women. It is somewhat different from Western concepts of gender identity, but it makes the Polynesian people exceptionally welcoming and friendly to gay travelers.

We were struck by the welcome of the local population. Polynesians continually give smiles and warm greetings to anyone they meet along the way.

Polynesian society respects people as they are, without any kind of discrimination or prejudice. In French Polynesia you can simply be yourself.

French Polynesia is also the perfect destination for organizing a wedding on the spot (even between people of the same sex). The laws are the same as in France, so if you're dreaming of a wedding on a heavenly beach with foot-bathing crystal water and wreaths of flowers, French Polynesia is the perfect place.


Visiting this destination at its best depends essentially on how long you have to fully enjoy it. Here is a solution based on the number of days available to you:

1 week trip to French Polynesia - visit 1 archipelagos

2 week trip to French Polynesia - visit 1 or 2 archipelagos

3 week trip to French Polynesia - visit 2 or 3 archipelagos

4 week trip to French Polynesia - visit 3 or 4 archipelagos

Find out also on the Official Site of Tahiti Tourisme how to plan your trip

Click Here


Click'n'Go - Click on the places to find them on the Map



French Polynesia is an overseas territory of France that has 118 islands divided into 5 archipelagos. The most famous islands in French Polynesia are Tahiti and Bora Bora, but they are not the only islands that will surprise you. These are the archipelagos of the islands of French Polynesia:

Society Islands

- The most famous islands such as Tahiti and Bora Bora

Tuamotu Islands

- Ideal for Diving and Snorkeling

Marquesas Islands

- Authentic and less crowded

Austral Islands

- Perfect combination of sea and mountains

Gambier Islands

- The most remote islands

© Photograph by Bora Bora Drone & Yael Photography


The best time to go to French Polynesia is between April and November, during the dry season and when it is less hot. November to April is the rainy season and it is much warmer. The high season runs from June to September and in December. The Society Islands are mountainous which means that it can rain frequently in the inland valleys.

© Photograph by Bora Bora Drone & Yael Photography

HOW TO GET TO FRENCH POLYNESIA? Our Experience with Air Tahiti Nui

To reach French Polynesia the only international airport is the Aéroport International de Tahiti-Faa'a (PPT) in Papeete, the capital of Tahiti, the main island and capital of French Polynesia. All international flights and domestic flights to other archipelagos arrive and depart here. We flew with Air Tahiti Nui, the national airline of French Polynesia, from Los Angeles. Air Tahiti Nui offers daily flights from Paris, Los Angeles, Tokyo and Auckland.

If you come from America like us, remember to get the ESTA (the access visa to the USA).

Our flight from Los Angeles to Papeete took about 8 hours.

Getting on an Air Tahiti Nui plane is like feeling already in French Polynesia. Each passenger is given a tiare, the typical flower of French Polynesia and the symbol of Air Tahiti Nui. Each aircraft, in fact, has a white tiare on its tail accompanied, in the rear part of the plane, by motifs reminiscent of the typical tattoos of Polynesian populations. The interiors of the planes are blue, just like the wonderful waters of the Polynesian archipelagos. the crew is very nice, friendly and always smiling (like the rest of the Polynesian population), and the comfortable planes (we loved the travel kit they gave us with earplugs, a mask for the eyes and a pair of socks to fly in complete relaxation).

Book your flight to French Polynesia or check the prices

Fly to French Polynesia

Click Here


During our stay in French Polynesia, many asked us how to move between the islands of French Polynesia. To visit the islands of French Polynesia (except some routes) you can travel in two ways: by ship (the least used) and by air (with different options and passes):

Traveling by Ship between the islands of French Polynesia

While traveling in French Polynesia, you can travel by ship, although the options are limited.

Ferry Tahiti – Moorea – Tahiti

The simplest path to take. A ferry every day, several times a day and the journey takes 25 to 45 minutes. You can buy the ticket at the port of Papeete or do it online with Aremiti or with Terevau. The prices are the same (around € 15 per person and trip).

Ferry Tahiti – Huahine and Ferry Huahine – Raiatea

The Terevau company also operates ferries in both directions from Tahiti to Huahine (€ 75 each way) and from Huahine to Raiatea (€ 33 each way).

Ferry Raiatea – Bora Bora

The Maupiti Express company, which in the past also reached Maupiti, makes this trip quite frequently, even if the site is not available, so to know the timetables you have to be in Raiatea. Along the way, it also stops at Taha'a. It is a boat that is currently practically used by locals, among other things because there is no information available on timetables and fares.

