French Polynesia with the main island of Bora Bora

French Polynesia with the main island of Bora Bora

Out of the vastness of the Pacific waters here and there are islands, islets and archipelagos randomly scattered, like crumbs that fell to Earth from the throne of the gods. These include French Polynesia, commonly (and erroneously) called Tahiti, which seems to have something of that divinity. Blue lagoons, coconut palms, half-naked natives dancing around a campfire in daring rituals, at least that is how we imagine the area. French Polynesia covers an area of about four million square kilometers in the eastern Pacific, almost the entire European Union, with a total area of 118 islands and atolls barely reaching 4,000 km2.

Bora Bora Island

Bora Bora is without a doubt one of the most famous islands of Polynesia. With its 44 km2 it belongs to the larger group of the Social Islands. It was discovered by Europeans in 1722, when the Dutch navigator Roggeven saw its shores. But the first explorers, led by James Cook, did not land there until 1777. Bora Bora, like the other islands, has been a French overseas territory since 1842, despite a relatively high degree of autonomy. Thus, the locals are citizens of the French Republic.

French Polynesia with the main island of Bora Bora - Photo 2

Bora Bora Island

During World War II there was a U.S. military base here, as evidenced not only by the local airport, but also by the 7 long-range guns deployed in different parts of the island. Today it is one of the most popular tourist destinations. The rocky island has more interesting places for inquisitive visitors. There are two extinct volcano peaks above it, the highest of which is Mount Otemanu. It rises to a height of 727 meters above sea level. The ascent to each of the peaks takes about 2 hours (as well as back), which is quite difficult. However, the panorama is worth it.

Tourists can also visit the marae, ruins of stone buildings where social and religious rituals were held before the population converted to Christianity. The marae are still sacred, and no one would dare to build in their place. The indigenous culture was quite developed, and the structure of Polynesian society did not conform to the ideas of primitive savages or to romantic notions of an earthly paradise. There was a multi-level hierarchy with well-defined relationships and ties. The top level was the “Aryans,” the rulers who ruled the island, whose status passed to their eldest son. It was believed that the monarch had his origins and, therefore, authority in direct lineage from the gods and that he was endowed with unusual powers of nature.

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Although Polynesians are indeed very hospitable, and their manners may seem relaxed from a European perspective, they have always been fearless warriors. In the past, tribal wars were common, and Bora Bora was no exception. Local natives undertook military campaigns, especially against their traditional rival on the island of Rayatea. Today’s indigenous culture is a particular blend of Christianity with traditional influences.

The ancient name of Bora Bora.

Pora Pora, an ancient name that means “firstborn” in the local language. The name comes from an ancient Polynesian legend in which the supreme god Taaroa fished Pora Pora out of the deep waters of the ocean as the first island. Polynesians inhabited the island 1,100 years ago, and several ancient marae temples have survived on Bora Bora. In one of them, tiles with carved sacred sea turtles were found.

French Polynesia with the main island of Bora Bora - Photo 3

The ancient name of Bora Bora

Bora Bora Lagoon offers an unlimited number of activities. The most popular sports include windsurfing, parasailing and snorkeling with turtles or stingrays. Because of the abundance of marine life, diving on Bora Bora is on many divers’ list of places to go. The best way to explore the island, nature walks with a guide. You can also rent a bicycle, a boat, an outrigger canoe, and a private helicopter.

Water features.

The rich underwater world of the most beautiful lagoon in the world, Bora Bora, attracts almost every visitor to this place, where diving has become one of the most popular activities. While diving, you may come across stingrays or sharks that will swim peacefully around. Recently, shark feeding has become one of the most popular underwater activities . For adrenaline seekers, you can snorkel in the calm turquoise lagoon and watch the life of the coral reefs, where countless tropical fish usually roam.

The island has a tropical climate, so the weather is warm all year round. Time can be divided into two main periods: the rainy season and the dry season. The first season mentioned above lasts from November to April, when French Polynesia receives about an annual amount of rainfall. During the rainy season there are abundant and unpredictable thunderstorms, and the air is stuffy and often cloudy. The average temperature is about 27°C to 30°C . The warmest months are February and March.

French Polynesia with the main island of Bora Bora - Photo 4

Water features.

The opposite of the rainy season is the dry season, which lasts from May to October. This is the “Polynesian winter” It is the “Polynesian winter” with temperatures ranging from 24°C to 28°C and the rains falling only rarely on the islands. Even during this period, the variation between night and day temperatures is minimal. This period is the main tourist season on the island. Bora Bora, often called the pearl of Polynesia, is the ideal place for a romantic honeymoon or a symbolic wedding ceremony.

