French Polynesia, also known as Tahiti and her islands, is an assortment of beautiful volcanic islands and tiny atolls spread across the eastern South Pacific Ocean, a thousand miles from anywhere. French Polynesia has captured the world’s imagination since the 19th century explorers from Europe fist set foot on these sundrenched shores.
French Polynesia comprises several island groups, the Society Islands including Tahiti and Bora Bora, the Tuamotus, The Marquesas, Gambier Archipelago and the Austral Islands.
All together, there are around 120 islands that officially make up French Polynesia. The capital is Papeete on Tahiti and the President of France, represented by the High Commissioner of the Republic, is the head of state.
Click here to download a PDF map of French Polynesia
Click here to for a map of Tahiti's location in the world
Tropical fruits and coffee are grown on plantations, and there is pearl farming and deep-sea commercial fishing.
Cultured pearls, coconut products, mother-of-pearl, vanilla, and shark meat are exported, while fuels, several food products, and equipment are imported.
The total population of French Polynesia is just over 250,000 and the inhabitants are mainly indigenous Polynesians or those of mixed Polynesian and European descent (also known as Demis).
There is a considerable Chinese and a smaller French minority. French and Tahitian are both official languages. The Tahitian welcome is always warm, friendly and genuine.