Cruises in French Polynesia

Outside of domestic flights or ferries, another inter-island transfer option is to take a cruise. There are ships like the Aranui 5 (half cargo ship, half cruise ship) and the Paul Gauguin which cover several archipelagos. But the prices are very high and you only stop for a few hours on each island.

Traveling by Plane between the islands of French Polynesia

The national airline Air Tahiti (not to be confused with Air Tahiti Nui which operates international flights) offers flight packages to visit multiple islands of an archipelago or archipelagos at a much cheaper price than buying single tickets. With the exception of very specific routes, in French Polynesia you have to travel by plane. And all these routes are carried out only with the company Air Tahiti. Here are some tips to help you through one of the more complicated parts of traveling to French Polynesia. We advise you not to consider individual flights and to purchase season tickets. For example, a single return flight from Tahiti to Bora Bora costs around € 300. At the same price there are passes that allow you to visit different islands.

Airports of French Polynesia

Here is a list of airports in French Polynesia.

For each archipelago, these are the main airports and which ones will be available in the season tickets:

Society Islands:

Tahiti, Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea, Bora Bora and Maupiti.

Tuamotu Islands:

Tikehau, Rangiroa and Fakarava.

Marquesas Islands:

Nuku Hiva, Hiva Oa, Ua Pou and Ua Huka.

Austral Islands:

Rurutu, Rimatara, Tubuaia and Raiavavae.

Gambier Islands:

NO PASS. You can only fly to Mangareva but it is considered a slow flight.

Pass Air Tahiti in French Polynesia

A pass is a set of flights to visit one or more archipelagos in French Polynesia. The passes have fixed prices and allow you to visit the maximum number of islands indicated on the pass. If you visit less, you will pay the same. This happens on all passes except the Marquesas pass, the price of which varies depending on the number of islands you visit.

An extension is a pass but is added to another pass already purchased. In other words, if you bought Pass 1, instead of buying Pass 2, you could add Extension 2 to Pass 1, which is cheaper than buying 2 single passes.

It is not possible to purchase an extension without first purchasing a pass.

If you have purchased a Pass you can add an Extension as long as the total travel days of the Pass + Extension do not exceed 28 days. Otherwise you have to buy a new pass instead of an extension.

We recommend that you book passes and flights well in advance. There are islands like Maupiti where there are few flights and they fill up very quickly.

Both the Pass Bora Bora + Tuamotu (which is the only one that includes two archipelagos) and the Pass + Extension combination require the passage from Tahiti to change archipelago. Make sure that the stopover does not exceed 24 hours, since then it is no longer considered a subscription or is no longer considered a subscription + extension and is higher in the calculation of the final price.

Summary of subscriptions and indicative prices


€ min

€ max



€ 300

€ 350

​TAHITI + up to 3 Society Islands 🔵


€ 400

€ 450

TAHITI + up to 5 Society Islands 🔴


€ 430

€ 480

​TAHITI + MOOREA + up to 3 Tuamotu Islands


€ 530

€ 580

TAHITI + up to 6 islands in total 🟢


€ 570

€ 620

TAHITI + up to 4 Austral Islands


€ 760

€ 930

​TAHITI + 2, 3 or 4 Marquesas Islands 🟡

Estensione AUSTRAL

€ 340

€ 370

TAHITI + up to 4 Austral Islands

Estensione MARCHESI

€ 560

€ 730

TAHITI + 2, 3 or 4 Marquesas Islands 🟡

🔵 Indicates that Maupiti and Bora Bora cannot be entered. If included it becomes a "Bora Bora" pass

🔴 Indicates that Maupiti and / or Bora Bora can be entered

🟢 The 6 islands can be mixed from the Society Islands archipelago and the Tuamotu Islands. Bora Bora and Maupiti can be included

🟡 Indicates that the price varies according to the number of islands visited


Another question we have been asked is the cost of a trip to French Polynesia.

So, how much does a trip to French Polynesia cost?

The answer is not simple and depends on many factors that will cause the price to fluctuate a lot:

  • Number of travel days

  • Type of accommodation: a resort is much more expensive than a guest house

  • Archipelagos visited: depending on the flight packages, the price varies a lot.

  • Activities carried out: each island has many activities to offer which can significantly affect the price

Depending on your budget, you can visit some archipelagos or others. Prices vary greatly depending on the archipelagos you visit, so it is convenient to take this into account when organizing your trip.

