They are also called the islands of French PolynesiaTahitian Islandsbecause the main island and the most visited of all the islands of French Polynesia is Tahiti. In addition, Tahiti is the gateway to all other less crowded and isolated islandsPolynesian Islands.
An overview of the French Polynesian Islands
I wonder why these islands, islets and atolls in the South Pacific are called "French Polynesia" when all Polynesian islands are outposts of France.
Why not just call it "Polynesia", meaning all 118 islands and islets in the South Pacific with an area of almost 4,200 square kilometers?
Some of these islands in French Polynesia are very far from Tahiti and difficult to get to. The furthestPolynesian Islandis up to 2000 km!
Did you know that venomous snakes have no place in French Polynesia?
French Polynesia archipelago
The islands of French Polynesia are divided into five archipelagos, which are named as follows:
- society islands. There are two archipelagos in its classification, namely the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands;
- Australian islands
- Gambier Islands
- Tuamotu Islands
- Marquesas Islands
The well-known island of Tahiti is part of Society Island, where the majority (69%) of Polynesians live. The capital of Tahiti is Papeete.
Bora Bora is a frequently mentioned Polynesian island. It is often called the first "most beautiful island" in the world.
Let's cruise to an island in the South Pacific on a luxury yacht and dock in one of the most remote locations French Polynesia Islands.
Keep in mind that these Polynesian islands are almost uninhabited, so there isn't much to see or do. You simply have the whole beach to yourself. Just swim, surf, sunbathe, eat and lounge. There will be no soul to disturb your dreams.
If you are really interested in extreme sports then go for itkitesurfing'.
Oh yes, I almost forgot; If you dare to venture deep into the South Pacific off the coast of Tahiti, there is no better country than Polynesia. Almost every Polynesian island is perfect for diving. Underneath there are many marine organisms and the corals of the South Pacific are colorful.
FRENCH POLYNESIA ISLANDS: Maupiti chain of islands
Notice the location of the island of Maupiti and its distance from Tahiti on the map above?
The island of Maupiti lies in the middle of an atoll (a ring-shaped chain of islands).
Check out the photo below showing what the atoll will look like.
So basically, an atoll can also be called an archipelago, right?
Maupiti Atoll is part of the Society Islands archipelago. Surprisingly, there is a volcano on one of the small islands of Maupiti Atoll.
All these curiosities about Maupiti must encourage you to travel to the Polynesian coast.
As there are several small islands and islets in the Maupiti Atoll, it is the perfect place to board a small catamaran and visit all the uninhabited islands along the ring.
On these islands you can discover an unknown flora, countless shells and crabs crawling everywhere on the sandy beach. You will feel like AColumbusWhen you find that some islands are empty, you put your feet up.
Maupiti's geographic and ecological diversity attracts avid island lovers, botanists and marine life enthusiasts, and above all lovers of privacy.
Next to the natural beauty of Bora Bora lies the Maupiti Atoll.
Sights of Maupiti Island:
- Berg Teurufaaitu- If you climb to the top of this mountain, you can see several Polynesian islands including Tahiti, Bora Bora and Raiatea.
- Archaeological ruins dating back to 850 AD
At the last census twelve years ago, the population was 1,200. (Source: Wikipedia)
We say goodbye to the Maupiti Islands archipelago and head to another Polynesian island called Tetiaroa.
French Polynesian Islands: Tetiaroa Atoll
It's the atoll again, mate.
As I write this text, I feel like I'm there, enjoying the salty but cool sea breeze and breathing in the smell of fish.
I read that the ancient Tahitian royal family used the island of Tetiaroa to relax and rest. This Polynesian island is part of the Society Islands archipelago.
From Tahiti you can quickly reach the Tetiaroa Atoll, as the island of Tahiti is only about 50 km away.
There is an airstrip in Tetiarao. A resort originally built by a legendary Hollywood actorMarlon BrandoNow it serves casual tourists. He lived in Tetiaroa for several years.
The island of Fakarava in French Polynesia belongs to the Tuamotu groupislands. With an area of up to 1100 km2, it is a really big island in Polynesia. Its length and width is 60 by 21 km.
