French Polynesia is a scattered archipelago of volcanic islands
and atolls strewn across the South Pacific. For centuries, these
beautiful islands have represented the epitome of the tropical
island paradise to the European consciousness, and have lured and
inspired visitors from Gauguin to 21st-century holiday-makers.
Pape'ete, capital of Tahiti, is not necessarily the best
advertisement for an island chain that stretches across some
million square miles of ocean, but beyond the city Tahiti itself
has a lot of charm.
The real stars of the show, however, are the other picture
perfect islands and motus (islets) twinkling in the turquoise
waters. These island chains are divided into the Society Islands,
the Tuamotus, the Marquesas, the Australs and the Gambier
Archipelago, and they are home to some of the planet's very finest
hotels and we have selected the very best for you to choose
And then there is the diving in French Polynesia. Perhaps the
biggest draw (there is much, much more) is shark encounters and
these can be plentiful and exciting. Add to these pristine hard
coral reefs and you can see why people are willing to make the epic
journey to get here for the diving.
Each of the different island groups that make up French
Polynesia offer something different for divers and non-divers alike
and if you have the time you should try and squeeze in diving in
two, if not more, of the island groups if you can.