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April 24, 2024

Moorea Island

Exploring Paradise: An Insider’s Guide to the Society Islands

Welcome to the epitome of paradise on Earth – the Society Islands! Nestled in the heart of the South Pacific Ocean, these jewels of French Polynesia offer a tapestry of breathtaking landscapes, vibrant cultures, and unparalleled luxury. In this guide, we are going to be going over everything there is to know about the Society Islands in French Polynesia. 

Let’s embark on a journey to uncover the hidden treasures of this idyllic archipelago.

The Society Islands: A Paradise on Earth

The Society Islands, also known as “Îles de la Société” in French, comprise a group of 15 islands scattered across the South Pacific Ocean. With their pristine white sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and lush tropical landscapes, these islands beckon travelers from around the globe to indulge in their enchanting beauty.

Where Are the Society Islands?

Situated in the heart of the South Pacific Ocean, the Society Islands are part of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France. Geographically, they are divided into two main groups: the Windward Islands (Îles du Vent) and the Leeward Islands (Îles Sous-le-Vent).

When Is the Best Time to Visit the Society Islands?

When planning a trip to the Society Islands, timing can make a significant difference in your experience. Understanding the weather patterns and seasonal variations can help you make the most of your island getaway. Here’s what you need to know when planning your visit:

Dry Season (May to October)

The dry season, spanning from May to October, is generally considered the best time to visit the Society Islands. During these months, you can expect sunny days, balmy temperatures, and lower humidity levels. This makes it an ideal time for outdoor activities such as snorkeling, diving, hiking, and exploring the islands’ natural wonders.

Peak Season (June to August)

June to August marks the peak tourist season in the Society Islands, attracting visitors from around the world. The weather is typically at its best during this time, with clear skies and calm seas. However, it’s essential to book accommodations and activities well in advance, as popular resorts and excursions tend to fill up quickly.

Shoulder Seasons (April, May, September, and October)

The shoulder seasons of April, May, September, and October offer a great balance between favorable weather and fewer crowds. You can still enjoy plenty of sunshine and pleasant temperatures, but with fewer tourists, allowing for a more relaxed and intimate experience. Plus, you may find better deals on accommodations and activities during these months.

Wet Season (November to April)

The wet season in the Society Islands runs from November to April, characterized by higher humidity levels and the possibility of occasional rain showers and tropical storms. While this period may not be as popular with tourists, it can still offer plenty of opportunities for exploration and relaxation, especially if you don’t mind occasional rain showers. Additionally, this time of year can be ideal for surfers, as the larger swells bring excellent waves to some of the islands.

Ultimately, the best time to visit the Society Islands depends on your preferences and priorities. Whether you’re seeking sunny skies, cultural festivals, or quieter beaches, there’s a perfect time to experience the magic of these enchanting islands.

Which Islands Are in the Society Islands?

The Society Islands encompass a diverse array of stunning destinations, each offering its own unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and recreational opportunities. The archipelago is divided into two distinct groups:

  • Windward Islands (Îles du Vent) (arranged from east to west)
    • Mehetia
    • Tahiti
    • Teti’aroa
    • Moorea
    • Maiao
  • Leeward Islands (Îles Sous-le-Vent)
    • Huahine
    • Raiatea
    • Taha’a
    • Bora Bora
    • Tupai
    • Maupiti
    • Mopelia
    • Motu One
    • Manuae

Below is a review of some of the most-visited and popular islands.

Bora Bora

The Crown Jewel of the South Pacific

Bora Bora island, often hailed as the “Pearl of the Pacific,” captivates visitors with its unparalleled beauty and romantic allure. This iconic island is renowned for its breathtaking lagoon, which shimmers in mesmerizing shades of turquoise. Dominating the landscape is the majestic Mount Otemanu, a dormant volcano that rises dramatically from the center of the island.

But Bora Bora island is more than just a postcard-perfect destination; it’s a haven for luxury travelers seeking the ultimate indulgence. Overwater bungalows, perched on stilts above the crystal blue waters, offer unparalleled privacy and serenity. From indulgent spa treatments to gourmet dining experiences, Bora Bora promises a retreat like no other.


Nature’s Playground

Just a short ferry ride from Tahiti, Moorea welcomes visitors with its lush landscapes, lush peaks, and vibrant culture. Often referred to as “the Magical Island,” Moorea is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike, there are many Moorea activities to experience while on the island.

