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French Polynesia, Where It Is, And What It's Like
 by: Peter R Stewart

Many people consider French Polynesia to be the most beautiful, and even the most romantic place on earth. It is better known as Tahiti. They are in fact many islands, which are in fact several groups of volcanic peaks and atolls that are spread over hundreds of miles of ocean. Each of the islands has its own characteristics, from the broad lagoon of Rangiroa to the bustling market place of Papeete.

Taken together the islands of Tahiti are the most beautiful in the world, with their spectacular mountain peaks, lush vegetation, beautiful turquoise clear waters.

French Polynesia comprises coral archipelago and volcanic archipelagos.

TheVolcanic islands of French Polynesia, can be split up into groups. The Society Islands are Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, Huahine, Tahaa and Raiatea.

The Society Islands themselves split into a Windward Group consisting of Tahiti, Moorea, Tetiaro, and the Leeward Group consisting of Huahine, Raietea, Tahaa, Maupiti and Bora Bora.

Each island is physically similar being dominated by tall volcanic peaks , surrounded by a coral reef, which shelters a lagoon, which in turn is bordered by incredible white sand beaches.

The volcanic Marquesas archipelago, is made up of 9 major islands of volcanic origin without a coral reef. They are located nearly 900 miles from Tahiti, but here you will find spectacular mountains dropping straight into a blue-turquoise sea, deserted beaches, quiet lagoons, and brilliantly coloured tropical rainforest. Untouched beauty, and a thin veneer of civilization lives here The main island is Nuku Hive on which the administrative capital, Taiohae, is located. The other inhabited islands are Hive Oa, Ua Pou, Ua Huka. Fatu Hiva and Tabueta

The Tuamotu Atolls are quite a contrast to the high peaks of the Society Islands. Tuamotu comprises 78 coral atolls, half of which are uninhabited. They are all green rings of coral reef surrounding a turquoise lagoon, scattered over several hundreds of miles of the eastern Pacific Ocean. The highest points on an atoll rarely reach 30 feet above sea level and are covered with lush vegetation and tightly packed coconut groves. These ring-shaped islands can be huge and Rangiroa , 46 miles across, Fakarava , 38 miles across are two examples.

These interior lagoons have the most incredibly clear bright turquoise water, and they all have one or two narrow openings to the ocean outside, which allows the tide to rush in bringing the nutrients. This means incredible snorkelling or diving in these openings known as passes. Most of the villages quite inevitably are situated here, and this is where you can get an idea of what life is like for people who live on the Tuamotu atolls. It is in these interior lagoons that the famed black pearl can be farmed.

French Polynesia is always thought to be an extremely safe place to visit, with beautiful tranquil people with a permanent smile. The people are of course a mixture of many races but the Polynesians love to laugh, and sing, so you cannot fail to leave these islands with a different attitude.

It is a long way from Europe to French Polynesia, but only a little over two hours from Hawaii, and is almost equidistant from Australia and the West coast of the USA, but breaking your journey in either Los Angeles or in Australia or New Zealand makes the next part of the trip relatively short.

Visit French Polynesia, make it a priority

About The Author

Peter Stewart writes exclusively for as well as and he has in depth knowledge of the places he writes about

This article was posted on July 12, 2007


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