French Polynesia Guide
The physical embodiment of the tropical island dream, French Polynesia is a group of islands suspended like seductive sandy jewels in the turquoise waters of the South Pacific Ocean. The group is further divided into five small island groups: the Society Islands, the Tuamotus, the Australs, the Gambier Archipelago and the Marquesas. Tahiti is the main island of the 118 that make up French Polynesia and is where the region’s capital, Pape’ete, lies.
The most populated islands in the group are Tahiti and Moorea however French Polynesia covers an area of the Pacific Ocean as big as Europe. A popular destination for honeymooners due to those ubiquitous palm-fringed beaches, white sandy shores and translucent lagoons, French Polynesia has much to offer all travellers. Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora is where you’ll find the majority of the 5-star hotels and resorts including those stunning Polynesian-style overwater bungalows which make the most of the mesmerising marine life below.
Boasting such stunning ambient delights, it’s your choice to do as little or as much as you please. Whether you choose to soak up the rays with your toes in the sand on an idyllic beach on Maupiti, get ‘marooned’ on a unspoilt island, enjoy a pampering spa session on Bora Bora or trace a pirate’s steps through the mysterious Tuamotu Islands, there’s plenty to keep you occupied on a French Polynesian holiday.
With such stunning lagoons, beaches and reefs on hand, engaging in water activities of all persuasions is the obvious drawcard of French Polynesia. Divers and snorkellers are spoilt for choice with crystal clear waters, a plethora of marine life, coral reefs, low-lying atolls and deep lagoons aplenty. Surf’s up with big-wave heaven in Tahiti, or take a leisurely cruise around the Gambier Archipelago.
On land, and away from the beach, a trip to a pearl farm on Tahaa or on the Tuamotu Islands is the ideal way to view and discover the origins of the rare and prized Tahitian black pearls. To see ancient Polynesian sacred sites, known as marae, head to Ra’latea.
While French Polynesia is the epitome of heaven for most imaginations, the prices are certainly not. As you’d expect from such an isolated island group, the cost of purchasing anything is quite expensive. It’s recommended to take enough money to cover expenses and incidentals to ensure you really can enjoy the French Polynesian laidback way of life.