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When you visit the majestic Powai Bay, you will see a beautiful view of the summit of Oteman. From the island of Tupua Motu you can see the dark silhouette of the legendary “bells of Hiro. This part of the west coast around Waitape is the busiest and most densely populated area with the largest number of hotels, sports and relaxation activities. Motu-Tapu, one of the most photographed islands in the South Pacific. Just a few meters from the main island of Bora Bora, this charming island is the perfect place for a relaxing vacation.

Bora Bora Island

Bora Bora Island

Islands

Geographic location

Bora Bora Island on the map

French Polynesia is a French overseas community located in the South Pacific. It borders the Cook Islands to the west, Kiribati to the northwest, neutral Pacific waters to the north, east and south, and Pitcairn to the southeast. Includes archipelagos: Society Islands, Tuamotu Islands, Marquesas Islands, and Tubua’i Islands.

Total land area is about 4,000 sq. km.

The islands arose as a result of volcanic eruptions in different periods, which explains the diversity of landscapes, vegetation, lagoons, sand. Volcanic, most of the Society and Tubuai islands, Gambier and Marquesas islands; coral atolls form the Tuamotu Archipelago and are part of several other island groups.

The highest point of Tahiti (and all of French Polynesia), Mount Orojena, rises to 2,241 meters above sea level.

The river network is developed only on the volcanic islands. The rivers there flow in narrow and deep valleys, abounding in waterfalls. On the islands of Tahiti and Hua Hin, there are small lakes. There are no rivers on the coral islands.

How to get there

Getting to the Pacific island paradise is quite long and not easy, but it’s worth it. The shortest way is an air flight, but it will be very long. From Russian cities there is not only a direct flight, but even a flight with one change. Planes fly from Tokyo and Los Angeles to Tahiti. Flight time from Tokyo to Tahiti, for example, is 11.5 hours. The best option is probably the Air France flight via Paris and Los Angeles, where you do not have to worry about your luggage all the way to Tahiti. From the main island of French Polynesia, however, you will have to travel further to Bora Bora anyway.

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When you step out of the cabin when you arrive in Tahiti, you will be decorated with a garland of live tiaras flowers. From Papeete Airport, the capital of Tahiti, small planes fly to all the islands of Polynesia. After leaving Tahiti, the plane will land on Bora Bora in 45 minutes at a tiny airfield nestled on one of the motu adjacent to the central island. The small Bora Bora airport building has several souvenir stores, and there are also the counters of all the Bora Bora hotels. After you walk up to your hotel counter, you will again be decorated with a live flower garland. After receiving your luggage, with your hotel tags attached, the staff will kindly escort you to the catamaran, which will take you quickly and comfortably to your hotel.

You can diversify the tiring flight and take a spectacular boat trip across the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean. To do this you need to fly to Tahiti, and then use the services of a high-speed catamaran. Bora Bora Atoll, has only one passage to the inner lagoon, unlike Tahiti and Moorea, which have several water passages for motorboats and boats. This Teavanui navigable channel, opposite Waitape, connects the lagoon to the ocean and is deep enough for even a cruise ship to pass.

The Polynesian visa is not a Schengen visa. The rate of obtaining it is higher. There are practically no refusals. It is registered in St.Petersburg.

The visa registration takes about two weeks. The visa legislation can change at any time without notice.

To travel to French Polynesia you can choose a route via Japan, the USA or Chile.

For transit through Japan for up to a 72-hour stay, in most cases a visa is not needed.

For transit through Seoul, a Korean visa is not necessary if the tourist does not leave the airport area. In case of a long connection, Itineria Tahiti will book a hotel room in the airport area.

Climate

The climate in Bora Bora is tropical, with an average air temperature of +27 and lagoon water temperature of +26. The weather is excellent sunny almost all year round, there is no exhausting heat, as the ocean surrounding the island, constantly blows a refreshing breeze.

Conventionally, the seasons in Bora Bora are divided into dry and wet. The dry and less hot season lasts from March to November, during which time there is the least amount of rainfall. The wet season, which lasts from December to February, when it rains for a short time, which allows you to see a unique picture – a luminous lagoon on a background of gray sky. It is during the wet season that the colorful tropical plants, which bloom all year round, reach their peak of blooming.

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Video

Population

As of 2007, the population of Bora Bora was 8,927. The largest settlement of Waitape (approximately 4,000 inhabitants) is located on the west side of the island opposite the main passage to the lagoon, which is so deep that it is able to pass even large cruise ships. The village of Faanui, the former residence of the ruling dynasty, is located in the northwest of the island and the settlement of Anau in the east.

