French Polynesia holidays
The islands of French Polynesia are scattered across two million square miles of the South Pacific Ocean. Its five great archipelagos offer every variation of the dream island paradise; some rise dramatically out of the blue waters, their jagged peaks stark outlines against the blue sky, others seem to barely float above the surrounding surf.
There may be more than a hundred islands to choose from, but the three archipelagos most visited are the Society Islands, comprised of Tahiti, Mo'orea, Bora Bora, Huahine, Ra'iatea and Taha'a, and tiny Maupiti; the Tuamotus, also known as 'Tahiti's Strand of Pearls'; and the Marquesas or 'Mysterious Islands', a long-loved escape of artists, writers, adventurers and musicians.
The two other island groups, the Austral Islands and the Gambier Archipelago, may well be less visited but are as postcard perfect as the rest.
The Society Islands are home to more than three-quarters of French Polynesia's population, as well as its main island, Tahiti, and administrative capital, Pape'ete.
Most visitors head straight for the white-sand bliss of Mo'orea or Bora Bora, which novelist James Michener described as ‘the most beautiful island in the world', but there's plenty to see on Tahiti too, including coastlines dotted with wild passion fruit, shadowy mountains and green river valleys, black-sand beaches and ancient archaeology.
At a glance
Top itineraries in French Polynesia
Taking in the island paradises of French Polynesia, this all-inclusive cruise will see you travel in luxury, enjoying open bars, gourmet dining and complimentary water sports in between private-beach relaxation and jungle treks to hidden temples.
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Top places to stay in French Polynesia
Where to go in French Polynesia
The tiny archipelago of the Marquesas, known as Henua Enata - 'Land of Men' - is some 1,400 kilometres north-east of Tahiti. Despite being the most remote part of French Polynesia, it has attracted many artists, explorers and writers over the years, including Thor Heyerdahl, Jack London, Robert Lo…
The green islands of Huahine‚ Huahine Nui and Huahine Iti are surrounded almost entirely by a protective reef, which creates a calm lagoon around them. Separated by a hair's breadth, the two islands have sheltered interiors - wild worlds of blossoming plants and rugged landscapes that remain largel…
Known as the ‘Vanilla Island' and shaped like a flower, Taha'a sits to the east of Bora Bora and is just across the water from its nearest and larger neighbour, Ra'iatea.
French Polynesia articles
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The mesmerising beauty of the South Pacific is the stuff of travel clichés: crystal-clear lagoons, immaculate strips of beach, palm-fringed atolls surrounded by coral reefs, hillsides dripping with tropical foliage and volcanoes that rumble against cloudless skies.
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