A tiny emerald island in the sapphire waters of the South Pacific, it’s impossible not to be blown away by your first glimpse of Bora Bora. This little piece of paradise in the western reaches of French Polynesia seems designed to be admired from the air, with a jagged volcano at its centre set in a shimmering lagoon surrounded by a turquoise-coloured reef. Flights to Bora Bora land at the same airport that served as a US military base during World War II, and which now serves as the international gateway to this picturesque island.
Bora Bora is a luxury destination that prides itself on its exclusive, upmarket appeal. Visitors come here to escape the crowds and enjoy top-class, discreet service in high-end resorts. The main tourist season runs from May to October with a peak among European visitors in July and August, while the period from December to March is slightly wetter, and also when humidity is at its highest. Travel in November or April for the best chance of cheap tickets to Bora Bora with less risk of tropical rainstorms and, if you’re lucky, some tempting last-minute accommodation deals.
There are no direct flights to the island from the UK, so most visitors arrive via Tahiti’s international airport at Papeete and then catch one of Air Tahiti’s connecting services. From Papeete, there are up to five return flights to Bora Bora per day, each taking around 50 minutes, with scenic views thrown in for free. Air New Zealand, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic all fly from London Heathrow to Papeete via Los Angeles, with an average flight time of around 24 hours including a four-hour stopover. From the rest of Britain, the best bet is to get a budget flight to the capital and fly from there.
Bora Bora Airport is built on an island, so the main centre of Vaitape on Bora Bora can only be reached by boat . All the major resorts run boat shuttles for their guests, so simply look out for the sign with your hotel’s name when you arrive. There is no public transport on the island itself, but cars and bicycles can be hired for independent exploration.< /p>
James Cook was the first intrepid European explorer to set foot on Bora Bora in 1770, but he certainly wasn’t the last – though today’s visitors have more leisurely pursuits in mind, such as scuba diving and sunbathing. The island’s main appeal lies in its surrounding ocean, which offers intrepid tourists up-close encounters with fabulous creatures such as manta rays along with many colourful reef fish. Even the accommodation is aqua-centric, consisting primarily of self-contained bungalows built on stilts over the lagoon, with dreamy tropical views in every direction. Take a thrilling shark-feeding plunge with an experienced diving centre, or hire a motorboat to chart your own exciting voyage of discovery.
*Savings based on all holiday package bookings with Flight + Hotel on ebookers.com from January 2017 to December 2017, as compared to the price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages. For Free Flight or 100% Off Flight deals, package savings is greater than or equal to the current cost of one component, when both are priced separately.
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