The 10 best things to do in Polynesia according to Les Deux Pieds Dehors
Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, Raiatea, Taha'a and Rangiroa, to name but a few, invite you to discover their landscapes and cultures in the Pacific. But where to start? What shouldn't you miss on a heavenly holiday at the other end of the world? The creators of the specialist travel blog Les Deux Pieds Dehors answer the question by sharing their selection of the best things to do in French Polynesia.
Hi everyone, For those who don't know, we're Sylvain and Mélanie, the people behind the travel blog "Les deux pieds dehors". We created our travel blog in 2017 while living in French Polynesia. We spent six wonderful years there and even started our family there. Since 2021, we've moved to Guadeloupe. But today we're writing to tell you about the best things to do in French Polynesia.
In fact, we detail all the activities you can do there (and much more) in our travel guide entitled "Discovering the 5 archipelagos - French Polynesia". Take a look!
We'll only be talking about paying activities here, but you should be aware that there are plenty of free activities to do when you're there: beaches, mountain walks, exploring the islands, and so on. However, we sincerely believe that French Polynesia is a superb playground for certain activities.
Here are our top 10 activities in French Polynesia:
1 - Diving in Fakarava
Polynesia really is one of the best places in the world to try scuba diving. You'll find plenty of diversity, but above all it's an opportunity to see 'big fish' underwater, quite easily. The Tuamotu archipelago remains the benchmark in Polynesia and indeed the world. The atolls of Rangiroa and Fakarava are among the best spots in the world to see sharks, dolphins, schools of manta rays and more. If you get the chance, don't hesitate to spend a few days at the southern pass of Fakarava and dive in this idyllic spot, known for its wall of sharks. The place is truly sublime, isolated from the world, a little paradise.
2 - Discover the Blue Lagoon at Rangiroa
As you can imagine, there are many lagoons in Polynesia, and you'll have to make some choices when you travel. Rangiroa, in the Tuamotus, offers several superb lagoon trips that are sure to delight. Among the best-known, the discovery of the atoll's blue lagoon is a marvel. In the turquoise waters, you'll discover extraordinary fauna, and you can swim with hundreds of sharks without worrying too much. The setting is magical, and the day, usually accompanied by a local meal on a motu, will stay with you for a long time.
3 - Up the Faaroa River to Raiatea
You might think it's nothing out of the ordinary, but you'd be wrong to miss out on this superb kayak trip on Polynesia's only navigable river. We had the opportunity to do this trip several times when we lived there, and for us it's a perfect activity: economical, offering great scenery and respecting the environment. For us, kayaking up the Faaroa River is the best activity to do on this island.
4 - Inland discovery of Moorea by 4x4
This is an activity that we've also tried on several occasions as a couple, with family and even with friends. The island lends itself perfectly to exploration, and a 4x4 ride in Moorea will give you other very interesting points of view. The guide clearly adds value by explaining the history of the area, the flora and fauna, and much more. A must if you're passing through on your trip.
5 - Whale-watching trip to Rurutu
For all nature and wildlife lovers, this is one of the best activities to do during your trip to Polynesia. Unfortunately, many tourists prefer to stay on the more traditional islands instead of discovering the Austral archipelago. Of course, you can go whale watching in Tahiti or Moorea, but it won't be the same. On Rurutu, you're in a much less touristy dimension, and the island offers undeniable charm. Not to be missed!
6 - Canyoning in Tahiti
Sylvain had the opportunity to do this activity when we lived there, and he came back amazed every time. The change in landscape is really impressive compared to what we're used to seeing in Tahiti. Here you are at altitude, in a very dense, very rainy area, and the vegetation is quite simply extraordinary. If you love nature, discovering pristine environments and jumping into rivers and waterfalls, you're going to love this one-day canyoning trip in Tahiti.
7 - Transparent kayaking in Moorea
If you're looking for an activity to feast your eyes on without spending too much money, this is the activity we recommend to everyone. Discovering Moorea's lagoon in a transparent kayak is really superb and gives you the opportunity to watch what's going on underwater without leaving your kayak. It's also a fun way for people who aren't comfortable in the water! A real treat.
8 - Paddle in the lagoon of Bora Bora
If you're a fan of beautiful lagoons and turquoise water, and want to spend some quality time in a dream setting, then the Bora Bora lagoon will be perfect for you for a few days. The lagoon is reputed to be one of the most beautiful in the world, and we have to admit that it's clearly one of the most beautiful colours! We did a couple of one- or two-hour paddle sessions in Bora Bora on this big pool, and you're going to love it!
9 - Hiking in the Marquesas
As we often say, we're big fans of the remote archipelagos, particularly the Marquesas, the Australs and, of course, the Gambiers. The Marquesas remain majestic, and there are plenty of opportunities for hiking there. You should often consider going with a guide who knows the area inside out and can teach you a great deal about local history and culture.
10 - Flying over Bora Bora
Sylvain had the opportunity to fly over the island of Bora Bora and the neighbouring atoll of Tupai in a seaplane, and he's still talking about how magical it was. If you've got the budget, we strongly recommend that you get up high and see the island from the air. Everything takes on another dimension, and the colours of the lagoon come out wonderfully! A flight over Bora Bora is a must during your stay on the island.
We've come to the end of our top 10 list of the best activities to consider during your holiday in Polynesia. Of course, we could have made a top 20 or 30, because there are so many and so varied! So it's up to you to make the right choice!
Mélanie and SylvainTravel & photography blog