About 850 Polynesians live on this Tahitian island.
Fakarawa Island is known for its diverse marine life and has been recognized by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve.
Rarely visited by tourists, Farakawa looks almost like a virgin island with a pristine ecosystem.
Pearl collectors frequently visit this Polynesian island. In addition, marine explorers who can also dive prefer this large atoll.
Mangareva is only 8 km long. I suppose that in about two hours you can walk across this small Polynesian island and touch the water from both sides!
Mangareva Island is part of the Gambier Islands archipelago in French Polynesia. Mangareva Island is surrounded by several small islands, which makes Mangareva classified as an atoll.
Getting to Mangareva Atoll is a hassle as it is almost 1000 km away from the main island of Tahiti. Weekly flights from Tahiti to Mangareva Island.
Polynesians consider Mangareva to be an island„end of the world'.
If you happen to travel to the ends of the earth, you will love this viewMount Duff.
Several ancient ruins indicate that Christian missionaries were active in this part of Polynesia several centuries ago.
French Polynesian Islands: Raiatea Atoll
Did you know that the first Polynesians lived on the island of Raiatea (atoll)? It is believed that the Polynesians sailed far into Hawaii just from the island of Raiatea and settled there.
The island of Raiatea is part of the Society Islands archipelago and Tahiti is only a 45 minute flight from Raiatea.
There is not much to see in Raiatea Atoll. There's only one thing you have to do; just get wet I mean diving in the rather shallow waters of the South Pacific.
All of Polynesian culture developed here, as evidenced by the ruins of Taputapuatea, the sacred temple of the ancient Polynesians.
Raiatea is conveniently located as a gateway to several other islands in French Polynesia.
When I see a ship in the waters of Raiatea Atoll, I wonder if cruise ships dock there.
* Islands of French Polynesia: Tikehau Atoll
So here we are in another of the many atolls in French Polynesia that is typically shaped like a "ring". The distinct difference between Tikehau Atoll and the other surrounding atolls is that it isrosa Sand.
Isn't it amazing that an atoll has colored sands while its immediate neighbors don't?
Tikehau Atoll is part of the Tuamotu Archipelago in the South Pacific.
Because of the pink sand, Tikehau's beaches attract Australians and New Zealanders with families. Children (some adults too) sometimes collect pink sand in polythene bags as proof of their visit to exotic French Polynesia.
Arrive at Tikehau Island
The distance between Tahiti and Tikehau is approximately 350 km. The flight time is less than an hour.
Tikehay Atoll can also be reached by boat from Rangiroa Atoll, the closest neighboring Tikehau Atoll. The distance between the two atolls is only 12 km.
Check out so many dots in the South Pacific, all standing for the names of different islands, islets and atolls in French Polynesia.
Here is another image of Tikehau Atoll. All black dots and various shapes represent the islands and islets of Tikehau.
Anyone visiting Tikehau is dying to don a proper snorkel mask and other scuba gear and jump into the South Pacific, as marine life off the coast of Tikehau is also rich and diverse.
If you want to know the names of all these small islands and islets of Tikehau Atoll.
Due to its reputation for top snorkeling and pink sand beaches, Tikehau Atoll has a fully developed beach resort called "Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort.The resort offers cozy bungalows over the water.
Each thatched overwater villa is connected by walkways.
Each overwater villa features an open deck with breathtaking views of the South Pacific.
Facilities at Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort include:
All of these attractions and amenities of Tikehau Atoll draw honeymooners who get what they are looking for – ultimate seclusion and enviable luxury.
Rangiroa Island is an atoll and part of the Tuamotu Islands archipelago in French Polynesia.
Rangiroa Atoll is accessible by plane from Tahiti and by boat from Tikehau Atoll, just 12 km away. Tahiti is about 350 km away.
dedicated "off-road gearis located in Rangiroa. The place of worship of the indigenous Polynesians is called "Marae'It is nothing more than a clearing without plants and stones.
