French Polynesia, the dream of sailors and adventurers:

Vahine and tiare flowers with turquoise blue waters as a backdrop, "paradise on earth" according to Bougainville, this is the picture postcard image we have of French Polynesia and its 118 islands.

The French overseas territory is located in the Pacific Ocean (6,000 km east of Australia). The islands and atolls are scattered over a maritime area covering more than 5.5 million square kilometres and bring together five archipelagos that comprise 67 inhabited islands out of the 118 in total:

The Marquesas - Henua'enana or Fenua enata, TUAMOTU - Te mau motu Tuamot, the Society Islands - Totaiete ma, the Gambier Islands - Mangareva ma and, finally, the Austral Islands - Tuha’a pae.

Sailing in French Polynesia:

You don't need to be a sailor to go on a cruise in Polynesia. Your skipper will be the captain of your boat. He will take you to island after island, bay after bay and motu after motu, to discover the most beautiful places in French Polynesia - there's no hurry, you can go at the Polynesian pace of life. Whether you're looking for a tailored holiday for couples (Tahiti is the ultimate romantic destination), with your children or as a group of friends, you can rent a catamaran, sailing boat or yacht to suit you and create your dream holiday.

If you are a sailing amateur, then French Polynesia offers you an enormous playground, accessible to both novice and experienced sailors. Raiatea is an ideal starting point for most sailing adventures. The quality of its moorings is renowned and its location is ideal at the heart of the Society Archipelago. From Raiatea, you can reach the Islands of Huahine, Bora Bora, Maupiti or even Tahaa in just a few hours.

Raiatea, "which created the land", is a sacred island with the most significant cultural complex in the Polynesian triangle, including Te-Pô with Taputapuatea, which is famous across the world. Each year, people from across the triangle gather at cultural ceremonies and meetings which take place here. Raiatea is also home to the tiare 'apethai flower, an endemic flower found on the Temahani plateau. Not only is it the island's iconic symbol, it is also endangered and thus highly protected.

It is important to remember that almost all the atolls and lagoons have "passes" for accessing them, but some of these are narrower than others and often, at certain times of the day the currents make them difficult to pass. Not to mention the coral "patates" which inhabit the lagoons and make sailing quite simply impossible.


Although the zone is famous for being easy to sail, avoid the cyclone season from November to April when winds can reach 70 knots, bearing in mind that, generally, the Marqueses Islands are sheltered from cyclones. This period is called the austral summer and is characterised by hot and humid days with a calm sea.

Outside of this period, it is the austral winter and the region is under the influence of the south-eastern trade winds, relatively strong winds that require you to sail in a zigzag when coming from the east and to choose your route. But there are lovely sunny days with relatively strong southerly and cold winds (+ or – 20 knots).

Coolsailing offers all several tailored packages, from the renting of sailing boats (monohulls, catamarans and trimarans), without a crew, to a private cruise with a skipper, hostess and chef on board.

Don't hesitate to contact the Coolsailing team who will give you all the information and help you need when choosing the package that suits you best.

Worth knowing/Advice

  • Opoa Marae
  • Bora Bora Yacht Club
  • Lagoonarium Village of Fare
  • Avea Bay
  • Black pearl farms
  • Sea turtle reserves

The ports in this sailing area

Moorea, Papeete, Raiatea, Rangiroa, Tahiti, Tuamotu ...


By plane:

Air Tahiti regularly flies to the 48 islands, departing from Tahiti. It also provides a transfer between Papeete and Moorea (10-minute flight).

Raiatea is served by Air Tahiti. Flight time from Tahiti is approximately 45 minutes.

Required documents:

  • Valid passport. Be aware that you may have to stop over in the United States. You must therefore have an ESTA (authorisation to enter American territory)
  • For the skipper: Up-to-date sailing experience


8 knots
8 knots


Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
31° 31° 32° 29° 28° 27°
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
26° 27° 28° 29° 29° 31°