Must-see attractions in French Polynesia

  • Waterfall

    Ra'iatea & Taha'a

    The second waterfall you'll pass along the Les Trois Cascades (Three Waterfalls) hike. After passing this waterfall, the trail follows the riverbed…

  • Chinese Temple

    Pape'ete

    You’ll be impressed by the massive proportions of the vividly colourful Chinese temple, also known as Kanti de Mamao. It’s a 10-minute stroll east from…

  • Manihina

    The Marquesas

    Near the airport, Manihina Beach is a wonderfully scenic pebbly beach framed by basaltic cliffs. Sadly there are lots of nono. It’s accessible by a dirt…

  • Les Sables Roses

    The Tuamotus

    The southeast shores of the atoll are fringed with truly amazing ‘Pink Sands Beaches’ that really do glow a light shade of pink, a result of finely…

  • Te Ana Peua Museum

    The Marquesas

    Next to the post office and expanded in 2017, the Te Ana Peua Museum houses a range of exhibits focusing on Marquesan culture, from fish hooks to stone…

  • Pouheva

    The Tuamotus

    Pouheva village is an administrative and school centre for the central Tuamotus. The church and the lighthouse near the pass are the only sights of…

  • Tiketike

    The Tuamotus

    This stunning beach is lapped by topaz waters and backed by arching coconut trees. This magical spot is a mere 15-minute boat ride away from Pouheva…

  • Motu Fanfan

    Bora Bora

    An idyllic spot blessed with a lovely strip of sand and superb coral gardens just offshore. It's privately owned, so you'll need permission to get there.

  • Ministère de la Culture

    Pape'ete

    To the west, along Av Bruat, is the Ministère de la Culture. There’s an exhibition space here that is worth a peek.

  • Waterfall

    Ra'iatea & Taha'a

    The third waterfall on the Les Trois Cascades (Three Waterfalls) hike is the most splendid – a 40m beauty with a fabulous swimming hole at its basin.

  • Fare Potee

    Huahine

    This little museum with explications about the Maeva Marae is located in a beautifully reconstructed meeting house complete with woven bamboo floors.

  • Hanamoenoa Bay

    The Marquesas

    This quiet, sheltered bay is popular with yachties. It’s fringed by a ribbon of white sand, lapped by multihued waters and backed by lush hills.

  • Atiha Bay

    Mo'orea

    Mo’orea’s lazy west-coast atmosphere continues right round to Atiha Bay (Baie d’Atiha), a quiet fishing village that also attracts surfers.

  • Gauguin’s Pearl

    Rangiroa

    There are free tours (in English) of the pearl farm next to the boutique. They include a pearl-grafting demonstration. Call for free pick-up.

  • Monument to the Dead

    Nuku Hiva

    On the seafront, opposite the Kamake shop, you can’t miss this obelisk fronted by a cannon constructed in honour of Étienne Marchand.

  • Petroglyph Museum

    The Marquesas

    On the waterfront, the small petroglyph museum displays well-presented photographs of the petroglyphs around the island.

  • Plage de Hitimahana

    Around Tahiti Nui

    The black-sand Plage de Hitimahana is exposed to the prevailing winds, which makes it an excellent kitesurfing and windsurfing spot.

  • Pohue

    The Tuamotus

    At the eastern tip of the atoll and reached only by boat, this mesmerising site looks like a huge glinting turquoise swimming pool.

  • Petroglyphs

    Tahiti

    You'll need a guide to find Tahiti's best preserved petroglyphs deep on the Te Pari coast and accessible only on foot or by boat.

  • Ferme Perlière Champon

    Ra'iatea & Taha'a

    This well-run pearl farm/shop is known for its high-quality mounted and loose pearls. It’s at the southeastern end of Apu Bay.

  • Motu Napahere

    The Tuamotus

    A 30-minute boat ride away from the village, this deserted, white-beach clad islet seems to be floating in the turquoise lagon.

  • Central Market

    Ra'iatea & Taha'a

    A small but often lively market selling fruits, veggies and a few artisinal items like monoi oil and shell necklaces.

  • Marina Taina

    Around Tahiti Nui

    The elegant Marina Taina is a trendy spot featuring restaurants, bars, two diving centres and, of course, lots of yachts.

  • Taetae Tupuna Enana

    Nuku Hiva

    This little museum has a few documents and artefacts focusing on traditional Marquesan culture. It’s at the Hee Tai Inn.

  • Plage du PK23.5

    Around Tahiti Nui

    This rather wide (by Tahiti standards) beach is popular with families and has public facilities. The sand is white-grey.

  • Vaipoiri Cave

    Tahiti

    Popular day trip from Teahupoo. Walk into blackness till your eyes adjust then swim to the back through the icy waters.

  • Plage du Mahana Park

    Around Tahiti Nui

    Plage du Mahana Park has calm waters and a snorkelling reef close to shore. On weekends there are kayaks for hire.

  • Hanamenino Bay

    The Marquesas

    Another secluded bay lined with a golden-sand beach, Hanamenino is also used for picnics. Access is by boat only.

  • Motu Pearl Farm

    Ra'iatea & Taha'a

    On the northern side of the bay you can visit Motu Pearl Farm, which has a small shop.

  • Anaihe Cave

    Tahiti

    A gem of a cave accessible only by foot or boat, looking out over a wild stretch of reef-free coast.

  • Olivier Creations

    Pape'ete

    Pape’ete is home to a number of art galleries. Olivier Creations is recommended.

  • Queen's Cave

    Tahiti

    Waves move in and out of this hidden cave from the coast. It's like a natural (not hot) hot tub.

  • Plage de Toaroto

    Around Tahiti Nui

    This narrow stretch of white coral sand is suitable for swimming and has public facilities.

  • Gallerie Winkler

    Pape'ete

    Gallerie Winkler has an interesting mix of etchings, paintings and crockery.

  • Hitiaa Lava Tubes

    Tahiti

    Three long cave lava tubes that make for a very wet and adventurous hike (guide mandatory).

  • Taravao Lookout

    Tahiti

    View over the bucolic plateaus of Taravao to the blue coastlines and towering Tahiti Nui.

  • Marae Anapua

    Tahiti

    Another beautifully restored archaeological site, Marae Anapua is worth a gander.

  • Lighthouse

    Tahiti

    Impressive 1867 towering lighthouse right next to Point Venus's beach.

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