10 things I wish I knew before going to French Polynesia

Murad Akhundov 14 February 2021 0 views 7 min. read

Green islands and turquoise waters are attracted you, and you decided to travel to French Polynesia? In this article, we will tell you about 10 facts that you need to know before travel to French Polynesia!

1. Where is French Polynesia located?

french polynesia islandFrench Polynesia on the map

is a group of five archipelagos located in the South Pacific Ocean. The nearest countries are New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. French Polynesia is an island where about 118, 67 of which are inhabited by people. The largest of them is Tahiti. The five archipelagos that makeup Polynesia are the Society Archipelago, including the Windward Islands (Tahiti) and the Leeward Islands, the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Austral Archipelago, and the Marquesas Islands Archipelago. The capital Of French Polynesia – Papeete.

2. When we have winter – they have summer

french polynesia sunsetThe climate of Polynesia

has two seasons: summer and cool summer. Our winter is the most favourable period for Polynesia tourism because the islands receive the least precipitation. It is at this time that Polynesia attracts most tourists. If you are looking for the period with the lowest temperature for the islands, choose July and August. The temperature during this period ranges from 24 to 28 degrees. Nevertheless, even with such a "winter", you can arrange a great vacation.

3. Which islands to choose for your holiday?

resort in french polynesia

Depending on your tastes and what you want to do during your holiday in Polynesia, you can discover one or more islands in this region. We have selected several islands that you should definitely visit! Tahiti: Your trip to Polynesia will definitely start from Papeete Airport in Tahiti. From there, you can go to another island or explore Tahiti! Between the black sand beach, waterfalls, the local market and, of course, the Paul Gauguin Museum, you'll have plenty to see on the largest island in French Polynesia. Moorea: The younger sister of Tahiti-Moorea-is separated from the center of Polynesia by a 17-kilometer stretch of sea. This place is known for its magnificent lagoons and unspoilt nature. Waterfalls, lush gardens of fruits and flowers, green peaks, friendly villages-life here flows very slowly and it's beautiful! Bora-Bora: Thousands of tourists travel to Bora Bora every year to discover the spectacular scenery and luxury resorts. Surrounded by white sandy beaches and turquoise waters, this volcanic island is the perfect place for diving, relaxation or noisy parties. bora-bora Bora Bora Lagoon is the main attraction of the island. To discover this place in all its splendour, you can take a small canoe or go water skiing. In Bora Bora French Polynesia, you also have the opportunity to book a bungalow above the water and wake up in the middle of the ocean, slowly enjoying a unique holiday. By the way, the beaches of Bora Bora are included in the "top 10 beaches in the world" every year. Matira beach, according to travel agencies and journalists, is considered the best beach for recreation in the world! Huahine-Iti: This island, consisting of 2 small islands connected by a bridge, is a natural and cultural attraction. You can enjoy lagoons, white-sand beaches, and archaeological finds leftover from ancient civilizations. Hiva Oa: The island of Hiva Oa is the most famous of the islands of the Marquesas archipelago. Hiva Oa offers many interesting archaeological sites. The famous artist Paul Gauguin spent the last years of his life on this beautiful island.

4. Transport in Polynesia is peculiar

moorea

Once in Polynesia, you will probably want to navigate the numerous islands. Tourists, depending on the distance between the islands, are advised to use planes or boats. These two types of transport are common in the territory of French Polynesia. For example, the plane is perfect for admiring the archipelago from above and observing the incredible shades of blue formed by the ocean. Meanwhile, the boat offers the opportunity to observe marine life and admire the shores of the Polynesian islands and islets. On the islands themselves, tourists can rent a car, use taxi services, and also, for color, use public transport.

5. Polynesia is the perfect place for diving

diving

As in all island resorts in the world, diving is also developed in Polynesia. The Polynesian seabed, known as one of the best diving spots in the world, will make your dream and freeze with beauty. Whether it's dolphins, manta rays, sharks, colourful fish, turtles and many others, you can meet them during the dive. You will also have the opportunity to see the whale migration from August to October or explore the wrecks. However, on these islands, you are warned in advance: "the ocean is not a zoo; we can not guarantee the absence of predators." Indeed, it is impossible to leave Polynesia without seeing a shark.

