World Reviewer rating

Must go!
Rating 4.0 (110 votes)

French Polynesia

Photo of French Polynesia

Many a tale drifts on the sweet wind and azure waters of French Polynesia. Tahiti's capital has captured the imagination of minds as diverse as Paul Gauguin and Robert Louis Stevenson as well as Herman Melville, who was imprisoned not by his creative torments but by the bars of Papeete Prison. Whatever the reason, it is more than easy to find yourself unable to leave French Polynesia's enticing realm.

Tahiti and its surrounding islands may seem like a mirage, they may seem to be a part of a translucent day dream which hovers around the office on a grey day. Yet whether you arrive there thinking you are part of some cruel Matrix-like operation or not be sure to remember, this is real. Locals who sleep beneath the white sands in dugouts, huts which hover over shimmering tides, giant oysters offering black pearls, tropical fruits falling at your feet and valleys cut by crystal rivers and waterfalls; it's all real.

When to go:

French Polynesia's tropical climate means…

Top French Polynesia attractions

We know a total of 14 attractions in French Polynesia. See all French Polynesia attractions.

All regions and destinations in French Polynesia

Other expert and press reviews

“A Brush with Gauguin”

By Matthew Link for Time First Published June 11, 2009 "Gauguin was a revolutionary," says my tour guide Tim as we drive through the rainforests of Hiva Oa. "He fought against the local church, he fought for the rights of us Marquesans. … Read more...

Written by press. Continue reading on

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

I recommend Hiva Oa

Hiva Oa is the second largest island in the Marquesas Islands, in French Polynesia. It is an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the largest island of the Southern Marquesas group. Its name means long ridgepole in the South Marquesan. The island is likely so named because of its long central ridge.

Post a comment, review or question

I want to
My comment - optional
Rating - how would you rate this place or experience?