French Polynesia - Welcome to the South Pacific!
The stunning island country of French Polynesia covers an area of 4,000,000 km² in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. The quiet beaches, hidden lagoons and romantic stilt houses in the turquoise-blue water make the dream of the perfect holiday island come true.
Geography - French overseas collectivity in the Pacific Ocean
The island country of French Polynesia covers an area of over four million square kilometres. The French overseas collectivity in the South Pacific Ocean consists of five greater archipelagos. Its best-known archipelago comprises 13 islands of the Society Islands. It is where most of the country's inhabitants live. The most famous islands of Tahiti, Bora Bora and Mo'orea are also part of this archipelago. In addition, there are the 76 atolls of the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Marquesas Islands, Gambier Islands and the Austral Islands. The country's capital is located on Tahiti and is called Papeete. The climate is humid and tropical. With 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, French Polynesia is an excellent destination for sun-worshippers.
Nature - Tropical forest and coral islands
The many islands, atolls and archipelagos look very different. Most of the islands are of volcanic origin but there is also a number of coral islands. The volcanic islands are usually much more mountainous. Tahiti's mountain range, for example, is over 2,000 metres high. The soil, which is rich in minerals, produces a distinct flora. Coconut palms, breadfruit trees, hibiscus, jasmine and the fantastic Tahitian vanilla thrive here. The thick tropical forests are populated by birds and geckos and you can watch turtles lay their eggs at the beach. An even more impressive phenomenon is the lush underwater world. Corals make the atolls dream destinations for all divers.
Natural sights - Paradise on earth
Besides the black basalt beaches on the volcanic islands, you find wonderful bright sandy beach on Tahiti. This is where living in paradise begins. You have tranquillity and relaxation around the clock. The highest mountain is also located on Tahiti. Mont Orohena is 2,241 metres high and a popular destination for day trips. Due to the humid tropical climate, travellers should take it easy and drink a lot of water. Other attractions are the lagoons on Bora Bora and the beautiful Opunohu Valley on Moorea. The tropical forests are crossed by several rivers, which you can travel on in a Polynesian canoe.
Culture - Polynesian tribal culture
Right after the discovery of the first islands, the legend of the island paradise in the South Pacific spread like wildfire. The image of the islands, which was shaped by the Europeans, prevails to the present day and that is due to the fact that many of the stories are true. The Polynesians are a very hospitable nation. They welcome you with flower garlands. After their tribal culture had been suppressed by missionaries for centuries, they found their way back to their old traditions and customs. Holidaymakers are fascinated by this authentic image of Polynesia with local cuisine, tribal dances and body decoration.
Cultural sights - The longed-for destination of Bora Bora
Tahiti is one of the best-known islands in French Polynesia and offers the most sights. It also accommodates the capital of Papeete. Popular photo scenes are Arne Town Hall, which is made of redwood, and the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Other attractions on Tahiti are the Paofai Temple and the town hall Mairie. Culture enthusiasts will enjoy the interesting museums, for example the indigenous Tahiti Museum and the Gauguin Museum. One last sight which needs to be mentioned is the island's oldest lighthouse. It is located at Venus Point - one of the country's most beautiful places. Another treasure in French Polynesia are the stilt houses in the water. This typical island architecture is particularly common on Bora Bora. The sky and the sea form a unified whole here and make visitors' island dream come true.
Experience - French cuisine in the lagoon
The islands offer an excellent combination of the Polynesian and the French cuisine. Luxury hotels and gourmet restaurants only use the best ingredients from the sea or export them from other countries. Of course, dishes from the islands are also worth tasting. Poisson Cru is raw fish which is marinated with lemon and herbs. "Poe" refers to a fruity pudding made of mangos, bananas and papayas. Tahitian vanilla is often used in the preparation of sweet delicacies and it is also the ideal souvenir. The Polynesian islands are not the best location for long and noisy party nights. Tranquillity, relaxation and recreation have priority here. You find exquisite spa facilities at the beach or in the lagoons on the bigger islands. If you do not want to go without evening entertainment, you should visit the capital of Papeete on Tahiti, which offers dancing shows, bars and excellent restaurants.
Activities - Pure relaxation
Travellers who start on the long journey to the Polynesian islands are usually looking for relaxation or intimate togetherness. The country is especially popular with honeymooners. But besides the spa facilities, massages and relaxing hours at the beach, French Polynesia is ideally suited for a number of water sports and diving. Sailing boat trips, deep-sea fishing and horseback riding at the beach are other popular leisure activities.
The best means of transport on the larger islands are buses and rented cars. You can travel from island to island on passenger ships. In addition, you can use the service of the air taxis.
The wonderful island paradise of French Polynesia offers romance, luxury and an excellent cuisine. There is no better way for lovers and newly-weds to start into their shared happy future.