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Society Islands, French Polynesia

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 very high.
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 forest. 

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 pricey.

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 and charming. 


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Move your mouse over the little pictures to enlarge



Society Island Picture Gallery underwater:


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