Rangiroa Atoll is famous for pearl farming. There is even a school that teaches pearl farming. Rangiroa Atoll produces the largest number of pearls in all of the French Polynesian islands, as almost 1,000 hectares of ocean are used for pearl collection and cultivation.
If pearls are picked somewhere, it means it is famous for its diving. The entire Rangiroa Atoll is dotted with dive sites.
Pearls grown this way come in a variety of colors, including blue, gray, white, and black.
Of all the atolls of Tuamotu Atoll, Rangiroa is the largest atoll with a population of approximately 3,000.
Marine life in Rangiroa Atoll
„abundance“is the right word to describe the marine life in the waters of Rangiroa Atoll. If you dive or just snorkel, you may notice the following:
- Koc Ray
- Green Sea Turtles
Taha'a Island is one of the Leeward Islands, then part of the Society Islands archipelago, one of the five main archipelagos of French Polynesia.
Pearls are also produced in large quantities on this island and another famous product of this Polynesian island is “Vanilla'.
Since there isn't much to see and do other than spend quality vacation time swimming and sunbathing, you can take a short scenic flight around the island of Bora Bora.
This is truly an air tour as it only lasts 10 minutes. Still, you'll be busy with the video camera for the entire 10 minutes, frantically capturing the stunning scene below.
If your camera lens has an eagle eye, it will capture swimmingceiling radius'.
Where to stay on the island of Taha'a?
Well, where else can you stay in Taha'a if not in one of the romantic places to staywater villas?
The island of Moorea is a major tourist attraction due to its beautiful mountains. This island of French Polynesia belongs to Windward Island, which is part of the Society Islands archipelago.
The island of Moorea is very close to Tahiti, which is only 17 km away. The boat ride from Tahiti to the island of Moorea takes just half an hour.
Due to its natural beauty, Moorea Island is a popular honeymoon destination, especially among Americans.
If you know how to spearfish, you can catch some of them„Papugoryby' and take him to a restaurant for lunch.
Let a local guide show you the farms and plantations growing pineapples, coffee, and sugar cane.
Wyspa Hiva Oa
Ah, it's about as picturesque as a French Polynesian island can get. The mountains are volcanic (but inactive) and feature cliffs overlooking the ocean. If you hike across the island you can see some scenic valleys that won't put you off.
Nearly 2,000 Polynesians live on the island of Hiva Oa.
The crater of Temetiu Volcano is only 4,000 feet high!
Insel Fatu Hiva
Fatu-Hiva is part of the Marquesas in French Polynesia. It is an isolated island that few people visit, although inhabited.
The tattoo that the world is so excited about probably comes from this Polynesian island. Some of the best tattoo artists in the world come from the island of Fatu Hiva.
Almost every Polynesian has tattoos on different parts of the body.
Four other small islands in French Polynesia are:
- Nuku Hiva Island – A volcanic island of breathtaking natural beauty
- Huahine Island - famous for its canoe races. Popular with surfers.
- Mani Atoll - Popular with pearl farmers and traders
- Reef island near Rangiroa Atoll
So you've got it all - fourteen of French Polynesia's lesser-known, uncrowded islands, atolls and islets.
