Combine bustling cities with relaxing beaches on this South Pacific Islands holiday to the Cook Islands and French Polynesia with stopovers in Auckland & San Francisco. Starting in Auckland, you’ll explore the haven of vineyards, olive groves & beaches of Waiheke Island before jetting off to the Cook Islands, where the swaying palm trees of Rarotonga and the blue lagoon in Aitutaki beckon. Head over to French Polynesia to dive for black pearls in Tahiti and snorkel amongst clouds of colourful fish in Moorea, before finishing in the exciting city of San Francisco where you can feast on noodles in Chinatown. This holiday ticks off pristine beaches, sunny climes and delicious food – what more could you want!
This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements; please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.
Depart the UK from your chosen airport.
On arrival in Auckland you will be met and driven to the ferry terminal, for the short boat journey over to Waiheke Island. Here you’ll make your own way to your hotel, checking in for 3 nights.
You’ll have two full days to relax and explore the beautiful Waiheke Island. This tranquil spot is just off the coast of Auckland but feels worlds away from the big city living. Quaint villages, pretty vineyards and rugged beaches can be found around every corner and you’ll be able to fill your time with a mix of relaxation and adventure.
On Day 3, we’ve included a private wine tour, taking you around three local vineyards for tasting and learning about this scenic island as you drive over the rolling hills. Enjoy lunch and a glass of wine with sea views to die for. The rest of the time is yours to do as much or as little as you like.
Take one last walk along the beachfront before heading back to the ferry terminal for the boat back to Auckland. You’ll be met at the harbour and driven back to the airport in time for your flight to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.
You will be greeted at the airport with a flower lei and driven to your hotel by shared transfer.
On arrival at your accommodation, check in for a 4-night stay.
It’s time to truly relax and set your clock to the laid back 'island time'!
If you want to see what local life is like on the island, head to the main town of Avaru, where there is a market every Saturday. On Sunday mornings you'll find most of the Islanders will be in church, and you're always welcome to join them at their Sunday service for another glimpse of every day local life here. Why not hire a small car, moped or even a bicycle to do some exploring? There are plenty of lovely beaches to explore – some better for swimming, others snorkelling. If you fancy a bit more action, you can go kite surfing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, or open water diving.
After breakfast, you will be taken by shared transfer back to Rarotonga Airport for the short and scenic 45-minute flight to Aitutaki. On arrival, you will be met and driven to your accommodation, where you’ll check-in for a 3-night stay.
We have included a cruise on the beautiful Aitutaki Lagoon. Float above the turquoise waters spotting turtles, then head to some amazing snorkelling sites for an up-close experience in the water. A BBQ lunch is provided and you'll get to visit One Foot Island, a stunning uninhabited island popular with wedding couples looking for a romantic and private ceremony.
The rest of your time in Aitutaki will be spent relaxing and enjoying the endless white beaches of the island.
After checking out, you will be taken to the airport by shared transfer for your flight back to Rarotonga where you’ll spend a final night in the Cook Islands – make sure you pick up any last-minute souvenirs you have got your eye on!
Spend your morning relaxing before being taken by shared transfer to the airport for your flight to Tahiti. On arrival into Papeete Airport, you will be met and greeted with a flower lei before being taken by shared transfer to your pension where you will check in for a 3-night stay.
You have 2 full days now to enjoy the island of Tahiti. Spend your days unwinding by the pool, or swimming or snorkelling at the nearby beach. If you’re keen to explore the island then why not join a whale watching tour, book a canyoning trip to the Lavatubes or hike one of the several volcanoes that offer amazing views and cooling waterfalls to enjoy after your walk.
After a leisurely breakfast, you’ll be collected and taken to the Pier for your boat launch to Moorea, a ferry journey which takes around 30 minutes. On arrival, you’ll be met and taken to your hotel where you will check in for a 4-night stay.
Spend 3 days relaxing on the heart-shaped island of Moorea, admiring beautiful sunrises and experiencing complete relaxation. The island itself can be cycled round in a few hours. Head to the north-west coast for some swimming and snorkelling, or you could take a quad bike or 4WD safari tour to lookout points over the island and its lagoon and bays.
You will be collected from your hotel today and taken by shared transfer to the ferry terminal for your return ferry to Tahiti. On arrival, you will be met and taken to the airport in time to catch your overnight flight to San Francisco.
On arrival, make your way to your San Francisco accommodation. Check in, unpack and refresh; the next 4 days will be an experience to remember. Take the rest of the day at your leisure; stroll the streets or dine on the wharf as the sun sets.
Your first day is yours to explore the city. San Francisco is known for its cool and quirky vibe and iconic landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge. Wander through Union Square and grab a coffee whilst people-watching, visit Fishermans Wharf and make sure to take a walk to China Town to enjoy dim sum – it’s the largest Chinatown outside of Asia and the best place to grab a delicious dinner!
On your second day, you’ll join your day tour of the city. Loop your way around the winding streets and pathways of San Fran, exploring the natural and architectural beauty of this laidback city. Later in the day head to Pier 33 and board your ferry to Alcatraz Island. Enjoy the 45-minute audio tour that escorts you past the halls and cell blocks of the prison. Real inmates from Alcatraz’s glory days whisper rumours and stories into your ear as you stroll down the historic halls. Peering through the barred windows back to the city on the bay will have you questioning what life was really like for these inmates.
It is time to head for the airport in time for your flight home.
The Cook Islands are a great year-round destination with temperatures ranging between 18c and 28c in the winter (October to May) and 21c to 29c in the summer (November to April). The Cooks has a pleasantly even climate year-round with no real weather excesses, although it can rain often thanks to its high inland mountains. The best time of year to visit is around September/October when you will find warm temperatures and low humidity, also March/April when the weather is generally fine and sunny.
The best time to visit French Polynesia is the dry winter period between May and October when the weather is cooler and rainfall is much less. From November to April temperatures rise as the summer rainy season begins bringing humid, cloudy weather and lots of rain. During this time, it is not uncommon to experience brief, violent storms or torrential rains lasting a few days at a time. Peak season is July and August, Christmas and Easter school holidays meaning prices at this time will be at a premium.
This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.