One of the island’s most iconic features is its stunning mountain ridges, which form a dramatic backdrop to the pristine beaches and crystal-clear lagoon. Adventurous travelers can embark on many hiking excursions to explore hidden waterfalls, lush valleys, and panoramic viewpoints offering sweeping vistas of the French Polynesian island below.

The underwater world surrounding Moorea is equally captivating, with vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life. Snorkelers and divers can encounter a world of tropical fish, graceful stingrays, and even the occasional reef shark. For a truly unforgettable experience, don’t miss the opportunity to swim with stingrays in the shallow waters of the lagoon.

When considering accommodations on Moorea, Villa Eutierra stands out as a top choice for travelers seeking an unforgettable stay. Nestled amidst lush tropical gardens with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and lagoon, Villa Eutierra offers a serene retreat away with plenty of  modern amenities. Book your stay today to have an unforgettable experience in the Society Islands.

Check out our complete Moorea, Island Travel Guide here. 


Gateway to Paradise

Tahiti, the largest and most populous main island in French Polynesia, serves as the gateway to the enchanting Society Islands. Boasting a unique blend of Polynesian culture, cosmopolitan vibes, and natural beauty, Tahiti island offers something for every type of traveler.

Papeete, the vibrant capital city of Tahiti, is a bustling hub of activity, with colorful markets, lively nightlife, and world-class dining options. Explore the bustling Papeete Market, where vendors sell everything from fresh produce and tropical fruits to handcrafted souvenirs and traditional crafts.

But beyond the hustle and bustle of the city lies a pristine paradise waiting to be discovered. Explore the lush interior of the main island on a guided 4×4 safari, where you’ll encounter cascading waterfalls, hidden grottos, and lush tropical rainforests. Or venture off the beaten path to discover secluded black sand beaches, rugged coastal cliffs, and panoramic viewpoints offering breathtaking vistas of the surrounding islands.


The Sacred Island

Raiatea, known as the “Sacred Island,” holds a special place in Polynesian history and culture. Considered the cradle of Polynesian civilization, Raiatea is steeped in ancient traditions and legends that have been passed down through generations.

One of the island’s most iconic landmarks is the Taputapuatea Marae, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important cultural sites in French Polynesia. This ancient temple complex served as the religious and political center of the Polynesian world and is still considered a sacred site by the local Maohi people.

In addition to its rich cultural heritage, Raiatea also offers natural wonders waiting to be explored. Discover lush vanilla plantations, romantic lagoons, and secluded motus (islets) perfect for picnicking or snorkeling. Embark on a guided boat tour of the Faaroa River and marvel at the lush vegetation and exotic birdlife that call its banks home.


The Garden of Eden

Huahine, often referred to as “the Garden of Eden,” is a tranquil oasis off the beaten path. Far removed from the hustle and bustle of modern life, this hidden gem offers a glimpse into the untouched beauty of the South Pacific.

One of Huahine’s most distinctive features is its dual islands, connected by a short bridge and surrounded by a vibrant turquoise lagoon. Explore the lush landscapes of Huahine Nui (Big Huahine) and Huahine Iti (Little Huahine) on a scenic bike ride or guided hiking excursion, where you’ll encounter ancient stone fish traps, sacred temples, and hidden waterfalls.

For water enthusiasts, Huahine offers a wealth of opportunities for snorkeling, diving, and paddleboarding. Explore the colorful coral gardens and pristine reefs teeming with tropical fish, or venture out into the open ocean in search of dolphins, sea turtles, and manta rays.

What Is the Best Time of Year to Visit the Society Islands?

The Society Islands enjoy a warm and tropical climate year-round, making them an ideal destination at any time. However, the best time to visit is during the dry season, which runs from May to October. During this time, you’ll experience less rainfall, lower humidity, and cooler temperatures, perfect for outdoor activities and sightseeing.

How to Choose the Best Island for Your Next Vacation?

With so many stunning islands to choose from, selecting the perfect destination for your next vacation can be daunting. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Interests and Activities: Determine what activities and experiences are a priority for you. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, each French Polynesian island offers a unique array of opportunities.
  • Accessibility: Consider how easy it is to reach your desired island. Tahiti serves as the main entry point, with regular flights from major international airports.
  • Budget: Take into account your budget and the cost of accommodations, activities, and dining options on each island.
  • Time of Year: Consider the weather patterns and seasonal events that may influence your travel plans.

Wrapping Up

Ultimately, no matter which island you choose, the Society Islands promise a once-in-a-lifetime experience filled with unforgettable moments and unparalleled beauty. So pack your bags, embark on an adventure of a lifetime, and discover the magic of Tahiti and its neighboring islands.