Bora Bora - The perfect honeymoon destination ( 19/10/2017 )

No other island seems to be so famous for its honeymooners as the small island of Bora Bora. Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in the archipelago of French Polynesia, it sure is isolated from rest of the world. Flight time of 24 hours from Scandinavia in the best case of connections makes it not the everyday holiday destinations.

Hopefully you just marry once so my wife and I decided to make that special visit to Bora Bora as our honeymoon three years ago. As always I usually want to fly the national carrier of the country, in this case Air Tahiti Nui was the choice. The airline operate a direct flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle all the way to Papeete with just a short enroute stop in Los Angeles. The Polynesian atmosphere and hospitality was greeted already when boarding the beautiful painted Airbus A340-300.


Window view of the four engined Airbus A340 above the Pacific Ocean

To get most out of our visit to French Polynesia, we made a combination stay at two Pearl Beach Resorts on the island of Moorea and Bora Bora. Since the Air Tahiti Nui flight back home depart from the main island of Tahiti we also got one day and night in Papeete to explore.

Bora Bora was the reason why going to French Polynesia and after a four nights acclimatization on Moorea to the easy going Tahitian living it was time to catch the domestic flight to Bora Bora. The domestic airline called Air Tahiti operates ATR aircraft around the Tahitian islands, which covers an area as big as Europe. The flight was around 1,5 hours and the airport was located in the edge of the lagoon with boat as the only transportation option to your resort.

The national flower Tiare which you were greeted already when boarding the Air Tahiti Nui aircraft in Paris/Charles de Gaulle

The overwater bungalows at the Pearl Beach Resort at Bora Bora


Enjoying the national dish, Poisson Cru, in the overwater bungalow

From the first impression when arriving to Bora Bora was a feeling of paradise. That feeling got even better when opening the door to our overwater bungalow with crystal clear water underneath and beautiful views of the lagoon and Mount Otemanu. This would be our home for the coming five nights and we didn't leave the bungalow more than neccessary. Vacation mode was on and the days went by doing not that much else than sunbathing and snorkeling. The Tahitian sun was extremely warm so it was great to stay close to the water even though the swims didn't cool you down that much. Lunch was either eaten at the greater complex by the beach or as we mostly did ordered it to the bungalow. The dishes was of course mainly from the sea and don't miss to taste the national dish called Poisson Cru.

My wife enjoying the sun from the terrace of our overwater bungalow

Paradise beach

Great view of Mount Otemanu when waking up


Paradise beach with palms and fine grained white sand

What to do more on this paradise island apart from sunbathing and snorkeling? My wife and I want to explore and get most out of all our trips and this time was no exception even though we were a little more relaxed than usual. There is especially two activities you can't miss when being at Bora Bora in my opinion.

To really experience the true beauty of this paradise a helicopter ride is a must-do. I can't say anything else than I really recommend you to do the same. It might be a little prizy but it's worth every polynesian franc. The lagoon looks almost surrealistic from above and among the most beautiful view I have ever seen. I didn't know there was so many shades of blue and turquoise. The flight is about 15 min and we were lucky to have a helicopter pad at our resort. From there the routing took us around the edges of the lagoon to get up close to all other overwater bungalow resorts and then a close fly-by of the top of Mount Otemanu. In our case we also passed by the airport on our way back to the resort and managed to see an Air Tahiti ATR aircraft taking off. The flight was short but the same goes with the island so no problem to see it all. It was a truly amazing experience to see everything from above, more photos from the flight can be seen in the French Polynesia gallery.

This captain has probably one of the most beautiful offices out there
The 15 minutes helicopter flight offered spectacular views of Bora Bora and the lagoon

The shades of blue and turquoise are just amazing


The overwater bungalows as seen from above

Another great activity to recommend is to swim with sharks. There is several operators doing the cruises onto the reef where you find the blacktip shark. If everything seems alright with the sharks according to the instructors, you are free to jump right in and take a swim with a great number of those blacktips. During our snorkeling we also had some rays which actually were even more indiscreet. A truly memorable experience and I can assure the pulse was a little faster than usually when entering the water. The blacktip sharks shall be harmless to people and fortunately even to us that day.

The transportation to/from the reef also included some great views of the lagoon, Mount Otemanu and the other resorts which passed by quite close. Finally the cruise ended up with a visit to a small rescue center for sea turtles and other endangered species in the area.

My wife swimming with blacktip sharks


A lot of black tip sharks around you

As you can see from the photos from the air, the water in the lagoon is crystal clear and most of the bottoms on the shallow parts around the resorts are missing corals. By our Pearl Beach Resort there was actually several corals planted which you could explore up close. A lot of different species of colorful fishes had found their new homes here but most of the time you just had to jump into the shallow water to see some fish below or around your bungalow. From time to time even rays came swimming below the bungalows. Since I had brought my underwater house to the camera, I found it very interesting to be shooting half under/over surface shots when snorkeling around and had no problems spending several hours in the warm water.

I guess Bora Bora is not the destination of choice if you are cost conscious. It might be a pricy airline ticket just getting there and certainly a long journey from almost anywhere in the world. Anyhow, if you have the possibility I don't think you will regret spending the honeymoon or holiday for that matter at Bora Bora.

This is paradise!

Air Tahiti Nui Airbus A340-300 direct service to Paris Charles de Gaulle via Los Angeles