Tikehau one of the most beautiful atolls in Polynesia.What is the most beautiful atoll in French Polynesia? ›
Tikehau one of the most beautiful atolls in Polynesia.How many islands and atolls are there in French Polynesia? ›
There's a lot more to French Polynesia. The country is made up of 118 islands and atolls covering a stretch of ocean roughly the size of Europe.What is the most isolated island at Tahiti? ›
The Marquesas Islands group is one of the most remote in the world. It lies about 852 mi (1,370 km) northeast of Tahiti and about 3,000 mi (4,800 km) west of Mexico (the nearest continental land mass).What are the atolls of the French Polynesia? ›
Aside from Tahiti, some other important atolls, islands, and island groups in French Polynesia are: Ahē, Bora Bora, Hiva 'Oa, Huahine, Mai'ao, Maupiti, Meheti'a, Mo'orea, Nuku Hiva, Raiatea, Taha'a, Tetiaroa, Tupua'i and Tūpai.Where did the Kardashians stay in French Polynesia? ›
With unparalleled views and pristine waters melting onto dreamlike beaches, Conrad Bora Bora Nui is a tropical oasis. The French Polynesian hideaway is so idyllic, in fact, that even the Kardashians couldn't stay away — the celebrity family chose this luxurious resort as its vacation destination in 2011.Which of the French Polynesia islands is the least touristy? ›
Huahine. The least visited island of French Polynesia, also known as the “Secret Island”, Huahine breaks the chain of the modern world.What are the two most well known islands in French Polynesia? ›
There are two main islands: Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa, both of which are worth visiting. Nuku Hiva has more dramatic scenery, but Hiva Oa is where you will find the most tikis across French Polynesia. The most well-known and largest tiki, called Tiki Takaii, can be found near Puama'u on the northeast coast.Is Tahiti expensive to vacation? ›
Is Tahiti Expensive to Vacation? The short answer is more often than not, YES. In comparison to the other 20+ countries around the world that I have visited, Tahiti is definitely on the more expensive side. To give you a point of reference, a vacation in Tahiti is comparable to a vacation in Paris or London.Do I need a visa for French Polynesia? ›
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements
U.S. citizens do not need a visa if entering on a regular tourist passport and staying no more than 90 days every six months. If the purpose of the trip is not tourism (work, scientific research, etc.), then you may be required to obtain a visa before arrival in French Polynesia.
Bora Bora is more expensive than Tahiti, mainly because it is known for its overwater bungalows and luxury resorts. Staying in one of the upscale hotels will cost around $400-$700/per night. And if you choose an overwater bungalow, you can expect to spend upwards of $2,000-3,000/night.What is the most isolated tourist island? ›
Tristan da Cunha
This British overseas territory has a population of around 260. The island's main village, Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, lays claim to the title of the most remote permanent settlement on Earth. With no airport or airstrip, the island can only be reached by boat.
They both belong to one group of islands, which makes them very similar in many ways. Whereas Bora Bora is more of an intimate “high end” location, Tahiti is the most urbanized island in French Polynesia. So, when you compare Tahiti vs Bora Bora, you'll see that there are no advantages of one over the other.Which French Polynesian island has the best snorkeling? ›
BORA BORA. Arguably one of the world's most desirable destinations, Bora Bora is a name that goes hand-in-hand with the South Pacific. Known for its iconic glass-bottom bungalows hovering over awe-inspiring turquoise waters, Bora Bora is home to spectacular snorkeling sites where manta ray encounters are common.What is the difference between an island and an atoll? ›
When the island completely subsides beneath the water leaving a ring of growing coral with an open lagoon in its center, it is called an atoll. The process of atoll formation may take as long as 30,000,000 years to occur.What is the oldest Polynesian island? ›
Mangaia, southernmost of the southern group of the Cook Islands, a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand in the South Pacific Ocean. It is the second largest of the Cook Islands, after Rarotonga, and at an estimated 18 million years old is believed to be the oldest island in the Pacific.What island is Kendall Jenner on in Hawaii? ›
She's currently enjoying a sun soaked getaway to the Hawaiian island of Maui.How much was the Kardashian Bora Bora trip? ›
The package starts at $2,699 per person for departures between November 1 and December 14, 2011 or $2,799 per person for travel between now through October 31 and January 7 and March 31, 2012.What hotel did Kim stay in Bora Bora? ›
Inside our beautiful Conrad Bora Bora bungalow
This is the villa that Kim Kardashian an her family stayed in.
A visa is not required for this destination for a stay of up to 90 days in any 180 day period. Please keep in mind that while a visa is not required, you must: Hold a passport valid for at least six months beyond your date of country exit and with one blank visa page.
