French Polynesia Travel Ideas
Planning a visit to French Polynesia can be made much easier if the right travel agent or locally based tour operator is chosen to request a free travel quote. Such a person or agency can be instrumental to prepare a nice and effective tour.
French Polynesia attracts tourists with the beauty of its nature, picturesque atolls and no less picturesque volcanic islands, rich underwater world with a huge variety of creatures, as well as the many kilometers of beaches of pure white coral and volcanic sand. Each island here has its own appearance, its flora and fauna, and even its own customs. |
The Windward Islands are the most well-known group of islands in French Polynesia. Tahiti, which is often called the 'Island of Love', is the largest of these islands and the beacon of this region. Volcanic in origin, the island is a mountainous terrain, with its slopes formed by several tens of peaks and a network of deep green valleys between them. Two cones of ancient volcanoes form vast peninsulas of Tahiti-Nui and Tahiti-Iti, joined by an isthmus, Taravao plateau.
The island's capital is the city of Papeete, located on the northwest coast of Tahiti. It is just the abundance of palm trees and the ocean visible from almost all points of the island help to attribute this place to the tropics. There are a lot of offices, clinics, banks, travel agencies and shops, noisy traffic, yachts that come and depart, cruise liners and numerous sports competitions. The city deserves being visited to get acquainted with its attractions. Of great interest is visiting To'ata area, where all the cultural activities of the capital can be experienced. Bruat Avenue is the street with a great number of government offices, the building of the High Commissioner, several ministries and the Presidential Palace in French Polynesia. Bougainville Park, the building of the Main Post Office, the square with the statue of Pouvanaa Tarahoi Goria, the 'spiritual father' of internal autonomy, as well as Polynesian Territorial Assembly, are some of the main attractions in the city.
A little further along the coast one will find the main shopping district of Papeete, Vaima Center, where a lot of shops, bars, and restaurants are located. Religious landmarks include the Cathedral of Notre-Dame of Papeete, built in 1875. Missy District is the center of the Catholic Church in French Polynesia, and the residence of the bishop is one of the oldest buildings in the city.
Moving toward the downtown area you can find Sihon beach, a famous rowing center. Slightly to the right there will be Paofai church, the main center of Protestantism in Tahiti and the largest church in French Polynesia. Also noteworthy are the excellent Harrison Smith Botanical Gardens, the Museum of Tahiti with its extensive collection of cultural and historical exhibits, the Museum of the Ocean called 'Lagunarium', the famous Gauguin Museum, and Tahiti-Pearl Centre, which contains rare examples of well-known local black pearls.
Leeward Islands lie northwest of Tahiti. This archipelago includes the extremely popular tourist islands of Bora Bora, Raiatea, Tahaa, Huahine and Maupiti as well as uninhabited atolls.
Bora Bora is the most popular of the islands of French Polynesia. It is considered the most beautiful lagoon in the world. It is surrounded by a ring of small islands, which form only a single pass into the lagoon from the south-west side. The highest part of the island, Mount Otemanu, is a cone of an extinct volcano, whose age is estimated as 4 million years. The island is inhabited by approximately 6000 people, but there are a great many of luxury hotels here, more than in all the other islands of French Polynesia taken together. All beaches are public, and access to them is absolutely free. Everything is done here to please tourists, but the locals are trying to preserve the natural environment.
Bora Bora is not so rich in historical sites, like its neighbors, however, 42 traces of the ancient Polynesian civilizations can be found in the islands, including Farerua Marotetini, the largest ceremonial stone on the island. The people of the island still remember a lot of myths and legends, and with great pleasure retell them to tourists.
See the list of French Polynesia travel agents or tour operators to prepare a nice and cost-effective tour with maximum impressions and memorable experiences.