Five archipelago clusters comprise French Polynesia, with lush vegetation and terrains that vary from mountains to coral. This idyllic collection of islands in the middle of the Pacific is popular destination for the year-round tropical climate and incredible scenery, but offers much more than just glittering beaches. Visitors will find a culture rich in heritage, with the ancient mingling with more modern influences from Europe and China. Islanders adhere to the philosophy of “aita pea pea” – no worries – and their welcoming attitude fosters immediate relaxation. Divers will discover spectacular coral in the Tuamotu and Society Islands, and sailing enthusiasts will thrill in the warm breezes and turquoise waters.
French Polynesia’s history and mythology dates back for many hundreds of years before the islands were settled permanently by European missionaries in 1797. Throughout the islands evidence of the original inhabitants can be found, including archeological discoveries of religious sites, ancient tiki statues and intricate carvings. Many of the original descendants of the islands also spread to Hawaii and New Zealand, creating new cultures with Polynesian roots.