It's little wonder, therefore, that the islands are inhabited for the most part by friendly, peaceable, and extraordinarily courteous people. The ancient Tahitians worshiped a hierarchy of gods. At its head stood Taaroa, a supreme deity known as Tangaroa in the Cook Islands and Tangaloa in Samoa.Is French Polynesia more expensive than Hawaii? ›
French Polynesia is 21.9% cheaper than Hawaii.Is French Polynesia expensive? ›
Yes, compared to other places in Europe, French Polynesia can be a very expensive destination to visit.Can Americans move to French Polynesia? ›
Any foreigner who wishes to stay more than three months in French Polynesia must apply for a long-term French Polynesia visa with the exception of citizens of the exempt countries.Can I use US dollars in Tahiti? ›
Euros and US Dollars are not widely accepted in the islands; therefore, local currency is best. We recommend exchanging your currency at the Los Angeles International Airport, or at a bank or ATM when you arrive in Tahiti. Bank ATMs are available at the airport in Papeete as well as on most of the major islands.What is the best month to go to Tahiti? ›
The best time to visit Tahiti is between May and October. Although the temperatures are balmy year-round, Tahiti's winter season enjoys less humidity.Is it cheaper to go to Hawaii or Tahiti? ›
Regarding which is cheaper, Tahiti is often slightly more expensive than Hawaii although they can both be done on a budget. But Tahiti is also the home to stunning romantic overwater bungalows – these villas are often regarded as the most spectacular places to stay in the world.What can I not bring to Tahiti? ›
Strictly prohibited imports include live animals, all plant material, flowers, fruits, and cultured pearls of non-French Polynesian origin. Naturally, any weapons, ammunition, and narcotics are prohibited outright.What is the best time to go to French Polynesia? ›
Between the months of June to September is considered the best time to visit French Polynesia because the weather is at its driest and the temperatures aren't too warm. While this is deemed to be the 'peak' period, you can still have a fantastic holiday in the islands of French Polynesia regardless of when you travel.What kind of money do they use in Tahiti? ›
Currency. The currency used in French Polynesia is the French Pacific Franc, abbreviated XPF or CFP. Denominations are available in 1/2/5/10/20/50 and 100 coins, and 500/1,000/5,000 and 10,000 bills.
The ferry ride from Tahiti to Bora Bora is over 8 hours long. Each ferry makes a couple of pitstops in Huahine, Taiatea, and Taha'a.Is it better to stay in Moorea or Tahiti? ›
The road around the island is well-maintained and easy to navigate, and the Internet connectivity is far better on Tahiti (particularly Papeete) than Moorea, where I constantly struggled to get a connection. If you need to work at all while you're on the islands, Tahiti is certainly better for that.What is the cheapest month to visit Tahiti? ›
The cheapest time to visit Tahiti is during the Summer season, from November 1 to April 30. During this time, hotels and resorts in Tahiti generally reduce their prices for the off-season.What is the most inaccessible island on Earth? ›
Tristan da Cunha, a group of volcanic islands in the South Atlantic Ocean, is the most isolated inhabited archipelago on the planet, meaning it is located at the greatest distance to civilization — 1,514 miles south of the island of Saint Helena to be exact.What island can you not visit? ›
|1||North Sentinel Island, India|
|2||Niihau Island, USA|
|3||North Brother Island, New York|
|4||Poveglia Island, Italy|
We are talking about Tristan da Cunha, a part of the British overseas territory Saint Helena and a true sub-tropical heaven. The island sits in between South Africa and South America, 1,491 miles (2,400 kilometres) from the former and 2,088 miles (3,360 km) from the latter.How many days is enough in Tahiti? ›
How many days should I spend in Tahiti? With so many beaches, water activities, and cultural connections, you should spend between seven and 10 days in Tahiti and greater Polynesia. One week to 10 days can give you plenty of time to visit Tahiti and other islands, such as Bora Bora or Moorea.Is Fiji better than Bora Bora? ›
The main difference between Fiji and Bora Bora is that Fiji has more beaches because the archipelago is larger — but they are also more difficult to get to as they are spread out. The beaches of Bora Bora are of equal quality, but far less in number. They are easier to get to due to the small size of the island.Is Bora Bora more beautiful than Maldives? ›
SCENERY AND BEACHES
Even though the scenery of both the Maldives and Bora Bora is breathtaking, there are a few differences in the landscape, which explains why some travelers will prefer one island over the other. Bora Bora is one of the world's most beautiful islands.
