Climate of French Polynesia
French Polynesia is a country located in Oceania, consisting of an estimated 130 islands in the Pacific Ocean. Although French Polynesia has a high degree of self-government, it is still officially part of France. Some islands are very flat, but there are also some that are downright mountainous, such as Tahiti and Bora Bora. The highest point in French Polynesia is no less than 2241 meters high. It is about the top of Mont Orohena on the island of Tahiti. French Polynesia has a mix of tropical climate types and a subtropical climate in high places, because the temperature criteria for a tropical climate are not always met there. The most common climate is the tropical savanna climate, with an irregular precipitation pattern.
On average, in French Polynesia there is 1400 to 2000 millimeters per year, with fairly large differences in the course within a year. The central west islands of Tahiti and Bora Borahave a really wetter and drier season. The least precipitation falls here in the period from June to October, after which both the amount of precipitation and the frequency of the showers increase. The islands more easterly, northerly and southerly have smaller differences in the monthly precipitation sum. As a rule, almost all rain falls in the form of showers. Especially on the islands where there are no mountains, there are often only passing showers. On islands with higher mountains, such as Tahiti, it can rain a bit longer, especially on the windward side. Totally cloud-free skies are rare in French Polynesia. Often there are some clouds on the horizon, which provide a nice contrast between land, sea and sky.
Much of French Polynesia is in an area prone to hurricanes, tropical storms and tropical depressions. Hurricane season begins in late October and lasts through June. During the hurricane season, all islands except the Marquesas Islands are at risk of hurricanes or bad weather due to tropical depressions in close proximity.
The figures below are based on long-term average climate statistics. The temperatures are displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).
|Maximum temperature||Minimum temperature||Hours of sunshine per day||Days of rainfall per month||Water temperature|
Best time to visit French Polynesia
Do you want to know when is the best time to travel to French Polynesia? You can determine the best time to travel to a destination based on the weather and climate. In addition, there are other factors that are not directly related to the weather and that can influence the best travel periods for a travel destination. Think, for example, of holidays or festive periods, which makes traveling more interesting or not, because daily life comes to a standstill as a result. French Polynesia is centrally located in the Pacific Ocean. This archipelago consists of 118 islands, almost two-thirds of which are inhabited. French Polynesia has a strong relationship with France. Although today it is a country with a high degree of decision-making power, there are still parts that are under the control of the French government. For tourists, French Polynesia is above all an ultimate beach destination where you can enjoy dream holidays in the most beautiful beach resorts or water villas. A holiday in French Polynesia is hardly affordable for the common man or woman from Europe. The high prices for airline tickets make a vacation on Tahiti, Bora Bora or any other Polynesian island almost unaffordable. Spending the night in the more luxurious hotels will also cost you a fortune. French Polynesia is divided into five island groups: the Society Islands, Tuamotu, the Gambier Islands, the Austral Islands, and the Marquesas Islands. All islands have a tropical climate with in some places a subtropical climate. The afternoon temperatures on popular islands such as Tahiti and Bora Bora are around 28 to 32 degrees Celsius. This is often manageable with a sea breeze. There is quite a bit of rain in French Polynesia. The amount depends on geographic location and whether a site is on the windward or leeward side of a volcano.
Hurricanes can occur in French Polynesia. These severe tropical storms can form over the southern areas of the Pacific Ocean from November through May. In exceptional cases, hurricanes occur outside the hurricane season. Because French Polynesia is located in the eastern corner where the hurricanes originate, these islands are significantly less likely to be hit by a hurricane than islands further west.
The Society Islands
For the Society Islands (to which Bora Bora and Tahiti belong) and the Tuamotu Islands, the best time to travel is from June to September. Because this largely coincides with the French summer holidays, this is an expensive travel period. If you want to get something cheaper, it’s better to wait until the second half of September. The airline tickets and hotels are still expensive, but to a lesser extent than during the summer holidays.
Do you want to travel to the Marquesas Islands? Then the period from August to November is the best time to travel for a wonderful holiday in the sun. These are the drier months.