Exchanging money in French Polynesia: In addition to withdrawing money (remember that on some islands there are no ATMs), it is advisable to carry cash euros with you in case of emergencies (whether you pay in local currency or in euros, the change that is given is always the same).

In French Polynesia the official currency is the Polynesian franc (CFP) which always has the same exchange rate against the euro:

1 € = 119.33 CFP (for convenience we were advised to remove the last two digits from each price in Polynesian francs to have the equivalent in euros. For example, 2000 CFP correspond to about 20 euros).

When you arrive at Tahiti airport we recommend that you change something on arrival. The exchange office opens from 08:00 to 11:30 and 3 hours before international flight departures. You can change up to € 250 or $ 300 per person per day. The exchange rate they apply is the official one with a fixed commission of 700 CFP (€ 5.87).

The price of an international flight with Air Tahiti Nui, which is the national company we flew with, is around € 1,200 round trip from Paris to Tahiti (Papeete). The average flight price from Los Angeles to Papeete (Tahiti) is 700 €.

How much does it cost to stay in French Polynesia?

The choice of accommodation has a large impact on the price of a trip to French Polynesia. You can choose whether to stay in luxury resorts with rooms floating on crystal clear waters or opt for the more humble (but more authentic) guest houses or family pensions which usually offer a room with a bathroom and the formula of half board.

To all this must be added the price of the excursions which varies slightly depending on the activities, but in general, a full day excursion is around € 60-80 (usually food is included). The cost of a half day excursion is around € 30-40. In some cases the excursions may cost more (for example to Moorea to spot whales, around 60 euros for a 3 hour excursion). It all depends on the type of activity chosen and its duration.

© Photograph by Bora Bora Drone & Yael Photography

How much does it cost to eat in French Polynesia?

Again it all depends on where you eat. You can eat in luxury resorts (which usually offer half board and adding just one meal can be very expensive), in local restaurants (the price starts at around 8/10 euros per dish), in pensions or guest houses. (they also offer half board, but, especially in the small islands, there are not many alternatives to eat). The food they prepare is local and delicious! A separate discussion should be made for Les Roulotes, the Polynesian version of fast food (which we love), which we will talk about later.




Tahiti is the main island of French Polynesia and also its capital. All international flights arrive here and this island acts as a link to reach the other archipelagos. These are the most important places to see in French Polynesia on the island of Tahiti:


North coast to Tautira

Inner valleys (Papenoo Valley)

Teahupo'o Wave (Surf)

Musée de Tahiti et des Îles - Te Fare Manaha

Bora Bora

Bora Bora è l'isola più famosa delle isole della Polinesia francese. Paradiso per la luna di miele in uno dei suoi meravigliosi resort. L'isola più turistica e la più cara della Polinesia francese, dove non rimane quasi nessuna essenza della Polinesia. Tuttavia, le sue acque turchesi sono tra le più belle da vedere in Polinesia francese. Ecco sono le cose da non perdere o da fare assolutamente a Bora Bora:

Visit of the motu (islets) that surround the main island

Diving and snorkeling in the lagoon

4 × 4 tour inside the island

Visit of the village of Vaitape (capital)

Pofai Bay: For the photo of Bora Bora with the main mountain in the background

Matira beach: the best on the island

Panoramic view from Paoaoa

Trekking in the hinterland


One of the largest islands in French Polynesia, Moorea can be reached by ferry or plane from Tahiti. Moorea is famous for its turquoise waters, whales and inland mountains. These are the most beautiful places to see in French Polynesia on the island of Moorea:

Viewpoint of the O'Belvedere

Circuit around the island by car

Whale watching and snorkeling

Pineapple road

Temae Beach

Maraes (ancient temples)


Despite being the second largest island in French Polynesia, it is not one of the most touristic. Raiatea offers many interesting things to visit, but it has no beaches. Raiatea is considered the cradle of the Polynesian civilization. These are the most important places to see in French Polynesia on the island of Raiatea:

Marae de Taputapuatea (the most important in Polynesia)

Sunsets with Bora Bora in the background

Taha'a Island Day Tour

Circular route to the island

Ascent to Mount Tapioi

View of Pain de Sucre

Uturoa and the murals of the port


Bora Bora's little sister. In Maupiti there are no resorts or ATMs, you can experience the authenticity of French Polynesia in family pensions. These are the most beautiful places to see in French Polynesia on the island of Maupiti:

