French Polynesia Facts

The South Pacific Ocean is home to the group of islands known as French Polynesia. The 4,167 square kilometer region, which is an overseas collectivity of France, is made up of 118 islands and atolls. The Society Islands, the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Gambier Islands, and the Marquesas Islands are the principal island groups in French Polynesia.


Population and Demographics

There are about 280,000 people living in French Polynesia, most of whom are of Polynesian ancestry. Although Tahitian and other Polynesian languages are also frequently used, French is the official language. The French Pacific franc is the official currency. Tahiti, the most populous island in the region and the hub of commerce, is where the majority of the population is concentrated.

Person extracting pearlEconomy

French Polynesia’s economy is mostly focused on tourism, with travelers flocking to the islands to take advantage of the stunning beaches, crystal-clear oceans, and lush tropical scenery. With more than 60% of the territory’s GDP coming from tourism, it is the key economic driver. In recent years, the sector has been rapidly expanding, and in 2019, there were more than 1.5 million visitors. Agriculture, fishing, and pearl farming are additional significant sectors.

Another significant economic activity in French Polynesia is pearl cultivation. High-quality black pearls from the Tuamotu Archipelago are famous across the area. Agriculture is a significant component of the economy as well, with products including pineapple, coconut, and vanilla being farmed for both internal and international markets. Due to the abundance of tuna, marlin, and other fish species in the waters surrounding the islands, fishing is another important activity.

Old man playing a guitarCulture and History

A wide variety of plant and animal species, many of which are unique to French Polynesia, can be found there. The Marquesas Islands Nature Reserve and the Tuamotu Archipelago Nature Reserve are only two of the protected places that may be found on the islands.

Because of its Polynesian origin, French Polynesia retains many of its traditional dances, musical instruments, and arts and crafts. The islands are renowned for their long history, which spans the earliest European explorers’ voyages in the 18th century and the French conquest in the 19th century.

The Heiva I Tahiti festival, which honors local customs and culture, is one of French Polynesia’s most significant cultural occasions. Every year in July, the event takes place and includes traditional dances, music, and sports.

Around 300 AD, the first Polynesians arrived on the islands. When British sailor Captain James Cook explored the islands in the late 18th century, the islands were first made known to Europeans. In 1843, the French created a protectorate over the islands and annexated them. In 1946, French Polynesia was designated as a French overseas territory, and in 2003 it was designated as a French overseas collectivity.

Geography and Climate

About midway between Australia and California in the South Pacific Ocean is French Polynesia. With a total land area of 4,167 square kilometers, the region is made up of 118 islands and atolls. The Society Islands, the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Gambier Islands, and the Marquesas Islands are the principal island groups in French Polynesia.

The island groups in French Polynesia with the highest populations and levels of development are the Society Islands. The islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, and Raiatea are included in the collection. The largest island chain, the Tuamotu Archipelago, is made up of 78 atolls, including Rangiroa, Fakarava, and Tikehau. The Gambier Islands are noted for their rich history and traditional culture and are situated southeast of the Society Islands. In the northern region of French Polynesia, the Marquesas Islands are distinguished for their untamed scenery and distinctive cultures.

French Polynesia experiences a tropical marine climate with year-round highs of 25–30 degrees Celsius (77–86 degrees Fahrenheit). Rainfall on the islands ranges from 2,500 to 3,000 millimeters annually, with the rainy season lasting from November to April. May through October are considered the dry months.

Aerial view of a boat and marine animalsAttractions and Activities

With its stunning beaches, crystal-clear oceans, and lush tropical scenery, French Polynesia is a well-liked travel destination. The magnificent coral reefs on the islands, which are home to a diverse range of marine life, are well recognized. Diverse aquatic pursuits, including surfing, diving, and snorkeling, are available to visitors.

The island of Bora Bora, in French Polynesia, is one of the region’s most visited destinations and is renowned for its exquisite beaches and five-star resorts. The island has been named one of the most romantic spots in the world and is a favorite destination for honeymooners. Another well-liked vacation spot is the island of Moorea, which boasts stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters. To explore the coral reefs and aquatic life, visitors can also take a boat tour of the lagoon on the island.

The capital city of French Polynesia, Papeete, is located on the island of Tahiti, which also serves as the region’s commercial and administrative hub. In addition to taking a picturesque drive around the island to observe the waterfalls and traditional villages, visitors can tour the island’s traditional marketplaces, museums, and cultural centers.

The Polynesian religion is centered on the island of Raiatea, which is renowned for its traditional culture. Discover the traditional Polynesian religion and culture by touring the island’s temples. Another place to visit that is well-known for its traditional culture and has numerous old ruins and traditional villages is the island of Huahine.


In conclusion, French Polynesia is a special and lovely place with a rich past, vibrant culture, and stunning scenery. French Polynesia has plenty to offer everyone with its stunning beaches, crystal-clear oceans, lush tropical landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. French Polynesia has much to offer, whether you’re seeking for adventure, relaxation, or cultural encounters.

Our Top FAQ's

The main island groups within French Polynesia include the Society Islands, the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Gambier Islands, and the Marquesas Islands.

Tourism is the main source of income for French Polynesia, accounting for more than 60% of the GDP.

The Heiva i Tahiti is a festival that celebrates the culture and traditions of French Polynesia. It features traditional dances, music, and sports, and is held annually in July.

The French annexed the islands in 1843 and established a protectorate over the islands. French Polynesia became a French overseas territory in 1946 and became an overseas collectivity of France in 2003.

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