Nature

The islands are divided into “high” and “low.”

“High” islands are volcanic cones that have fertile volcanic soil, allowing thousands of species of living things to live on them. More than 1,300 varieties of plants, about 100 varieties of birds, up to 400 species of reptiles, and up to 3,000 species of animals. On the windward slopes of volcanic islands, from the coast to the mountain tops, dense forests of evergreen trees interspersed with plantations of coconut palms, bananas, and other crops rise. The leeward slopes are dominated by grassy vegetation.

“Low” islands are coral atolls surrounding lagoons with the richest marine communities. Most of the atolls rise no more than 3 meters above the ocean surface. A typical feature of local lagoons is their shallowness (up to 30 m) and almost complete isolation from the ocean, many lagoons are connected to the open sea by 1-2 narrow passages, which allowed many specific kinds of marine flora and fauna to form here. Abundance and diversity of marine life here is truly enormous, which has turned many islands into natural marine reserves. At the same time, the surface of the atolls themselves are almost lifeless – there are usually 2-3 species of palm trees, rare herbaceous plants and a few species of birds and arthropods. The reason is simple – during tropical storms, the ocean waves break over the low shores of the atolls, washed away all in their path.

Hotels, hotels, prices

Four Season Resort 5*

Type of hotel: cottage complex

Location: beach, 1st line (distance from the sea < 200 м)

Транспортная доступность: близость к аэропорту — далеко (> 40 km)

The Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, belonging to the Four Seasons Resort & SPA chain, offers an unforgettable vacation on the edge of the lagoon, surrounded by tropical trees and pristine waters of the Pacific. Enjoy the natural fragrance of sandalwood and red jasmine with Bora Bora’s breathtaking ocean views and wellness treatments to satisfy mind and body. Highly personalized 24-hour service, combined with authentic, elegant, high quality surroundings, embodies a home away from home for those who know and appreciate the best.

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The resort is located on a coral island – Motu Tehotu, atoll Bora Bora, French Polynesia, accessible from Faa International Airport in Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia, by plane 45 minutes, then by boat 15 minutes.

100 bungalows over water, on stilts.

7 beachfront villas along a private beach.

1-bedroom on-water bungalows for 4 people.

1-bedroom on-the-water pool bungalows, for 4 people.

Luxury Villa with 3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, Jacuzzi, pool, for 6 people.

Premium Villa with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, Jacuzzi, pool, for 6 people.

Beachcomber Inter-Continental Resort 4*

Hotel is located in the city of Bora Bora.

Guestroom amenities at Beachcomber Inter-Continental Resort 4*

Room Service, High Speed Internet, Safe Box, Minibar, Coffee/Kettle, Hair Dryer, TV, DVD Player, Desk, Bathrobes

Infrastructure at the Beachcomber Inter-Continental Resort 4*

Business Center, Parking, Airport Shuttle, Concierge, Dry Cleaning, Nanny/Care Service, Currency Exchange, Secretary Desk, Copy Machine, Fax Machine, Ice Machine, Smoking Rooms, Family Rooms, Free Parking.

Antipodes Club Resort Bora Bora 3*

Hotel Antipodes Club Resort Bora Bora 3* on the island of Bora Bora, French Polynesia: description of the hotel and its rooms with photos and a list of services, hotel location Antipodes Club Resort Bora Bora 3* on the map of Bora Bora.

Formerly known as Novotel Bora Bora Beach Resort 3*.

Novotel Bora Bora Beach Resort is a 3-star resort located on the white sandy beach of French Polynesia. The hotel is perfect for a beach vacation with family or friends. It is ten two-story buildings, built in Polynesian style, with 80 rooms overlooking tropical gardens. It is located on Matira beach, 9 km. from the center of Bora Bora. Number of rooms: 80 rooms. Types of Rooms: Standard Room.

Rooms at Antipodes Club Resort Bora Bora 3*

The rooms are air-conditioned and equipped with satellite TV, Internet connection, bathroom, make-up mirror, hairdryer, safe, tea/coffee maker, work area.

Antipodes Club Resort Bora Bora 3*

Animation, tourist information desk, public and private parking, smoke detectors, 24 hour security, shuttle service to the center of Bora Bora, laundry service, beauty salon. For children: children’s menu in the restaurant, playground, babysitting services (by prior request). Restaurants, bars: TIARE ANE restaurant with an outdoor terrace overlooking the pool and the lagoon. Serves breakfast, buffet style, local a la carte dishes for dinner. Open 7:00-9:30/12:00-14:00/19:00-21, bar. Beach: private sandy beach next to the hotel.

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