french polynesia

Remember when our favourite “Friends” character Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) went on a jaw-dropping post-wedding getaway with her then newly married husband Justin Theroux in Bora Bora? Yes, that is a part of French Polynesia.

French Polynesia is an overseas territory made up of 118 islands and atolls that belong to France. It covers an area of water roughly the size of all of Western Europe — and encompasses so, so much more. French Polynesia is home to some of the most spectacular and exclusive resorts in the world, a perfect way to spend a luxury honeymoon vacation or a wedding getaway. But is it good to visit throughout the year, or is there a certain best time to visit French Polynesia?

French Polynesia is so green and dramatic, and, because the lagoons are so shallow, the hues change every time a cloud drifts by. Tahiti and Bora Bora are the most well-known French Polynesian islands, thanks to their insta-perfect beaches and romantic ambiance. Indeed, these islands are ideal for hand-holding romantic walks, with their lush landscapes and mood-setting features like lagoons and grottos. But not every time of the year welcomes us into French Polynesia. In this small writing, we tried to highlight the best time to visit French Polynesia, focusing on the weather, the month and events.

French Polynesia in January – April

WEATHER

The rain does not abate until April in French Polynesia. It rains on average for a total of 16 days during this time span. More rain means more vacancy in hotels, more hassle, competitive rates, and far fewer visitors. So, it is not likely to be the best time to visit French Polynesia. The daily high temperatures are around 87°F, and sometimes fall below 83°F from January to April.

FESTIVALS & EVENTS

  • Chinese lunar year is one of the most important festivals in French Polynesia, celebrated on January 22 every year. To make it remarkable, traditional decorations like small lanterns are put up around the city to light up. Events such as marches and fireworks displays are done. The whole festival is to bring the community together to welcome the new year full of joy and love.

lunar year in french polynesia

  • In April, the Ori Tahiti Festival mainly takes place focusing on the theme of traditional Polynesian dance. On this significant day, they sing Tahitian songs and dance. They mainly pass on the lessons they have learned throughout their lives through rhythms and poetry.

tahiti festival

 

French Polynesia in May

WEATHER

The month of May is recommended as the best time to visit French Polynesia. The heat is usually gentle, and no rainfalls are reported. The daily high temperatures are around 86°F and low temperatures are around 76°F to 74°F.  The moisture of tin air begins to soothe down as the prices of the hotels do the same. The islands become an overall quieter place, which is perfect for a hand-holding romantic escape. 

FESTIVALS & EVENTS

  • Pareo Day is a modern celebration that aims to celebrate the popular Polynesian clothing item of the pareo. A pareo is a colorful piece of cloth that is usually decorated with printed or painted flowers, found in the wardrobe of every Polynesia. Pareo Day is a day where people are encouraged to wear their best pareo either to work, school, or wherever else they might go on that day! The celebration was started in 2013 and later gained popularity around the world.

Polynesia pareo day

  • The Matari’i Raro Festival, also known as the Pleiades, is held in May. It is the occasion for Polynesians to celebrate their gods. They celebrate this day with rituals of singing and dancing to the rhythm of toere (tahitian drum). This celebration is to mark the end of the season as a blessing for agriculture, hunting, and fishing.  

pleiades festival

 

French Polynesia in June – August

 

WEATHER

The climate is sun-baked, and the weather is fragrant from June to August. Daily high temperatures are around 85°F and low temperatures are around 73°F. However, this time can be slightly busier compared to the other months of the year, as it is known as the best time to visit French Polynesia. But it can be most enjoyed with lower prices.

 

FESTIVALS & EVENTS

  • Of all the celebrations and events held in French Polynesia, Heiva is the best-loved! Heiva is a celebration of Polynesian culture across all five of the French Polynesian archipelagos. It is a competition where singers, dancers, performers, and sports people from all over the country come together to compete in an array of traditional arts and activities. Performances take place every evening and there’s an energetic, festive atmosphere across the island. Sporting events, such as canoe racing, as well as ceremonial events, like fire-walking, also take place during Heiva. 

French polynesia

 

French Polynesia in September – October

 

WEATHER

September is the month with the longest days, but it’s the driest month. In October, the temperatures are balmy year-round, and the humidity drops. In short, it is clear that the best time to visit French Polynesia is highly recommended between September and October. Daily high temperatures are around 85°F and low temperatures are around 74°F.

 

FESTIVALS & EVENTS

  • The HM Armed Vessel Bounty dropped anchor in October 1789 in Matavai Bay, Tahiti. The ship was on a mission to collect young bread-fruit trees, but due to the destruction of the ship, the operation was never completed. Every October, this tragic event is re-interpreted and a replica model of the Bounty is built.

French polynesia travel

French Polynesia in November – December

WEATHER

December is marked as the wettest month of the year. This month brings rain with an average precipitation of 317mm (12.5in) which stays on average for a total of 15 days. Hence, heavy downpours could affect travel plans very often. Therefore, it is not the best time to visit French Polynesia. Daily high temperatures are around 86°F and low temperatures are around 76°F.

FESTIVALS & EVENTS

  • Usually held in December, this annual event celebrates the national flower of French Polynesia: the Tiare! Said to be the world’s most fragrant flower, this white bloom is an important symbol of Polynesian culture. To celebrate the Gardenia Tahitensis, the capital of Papeete pulls out all the stops, with individual flowers being handed out in the city’s streets, in shops, and even at the airport. 

tiare flower

As in other countries around the world, French Polynesians mark All Saint’s Day by remembering their deceased ancestors. The days leading up to November 1st are dedicated to tidying the graves of loved ones ready to decorate them with beautiful floral displays and candles on the day itself. All Saint’s Day in French Polynesia is a time for families to get together and share stories about those they have lost.

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