Snorkel and dive into the lagoon

Tour of the island by bike or on foot

Celebration of mass in the Protestant church on Sundays

Ascent to Mount Teurafaatiu

Motus (islets) tour around the lagoon

Tereia beach

Cross the Motu Auira on foot


Huahine is the island that goes unnoticed in the Society Islands. Sparsely inhabited and with its female silhouette, it offers tranquility and beautiful deserted beaches. It is also known as the Garden of Eden. These are the most beautiful places to see in French Polynesia on the island of Huahine:

Enjoy Fare, the main city, with its markets

Visit the pristine Avea beach

Reach Hana Iti beach by trekking or by boat

Visit one of the 200 Polynesian temples. Don't miss the one on the Mataiera hill and the views.

Stop at the Belvedere


Taha'a does not have an airport and to reach it you have to take a day trip from Raiatea or take the daily ferry that leaves from the port of Raiatea. It is a mountainous island where it rains quite frequently. Taha'a is known worldwide for vanilla. But there is much more to see and do on one of the lesser known islands of French Polynesia:

Visit a pearl factory

Visit a vanilla production field

Snorkel in the Coral Garden

Sleeping or eating in the guesthouse of a motu (uninhabited islet)

Go around the island by boat

Tuamotu Islands

They are the oldest archipelago of islands in French Polynesia, of which only the outer atolls of the lagoon remain. It is a paradise for lovers of diving, snorkeling with white and pink sand beaches, but also pebble beaches. There are 82 atolls filled with palm trees and with incredible underwater life. If you are a lover of the sea you cannot miss the Tuamotu Islands in French Polynesia. Among the islands not to be missed:


One of the smallest (less than 600 inhabitants) with an airport, but no ATM or card payment options. Tikehau offers endless tranquility, beaches, reef sharks and beautiful sunsets. Ideal island for diving and snorkeling.


It is the main island and the liveliest of the Tuamotu islands of French Polynesia. It is also the island that offers more diversified activities and, therefore, receives more tourism.

These are the most important things to do and see in French Polynesia on the island of Rangiroa:

  • Scuba diving and snorkeling at the Tiputa Pass (including Acuario Island)

  • Avatoru village tour

  • Otepipi and Isla Arrecife (Reef Island) Day Tour

  • Tour to the Blue Lagoon and Pink Beach

  • Dance show


Fakarava one of the most famous islands of French Polynesia. It is much quieter than Rangiroa but offers many things to do. Fakarava is considered to be one of the best diving locations in the world. If you are thinking about which islands to visit in French Polynesia and you are a person who loves diving, do not miss Fakarava and its activities:

  • North pass diving (cheaper)

  • South pass diving (more expensive, more famous)

  • Tour of the Green Lagoon

  • Bike path to PK beach. 9 (kilometer point 9)

© Photograph by Bora Bora Drone & Yael Photography

Marquesas Islands

The archipelago of the Marquesas Islands is known for the green of its valleys, the mountainous landscapes that enclose black sand bays, the tattoos, the handicrafts, the tikis, the novels left by Stevenson (In the South Seas) and Melville (Taipi ), the paintings of Gauguin and The songs of Jacques Brel. The Marquesas Islands are one of the least visited archipelagos because they have no atoll or coral reef. They are islands recommended for those looking for breathtaking landscapes and the authenticity of an incredible civilization.

Nuku Hiva

It is the main island of the northern part of the Marquesas Islands. Nuku Hiva is one of the most beautiful islands to see in French Polynesia and these are the most beautiful spots and best things to do:

  • Excursion to the Vaipo waterfalls

  • Tour in the Taipi and Hatiheu valley

  • Anaho Beach

  • Visit to the meae (temples) of Kamuihei, Tahakia and Teiipoka

  • Street Taiohae

  • Visit to the Notre Dame Cathedral

  • Marquesas Islands haka dance show

© Photograph by Bora Bora Drone & Yael Photography

Hiva Oa

Hiva Ho is in the southernmost sector of the Marquesas Islands. Gauguin lived and died here. It is the island of the Tiki, the Polynesian deity native to the Marquesas Islands. These are the main places to visit in French Polynesia on the island of Hiva Oa:

  • Gauguin Museum

  • Jacques Brel Center

  • Calvary Cemetery

  • Croce - viewpoint at the top of Atuona

  • Route to Taaoa

  • Northern Bay Tour: Hanapaaoa, Teuamano and Puamau

  • Puamau Tikis

  • Excursion to Hanaiapa bay and Hanatekuua beach

  • Tahuata Island Tour

  • Visit to the petroglyphs

  • Haka dance show of the Marquesas

  • Atuona and walk on the beach


This island does not have an airport and must be reached by ferry or on a day tour from Hiva Oa. It is the island where the colonization period originated. The island is much smaller than Hiva Oa but has beautiful golden beaches. Tahuata is perfect for snorkeling and its craft centers and churches in the main centers are worth visiting.

