When most people think of Bora Bora, they imagine mesmerising, shallow emerald waters, quaint, charming lodge huts, and astounding aquatic life, and this depiction is exactly right. The breathtaking Pacific island in tropical French Polynesia is the perfect embodiment of a luxury retreat that still feels largely unspoilt, enabling holidaymakers to become completely in-tune with nature.
Soaring 727 metres into the sky, Mount Otemanu’s rugged, verdant peaks offer a striking textural contrast to the delicate white beaches at her feet. You can explore the mountain and her surrounding jungle on foot with a guide, by 4-wheel drive or helicopter.
If you’re on a quest for adventure and exploration, in the truest sense of the words, there is no activity more rewarding than scuba diving. The sheer clarity of Polynesia’s crystal-clear waters means that you can get up close to the most wonderful and colourful tropical marine life, from turtles, to rays and even sharks. And if you’re looking for an even bigger adrenaline rush, jet skiing along Bora Bora’s shores is a simply must-do. Parasailing, kite-surfing and ‘'aquatic safari' are other thrilling water sports on offer in the area.
Whether you choose to dive beneath the water’s crystal-clear edge or admire the underwater world from above by boat, the coral gardens surrounding Bora Bora should not be missed. A hive of marine activity, you will see some of the 1,000 fish species that inhabit the area. If you’re travelling with young children, taking a glass-bottomed boat tour is the ideal way to enjoy the coral reefs and tropical fish without missing out on a single moment.
The smaller of Bora Bora’s two mountains, Mount Pahia has proved a very popular summit for hiking in recent years, but is not for the faint-hearted. The climb to the top is a challenging 3-hour hike, but once you’re there, the stunning panoramic views of Pahia’s big ‘sister’, Mount Otemanu, and expanse of land and sea below will not fail to disappoint.
Island hopping is a great way to explore Polynesia’s best sites and marine wildlife. And you can choose to do this any way you like, whether by cruise, kayaking or paddleboarding! If you’re lucky, and travelling between July and November, you may even spot a humpback whale.
Bora Bora does not fall short on romantic experiences. From private champagne tours and helicopter rides, to intimate white sand beaches, the island is the perfect relaxing haven for honeymooners or those celebrating an anniversary.
Where to eat in Bora Bora
If you're a fan of French and Asian cuisine, you may want to consider dining at the Lagoon Restaurant by Jean-Georges, which, like most Bora Bora restaurants, uses only the freshest ingredients and offers impeccable hospitality. For other delicious French food, La Villa Mahana restaurant is a great option, while some say that the best sushi and seafood on the island can be found at Matira Beach Restaurant.
Where to stay in Bora Bora
Some of the most popular, luxurious hotels for holidays in Bora Bora include the Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa, the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, the InterContinental Thalasso-Spa Bora Bora, and The St Regis Bora Bora Resort. For more affordable accommodation, the Blue Heaven Island or Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort are two great options.
Best time to visit
Temperatures in Bora Bora vary little during the year, and typically range from around 24 to 30 degrees Celsius. May to October holds the best weather, as there is significantly less rainfall and humidity during this period. However, if you do decide to visit during the dry season, bear in mind that it is Bora Bora’s busiest time of the year. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, but still want plenty of sun, December, January and February (wet season) may be a good option, with the season still averaging around 200 hours of sunshine.
How to get there
As there are no direct flights from the UK to Bora Bora, travellers wishing to visit the gorgeous Polynesian island must make at least two stopovers along the way. The only way to get to Bora Bora is through Tahiti, Polynesia’s largest and more urbanised island.The shortest route from the UK takes you to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Tahiti, and then Tahiti to Bora Bora. Check out our list of flights below to find the route and price that best suits you. Tahiti is well worth a stop if you’re looking for a short break from all the flying. Some may wish to make their trip an even bigger adventure with more connections: for example you can stop in Paris first, before heading to Los Angeles and Tahiti.