A paradise for sailing. The Leeward Islands and the Society Islands are among the five archipelagos that make up French Polynesia. Raiatea, the starting base is located in one of the most diverse areas for sailing.
The islands offer deep and sheltered bays with a virtually unlimited number of moorings. The reefs and lagoon side are bordered mostly by white sandy expanses with turquoise waters.
Weather: Sailing is generally easy between islands, the trade winds blowing from east to west. From July to September, the mara’amu, a south wind, can reach a force of 6 to 7 (25-30 knots) provoking a choppy sea especially in the channels between the islands. Conditions: The biggest threat comes from coral heads. Be aware of differences in water colours, which inevitably announce a change in depth or ground type. It is always prudent to sail with the sun high in the sky, and if possible behind you. The setting sun is a real trap, it hides absolutely everything on the surface of the water.
Flights: Tahiti Air Tahiti Nui, Air France, Qantas, Air New Zealand, Hawaiian Airlines, JAL. Average price: € 1700 to € 5000
Papers: A passport valid until 6 months after date of return is advised in case of prolonged or unexpected stopover in the United States. Citizens of European Union countries and Swiss nationals can remain without a visa for 3 months. A return ticket is mandatory except for French citizens.
Vaccine / health: The generous nature of the Polynesian islands offers no particular danger. No vaccine required, except in special cases of epidemics in Europe or for travellers from countries at risk.
Time zone: The local time is GMT -10 in winter, just two hours east of the international date line, and GMT -11 in summer. The Marquesa islands are half an hour ahead of the rest of Polynesia. 21 hours flying between Paris and Papeete.
Currency: The Pacific Franc