We returned home from our month long adventure somewhat two months ago, and the memories are still lingering in my head. And I am pretty sure that they will be for the rest of my life!
The recent trip to Hawaii and French Polynesia was like a dream come true, so I want to document it and share it with you – maybe you will find it helpful when you are planning your own dream destination getaway.
In this blog post I will share some details about the whole trip: where we bought the tickets, what islands did we visit, and overall experience – and later on I will elaborate on every single one of them. So without further ado, let’s start, shall we?
Flight Tickets to South Pacific
Our initial travel plans were a bit different for this year (but that is another blog post), and when those didn’t turn out, we started brainstorming other possibilities and destinations. It was one evening, that I was scrolling through Facebook and my eye caught a deal for relatively cheap tickets to French Polynesia (including a stopover in San Francisco and a week in Hawaii). It sounded something like this: “California + Hawaii + French Polynesia hopper from Stockholm! Visit San Francisco, Honolulu, Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, Maupiti, Raiatea and Huahine!” Something clicked in my head, I showed the deal to my husband and long story short – we were buying the tickets to one of our dream destinations!
The offer came up on the page Fly4Free – and I have actually seen this deal still floating around! Some of the flights differ slightly, because there is a low cost carrier French Bee flying from France with stopover in San Francisco, but it might turn out even better now (keep those eyes open!).
Our itinerary for the trip was as follows:
- Travel dates: 25.04.2019 – 23.05.2019 (It turned out great for French Polynesia, as it was a so called “shoulder month”, with lower prices and less people than it would be during high season)
04.25: Bergen (BGO) – Copenhagen (CPH) – San Francisco (SFO) – SAS
04.27: San Francisco (SFO) – Honolulu (HNL) – Hawaiian Airlines
05.04: Honolulu (HNL) – Papeete (PPT) – Hawaiian Airlines
05.05: Papeete (PPT) – Moorea (MOZ) – Air Tahiti
05.08: Moorea (MOZ) – Bora Bora (BOB) – Air Tahiti
05.12: Bora Bora (BOB) – Maupiti (MAU) – Air Tahiti
05.17: Maupiti (MAU) – Raiatea (RFP) – Air Tahiti
05.18: Raiatea (RFP) – Huahine (HUH) – Air Tahiti
05.21: Huahine (HUH) – Papeete (PPT) – Air Tahiti
05.21: Papeete (PPT) – San Francisco (SFO) – United
05.22: San Francisco (SFO) – Copenhagen (CPH) – Bergen (BGO) – SAS
During this trip we got to be both in North and South Pacific – sounds very cool when I put it that way! 😉 And…it actually is. It is a very strange and amazing feeling when you start thinking that you are somewhere in the middle of the Pacific ocean, on a small piece of land, that is surrounded by water! Highly recommended to experience this at least once in your lifetime.
First stop before the islands: San Francisco, USA
Aaah, our beloved San Francisco! It always gives us good feelings at it is always nice to come back. So we were more than happy to have it in our itinerary and to start our trip here.
Hawaii Islands: Oahu, Hawaii
We have visited Oahu before, but we felt that we wanted to come back. Hawaii is always a good idea, right? From sunset chasing, to spotting some wildlife (hello, turtles!), to hiking some of the most picturesque mountains, to acai-bowl tasting and more… It has it all!
The Islands of Tahiti: 1. Tahiti
The first, and biggest island, which we got to see only a little glimpse of. It was our pit stop before the further island hopping. But it looked lush, wild and beautiful anyway!
The first island that gave us that very first impression of French Polynesia – beautiful turquoise waters, palm trees, rugged mountains covered in lush jungle – it had everything! And before you ask – I think “lush” will be the key word for the description of this island.
3. Bora Bora
We came for the experience, and it definitely delivered! The lagoon is as beautiful as it gets, and staying in an overwater bungalow, facing the famous Mt. Otemanu, is one of those lifetime experiences that you have to add to your bucket list. Trust me on this. 😉
Called Bora Bora’s discreet little sister, this island is worth the visit 110%. Without the fuss of the resorts , with only family-run pensions, this little charmer will steal your heart away.
Second largest island after Tahiti, it is the cultural, religious and historic centre of the Society Islands. Also, home to one of the rarest flowers in the world!
This was the perfect island to end our trip, as it is effortlessly Polynesian, very calm, and very much in tune with nature. Also, the name Huahine would draw its name from hua, sex/gender and hine, woman. It is said that this name would refer to a pregnant woman – as the shape of the island resembles a lying woman with a belly.
(and what we could have done differently)
There are no words to express how we really felt. I wanted to pinch myself before the trip, during the trip, and after the trip! I feel incredibly grateful for these opportunities, I am happy that we love travel this much, and that this love lead us to yet another bucket list destination. As you can imagine, the overall experience was truly one for the books – I have never seen water so blue and so clear anywhere else, I loved the culture and the food there – and the people, of course!, and underwater life is simply captivating! I want to go back one day, for sure – just to explore the less visited coral islands (or the atolls, in other words).
However, there are always things to learn after each trip, and this time it was getting ourselves educated about each and every island before buying the tickets. I am sorry to say, but there was one island – Raiatea in this case, that we could have skipped and spent more days elsewhere. It does not have beaches, or turquoise lagoons as other islands have, mostly mountains – and if you want to go on a hike, you have to find a guide to go with you. That, sometimes, could be a task on its own. And overall, the island is best suited for the ones sailing with yachts – this way you can experience the island better. That being said, it is still a beautiful island, you just have to know what expectations you have before the trip.