Ua Pou

Ua Pou is the third largest island in the Marquesas archipelago. the island has a small airport with regular Air Tahiti flights with Tahiti, Nuku Hiva, Hiva Oa and Ua Huka, or can be reached by boat from Nuku Hiva. Ua Pou is known for the spectacular profile of its mountains and among the most important places to see in French Polynesia on this island are the Valley of the Kings and the 4 × 4 routes through the inland valleys.

Fat Hiva

Fatu Hiva also does not have an airport and can only be reached by boat from Hiva Oa. It is an island with very few tourists and deep-rooted traditions. Here you can learn about the local culture, visit virgin bays, be amazed by views like Hanavave Bay or learn how tapa fabric is made. Fat Hiva is one of the islands of French Polynesia that may surprise you the most.

© Photograph by Bora Bora Drone & Yael Photography

Austral Islands

As the name suggests, the Austral Islands are the southernmost islands in French Polynesia. They receive much less tourism, but are very attractive to those who go in search of the unknown, the mysterious and authenticity.


This small island is ideal for those looking for deserted beaches, such as Anapoto or for lovers of ornithology, as it is home to several endemic species. There are also maraes (temples), the royal burial site of Amaru, handicraft centers and some very interesting churches. Another activity that can be done is climbing Mount Nahu or whale watching from July to November. Or climb the Oromana plateau, impressive!


Rurutu is a must for anyone in the southern sector of French Polynesia. Impressive cliffs and fascinating caves will captivate you. In Rurutu you can enjoy the whale season, local festivals, palm crafts (characteristic of the island), fields of taro (a potato-like tuber), the tomb of the kings of Rurutu, archaeological sites, trekking and much more.


Tubuai, the capital of the archipelago is also the largest island of the Austral Islands. It offers the opportunity to spot whales, a beautiful turquoise lagoon in which to practice water sports and many motu in which to feel like a castaway. Do not miss the spectacular fields of lilies and the colors of the sand of its beaches (up to 13 shades).


Another of the most beautiful islands to visit in French Polynesia. It has a spectacular turquoise lagoon with heavenly beaches and green hills. In Raiavavae, the climate is conducive to fruit and vegetable crops and sandalwood, endemic to the island, is found only here and nowhere else in the world. Do not miss the caves of Anapoiri and Anapio, the view from Mount Hiro and the visit to the last great tiki.

Gambier Islands

It is the furthest archipelago of the French Polynesia islands and therefore the most expensive to visit. It has just 1,000 inhabitants and is the cradle of Catholicism in French Polynesia. The Gambier Islands archipelago is one of the most difficult to visit in French Polynesia, but it amazes with its diversity of landscapes, history and spectacular motus (islands). The main island (and the only one with an airport) is Mangareva.

Among the things to see in the Gambier Islands archipelago are:

  • The city of Rikitea and its Saint Michel Cathedral, with an altar decorated with pearls.

  • Religious services with very beautiful flowers and songs. Here the Catholic tradition is deeply rooted.

  • The convent of Rouru

  • The tomb of Maputeoa, the last king of the island.

  • Akamaru Island, with the church of Notre Dame de la Paix.

  • The views from Mataihutea over Rikitea bay.

  • The island of Taravai, with the ghost town of Agokono, the church of San Gabriel and the beautiful beaches.

  • The island of Aukena, with its hexagonal watchtower and turquoise lagoon

  • Visit to a pearl factory.

© Photograph by Bora Bora Drone & Yael Photography


What to do in Tahiti?

🥙 Taste Street Food in the typical Roulottes

🗺 Take a tour in the capital Papeete

☀️ Relax & Sun at @temoanatahitiresort

🚤 Boating and Surfing with @teahupoo

💎 Visit the Tahiti Pearl Market

🛍 Shopping at Papeete Market

🤿 Diving with @tahitinuidiving

🚁 Island helicopter tour with @tahitinuihelicopters

What to do in Moorea?