The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
— Marcel Proust, 1871 - 1922
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French Polynesia

Background

French Polynesia

The French annexed various Polynesian island groups during the 19th century. In September 1995, France stirred up widespread protests by resuming nuclear testing on the Mururoa atoll after a three-year moratorium. The tests were suspended in January 1996. In recent years, French Polynesia's autonomy has been considerably expanded.

About

French Polynesia (Polynésie française) is a set of islands that is an overseas country attached to France. Located in the South Pacific Ocean, it is halfway between California and Australia.

Tahiti and her islands cover four million square kilometers of ocean which is the same area as the European Union. However the land above sea level accounts for some 7,000 square kilometers consisting of 118 islands, grouped into five archipelagoes (4 volcanic, 1 coral). Makatea in French Polynesia is one of the three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific Ocean - the others are Banaba (Ocean Island) in Kiribati and Nauru.

Read more about French Polynesia in our French Polynesia travel guide »

Featured journals from

French Polynesia

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but you might be interested in journals from these countries:
American Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue, Pitcairn, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna

Featured hotels in

French Polynesia

French PolynesiaLegends Resort Moorea 

BP 1951
Papetoai
Moorea 98729
French Polynesia

Price (US$): $444 - $713 / night

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Location. Legends Resort Moorea is located near the beach in Moorea's Papetoai neighborhood and attractions in the region include Temae Beach. Resort Features. Dining options at Legends Resort Moorea include a coffee shop/café and a snack bar/deli. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. The resort serves full breakfasts each morning in the pool bar (surcharges apply). Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, an outdoor tennis court, and a fitness facility. The… more »

French PolynesiaThe St. Regis Bora Bora Resort 

Motu Ome E Bp 506
Bora Bora 98730
French Polynesia

Price (US$): $1128 - $2256 / night

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Location. The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort is located on the beach in Bora Bora's Motu Piti Aau neighborhood, close to Le Meridien Beach, Mt. Hue, and Mt. Otemanu. Mt. Pahia is also a point of interest near this luxury resort. Resort Features. Dining options at The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort include 3 restaurants. A swim up bar, a poolside bar, and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available 24 hours a day. The resort serves buffet breakfasts each morning in the restaurant… more »

French PolynesiaLe Taha'a Island Resort & Spa 

B P 718
Motu Tau Tau
Tahaa
French Polynesia

Price (US$): $739 - $2629 / night

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Location. Le Taha'a Island Resort & Spa is located on the beach in Tahaa's Motu Tau Tau neighborhood and attractions in the region include Raiatea Marina, Moti Piti Aau Beach, and Le Meridien Beach. Regional points of interest also include Matira Beach. Resort Features. Dining options at Le Taha'a Island Resort & Spa include 3 restaurants. A beach bar, a swim up bar, and a poolside bar are open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. The resort serves full breakfasts each… more »

French PolynesiaSofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort 

Bp 28 Maharepa
Moorea 98728
French Polynesia

Price (US$): $315 - $706 / night

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Location. Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort is located on the beach in Moorea's Maharepa neighborhood, close to Temae Beach. Resort Features. Dining options at Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort include 2 restaurants. A poolside bar and a bar/lounge are open for drinks. Room service is available during limited hours. The resort serves buffet breakfasts each morning in the restaurant (surcharges apply). Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool and a spa tub. The property's full service… more »

French PolynesiaHotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa 

BP 198
Avatoru
Rangiroa 98776
French Polynesia

Location. Located in Rangiroa, Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa is a beachfront luxury resort by the sea. Resort Features. Dining options at Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa include 2 restaurants. A bar/lounge is open for drinks. Recreational amenities include an outdoor pool, a spa tub, and a fitness facility. The property's full service health spa has body treatments, facials, and beauty services. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available in public areas. The property has a roundtrip airport… more »

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French Polynesia

Full name
Polynésie Française
Capital
Papeete
Location

Oceania, archipelagoes in the South Pacific Ocean about half way between South America and Australia

Geographic coordinates

15 00 S, 140 00 W

Area comparative

slightly less than one-third the size of Connecticut

Coastline

2,525 km

Climate

tropical, but moderate

Terrain

mixture of rugged high islands and low islands with reefs

Lowest point

Pacific Ocean 0 m

Highest point

Mont Orohena 2,241 m

Natural resources

timber, fish, cobalt, hydropower

Population

291,000 (July 2010 est.)

Ethnic groups

Polynesian 78%, Chinese 12%, local French 6%, metropolitan French 4%

Religions

Protestant 54%, Roman Catholic 30%, other 10%, no religion 6%

Languages

French 61.1% (official), Polynesian 31.4% (official), Asian languages 1.2%, other 0.3%, unspecified 6% (2002 census)

Government type

NA

Independence

none (overseas lands of France)

National holiday

Bastille Day, 14 July (1789)

Chief of state

President Nicolas SARKOZY (since 16 May 2007), represented by High Commissioner of the Republic Adolphe COLRAT (since 7 July 2008); note - will be replaced in 2011 by Richard DIDIER

Head of government

President of French Polynesia Gaston Tong SANG (since 24 November 2009); President of the Territorial Assembly Oscar TEMARU (since 10 April 2010)

Internet country code

.pf

Internet users

120,000 (2009)

Airports

53 (2010)

Ports and terminals

Papeete

Other countries in the region