Lonely Planet Writer

Tahiti is going to get a whole lot closer

The Islands of Tahiti are one of those bucket-list dream destinations you probably think about when looking out of your seventh floor office window and the darkening sky at 4pm on a Monday afternoon, but you imagine it’s a playground for Hollywood legends and multimillionaires not an office worker like me (you’re not alone).

Luxury overwater thatched roof bungalow in a lagoon with a view on Mt. Otemanu and the tropical island of Bora Bora. Image by Getty Images

The very exciting news is that first French Polynesia – or the Islands of Tahiti as you may be thinking of them – are not nearly as expensive as the brochure image of overwater bungalows in paradise would have you believe. Plus, this year this gem in the South Pacific will be a whole lot easier to get to thanks to a host of new flights and connections between and the US and Europe. Currently you can access Tahiti from the UK via Paris or Los Angeles with connections with Air Tahiti NuiIn 2018 two new routes are being launched for international travellers to turn their tropical dreams into a reality.

Palms reflecting over an infinity pool on the beach in Moorea, French Polynesia Image by Getty Images

First, United Airlines announced that from 30 October 2018 it will offer three flights a week on a Boeing 787 between San Francisco and Papeete, the capital of Tahiti. The flight, which will take about eight hours, will run seasonally between October and March.  Secondly, French Blue – France’s first low-cost long haul airline –also announced that from mid-May this year it will operate twice weekly flights from Paris Orly to San Francisco and then on to Papeete, with three weekly flights during peak season, between 20 June and 28 October. The airline will operate an Airbus A350 aircraft for the route.