French Polynesia is a group of 118 islands and atolls that are grouped into five archipelagos: the Society Islands, the Tuamotu Islands, the Gambier Islands, the Marquesas Islands, and the Austral Islands. French Polynesia is located in the South Pacific Ocean. It can be challenging to choose which island to visit because each archipelago offers a distinctive experience. The top islands to visit inside each of French Polynesia’s five main archipelagos will be covered in this article.
For good reason, the Society Islands are the most visited archipelago by tourists. They contain some of French Polynesia’s most famous and beautiful islands, such as Tahiti and Bora Bora.
The pristine waters, lush flora, and overwater bungalows of Bora Bora are famous worldwide. Luxury tourists and couples on honeymoon frequently visit there. Activities on the island include swimming with sharks and rays, snorkeling and diving in the coral reefs, and taking a 4×4 tour of the area. The coral reefs that encircle Bora Bora are filled with a wide variety of marine life, including humpback whales in the winter and hundreds of species of tropical fish.
Visiting the numerous lagoonariums on Bora Bora is among the most well-liked activities there. These protected areas are created especially to give tourists a safe setting in which to engage with the marine species of the island. Visitors can go shark feeding tours or snorkel or dive with sharks, rays, and tropical species.
In addition to its stunning natural surroundings, Bora Bora is home to a number of opulent resorts and spas. These resorts have overwater bungalows, some with their own sun decks and swimming pools, as well as a variety of activities like windsurfing, kayaking, and paddle boarding.
The largest island in French Polynesia, Tahiti, serves as the region’s cultural and economic hub. In comparison to the other islands, it is home to the capital city of Papeete and provides a more urban experience. Visitors can explore the island’s cultural institutions and museums, including the Museum of Tahiti and the Islands, which presents French Polynesia’s history and culture. There are a number of maraes on the island as well, which were historically used for religious ceremonies and rituals. The Marae Arahurahu, one of French Polynesia’s most significant archaeological sites, is one of the most well-known maraes.
Hiking is another well-liked pastime on Tahiti. There are a number of hiking trails on the island that provide expansive views of both the island and the nearby islands. The walk to Mount Orohena’s summit, French Polynesia’s tallest peak at 7,352 feet, is one of the most well-liked excursions. Although it takes many hours to finish the moderate to difficult trek, the views from the peak are well worth the effort.
The largest archipelago in French Polynesia, the Tuamotu Islands are renowned for their expansive coral atolls and stunning beaches. Rangiroa is the island in this archipelago that people travel to the most.
The second-largest atoll in the world, Rangiroa, is home to some of French Polynesia’s top diving and snorkeling. Sharks, rays, and many kinds of fish are abundant on the island. Over 400 different varieties of coral and more than 1000 different fish can be found on the coral reefs that surround Rangiroa, which are among the most diverse and well-preserved in the world.
The Tiputa Pass, one of Rangiroa’s most well-liked dive locations, is renowned for its powerful currents and big schools of fish. The pass is among the best locations in French Polynesia to watch sharks, including silvertip, hammerhead, and grey reef sharks.
Visits to the Blue Lagoon, a natural swimming hole surrounded by coral reefs, are another well-liked pastime on Rangiroa. The lagoon is a well-liked location for swimming, snorkeling, and even picnicking because of its clean water. Another option for visitors is to take a boat cruise to one of the adjacent deserted islands, like Tikehau, which is well-known for its pink sand beaches and diverse birds.
The Gambier Islands in French Polynesia are the least visited archipelago, but they provide a distinctive and genuine experience. Mangareva is the most popular island to visit in this archipelago.
The Gambier Islands’ administrative hub, Mangareva, is well-known for its traditional Polynesian culture and stunning beaches. Several ancient ruins on the island, including the Tefeau Temple and the Akahau Temple, provide a window into the island’s past. The Cathedral of Saint-Pierre, one of French Polynesia’s most stunning buildings, is among the churches on the island that tourists can explore.
Mangareva is renowned for its natural beauty in addition to its cultural attractions. There are a number of hiking trails on the island that provide expansive views of both the island and the nearby islands. The nearby deserted island of Akamaru, which is renowned for its white sand beaches and pure sea, is one of the uninhabited islands that tourists can visit by boat.
The Marquesas Islands are renowned for both their ancient Polynesian culture and their untamed surroundings. Nuku Hiva is the most popular island to visit in this archipelago.
The largest island in the Marquesas Islands, Nuku Hiva, is home to a number of attractions for tourists. Numerous historic sites on the island, such the Taiohae Bay and the Tohua Upeke, provide an insight into the island’s past. The highest peak in French Polynesia, Mount Oave, gives panoramic views of the island and the nearby islands to hikers who ascend to its summit.
The traditional Polynesian culture of Nuku Hiva is well-known, in addition to its cultural and natural attractions. Viewers can take in traditional dance performances and ceremonial events like the Heiva festival, which annually honors Polynesian ancestry and culture.
French Polynesia’s southernmost archipelago, the Austral Islands, are distinguished by their lush greenery and isolation. In this archipelago, Raivavae is the most important island to visit.
The Austral Islands’ most populous island, Raivavae, is home to a range of attractions for tourists. The island is home to numerous historic ruin sites, including the revered temple complex known as Marae Taputapuatea. Hiking tours through the island’s beautiful rainforests, which are home to a vast variety of tropical plants and animals, are also available to tourists.
Raivavae is noted for its secluded position in addition to its cultural and ecological features. To truly experience remoteness and adventure, visitors can take a boat journey to adjacent deserted islands like Rapa Iti.
Finally, French Polynesia provides a wide variety of islands to travel to, each with its own distinct culture, amenities, and scenic beauty. In French Polynesia, there is something for every kind of traveler, from the opulent and metropolitan Society Islands to the isolated and genuine Gambier Islands. You will without a doubt have a wonderful experience in this stunning and one-of-a-kind place, regardless of whatever island you decide to visit.
Our Top FAQ's
The most popular activities on Bora Bora include snorkeling and diving in the coral reefs, swimming with sharks and rays, and taking a 4×4 tour of the island. Visitors can also visit the island’s many lagoonariums and participate in shark feeding tours.
The main cultural attractions on Tahiti include the Museum of Tahiti and the Islands, which showcases the history and culture of French Polynesia, and the Marae Arahurahu, an ancient temple that is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in French Polynesia. Visitors can also explore the island’s other ancient ruins and churches.
The best dive sites on Rangiroa include the Tiputa Pass, which is known for its strong currents and large schools of fish, and the Blue Lagoon, a natural swimming hole surrounded by coral reefs.
The main cultural and natural attractions on Nuku Hiva include ancient ruins, such as the Taiohae Bay and the Tohua Upeke, the summit of Mount Oave, which offers panoramic views of the island and the surrounding islands, and traditional dance performances and cultural ceremonies like the Heiva festival.