About French Polynesia


French Polynesia, one of France’s overseas territories (officially “an overseas collectivity of the French Republic) is a batch of islands in the South Pacific Ocean.

The region comprises five groups of islands: the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Gambier Islands, the Marquesas Islands, the Austral Islands, and the Society Islands. The islands in the Tuamotu Archipelago are low islands and reefs, with Rangiroa, one of the largest atolls in the world, being especially fascinating. Marquesas islands are located closer to the equator and are characterised by wildlife-rich mountain landscapes, while the Gambier islands in the far eastern part of French Polynesia are mostly eroded and rarely visited. The southernmost islands of French Polynesia are Austral islands, a group of ancient volcanoes. The Society islands in the west is the most inhabited group, which includes the famous islands of Bora Bora, Maupiti, Raiatea, and Tahiti — the most populous island in French Polynesia and the seat of its capital, the city of Papeete.

French Polynesia covers the territory of 4,167 km2 and has a population of 288,685 people. Most of the island's’ residents are of Polynesian origin with other big significant groups being Chinese and French. French is the official language of the region.

When travelling to French Polynesia, note that nationals of most countries will require a visa prior to arrival, while some are allowed to travel visa-free for a stay of no longer than 90 days. Others (European Union, Norway, Switzerland, etc.) do not require a visa and can stay for unlimited time.

French Polynesia is a popular travel destination with its white, pink and black sand beaches and stunning lagoons, and tourism is the main economic activity. Tahiti and Bora Bora are the two most popular destinations with both offering an abundance of tourist facilities.

There are not many expats living in French Polynesia due to its remote location — plus, staying on the islands for a long time can be expensive. With that said, if you have your heart set on the beautiful beaches and lush greenery, the country offers all the necessary amenities and an abundance of natural beauty to discover.