7 things to do in French Polynesia that don’t include romance or overwater bungalows

Ashley Kosciolek

French Polynesia has been on my want checklist for years. I have been dreaming of a romantic cruise with my lover in an overwater hut, providing a pair’s therapeutic massage every single day and a beautiful sundown each night. However that did not occur on my first journey to the South Pacific.

First, though there are methods for that Book bungalows at an affordable cost using points, they’re nonetheless costly. Second, I ended up in French Polynesia on a cruise (in Windstar Cruises‘Star Breeze’), so no further housing was required. And third, I discovered myself newly celibate simply two weeks earlier than we set sail.

What ought to a single traveler do at a vacation spot devoted to renewing marriage ceremony vows and honeymoons? Listed below are seven actions you’ll be able to strive by yourself in French Polynesia that will not make you’re feeling like a stranger.

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Take a motorbike trip

Biking is a good way to discover the islands of French Polynesia. Ashley Koskolk / The Factors Man

In case you are energetic and searching for a approach to clear your thoughts, blow off steam, or just benefit from the nice views whereas engaged on final evening’s dessert, an e-bike is a superb possibility. I booked a guided tour that took a gaggle of eight individuals on a 16-mile pedal to Pineapple Valley and Belvedere Lookout in Moorea.

Put on sturdy sneakers, apply bug spray and sunscreen upfront and produce a bottle of water. Regardless of the assistance of the bike’s motor, elements of the trip have been nonetheless uphill.

pearl store

French Polynesia is legendary for its black pearls. Ashley Koskolk / The Factors Man

If there’s ever a memento to select up from a visit to French Polynesia, it is black pearls. Whether or not you purchase a single chain or a complete sequence, they’re nice keepsakes of your time in Tahiti.

Even when jewellery is not your factor, it is nonetheless nice to study concerning the pearl cultivation course of. The “surgeon” takes grafts from the oysters with the best pearls and provides them to different oysters, together with the implants, to facilitate the pearl-making course of – which happens when an irritant enters the oyster shell after which coats it with a pure, shiny coating. Coating as a protection.

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To be sure you’re shopping for actual pearls, store at precise pearl farms or jewellery shops, slightly than market stalls. I’ve had nice experiences with Robert Wan in Papeete (affiliated with the Pearl Museum), Annabables in Raiatea (accessible solely by boat) and Love Right here Pearls in Taha (which presents grafts and implants).

Go to a vanilla farm

Vanilla from a farm in French Polynesia. Ashley Koskolk / The Factors Man

If pearls do not do it for you, vanilla is one other French Polynesian specialty. In reality, this area of the world is the second largest producer after Madagascar.

A go to to a vanilla farm will mean you can find out how vanilla is grown and harvested, take away the seeds and what they’re used for. Additionally, you will have the chance to buy every thing from vanilla powder, paste, and extract to espresso, liquor, and tub and physique merchandise.

Attempt the native meals

The native fruit of French Polynesia. Ashley Koskolk / The Factors Man

Guests have loads of native dishes to strive on this space, from uncooked fish with coconut milk to pineapple and breadfruit. If you have not booked a tour that features some form of cease or tasting, be sure you head out by yourself to a neighborhood restaurant to strive a bit extra genuine delicacies. My favourite, by far, is firi firi – fried dough crammed with coconut milk.

If you happen to don’t love consuming alone or do not wish to lay our a fortune visiting a restaurant by yourself, many impartial avenue meals excursions – together with some that characteristic meals vans – are supplied in Papeete and Moorea. (Examine tour supplier Viator for extra data.)

go diving

The water is ideal for snorkeling in Raiatea, French Polynesia. Ashley Koskolk / The Factors Man

With many fantastic coral reefs and colourful fish and corals, French Polynesia is brimming with snorkeling alternatives. Whether or not you deliver your individual gear and head to a close-by seaside or e-book an organized tour, you will not be dissatisfied by what you may see within the space’s blue waters.

If you do not have your individual gear or do not wish to pack it up, examine in case your ship or lodge presents constitution providers. (Snorkeling gear was accessible on my Star Breeze sail.) Native operators normally present gear when reserving a snorkeling tour.

chilly on motu

Motu close to Bora Bora in French Polynesia. Ashley Koskolk / The Factors Man

Motos is small uninhabited islands, and French Polynesia is filled with them. If you happen to’re searching for probably the most stress-free day ever, both head ashore when your ship presents sporadic visits or e-book a non-public cruise to see one. You’ll virtually definitely be capable to discover an uncrowded patch of sand the place you’ll be able to catch some rays or watch the solar go down.

Whereas crusing, the ship supplied two free moto experiences – one with BBQ lunch and one with cooked seafood for dinner. As an added bonus, you may normally discover stay leisure as effectively.

Watch the hearth dance

A fiery dance on a motu close to Bora Bora in French Polynesia. Ashley Koskolk / The Factors Man

The individuals of French Polynesia take pleasure in sharing their tradition with guests. If you happen to arrive on a cruise ship, count on performances by native Polynesians – typically together with drumming, dancing, singing, or carols. You may as well discover them by reserving a tour (see Viator for extra data) or by inquiring at native customer facilities in Bora Bora, Hua Hin, Raiatea and Moorea.

By far probably the most spectacular performances are the hearth dances, the place males dance with hearth sticks circling within the evening air. Throughout one night in Motu close to Bora Bora, a gaggle of gifted women and men placed on a present, and an 8-year-old boy carried out a fiery dance supported by a number of older dancers.


Sundown in French Polynesia. Ashley Koskolk / The Factors Man

Sure, French Polynesia is without doubt one of the most romantic locations on earth, however that does not imply there is not a lot for people to do both.

To my aid, not one of the actions I did on my go to made me really feel like I ought to have been there with a possible love curiosity. In case you are contemplating a solo journey, a girlfriends trip or perhaps a household trip in Tahiti, relaxation assured that you’ll find it irresistible identical to all these romantic vacationers.

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