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4th April 2004
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 Holiday | Programmes | 50
French Polynesia

French Polynesia

Best time to go: June through to October, especially July, when the month-long Heiva i Tahiti festivities take place

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Craig Doyle
All you honeymooners out there just managed to vote in French Polynesia, the last entry in the top 50 places to see before you die.

Known as the pearl of French Polynesia, Bora Bora is part of the Society Islands in French Polynesia, located 165 miles (265 kilometres) northwest of Tahiti, a mountainous island surrounded by coral reefs.

The main island is in the centre of a multicoloured lagoon which is 3 times the size of the land mass. Seen from the air, Bora Bora has been described as 'a tiny emerald in a setting of turquoise, encircled by a sheltering necklace of sparkling pearls.'

The name Bora Bora comes from the Tahitian - Pora Pora meaning first born. According to legend, the god Taaroa fished the island out of the water after the mythical creation of the island of Raiatea. In fact, Bora Bora was created by a huge volcano which came into existence 3 or 4 million years ago.

Visitors to Bora Bora can enjoy swimming in the lagoon, snorkelling in the coral gardens and enjoying the stunning beaches, and the green wreathed volcanic peaks add drama to the setting.

Along with enjoying the natural beauty of Bora Bora, visitors can see the army bunkers and cannons which are remnants from World War II.

The island attracts many regular celebrity visitors, such as Pierce Brosnan, Eddie Murphy, Cher and Goldie Hawn.

See our other report from French Polynesia.


All prices are approximate, and provided as a guide only. Always double-check prices with individual organisations. Please note that the BBC is neither responsible for, nor endorses the external sites shown on this page.

Price: Flights to Papeete around £1000 return

Approx flight time: About 20 hours from London, via Papeete. Internal flights or sea travel between the islands

  • in 2001, 1,963 tourists from the UK visited the island on Bora Bora and among those were more than 470 honeymooners
  • Bora Bora has three mountainous peaks, but the highest is Mount Otemanu, 2,384 feet high
  • Bora Bora�s signature cocktail is the Bora Bora sunset cocktail, made up of Cacao cream, vodka, sour cream and nutmeg
What's your holiday money worth?
"Hi, I'm thinking of doing the Sydney to Cairns trip and back again sometime next year. But it's on a budget, so I'm really looking for a bus company that you pay before travelling and just jump on and jump off it when you want. Something like a travel pass. If anyone can help I'd appreciate it! Ta!"

Can you help Wenny T?
See when your favourite Holiday programmes are next on TV.
Country Facts
Time difference
GMT = 10 hours behind

Visa (with UK passport)
Not required for visits of three months or less

Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Inoculations & health
Typhoid, Hepatitis A recommended, Diphtheria Tuberculosis and Hepatitis B sometimes recommended

BBCi Health

French Pacific Franc (CFP)
Check out the latest rates: use our currency converter

Tahitian, French and English

BBCi Languages

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