French Polynesia

Travel Guide

French Polynesia2022-04-19T01:39:26-10:00

French Polynesia, The Island Paradise

Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, French Polynesia is an Overseas Territory of the French Republic. Its total surface area is even larger than that of continental Europe. However, land represents only a tiny part of the territory: everywhere the ocean reigns. The five archipelagos of French Polynesia include 118 islands, many of which are uninhabited. They are divided into two main categories: the high islands, i.e. mountainous with a very vertical relief, and the low islands, where the land barely exceeds the sea level. The natural landscapes are of a legendary beauty and no one will remain insensitive in front of such a harmony. On these lands at the end of the world, at the crossroads between Asia, America and Australia, men and women proudly bear the Polynesian culture, both fascinating and generous.

About French Polynesia

  • Location: Océan Pacifique

  • Area: 5.000.000 km²

  • Population : 283.000 inhabitants

  • Main City: Papeete, Tahiti

  • Currency: CFP franc XPF

  • International Airport: Tahiti-Faaa

Tahiti

Moorea

Bora Bora

Tikehau

Rangiroa

Maupiti

Huahine

Raiatea

Tahaa

Why Visit French Polynesia

French Polynesia has become part of the collective imagination as a paradise on earth where men and women live in harmony with a nature of indescribable beauty and the slow pace of the southern islands. Tahiti and her islands would appear to be the ideal destination for dreaming with open eyes. However, the myth is very close to reality: French Polynesia is a true paradise on earth. The disconnection from the modern world is total and the romanticism of the Polynesian islands makes each stay a moment of grace, a memorable experience.

Although accessible by plane, going to French Polynesia requires time and a substantial budget. It is the trip of a lifetime, and often that of a honeymoon. However, the diversity of itineraries in French Polynesia makes the experience possible for all travelers looking for a change of scenery and the sweetness of island life.

A trip to French Polynesia has the added benefit of being virtually risk-free in terms of health and safety. The country is one of the most peaceful in the world with almost no insecurity. Its population is very warm and open to foreign visitors. Moreover, the local wildlife is generally harmless and no special vaccinations are required. Everything is gathered to spend a calm and worry-free stay.

The Essentials Of French Polynesia

1. Amazing Natural Landscapes

The Polynesian islands are among the most beautiful in the world. The nature is exuberant, authentic and often wild, largely preserved from the harmful effects of industrialization. All the colors seem more vivid and healthy. Those of the countless lagoons with waters of a thousand shades of blue are captivating and charming. The colors of the sands, often white, sometimes black and even pink, fascinate. On the high islands, the majestic mountains show brown rocky colors on their tops and dominate a green vegetation that breathes life. Coming to French Polynesia is above all a pleasure for the senses, an explosion of colors and an extraordinary harmony where life is good.

French Polynesia is an island landscape lost in the infinite ocean, powerful and untamable. If it is voluptuous and harmonious, nature is also unpredictable and demanding. To visit Tahiti and her islands is perhaps to rediscover the sense of beauty, as raw and absolute as a diamond can be.

2. The Generosity of Polynesian Culture

The people of French Polynesia are proud of their roots and their culture. The Polynesian heritage is greatly emphasized by the whole society through the numerous rites and traditions that are perpetuated in the islands. Dancing, tattooing, singing, and massage are all vectors that guarantee the local cultural particularity. What may appear to some as exoticism is in reality the affirmation of a Polynesian identity. Coming to Polynesia is to discover a rich and multiple culture.

This does not prevent the Polynesian islanders from being open to outside influences. Above all, they are distinguished by their profound kindness and a sense of hospitality without limits. Their rhythm of life is that of the islands, where sharing and simplicity are the norm. As such, French Polynesia is a quiet and pleasant destination, where serenity is experienced daily.

3. Numerous and Diverse Activities

You will always find something to do in French Polynesia. With so much natural beauty, outdoor activities are the most popular. You will enjoy the sublime beaches for swimming, and you will not fail to venture inland on a hike. It’s also about discovering the incredible aquatic life during snorkeling trips or scuba diving, either in the lagoon or in the ocean. You will meet black tip sharks and manta rays.

Other more cultural activities are possible. You will visit the sacred lands of the Polynesian civilization and will also be able to attend the very frequent traditional dance shows. Finally, you will enjoy a very high quality hotel offer to simply spend a pleasant moment of relaxation, completely disconnected from the worries of daily life.

The beach at the Conrad Hotel in Bora Bora, French Polynesia

French Polynesia in a Nutshell

French Polynesia is a dream destination to spend the best vacation or the most romantic honeymoon. A stay in the islands will leave you with lasting memories. Many itineraries are possible from the remote Australs to the enigmatic Marquesas. The islands of the Tuamotu archipelago and especially those of the Society with Tahiti and Bora Bora remain by far the most accessible, both for the quality of the offer and for the diversity of the landscapes.

It is impossible to resist the charm of French Polynesia and every day there will be a source of discovery and encounters. To get the most out of your experience, it is essential to plan a stay of at least two to three weeks.

Good to Know

  • Language: The official language is French. However, the use of Tahitian and Polynesian languages is quite frequent in everyday life, and even more so in the remote islands. Two expressions to know in Tahitian: ia ora na (good morning) and māuruuru (thank you).

  • Religion: The Christian religion through its evangelist and restorationist cults plays a major role in the organization of society, of which it is one of the pillars. Consequently, daily life comes to a complete halt on Sundays and during religious holidays.

  • Prices: The cost of living is very high in French Polynesia, which is considered the 3rd most expensive country in the world, behind Switzerland and Sweden. Prices are on average one third higher than in France.

  • Inter-island flights: Because of the distances between each island, air travel is preferred to boat travel. The best deals are to be found on Air Tahiti, which offers different Multi-Island Passes depending on the destination and the price.

Coral reef in Huahine, French Polynesia

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