French Polynesia is an overseas territory of France, consisting of 118 islands, organized in five groups in the South Pacific Ocean; the most well-known being Tahiti and Bora-Bora. French culture influenced the islands’ local lifestyle, producing an interesting mix of traditions, languages and foods. Each of the islands has its own flair, attractions and natural wonders; so make sure you visit more than one!

This stunning island world boasts crystal-clear waters, bright green forested mountains, giant waterfalls, and beautiful beaches and lagoons, making it a dream holiday destination! Laze away the days on stunning beaches and relax as you slip into “island mode”. For the more active and adventurous there are multiple water activities to be carried out: take a catamaran on an island hopping trip, surf legendary waves in Tahiti, go whale watching, or snorkel in the stunning natural aquarium “Lagoonarium” amongst the tropical fish and sea turtles of Bora Bora.

There are various waterfalls all over French Polynesia, but the most famous are the three waterfalls of Cascades of Faarumai on Tahiti. To get there takes some tough hiking, but the magnificent views and cool freshwater ponds along the way are the perfect incentive to make it to the end!

Visit the capital Papeete on Tahiti, a buzzing port city with lots of restaurants, street cafes, and shops where you can purchase the famous Tahitian black pearls! Make sure to visit Papeete’s colorful marketplace and get a feel for true Polynesian life. Vendors come from all over the island and sell their local produce and handicrafts; this place is perfect to buy some souvenirs and sample the local cuisine in one of the food stands!

Somewhat on the expensive side, French Polynesia is not a prime drawcard for backpackers, but rather an often-chosen honeymoon destination, due to its dreamy island flair. Go swimming in the many lagoons and relax on white beaches before you go to bed in an overwater bungalow on stunning turquoise water – the magnificent islands of French Polynesia are awaiting you!