French Polynesia and its 118 islands

French Polynesia comprises 118 islands, all of them magnificent. These islands are divided into five archipelagos: the Marquises, the Australes, the Iles de la Société, Tuamotu and Gambier. Wherever you go, you will feel as though you have reached Eden and time has stopped.
For the most part, the islands are high and surrounded by lagoons. Between them there are "motu", islets formed from sand and coral. The beaches can be of light or dark sand and are lined with coconut palms. There is lush vegetation in the heart of the islands. You will find many waterfalls pouring out of the high rocks to form natural pools. You can walk among the giant hibiscus and the tiaré flower with their spellbinding perfume. The capital of French Polynesia is the city of Papeete on the island of Tahiti. If time is short, begin with a visit to Tahiti, then move on the Moorea and the unmissable Bora Bora which delights everyone who sees it. Even so, to make the most of your visit to the ends of the earth, take a sufficiently long holiday to allow you to see the Society Islands and the Tuamotu atolls. Air France offers several flights to French Polynesia. Before you leave, don't forget to check the entry requirements.

Visiting the islands of French Polynesia

If you begin with a visit to Tahiti, you will be able to see the Gauguin museum, the Punaauia Ethnography Museum, the Botanic Garden and the Toaroto and Papehue beaches. Lose yourself in the Marquises islands with their rugged landscapes, cliffs and wild coasts located at the end of the earth. It is best to hire an all-terrain vehicle if you want to visit the interior of the islands. In the Leeward Islands, you will discover calm landscapes where you can bathe in a warm lagoon or catch a few multi-coloured fish. Don't forget to visit Bora Bora considered by most visitors to be the most beautiful island in French Polynesia. So many marvellous sites brought within reach by a regular Air France flight .

French Polynesia's culinary specialities

One of French Polynesia's culinary specialities is raw fish. Perfectly fresh, it is marinated in a mixture of lemon juice, coconut milk, with finely chopped onions, tomato, garlic and chives. Suckling pig also has pride of place on a traditional Tahitian menu. Fafa is an excellent dish made from chicken and coconut. On many of the islands, Uru, the fruit of the breadfruit tree, is served grilled over a wood fire. In the cake shops, you can try poe, a pudding made from banana, vanilla and coconut milk.

Preparing your journey to French Polynesia