The Society Islands are two
groups of islands. The Windward
Islands (Iles du Vent) with Tahiti and
Moorea and the Leeward Islands (Iles sous le
vent) with Huahine, Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora
Bora and Maupiti. They are politically
part of French Polynesia.
Tahiti is the
largest island in the Windward group and the
most populated island of French Polynesia.
The capital is Papeete, on the northwest
coast. It was nice to be back in
civilisation, specially to buy a big
selection of food. Shopping
in Tahiti is great, somehow like in France,
French baguette, croissant, cheese camembert
everything what you heart desire. On
the big marked I could find lots of
vegetable and fruits, but the prices are
In July, the Heiva festival in Papeete
celebrates Polynesian culture and the
commemoration of the storming of the
Bastille in France.
Black pearl farming is a substantial source
of revenues, most of the pearls being
exported to Japan, Europe and the US.
The vegetation is tremendously lush rain
Moorea is the
perfect island to lay back after
civilization of Papeete. Moorea means
"yellow lizard" in Tahitian language.
Opunohu Bay was a beautiful anchorage with a
stunning scenery. Bicycle drives around the
island, walking to a volcanic mountain,
diving and snorkelling are absolutely GREAT!
Huahine is made
up of two islands surrounded by a fringing
coral reef with several motu. The people are
extremely friendly and we received lots of
presents like banana, papaya, pumpelmouse
and mangos fresh from the trees.
Raiatea is both
the largest and most populated island in the
Leeward Islands. In the town of Uturoa are
supplies and marine services available. The
Islands of Raiatea and Tahaa are both
enclosed by the same coral reef, and may
once have been a single island.
Tahaa is called
the "Vanilla island" due to those numerous
plantations that flourish in the fertile
valleys bordered by deepwater bays.
Bora Bora is
called the most beautiful island of the
Pacific. Protected by a circling
barrier reef, its lagoon offers a myriad of
nice anchorages. Only one pass leads to
Vaitape, the main village. In the center of
the island are the remnants of an extinct
volcano rising to two peaks, Mount Pahia and
Mount Otemanu, the highest point at 727
metres. The island is mainly dependent on
tourism. Over the last few yeas
several resorts have been built on motu
(small islands) surrounding the lagoon.
Over-the-water bungalows on stilts are a
standard feature of most Bora Bora resort.
Most of them are very luxurious and
Maupiti is a
short sail away from Bora Bora (26 nm). It's
a small coral atoll with a volcanic island
in its midst. It called the paradisiacal
destination to discover, which is really
true. This little island offers a well
protected lagoon. People here have been less
touched by tourism and are very
hospitable. The village of Vaiea is small