French Polynesia : 50 Shades of Blue!

By Minoussa | Jun 7, 2020
Oceania > French Polynesia

Before starting, it worths telling you that we had our honeymoon in this awesome country! During our trip, we discovered some stuff that we think they can be very helpful if you want to go there.

French Polynesia is located in the south of the Pacific Ocean and is made up of 5 archipelagos of 118 islands, 76 of which are inhabited:

Societe archipelago or Leeward Islands, it is the best known with Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora

Society archipelago

Society archipelago

Tuamotu archipelago which is well known for divers due to its magnificent sites in the passes.
Gambier archipelago
Austral archipelago
Marquesas Islands

Map of Polynesian archipelagos

Map of Polynesian archipelagos

About 300,000 people live in this paradise. Their official language is French but the majority also speak their local language: mainly Tahitian.
The currency used is the Pacific franc CFP. Its price is fixed compared to the EUR (1CFP = 0.00838000 EUR)

Polynesians live on tourism, pearl culture (pearl farming), vanilla production, fishing and a little bit on industry.

Polynesian culture is rich and varied. Dance is undoubtedly the most shared element across the country.

The islands of French Polynesia are the result of volcanic activity. The volcanic massifs sink gradually until disappearing from the surface leaving as only trace: the coral reef.

When this is the case, the islands are then called atolls, as opposed to the high islands, which are mountainous and have not yet been completely submerged in water. The transition from the high island stage to the atoll takes a few million years.

Tahiti, high mountainous island

Tahiti, high mountainous island

Fakarava atoll (flat island)

Fakarava atoll (flat island)

A large number of atolls, with a very small surface area, are uninhabited, or only used for fishing and pearl cultivation.

For the climate, the high season is from July to August. These two months are good for seeing humpback whales (until October) and manta rays. The biggest traditional festival "Heiva" also takes place in July.

From June to October, the climate is drier and cooler and offers better underwater visibility to diving enthusiasts. Moreover, this is one of the strong points of Polynesia: the incomparable visibility up to 25m deep!

From our point of view, another strong point is the coral reef which is at a certain distance from the coast, leaving then an open space forming the lagoon. This reef can be discontinuous, depending on the age of the island and the widening of the passes. Diving in these passes is generally a unique experience.

The lagoon side of the barrier reef accumulates sand deposits. These sandbanks are often dotted with coral "potatoes". Sand can accumulate, especially on the edges of passes, to form islands of emerged sand, providing a good ground for vegetation: these are the motus.
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All this diversity makes the color of the water so nuanced. Several shades of blue can be visible and that makes for us THE main strong point of this paradise on earth.

On our side, we've visited around 9 islands in 3 weeks. We organised the schedule by ourselves and we added an extension to Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The departure was from Paris CDG airport. International flights were provided by Air Tahiti Nui. Domestic flights by Air Tahiti on small seaplanes for the Oceania part and by American Airlines for the America part.

In total, on this trip, we have made 12 domestic flights, 4 international flights and 2 boat crossings.

It was our best trip ever!

Enjoy :)

Pacific Ocean Moorea Island Tahiti Transport Seasons Geography Bora Bora

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Written by Minoussa
Hey there ! We are Minou & Noussa, a couple of Franco-Tunisian, IT / Finance engineers and travel lovers :) We fell in love during our first trip together to Berlin. Exploring the world has become our passion, we have visited several countries since. We love sea, beaches and we are open water divers.

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