capital, major cities:
Papeete is the capital of French Polynesia.
French Polynesia is 118 islands very different in relief and nature, offering wealthy travelers from across the ocean a VIP beach vacation. The main contingent of local tourists are real gourmet travelers who have already visited many unique places in the world. A special contingent is newlyweds who can afford to hold a wedding ceremony in this heavenly place. Plus, of course, non-poor divers, who are a real expanse here.
Tours to French Polynesia are often combined, with visits to other destinations: Easter Islands, Saipan Islands and more.
Polynesia consists of 118 luxurious islands, which are united in 5 archipelagos: Society, Tuamotu, Marquesas, Tubai, Gambier.
In the archipelago of the Society, the most famous islands are Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, Raiatea, Taha, Huahine.
In the Tuamotu archipelago, the most famous islands are Rangiroa, Manihi and Fakarava.
The islands arose as a result of volcanic eruptions in different periods, which explains the diversity of landscapes, lagoons, sand, and vegetation.
The islands of the Society archipelago are the peaks of extinct volcanoes, which erupted about 2 million years ago. These are high mountains covered with dense, lush vegetation and surrounded by crown-shaped lagoons. The main islands of the archipelago: Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, Huahine.
The islands of the Tuamotu Archipelago predate the Society Islands. These are former volcanoes, the tops of which were gradually destroyed by rains, wind, in addition, over time, they sank deeper and deeper into the ocean, and now there is nothing left of the volcano above the water, except for a coral ring, inside of which there is a lagoon of unprecedented beauty. This archipelago is located 600 miles (about one hour flight from Papete) east of Tahiti and includes 80 atolls.
The Gambier archipelago is dedicated to the cultivation of black pearls and includes only 10 small, high mountainous islands. The Australian Islands consist of 5 islands, 160–230 km apart from each other. These islands are distinguished by a sharp mountainous relief and are surrounded by coral reefs.
The Marquesas Islands are located 1500 km northeast of Tahiti (a four hour flight from Tahiti) and are known for their untouched, wild nature. The French artist Paul Gauguin lived here for a long time, as well as the Belgian chansonnier Jacques Brel. There are still practically no five-star hotels that meet international standards. Nevertheless, even sophisticated travelers are surprised at the beauties of this archipelago that appear before them.
Many of the islands in French Polynesia are uninhabited. Some of them are often inhabited by two or three families, and food is brought here once a month by special steamers.
Population of about 230,000 inhabitants – concentrated mainly on the Society Islands. 83% Tahitian, 12% European and 5% Chinese.
French and Tahitian are the official languages. English is spoken in hotels, tourist places, shops and restaurants.
Time The time difference with Minsk is:
Summer time: minus 13 hours;
Winter time: minus 12 hours.
The most popular, shortest and also visa-free option (but more expensive than flights of other airlines) is the Moscow-Tokyo Aeroflot or JAL flight (on Mondays) plus the Air Tahiti Nui connecting flight Tokyo-Tahiti (3 times a week ) overnight in Tokyo. A Japanese visa is not required if you stay in the country for up to 72 hours.
Less popular (due to the need to obtain an American visa), but a relatively inexpensive flight by Air France airline Moscow – Paris – Los Angeles – Tahiti (Papeete). On the way back, there will be a stopover of at least one night in Paris (it is inevitable when flying with Air France, if you wish, you can extend your stay in Paris), so you will also need a French transit visa. Flight time is more than a day. Flights operate three times a week.
A Delta Airlines Moscow-New York flight plus a connecting Air Tahiti Nui New York-Tahiti flight: A US visa is also required. Duration: 24-26 hours excluding connection times.
Tourists who have gone crazy from a long flight will be met at the airport of arrival with fragrant tiare flowers twisted into a necklace.
Import and export of local and foreign currencies is not limited, a declaration is required for amounts over 7500 EUR. You can import duty-free up to 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 g of tobacco, up to 2 liters of wine and a liter of alcohol stronger than 22 °, up to 500 g of coffee, up to 100 g of tea, up to 50 g of perfume and 250 ml of toilet water, as well as other goods on amount up to 5000 CFP. The import of all food of animal origin, plants, fruits, weapons, ammunition and drugs, as well as counterfeit products and cultured pearls is prohibited.
As many as three time zones pass through the territory of French Polynesia.
International telephone communication exists on all islands . From a hotel room, 1 minute of conversation with Russia costs an average of 8 euros.
Tahiti Tourist Office: 505–700
Bora Bora Tourist Office: 677-636, 677-031, 677-236
Moorea Tourist Office: 562–909
Hua Hin Tourist Office: 688–634
Unified rescue service phone: 15 or 423-456
The main way to travel between the islands is by plane. The local airline Air Tahiti connects 35 islands with regular flights. You can also travel between the islands by private planes or helicopters.
You can swim from one island to another on a high-speed catamaran.
Many of the islands have a Le Truck public transport system, consisting mainly of water modes of transport, and only a small part of land.
No vaccinations are required to enter the country. Here is a very developed modern structure of health care, hygiene is strictly monitored everywhere. Tap water in hotels and restaurants is safe to drink.
We advise tourists to take shoes with reliable soles to the islands: many reef areas have enough sharp pebbles, and spiny marine animals live in the coastal zone. It is better to enter the water in plastic slippers – in order to avoid cuts and burns on corals. There are no poisonous animals and insects on the islands.
There are no special restrictions in terms of clothing on the islands. True, you should not walk around Papeete in bathing suits or shorts.
Two seasons are conditionally distinguished on the islands – warm and humid (November-May) and cool and dry (June-October). In fact, the difference between them is insignificant, the temperature on any day of the year fluctuates between +20..+30°C.
Average air temperature in Papaete in °C, by months: January +30, February +29, March +29, April +29, May +25, June +24, July +24, August +24, September +25, October + 27, November +28, December +29.
The sun in French Polynesia shines very brightly, and there is little rainfall. Rains can be both short-term evening showers and prolonged drizzle lasting up to several days.
Exhausting heat does not happen here – a cool breeze from the ocean helps to calmly endure the heat.
Hotels on the islands are invariably “on the level” – both in terms of service and in terms of rooms. Usually these are bungalows, some of which are located on the shore, and some are on platforms that go into the sea.
Travelers staying in a water bungalow will have the opportunity to have breakfast from the boats that sail right up to the bungalow.
The official currency is the Pacific franc – CFP. Its rate is fixed 1 Euro = 119.33 CFP. When exchanging cash, a single commission fee is charged without taking into account the amount of the exchange. Banks are open from 7:45 to 15:30 from Monday to Friday, some are also open on Saturday mornings.
US dollars and euros are accepted for payment almost everywhere, but the exchange rate is different everywhere. Currency can be exchanged at the airport, bank or hotels. It is most advantageous to have euros with you, which are changed at the official rate in all hotels and exchange offices. Dollars are often accepted at not the most favorable rate. “Credit cards” can be used in hotels, restaurants, shops and other tourist establishments.
Shops are open from Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 11:30 and from 14:00 to 17:00, on Saturday from 8:30 to 11:30.
From French Polynesia, they usually bring “moni” (a special oil to strengthen the tan and soften the skin), shell crafts, mother of pearl, fruit liqueurs. And, of course, black pearls: as part of jewelry and trinkets.
Tahitian cuisine uses fresh ingredients and is quite exotic. Fish of all kinds, prepared in a variety of ways, is very popular.
Tipping is not part of Polynesian culture. A smile or a nice word will bring more pleasure than a coin left behind.