Maupiti, the smallest and most isolated of the Society Islands, feels like an unblemished tropical playground, where tranquility trumps everything else and romantic love stories of deserted sparkling white-sand beaches surrounded by shimmering aqua lagoons are realized.
Tahiti Waterfalls. The island of Tahiti is arguably the most popular of the 118 islands in French Polynesia. Of course, it may have something to do with Tahiti's awe-inspiring waterfalls. A full day excursion on Tahiti will take you through Papenoo Valley, including Topatari Falls, Vaiharuru Falls, and Puraha Falls.Can you swim with whales in French Polynesia? ›
The lagoon and ocean surrounding Moorea, French Polynesia are warm and clear, making it one of the best places in the world to swim with and observe Humpback Whales in the mating and nursery areas.Can you swim under an atoll? ›
What creatures could live in the gap between the bottom of the island and the sea-bed? What the questioner seems to be asking is whether islands float. The answer is no. In other word, no, you can't swim under them.What is the largest atoll in the world? ›
The Marshall's Kwajalein Atoll is the largest atoll in the world.Why is it called an atoll? ›
An atoll is an island formed by a ring-shaped coral reef encircling a lagoon. The word comes from the language of the Maldives, an island chain in the Indian Ocean famous for gorgeous beaches and coral reefs.Which Polynesian island is the richest? ›
With income from phosphate mining and a population of 4,000 people, Nauru is the richest island in the world per capita.Is Moana Polynesian or Hawaiian? ›
Although Moana is from the fictional island Motunui some 3,000 years ago, the story and culture of Moana is based on the very real heritage and history of Polynesian islands such as Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga, and Tahiti. In fact, once you start looking for ties to Polynesian culture in Moana, it's hard to stop!Are Guam people Polynesian? ›
Indigenous Guamanians are the Chamoru, historically known as the Chamorro, who are related to the Austronesian peoples of Malay archipelago, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Polynesia. But unlike most of its neighbors, Chamorro language is not classified as a Micronesian or Polynesian language.What is the best area in French Polynesia? ›
When it comes to French Polynesia, the first place that comes to mind for most people is Bora Bora. The most romantic of the islands, Bora Bora is known for its luxurious resorts with overwater bungalows, which also makes it one of the best places in French Polynesia for a honeymoon.What is French Polynesia largest atoll? ›
Rangiroa is the largest atoll in French Polynesia and the second largest atoll in the world. A must for scuba diving, renowned worldwide.
Marae Taputapuatea: The Sacred Center of Polynesia.How many days do you need in French Polynesia? ›
With so many beaches, water activities, and cultural connections, you should spend between seven and 10 days in Tahiti and greater Polynesia. One week to 10 days can give you plenty of time to visit Tahiti and other islands, such as Bora Bora or Moorea.What are the best times of year to visit French Polynesia? ›
Between the months of June to September is considered the best time to visit French Polynesia because the weather is at its driest and the temperatures aren't too warm. While this is deemed to be the 'peak' period, you can still have a fantastic holiday in the islands of French Polynesia regardless of when you travel.Can you island hop in French Polynesia? ›
With 5 archipielagos to discover, Island hopping in Tahiti is a must for those looking to truly experience the mesmerizing waters and wonders of French Polynesia.Are the French Polynesian Islands expensive? ›
Yes, compared to other places in Europe, French Polynesia can be a very expensive destination to visit.What is the oldest island in Polynesia? ›
Mangaia, southernmost of the southern group of the Cook Islands, a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand in the South Pacific Ocean. It is the second largest of the Cook Islands, after Rarotonga, and at an estimated 18 million years old is believed to be the oldest island in the Pacific.What is the biggest Polynesian city in the world? ›
Auckland has the eighth-largest proportion of foreign born residents in the world, with 41% of its residents born overseas. With its large population of Pasifika New Zealanders, the city is also home to the biggest ethnic Polynesian population in the world.Is Polynesia like Hawaii? ›
Hawaii is often considered to be part of Polynesia because it is one of the corners of the Polynesian Triangle which is an area in the Pacific Ocean with three groups of islands at its corners. These three island groups are Easter Islands, Hawaii, and New Zealand.