Island-hopping in the South Pacific
French Polynesia comprises 118 islands divided into five archipelagos in the middle of the South Pacific. These island chains are dubbed the Society Islands, the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Gambier Archipelago, the Marquesas Archipelago and the Austral Archipelago. The islands of Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora are all within the Society Islands.
Spread over a surface area larger than continental Europe, the islands of French Polynesia themselves are tiny, barely occupying 4,000 square kilometres of land, just one percent the size of France; more or less the size of Rhode Island.
Tahiti has been described in many different ways. For the first Europeans it was dubbed the Island of Love. For Louis Antoine, Comte de Bougainville, it was the New Cyther – a mythical paradise. Formed more than three million years ago, the main island volcano of Tahiti Nui rose from the sea, followed by Tahiti Iti 500,000 years ago. Now extinct, these volcanoes are joined together by the Taravao isthmus. Despite its age, Tahiti is one of the youngest islands in French Polynesia. It boasts a population of 150,371.
A flight from Los Angeles to Papeete takes approximately eight hours. Flying to Moorea from Tahiti takes seven minutes by plane or 30 minutes by ferry. It takes about 50 minutes to fly to Bora Bora from Papeete.
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Tahiti – exotic landscapes, sparkling seas and bright blue skies
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