Tahiti and French Polynesia Travel Guide


Find information, maps and high quality videos & photographs on locations in Tahiti and French Polynesia

Sitting in the South Pacific Ocean, roughly half way between South America and Australia, French Polynesia is a group of 118 volcanic and coral islands and atolls scattered over an area about the size of Europe. Many people refer to French Polynesia as "Tahiti"; however, Tahiti is just one of the islands albeit the largest one with over half the population living there. Tahiti is in the Society islands, one of the five island groups that make up French Polynesia. The others are the Tuamotu archipelago, the Gambier islands, the Marquesas islands and the Tubuai islands.

Formed by volcanic activity, French Polynesia has both rugged peaks and pristine lagoons. Islands are surrounded by reefs and the white sandy beaches introduce an even more dazzling picture of azure waters.

It is believed that the islands were settled by Polynesian migrations from the Philippines and Indonesia in around 200BC. Europeans began arriving in the region in the 1500s and by the 1800s there was a French-British rivalry for control of the islands. In 1957 all the islands became an overseas territory of France but the country gained more autonomy and self-governing powers in 1998. Today, it officially remains an overseas territory under the French.

French Polynesia has a reputation as a magical paradise, thanks to the honeymooners who have made Bora Bora and Tahiti destinations for luxury holidays. The region is also famous for the incredible conditions for scuba diving and surfing, and was once home for the post-Impressionist artist Paul Gaugin. A little know fact though, is that the word "tattoo" originated on the island of Tahiti and is today still a practised tradition.

Highlights of Tahiti and French Polynesia

Tahiti and French Polynesia
Bora Bora Information

270 kilometres northwest of Tahiti, Bora Bora the pearl of the Pacific undoubtedly has the world's..

Tahiti Information

Tahiti is the beating heart of French Polynesia. It is both the gate to the country with Tahiti..

Society Islands Information

The Society Islands Archipelago (composed of the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands) is a..

Tuamotu-Gambier Islands Information

The largest of the Polynesian archipelagos includes 76 islands and atolls extending over more than..

Rangiroa Information

Slightly over an hour away from Tahiti on flights that run daily, Rangiroa is a gigantic atoll,the..

Tahaa Information

Just a few minutes away from Raiatea's airport by shuttle boat,Tahaa “The vanilla island”has..

Fakarava Information

450 kilometres from Papeete, Fakarava is the second largest atoll of Polynesia. Like her big sister..

Marquesas Islands Information

The Marquesas archipelago, with its powerful landscapes, its cliffs and sharp peaks and its deep..

Tahiti and French Polynesia Travel Advice

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