6. Polynesia is the most hospitable place in the world!

french polynesia boyFrench Polynesia culture

and traditions are inherited from Polynesian ancestors and are very far from what can be seen in the West. Among other things, Polynesians have a very strong connection to their land, nature, and the ocean. Polynesians are pleasant, open and generous people. They are blessed with great kindness and will welcome you with open arms, smiling with a tiara flower necklace around their neck. They will probably greet you with the words "Maeva manawa", so before you come to the islands, be sure to learn a few local words. You will experience this hospitality while shopping in the markets, especially in the markets of Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia, which is known as one of the most colorful in the world. And the locals will offer you a typical dish at home or introduce you to the most beautiful places of the archipelagos. As if you are a full member of their family. In Polynesia, you will find wonderful moments of fun. Thousands of kilometers away from the madness of the continent, the French Polynesia people seem to have taken the time to appreciate all human relationships. As the Tahitians say, " We live in a small bubble, protected from the world's problems." It seems that the inhabitants of these islands have realized the idea of a paradise on earth. Unfortunately, the rest of the world is very, very far away from this. Also, in Polynesia, you are unlikely to stay in the middle of the road. The local French Polynesia people are very fond of tourists, and if you need to get from one point to another, raise your thumb up, and in a few minutes (if not seconds), you will be picked up by a resident and taken to where you need to go, even if he is not on the way.

7. Polynesians are very fond of tattoos

tattoo

Where in the world is the best place to get a tattoo, if not in Polynesia? The art of tattooing originated about 1500 years ago in the Marquesas Islands. The very word "tattoo" has its roots in Tahiti. According to legend, the god "Tatau" was the creator of all the ocean fish, colours, and patterns. It is with these patterns that the famous tattoos of the French Polynesia people are associated. The sailors of the legendary Captain Cook, during the expedition, got acquainted with these patterns and got a tattoo before returning to Europe. Since then, the tattoo of the French Polynesia people has been in great demand in the world. The Polynesians themselves are the very essence of life and the link between heaven and earth. Each symbol has a specific meaning; each tattoo traces the personal life of a Polynesian. In traditional Polynesian society, tattoos originally reflected the social status of a tribe or family. On the other hand, tattoos are also a symbol of beauty and a reflection of the moment of growing up of citizens.

8. You can eat a lot and not get fat in Polynesia

french polynesia food

To eat without gaining extra weight is the place of any person. So follow your dream and travel to French Polynesia! The cuisine of the islands consists of very tasty, bright, but light French Polynesia dishes. Locals prefer to eat raw food to preserve healthy minerals and nutrients. Cooking any dish in a Tahitian oven adds a special flavour to the food. This typical Polynesian cooking method consists of cooking in a pit covered with wood, dried coconut, and volcanic rocks. Among the French Polynesia dishes, the Polynesians distinguish raw fish with lime juice and coconut milk. The traditional roe pudding was made of banana and starch, flavoured with vanilla and coconut milk. By the way, vanilla in Polynesia is different from the usual vanilla. Here it is made from orchids and is called "black gold". There are whole plantations in Tahiti, where you can also go on a guided tour.

9. French Polynesia has a very rich history

french polynesia

These regions have always attracted great travellers looking for overseas territories for their countries, and expeditions were sent almost every year. But it was not always possible to sail closer to Polynesia, some of the ships were mercilessly swallowed up by the Pacific Ocean. Now, in the 21st century, these islands can be reached by plane or heavy-duty airliners.  It is believed that the starting point of migration to Polynesia was Asia. The first people on homemade boats sailed here 3 or 4 thousand years ago and formed the "Polynesian triangle" - Hawaii, Easter Island, Tahiti and New Zealand. Old terraces of houses, marae, food storage pits, petroglyphs, archers' platforms and "tiki", so many treasures are left to humanity by the first settlers' ancestors. On the islands, you will get acquainted with the Marae-a sacred monument and a place of worship of the locals. Tiki - figurines in the shape of people, made of basalt stone or wood, often represented good or evil spirits and were used in witchcraft for protection or attack in the event of war. In the Marquesas Islands, you will see petroglyphs engraved on the rock, the true meaning of which is still a mystery to mankind.

10. Polynesia is the perfect place for a wedding

french polynesia beach

French Polynesia islands, which are popular on the list of wedding places. It is unknown exactly who first decided to play their wedding on a very distant island. Still, this person's idea has become so popular that you have to sign up in line for many months for a wedding in Polynesia. Now hundreds of companies offer you to arrange a wedding for every taste: from a simple traditional ceremony to a royal wedding. And it is not at all important to have a huge list of documents with you. The local priest will bless you according to all the canons and traditions of the French Polynesia culture. A canoe will take the groom to the ceremony's place, and dancers will accompany the bride to her husband. The newlyweds and guests will have fun to the tunes of local French Polynesia musicians, and the wedding will be unforgettable. You will be carried away by the sweet melody of local music and songs; no doubt, these moments will remain in your memories. After exchanging the rings, the local priest baptizes you with the local names in accordance with tradition. Therefore, after the visit, you will also get a native Tahitian name!

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